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Is there enough urgency to change?

Change is hard. I am amazed by the number of people and organizations who can intellectually grasp the importance of change, but they cannot execute it. I have read about statistics about the small percentage of people who change their lifestyle (diet, exercise, smoking) after having a heart attack. They must intellectually understand the negative implications of their lifestyle, but they cannot bring themselves to change even when the consequences include another heart attack or death.

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There are plenty of examples of organizations that have been unable to adapt. I live in Evansville, Indiana, and Family Video just announced they would be closing all stores. This video store outlasted Blockbuster and Hollywood Video by years. However, I have to think they saw the writing on the wall years ago. Video stores have been dying for years, especially as streaming services have grown in popularity.

I was recently in a debate about the future of movie theaters. Unless movie theaters distinguish themselves, they will also die. Many of us forget that movie theaters became popular nearly fifty years before the general public started getting televisions in their homes. As TVs, sound systems, and streaming services continue to improve, it becomes harder to justify spending the money on movie tickets and concessions.

When leaders look to create change, they must first create an urgency to change. They need to consider how they can instill a sense of urgency in those around them. Most people and organizations will not change for the sake of change.

In John Kotter’s classic change management book Leading Change (2012), he identifies the first step of change is “Establishing a Sense of Urgency.” Kotter writes, “Increasing urgency demands that you remove sources of complacency or minimize their impact: for instance, eliminating such signs of excess as a big corporate air force; setting higher standards both formally in the planning process and informally in day-to-day interaction, changing internal measurement systems that focus on the wrong indexes; vastly increasing the amount of external performance feedback everyone gets; rewarding both honest talk in meetings and people who are willing to confront problems; and stopping baseless happy talk from the top.” (pp. 44-45)

The COVID-19 pandemic created urgency for many organizations to change. They understood their short and long term survival was dependent on their ability to change. Examples of changes that have occurred include virtual meetings, remote work, churches live streaming services, restaurants adding curbside pick up, and contactless delivery. Many organizations had considered these changes but never felt urgency to implement them.

How is your organization responding to change? Does your organization experience the urgency necessary to change? If not, how can your organization remove complacency that prevents necessary change to occur?

If you are interested in learning more about how we can your organization, please contact us.

T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is located in Evansville, Indiana, and we focus on enhancing organizational leadership, strategy, and creativity in the surrounding region.

Dr. Tad Dickel is a leadership, strategy, and creativity consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits, colleges, schools, and churches. He received a Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute, a Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fund Raising School, a Certificate in Foundations of Design Thinking from IDEO U, and holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tad is a Certified Basadur Simplexity Thinking Facilitator and Trainer, Certified Basadur Profile Administrator, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.

Effective Teams, Leadership

Technology tools for virtual collaboration

When I started consulting, most of my work was in person. I have spent the last several months adjusting and have been using more technology to collaborate with clients. I wanted to share a few tools that may be helpful for your work. I welcome your suggestions for technology that has been helpful for you.

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Google Jamboard: I use this free Google app for collaboration during Zoom meetings. Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that allows you to post “sticky notes” and draw. I regularly use it for virtual brainstorming, asking meeting attendees to share a “hope” for our meeting, and debriefing a meeting. I adjust the share settings and provide a link to the Jamboard in the chat box. 

Digital whiteboards: There are several different digital whiteboard products available, and I have used Microsoft Whiteboard, Mural, and Miro. Whiteboards are a great tool for collaboration and capturing ideas. The products listed above have many features that are not included in a simple digital whiteboard like Google Jamboard. The board’s owner can give access to others by sharing a link. 

Loom (loom.com): is a free video sharing site. I use Loom for sending personal video messages to individuals. This can be a great way to personally connect with employees and clients. You can also use Loom to record your screen and show someone else how to use a software program. Loom has a free version, but you can also upgrade to access more features.

Slack (slack.com): Slack is a messaging app that is commonly used by companies and other organizations. You can create a team workspace for communication, share documents, and search for previous communication. I use Slack for asynchronous communication with teams. Slack has a free version, but you can also upgrade to access more features.

Trello (trello.com): Trello is a project management app that I use for my “to do” list and for team projects. You can have multiple team members on a board, assign tasks, upload documents, create deadlines, and utilize many other features. Trello has a free version, but you can also upgrade to access more features.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I wrote a blog titled “Leading effective virtual meetings.” http://bit.ly/3aX8xQj

One of the major challenges of collaboration is getting people together at the same time for meetings. I am excited about opportunities for asynchronous collaboration. There are aspects of in person meetings that are difficult to replicate, but there are also many advantages of virtual collaboration. What tools are your teams using to enhance collaboration? 

We are using these tools for facilitating strategic planning processes, leadership coaching, creative problem solving training, collaboration, building relationships, and managing work. If you want to learn more, please contact us.

T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is located in Evansville, Indiana, and we focus on enhancing organizational leadership, strategy, and creativity in the surrounding region.

Dr. Tad Dickel is a leadership, strategy, and creativity consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits, colleges, schools, and churches. He received a Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute, a Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fund Raising School, a Certificate in Foundations of Design Thinking from IDEO U, and holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tad is a Certified Basadur Simplexity Thinking Facilitator and Trainer, Certified Basadur Profile Administrator, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.

Uncategorized

Thank you for a great 2020!

Despite challenges, I have a lot to be thankful for in 2020. Prior to the pandemic, most of my consulting work had been conducted in person. We were able to pivot quickly and continue to provide value to clients through virtual coaching, facilitating, and training. I’m hopeful for a time when seeing family, friends, clients, and colleagues in person becomes commonplace.

Here are some things I’m thankful for:

  • Helping organizations and individuals successfully navigate the pandemic.
  • Providing value for great clients in Indiana (Evansville, Ferdinand, Floyds Knobs, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Jasper, Oakland City, Poseyville, Washington), Kentucky (Madisonville and Muhlenberg County), and Nebraska (Lincoln). 
  • Consulting with banks, manufacturing companies, universities, government agencies, nonprofits, churches, and schools. 
  • Providing strategic planning services, creative problem solving facilitation, leadership coaching, board/staff retreats, family business planning, and training related to leadership, scenario planning, innovation, effective teams, nonprofit boards, nonprofit fundraising, and virtual meetings. 
  • Becoming a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.
  • Blogging on a more regular basis than before. 
  • Driving and traveling less to see clients. 
  • Dressing casually.
  • Teaching leadership, innovation, and strategic planning graduate courses for Creighton University and University of Evansville.  

As we prepare for post-pandemic, I think it is important to be intentional about the transition. What do you want to keep, leave behind, or change? I wish you a happy and healthy 2021! 

If you have ideas for future blog posts, please contact us.

T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is located in Evansville, Indiana, and we focus on enhancing organizational leadership, strategy, and creativity in the surrounding region.

Dr. Tad Dickel is a leadership, strategy, and creativity consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits, colleges, schools, and churches. He received a Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute, a Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fund Raising School, a Certificate in Foundations of Design Thinking from IDEO U, and holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tad is a Certified Basadur Simplexity Thinking Facilitator and Trainer, Certified Basadur Profile Administrator, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.

Effective Teams, Innovation, Leadership, Strategy

Innovation and preparing for post-pandemic life

As organizations navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, our clients regularly discuss the importance of encouraging innovative thinking and building effective teams. I am encouraged by the rapid development of vaccines and think life may feel more “normal” as we progress through 2021. Our organizations have seen many changes over the last several months. Most of us have embraced technology in ways that we would not have imagined at the beginning of 2020. 

As we discuss pressing needs with our current and prospective clients, we are hearing some similar themes. Organizations are looking to:

  1. Develop a more cohesive team in this remote work environment.
  2. Encourage innovative thinking among individuals and the team.
  3. Develop individuals’ appreciation and understanding of team member differences.
  4. Introduce a common vocabulary that fosters more creative and collaborative thinking. 
  5. Prepare for conducting business post-COVID.

I previously wrote a blog titled “Encouraging a more innovative culture” that will provide ideas for applying in your organization.

We’re excited to offer a two hour virtual Creative Thinking Boot Camp that helps teams build individual and collective abilities to think creatively and work collaboratively. This is one of our most popular introductory offerings and has been used by a wide variety of organizations to build more creative, collaborative, and effective teams. 

The Two Hour Boot Camp is offered through a highly interactive and engaging online Zoom workshop. We’ve all attended many boring webinars, but this workshop includes hands on exercises, discussions, and small group activities. It has been well received by businesses, nonprofits, churches, and schools. 

Participants learn about why innovation is so important now, divergent and convergent thinking, what hinders creativity and innovation, and characteristics of effective and innovative teams. In advance of the workshop, participants will complete the Basadur Profile which is used to help them understand how they and those around them approach creativity and problem solving. At the end of the workshop, participants will discuss how they can apply these skills within their organization.

We are scheduling Creative Thinking Boot Camps right now. This is an important time to start post-pandemic planning. Please contact us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is located in Evansville, Indiana, and we focus on enhancing organizational leadership, strategy, and creativity in the surrounding region.

Dr. Tad Dickel is a leadership, strategy, and creativity consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits, colleges, schools, and churches. He received a Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute, a Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fund Raising School, a Certificate in Foundations of Design Thinking from IDEO U, and holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tad is a Certified Basadur Simplexity Thinking Facilitator and Trainer, Certified Basadur Profile Administrator, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.

Effective Teams, Leadership

Leading effective virtual meetings

I recently led a webinar about leading effective meetings. At this point in the pandemic, the novelty of virtual meetings has worn off. I hear people talk about missing the “in person” experience that occurs through informal conversations, reading body language, and personal connection. 

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

I offer some thoughts on virtual meetings that I hope are helpful for organizations: 

  1. Is a virtual meeting necessary? We have all sat through in person and virtual meetings that were unnecessary. I find virtual meetings to be most effective for group problem solving, team building, gathering outside input, and collaborative projects. Before you schedule meetings, consider the purpose of the meeting and whether the work and/or communication can take place in another format. There may be other ways to communicate or collaborate, such as video messaging (Loom), team communication (Slack), or project management (Trello).
  2. Thinking like an “event planner”: When event planners prepare for conventions, weddings, or special events, they are very intentional about focusing on the experience of attendees. We could all benefit from reflecting on what experience our virtual meeting attendees will have. 

In my experience leading virtual meetings, I recommend the following best practices:

  1. Provide instructions when people log in: As soon as people log into a virtual meeting, it can be helpful to share expectations on the screen or in the chat. For example, you can welcome attendees and let them know when the meeting will begin. You can also ask them to share information in the chat or mute themselves. 
  2. Build community: With virtual meetings, we often miss out on the community building that occurs naturally during in person meetings. Begin meetings with an icebreaker to help connect people. 
  3. Establish ground rules: For larger meetings, we need to be more formal with ground rules. Be sure to explain the system for responding to questions or participating in the discussion. You can ask people to stay muted when not speaking or explain expectations for staying on camera.
  4. Breakout rooms: Breakout rooms are a great way to foster engagement during larger meetings. They can break up the time and make meetings feel quicker and more productive. 
  5. Frequent breaks: “Zoom fatigue” is real. I recommend including frequent breaks during virtual meetings. For longer meetings, you can meet for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. Giving the group a stretch break every 25 minutes can also help. 
  6. Shorter meetings: With in person meetings, it is not uncommon to meet for several hours. I think we should set a maximum of 2-3 hours for virtual meetings to avoid “Zoom fatigue” and maintain engagement.
  7. Waiting for responses: There is value in giving group members time to respond. For example, after asking a question, count to ten before moving on. Internet speeds, slowness of finding the unmute button, and taking time to think can cause a delay in responding during virtual meetings compared to in person meetings. 
  8. Debrief: Virtual meetings are still relatively new to us. I recommend spending a few minutes at the end of each meeting asking questions like “What went well during this meeting?” or “What could have gone better?” We can take this information into consideration as we plan future virtual meetings. 

We have all learned a lot about virtual meetings in recent months. I welcome your input or suggestions on how we can make virtual meetings more effective. 

How can we help your organization?

T.A. Dickel Group, LLC is located in Evansville, Indiana, and we focus on enhancing organizational leadership, strategy, and creativity in the surrounding region.

Dr. Tad Dickel is a leadership, strategy, and creativity consultant who works with businesses, nonprofits, colleges, schools, and churches. He received a Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute, a Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fund Raising School, a Certificate in Foundations of Design Thinking from IDEO U, and holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tad is a Certified Basadur Simplexity Thinking Facilitator and Trainer, Certified Basadur Profile Administrator, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.