Episode 59: Innovation Through Liberating Structures With Keith McCandless [The Amiel Show]

One day in the late 1990s, a friend sent me a link to a new search engine called Google. Up until then, I had used Yahoo to find what I was looking for by diligently clicking through the myriad menus and submenus. It was laborious and frustrating, but what option did I have?

Google changed all of that. It was clean, simple, and fast. This is incredible! I never returned to Yahoo–not even once.

Now, imagine you could experience an equally dramatic shift with meetings.

keith-mccandless

Yeah, I know, it’s hard to imagine. In most organizations, we stick to old habits and settle for mediocre results.

Sure, we might occasionally call in a professional facilitator for an offsite retreat but then we head back to our old ways. What other choice do we have?

This week’s guest, Keith McCandless, has an answer to that question: liberating structures.

Liberating structures are novel, practical, and non-nonsense methods to help you increase innovation while keeping everyone engaged. And when I say “you,” I mean everyone reading this. Keith and his colleague, Henri Lipmanowics, have taken the best conversational practices from organizational development, chunked them into simple usable morsels, and invented some of their own.

This stuff is so practical and “sticky” that I started using it within days of purchasing their book The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures.

There’s no turning back.

Highlights

  • 9:00 Keith is physically restrained from repeating old habits
  • 12:00 Brainstorming and open discussion become a “goat rodeo”
  • 21:00 People’s breath is taken away
  • 25:00 “1-2-4-All”
  • 34:00 “TRIZ”—curmudgeons get creative
  • 39:00 “15%” Solution—do what’s in your power
  • 48:00 “What I Need From You (WINFY)”
  • 56:00 Keith’s “stopping doing” list gets tested at a top business school

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transcript-of-keith-mccandless-interview

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Through 1-2-4-All, people handle decisions they usually would kick upstairs

–Keith McCandless   Tweet this quote

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Episode 55 Charles Duhigg on Smarter Faster Better [The Amiel Show]

Charles Duhigg pic

Charles Duhigg’s first book The Power of Habit spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. In addition to being popular, it was darn good.

So when I heard he was coming out with a second book, Smarter Faster Better, I invited him for an interview. After several back and forth emails with his friendly team of publicists, he accepted. (Although I’ve interviewed other luminaries like David Allen, this was my first experience with a publicist–other than the one I hired to help with Practice Greatness.)

The new book’s subtitle is The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. I forgot to ask him which part of business is outside of life. Or if he thought he’d sell more copies calling it Dumber Slower and Worse–which has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Otherwise, it was a good interview.

My goal is always to make my guests laugh, praise my genius, or comment on my humility. I’m not sure any of those things happened this time, but I sensed Charles smiling on a couple of occasions. Small wins, people. Small wins.

Enjoy!

Highlights

  • 3:30 Who ate the chocolate chip cookie?
  • 6:00 Charles’s experiments in meeting new people at conferences
  • 11:00 Why psychological safety matters in produces great teams
  • 16:00 Saturday Night Live’s early seasons—how even misanthropes can work well together
  • 19:00 Making better decisions by thinking probabilistically
  • 26:30 Subversives in nursing homes—transforming chores into choices
  • 28:00 Marine Corps Boot Camp—improving self-motivation by asking why you are doing something

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You’ll be amazed by how much self-motivation gets generated by asking yourself why.

–Charles Duhigg  Tweet this quote

 

Lorne Michaels models psychological safety and he’s not even a particularly nice person.

–Charles Duhigg   Tweet this quote

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Episode 46: Barrett C. Brown On Leadership For Conscious Capitalism [The Amiel Show]

This week, Barrett C. Brown joins me to talk about the connection between two topics near to my heart: leadership and conscious capitalism.

I invited Barrett for this conversation because he has been working in the field of sustainability for two decades and is an international expert on leadership development and vertical learning.

He brings a calm wisdom and peaceful passion to a topic of epic proportions.

Listen in and share with your friends.

Barrett C Brown_6649_220

Highlights

  • 7:00 Developing inner capacities is the leading edge for sustainability
  • 13:00 Whispers from the future
  • 20:00 The power of vertical learning
  • 33:00 Highly conscious leaders are different from Level 5 leaders
  • 43:30 Later stage leaders who eject themselves from organizations–or reengage in new ways
  • 49:00 What kind of narrative are you choosing to create?
  • 51:30 Barrett’s practices: meditation, action inquiry and Bulletproof Coffee!

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“Leaders who are calm amidst change & ambiguity end up being more effective”

–Barrett C. Brown  Tweet this quote

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New to Podcasts?

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Subscribe to the Show on iTunes (It’s Easy!)

  1. Sign into iTunes using your ID and password
  2. Search the iTunes store for “Amiel Show”
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Episode 16: Julie Daley on creativity in leadership [The Amiel Show]

Imagine that:

  • Creativity isn’t something “other” people have
  • Creativity is much broader than art–or even new ideas and products
  • Creativity isn’t just about you. It’s about what you create with other people
  • Creativity isn’t even just about creativity. It’s about being skilled in emotions, difficult conversations, and leadership

Many people consider these a stretch. Not Julie Daley, who teaches Creativity in Leadership at Stanford and helps women become a force of nature through her company, Unabashedly Female. Julie sees these as starting points for guiding people to access their creativity in leadership and the rest of life.

Julie-Daley

 

Episode Highlights

  • 6:00 Julie guides me to access my own creativity–live
  • 15:00 The man who used Julie’s class to decide whether to propose marriage
  • 23:00 How judging others keeps their ideas from coming forth fully
  • 28:00 What you can do to work with your inner critic
  • 32:00 How to see with your heart…or your toe
  • 35:00 How a single conversation can ignite you to feel more alive
  • 37:00 What creativity teaches us about difficult conversations
  • 51:30 What leadership from a place of love is like
  • 55:00 What Julie is personally practicing to grow as a human being

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