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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs

WWSD: What Would Steve Do?

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Are we all reading too much into that turtleneck & wireframe costume?

It’s the glance into the camera that does it for me.

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Written by kirkistan

June 12, 2015 at 8:00 am

Power Distance Vs. Skunkworks (Shop Talk #8)

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Don’t Fax Me In

I’m anticipating a Social Media Breakfast Friday morning that promises dialogue about dialogue: how companies can get better at engaging employees for collaboration. Collaboration intrigues me because it forces this question:

How is it our organizations gather all these smart people and yet routinely fail to get them working together on big ideas? Why is true collaboration still a distant dream rather than today’s pressing reality?

Anyone can see we’re well beyond the “You talk. I Listen.” model of management relations. In my class we’ve been tracing the opportunity of social technologies backwards to where conversation bumps against command and control personalities and cultures. I’ve been coming to the conclusion that conversation is inevitable: with customers, with your own workforce. Especially with your own workforce. This is good news for anyone who works. To expect anything less than people talking back (where you can hear it or where you cannot hear it) is to settle comfortably into the pace and ethos of 1980 or 1990. Back when we might just fax in our order.

One celebrated model for collaboration is that of Lockheed Martin’s Skunkworks: smart people hiding from bosses (or some bosses) to work together on a particular passion. It was a skunkworks setup that allowed Steve Jobs to make his radical break that resulted in the Macintosh. The absence of bureaucracy and the concentrated abundance of resources contributed to innovation.

And this: slightly naughty has its own peculiar draw. If skunkworks promises to disrupt the social order, I’m in. So are a lot of other seemingly ordinary citizens.

Cubicle-dwelling life is often more about receiving messages rather than dialoguing. In my own life it was the rare boss (I count three) who was able to deeply engage teams and bring out the very best—the brand new stuff that would happen only when everyone talked.

My fear is that internal communication is mostly just another flavor-of-the-month HR stunt, only using new tools. Just another command and control technique that only climbers are interested in.

My hope is that leaders take their top positions and use them to demonstrate dialogue and make themselves vulnerable.

My observation is that a generation of Anti-Vladimir Putins and Anti-Kim Jong-uns is already emerging.

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Steve Jobs: “…you have to trust the dots will connect in your future.”

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File Under “Memorable Speeches”

Check out Steve Jobs speaking at a Stanford graduation in 2005. Favorite moment (~5:35): “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will connect in your future.”

Thanks to Bob Collins at MPR News Cut for the link.

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Written by kirkistan

March 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Posted in art and work, philosophy of work

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