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Visual Explorer™: November 2007

November 29, 2007

VE cards used in one-one-one interviews to assess an organization's leadership culture

Jon Abeles (Senior Vice President, Talent Management & Diversity) used the small-size Visual Explorer Cards during interviews and focus groups, with the goal of assessing the effectiveness of senior leaderhip within a region. In one-on-one interviews dealing with sensitive corporate issues, the cards help establish rapport at a deeper level. Jon then combined the images with notes from his interviews into a Powerpoint show for the feedback and discussion of the findings with the CEO and his leadership team. Here are some of his thoughts on this approach:
I used the small card deck for my personal interviews with the leadership team, the Board of Directors, and the Physicians. The goal of the assessment was to see how effective the senior leadership was. I liked using the poker sized deck with the individuals I met with 1 on 1. They were more personal, and easier to handle in a quick fashion. Leaders at this level and Board members do not want to be encumbered by size: the smaller the better. It was an intimate setting, and the poker-size cards worked well. There were enough cards. If there were more, it might have made the task a bit tougher for the participants, and would have reduced my time with them. There is great variety among the cards to get at any issue that I was interested in hearing about.

The cards were an excellent mediator of dialogue. This was a situation that was one of vulnerability for the leader, and also for subordinates and board as they disclosed sensitive persectives to me—a member of the Corporate entity. The cards helped break through this barrier, and were helpful in getting at the affective domain, as well as the cognitive domain when describing their circumstances.

Afterward, in a session with the President, I projected the images and personally read the related text about each image to the Divisional President. It took over 3 hours, and prompted great conversation.The cards will become as significant part of my tool bag. They were excellent, and really helped us with this audit.
Here are some excerpts from Jon's work, in the words and images of the people he interviewed:
Fire. This organization. This picture could signify a burning platform. Things need to be second guessed and transformed. Must burn out things that are history. We must pull together key people, examine key facts, and collectively come together to design the short term and the long term. Give this challenge back to the staff to solve. Don't cut your muscle. Expense reduction will not sustain us. Focus on growth and net revenue. We are in a defensive routine. ...

I'm trying to go in a direction. Don't know where the line will stop. Budget changes may affect our direction, depending on the day. … I feel that I am free falling, and wonder when it will be over. ...
The team that understands a crisis is at hand. Everyone is working together in what they have been trained to do to alleviate that situation. ...

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November 17, 2007

Visual Connections Browser

November 14, 2007

Rethinking Wicked Problems, Compendium at CCL, VizThink Conference,

A note this morning from our CCL colleague in Brussels, design specialist Bertrand Sereno:

A couple of pointers which may be of interest to you:
Rethinking Wicked Problems
Unpacking Paradigms, Bridging Universes

VizThink Conference '08

For your info, Compendium is starting to be a huge hit here at CCL Europe: we are starting to use it to map just about everything (the Trojan horse being yours truly, of course ;)) from activities, modules, program outcomes and leadership competences, to role descriptions for our operational excellence project.
Bertrand Sereno | CCL Europe | Design Specialist | T: +32 (0)2 773 51 16

See also:
Sensemaking Techniques in Support of Leadership Development, Selvin & Palus

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November 13, 2007

VE 2.0 images on the iLead ipod

We are starting to use the iPod Touch as a platform for viewing and sharing Visual Explorer 2.0, along with other leadership learning materials. This gives a fair idea of what it looks like, but does not reveal the wonders of the Touch screen interface.

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