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Volume 4, Issue 10

October  2012 


What's your see? squeegie


If you've read my bio, you know that I used to work as a comedy writer in television. In TV, we have what's called a table read, where the actors and writers sit around a table and the actors read the script aloud for the first time. You want to  hear laughs at the table read. If you don't, there's a

big rewrite to do. Rewrites happen in what's known as the writers' room. All the writers on staff gather in a big room and go through the script, page by page, replacing jokes that didn't get a laugh at the table. We just pitch out new jokes - in the moment. Sometimes, we're shooting a show - in front of a live audience - and a joke's not working. Writers have to come up with something new - in the moment.


Being able to think improvisationally and pitch out new jokes "in the moment" was just part of being a writer. At least, that was my "see" at the time. Later, when I transitioned from the world of entertainment to the world of business, my "see" changed. I was delivering a keynote address to about 250 employees of Boeing. It was just after lunch. I stepped to the microphone and opened my mouth to thank the company for inviting me. Instead of "thank you," out came a belch. Not ladylike - a big man belch. I looked at the audience - stunned silence. I could sense they were uncomfortable. In that split second, I'd lost them.


Drawing on my ability to think "in the moment," I stepped to the front of the stage, outstretched my arms and said, "My compliments to the chef." The audience laughed, relieved that the embarrassing moment was over. More importantly, I had them again. 


That was my "aha" moment, the moment I realized that being able to think improvisationally and respond effectively "in the moment" was a skill that would serve me as well in business as it had as a writer. It also reminded me that there is value in changing the way we "see" our capabilities. Too often, our current "see" limits possibilities when we don't realize the breadth and depth of our strengths.  


Boldly yours,


Jennie Ayers

Senior Partner

October 2012

In This Issue
  • Broaden Your Perspective with Creative Thinking
  • Capitalize on Team Knowledge
  • The Art of Jujitsu & Self-Change

BrainBroaden Perspective with Creative Thinking Curated by Rebecca Ripley, Principal at BoldWork
Creative thinking is all about broadening our perspective. As you'll learn in this link, A Seeing Gap is when we view the world or a situation as one of restriction instead of possibility. We tend to use the words "can't," "won't," and "don't" when describing circumstances. Obstacles appear immovable or unchangeable, blocking any ray of hope. And it may seem like we're on an endless journey of more-of-the-same.
While this brief article offers nine tips to expand our perspective, it also offers ipad apps to keep tools at-the-ready. You can download the game of "spot the differences" or use Google Art Project to wander through collections around the world. If you're not a techie, you can gain the same insights by intentionally noticing something different during your daily drive to work or while on a walk around the neighborhood. Dali butterflies You can study paintings at a local museum or while browsing through an art book. It's all about turning off our autopilot switch and actually seeing. When we wake ourselves up to what's around us in life, there's another powerful benefit: we begin to see problems differently. We are more creative when brainstorming solutions. We open ourselves to possibilities.
SolveCapitalize on Team Knowledge
Curated by Jennie Ayers


In today's organizational environment, with its flattened hierarchy, complex structures and reliance on multidisciplinary task forces, teams that work together effectively are vital. But it's not enough just to build those effective teams.


team knowledgeWe can sometimes forget that working on a team is as essential as working in a team...especially when we see our teams performing at a superior level. We can often develop such trust and confidence in our teams that we turn our focus away from the effective team and direct it toward staff who need more of our input.


That's a mistake. The high performing team needs us to stay engaged, affirm team members' instincts and decisions, acknowledge their wins and reinforce the learning gained from things that don't go so well. The power of a team lies in its collective competence and the ability to make the most of that competence.


Click here to take a look at Collective Competence by Joanne L. Smikle, six strategies that help you capitalize on what your teams know. 


FailingSelf-Change & the Art of Jujitsu
Curated by Kris Campbell, Managing Partner at BoldWork


The Japanese characters to the right are "ju" (flexible, yielding, gentle) and "jitsu" (art or technique). This is the definition of the martial art, Jujitsu: a flexible art that enables one to turn an opponent's strength and momentum into an advantage by exploiting elements of balance, leverage, circularity and timing.


I've always felt an affinity with the philosophy behind Jujitsu, and an appreciation for the strength and power a JuJitsu master can demonstrate without a weapon or display of overt aggression. I've been a practitioner in the field of human change for quite some time, and lately I feel more closely aligned with the Jujitsu master than to Rogers, Maslow, Jung or Ellis (a few of my most admired change agents).


When it comes to helping people take those first steps toward self-change, there are a zillion artful tools that a seasoned coach can apply - really, I'm sure, a zillion at least. The point is not the zillion to choose from - it's choosing the right one. And I'm convinced that the "guide 'em and let 'em figure it out" - or the self-actualization route - is often not the best in today's challenging world. jujitsu match Sometimes, as a coach and trusted adviser, we need to apply a flexible art that enables us to turn a Coachee's strength and momentum into an advantage by exploiting their strengths of balance, leverage, circularity and timing.


Jeremy Dean, at PsyBlog, uncovered some compelling research regarding how the technique of Self Persuasion is an effective tool in initiating self-change. I've actually used this technique with clients, like it and, further, think it's a very Jujitsu style approach.


Check out How to Encourage People to Change their Own Minds - Self-Persuasion: let people talk themselves around to your point of view. Jeremy Dean at PsyBlog

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