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Volume 4, Issue 12

December  2012 


What's your see? squeegie


Ho, ho, ho! It's hard to believe that we're coming to the end of another year. As most of you know, I'm not a fan of making New Year's resolutions. I just don't see the value of setting onesself up for failure (95% of all resolutions aren't kept). I am, however, a fan of beginning new traditions...and I've stumbled upon one that I've modified for use in the coming year.


It should be no surprise that employees are vital to any successful organization. It's also no surprise that one of the keys to impacting employee performance is recognition. Recognition is one of the most studied and talked about areas of employee engagement. Books like Daniel Pink's "Drive" have laid out the virtues of recognition as a spark for engagement and helped fuel an increased interest in how companies can "do recognition right."


In a recent Bersin survey, 73% of organizations reported having recognition programs. Unfortunately, only 17% of those organizations believe their efforts are effective. That's quite a gap! The bottom line is that all too often, leaders and peers miss opportunities to offer up meaningful acknowledgement for work well done.


So...what to do?


Start a tradition of self-recognition. Recently, a friend posted the idea of beginning the new year with an empty jar, and filling it with notes about good things that happen throughout the year. Then, on New Year's Eve, you empty the jar and read the notes to reflect on all the wonderful things that happened that year. I'm going to modify this idea a bit. Instead of wonderful things that happen to me, I'm going to write down things I accomplish - those clear cut contributions I make which deserve recognition. And I doubt that I'll wait until the end of the year to revisit those contributions. I'll simply reach into the jar whenever I need to, and read as many notes as it takes to get my "recognition fix".


The bottom line is that it's up to each one of us to be proactive when it comes to getting recognition. How about having your own empty jar ready to go?


Happy holidays!


Boldly yours,


Jennie Ayers

Senior Partner

October 2012

In This Issue
  • How "Whys" Lead to "Ahahs"
  • Everything is Impossible Until Somebody Does It 
  • Smarter, Better, Bolder Technology

BrainHow "Whys" Lead to "Ahahs"
Curated by Beck Ripley, Principal at BoldWork

When working with leaders, I generally discourage them from asking "why" questions. The very word often triggers a defensive response - or the question causes people to revert to parent-child mode, which rarely leads to productive dialogue. Instead, I recommend saying something like, "I'm curious. How did you decide to use that approach?" Tone of voice is important. Genuine curiosity is imperative, rather than the Voice of Judgment.


The huge exception to the recommendation to avoid asking "Why" is when you're using the creative problem solving technique known as "5 Whys." When using this approach, it's important to explain that you're using multiple "Whys" in an effort to uncover the root cause of the problem. If you're successful, you're more likely to actually solve the problem, rather than adhere a bandage on a symptom.


Mitch Ditkoff offers a practical application of the Five Whys technique. It was used to address a nasty problem at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial - photo by Ted Ringger

Birds were doing their business all over the monument and seemed to favor it more than any other monument in the District. Why? It seemed doubtful the birds had it in for our nation's third president, so what was behind the mess? Check out this link to learn how the Five Whys provided insights that alleviated the problem with one simple, elegant, cost-free adjustment. 5 Whys is a simple tool with potentially huge results for your organization, too.


SolveEverything Is Impossible Until Somebody Does It 
Curated by BoldWork


An excellent video to bring in the new year. How To Find And Do Work You Love: Scott Dinsmore at TEDxGoldenGatePark. Discover the three things that world changers have in common. 


DinsmoreCareful. You may "wake up" one day and find that your ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall. Will you leave it there...or take the road less traveled? Scott Dinsmore offers a thought provoking TedxTalk that rattles some cages and inspires the audience to look deeper into the career choices they've made.


Ask yourself this: What is the work you can't not do?


Everyday, in Everyway --Do BoldWork!

FailingSmarter, Better, Bolder Technology  
Curated by Kris Campbell, Managing Partner at BoldWork


Kick off the new year and get ahead of the curve by using technology to support and help you work smarter, better, bolder.


My partner and friends know I'm a technology addict. Maybe it's genetic. My father was the same way - he loved new gizmos. Following in his esteemed footsteps, I'm one of those first adopters who dive into just about any new software, gadget or App to test it out. I find technology exciting and the tougher the learning curve, the more intrigued I am. I've made some blunders, a few of them costly. But when you're out on the frontier, you're bound to get burned now and then. I've also found gems that I've stuck with for years, simply because they do exactly what they promised. As B.F. Skinner said, there's nothing like intermittent reinforcement to seal our fate. Over the years, I've come to see technology as my virtual assistant, my IT department, my marketing department and yes, our R&D department.


So with the new year only days away, I thought I'd share a few of the "gems" I discovered this last year, which are helping me to do BoldWork.


The amazing Evernote comes in at number 1. I LOVE Evernote! It's a full suite of productivity tools that keep me organized - and so much more - I don't know how I worked without it! And Evernote follows me everywhere from cellphone to laptop. Likewise for SugarSync - it saved my worklife when a mean, vicious and evil virus took down my laptop earlier this year. And then there's Grammarly...well, it's like having my own private editor for everything I write. HootSuite can keep you from pulling your hair out while trying to keep up with your business Facebook, Twitter and Blog accounts. And Dragon Naturally really does work - it really does "type on the screen" as I'm speaking. Amazing.


Oh, by the way, I just got a NEW smartphone and I'm in tech-heaven. Hello Android, So Long Blackberry!


Happy New Year, All.


And may the tech-gods be with you in 2013!






DragonNaturally   (Extras to check out)



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