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Volume 5, Issue 2

February 2013 

Greetings!Dear (Contact First Name),

What's your see? squeegie


Did you know that the larger a CEO's signature, the more likely it is that she or he is reckless in business? I didn't, until I came across a study done by the Universities of Maryland and North Carolina, covering some 605 CEOs from 379 firms. Nor did I know that there are vending machines in some Pennsylvania grocery stores that dispense wine, as long as you have a current ID that can be scanned, proving you're of age, and you blow into a Breathalyzer, proving you're not hammered. Both of these tidbits came to my attention via the February 2013 issue of Fast Company. I admit that I don't often read this magazine - it's in the office because Kris subscribes. But I couldn't put this issue down, in part because this particular edition is different. There are two distinct sections of the magazine - two covers and two "editorial configurations." As Editor Robert Safian notes, one section features the kind of stories one expects in every issue of Fast Company. The other section is devoted to the art of creative conversations. It is, he says, an issue for people who like seeing things with fresh eyes. That must be why I'm so drawn to it.


Seeing things with fresh eyes means looking at things from a different perspective; it means opening ourselves to people whose insight differs from ours. That can be hard to do. For the most part, we've been "trained" in school to solve closed-ended problems, ones that have just one correct answer and one way to get that answer (think math). But most real world problems are open-ended; there's more than one approach to solving them and more than one viable solution. In business, we can't afford to stop when we think we've found "the" answer. We need to look at the problem again with fresh eyes to find the third, fourth and fifth right answers, because those are the ones that will put us ahead of the competition.


At BoldWork, we crave fresh eyes...and in this month's see-musings, one of our curations spotlights how we "see" lacking confidence and what we can do about it in a whole new way. We also take a look at how one word can have two very opposing perceptions. And when it comes to creativity and innovation, all we need do is rediscover a child's "fresh eye." Are you up for that?


Boldly yours,


Jennie Ayers

Senior Partner

October 2012

In This Issue
  • Act Powerful, Be Powerful!
  • Get Creative - Be Ready to Touch the Snake 
  • Amazing, Bewildering Human Behavior

BrainAct Powerful, Be Powerful!
Curated by Janice Criddle, Principal at BoldWork

Whenever I have to deliver a new presentation or program, I get concerned. No matter how much I prepare, I'm still tentative during that first delivery. A colleague advised me to "deliver with confidence. After all, you still know more than the audience. Just fake it."


I recently discovered a TED talk video that supports this advice with research and science. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy is an associate professor at Harvard Business School. Her research regarding competence and power links body language to body chemistry. 

ann cuddy power posing
Amy Cuddy - Power Posing

Consider the impact of that. Our perceptions of body language can shape our social interactions, determine such outcomes as who gets hired or promoted, and influences who we elect as politicians. Cuddy shows what each of us can do - in only two minutes - to create a more powerful personal presence.


The video is about 21 minutes long and well worth the time. Watch learn how to act powerful so you can be powerful! 

Getting Creative - Are You Ready to Touch the Snake? 
Curated by Rebecca Ripley, Principal at BoldWork


I facilitate creativity and innovation workshops across the country, and back in the mid-90's, designed the American Management Association's first-ever creativity workshop. Seventeen years later, we still emphasize the importance of courage and confidence when presenting new ideas and "fighting" to get them approved. Clients often proclaim that their biggest innovation challenge is how to influence key stakeholders.

child creativity  

I just read an article by two gurus in the field, David Kelley, founder and Chairman of IDEO and Tom Kelley, IDEO's General Manager. IDEO is widely celebrated as one of the world's most successful product design firms. Ted Koeppel featured the company in a Nightline segment back in 1999. The video remains a popular discussion vehicle in AMA's current innovation program. David was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes. In addition to leading IDEO, these two mustached brothers "give back" by teaching at Stanford University. They understand the discovery process as well as anyone, and a key principle of their work at Stanford's Design School is that creativity needs to be something you practice. It's not just a talent you're born with.


This is certainly a tenant of BoldWork's workshops. We recognize the need for many of us to rediscover our latent creative potential. We know the seeds are there, because once upon a time, all of us were children - and all children are creative. Until they get scolded and tamped down and attentive, deeply burying their ability to be inventive.


Ready to dig up your ability to be inventive? Check out this article, which features breakthrough innovations by students who learned to tap into their creative confidence. 



FailingOur Amazing, Bewildering Human Behavior 
Curated by Kris Campbell, Managing Partner at BoldWork


john lennon  

"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

                             John Lennon


I'm in my 3rd decade of working in the amazing, exhilarating, frustrating and endlessly bewildering world of human behavior. Even after all this time, I still have moments of shock and awe. People wonder how I can still be surprised. Well, when I'm no longer surprised, that's the day I must stop doing what I do. Human beings are actually more predictable than not, which helps make us a civilization. But ultimately, the thing that keeps us amazing is this thing called "perception," our ability to SEE our world through many different eyes.


Early in my career, I unapologetically embraced the concept that there is no single human reality, but only what humans perceive as reality. In other words, there are a million ways to peel an orange. Adopting and constantly reminding myself of this core philosophy has helped me be effective in my work with people as they develop, change and "be better" as they roll on through life.


multi color person with scopeOne thing I've considered lately is how just the use of a single word is enough to get a quick and intense response from people as they "see" the word through the language-lens of their unique lives. The word-of-the-moment is INFLUENCE. Some people see the word as meaning a positive, persuasive, convincing strength...pure social advancement. Others see the word as manipulative, devious and scheming...pure political maneuvering. As a trusted adviser, I must consider and adapt to honor multiple definitions, depending upon the context in which a person is living and working. I've seen influence skills help. I've seen influence skills harm.


Here are two great articles about INFLUENCE. Reading them back to back, I found opposing points of view around the concept of influence. Both are informative and well written. But you quickly see through the lens of their experience, the perceptions through which each author colors their world.


How to Exercise More Influence by Mark Goulston and John Tultmen. "Real influence inspires buy-on and commitment."


Jedi Mind Tricks - 17 Lesser Known Ways to Persuade People by Peep Laja, at XL Conversion. "The power to influence people to get what you want is sometimes all it takes to be successful." do you "see" influence?



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