Raising Expectations: Design of a Code of Conduct

August 1, 2009

Positive behavior and working relationships are front and center in healthcare as The Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation established a standard for all institutions that calls for a code of conduct for all staff in addition to previous ones for physicians.

I took this opportunity to work with a hospital to develop their code of conduct (a provocative proposition) using a combination of AI and World Cafe. They were amazing! The conversation was rich, the ideas flowed and the core strengths were vital, relevant and truly shared.

To design the final document, I began by transcribing the conversation scribes and harvest of the cafe and mapping comments of the 40+ participants. Here is the result:

The background is the hospital and chapel.

The background is the hospital and chapel.

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Where AI Meets SN

April 19, 2007

CrossroadsLeave it to my good friend, Jay Cross, to hit the nail on the head regarding where the real returns on investments come from. His Internet Time Wiki posting on Metrics makes it clear: “Most of a company’s value resides in the know-how and relationships of its people. Traditional accounting assigns these intangibles a value of zero. Hence, traditional ROI has little credibility with enlightened executives.”

It is for similar reasons that I spent some time in the last year thinking about the value of interpersonal relationships that are so essential to Appreciative Inquiry. When we sit down face-to-face in the Discovery interviews of AI, there is a short distance between being strangers and having a relationship. The interview stories that rise to the surface with such excitement and depth of experience reveal know-how that is unique, powerful, and often bottom-line related.

Imagine for a moment that the person telling you the story is a hub, a center of gravity, and that she/he has ties to people who are part of the story being told. The core strengths of the AI participants have a lot to do with those ties – not their quantity, but their quality. In other words, they are forming a network with many connections and redundancies. The lines of communication and resource sharing, at the time of great achievement, are open and robust. We are at the crossroads of AI and Social Network Mapping.


Discovery – The Body for Change

October 15, 2006

What would be possible for you if you had a physical presence that exuded confidence and accelerated movement to toward one of your most provocative propositions? What if you could create a body that reinforced your focus on what you care about and that could hold the inspired action to make it happen? The Ghandi quote, “be the change, you wish to see in the world” has even more meaning when we look at the body as a source in building our capacity for effecting personal and ultimately organizational change. The body is a container for the wealth of stories that shape our existence and the way we move in the world. Like the mind, the shape of our body can influence our listening, our action, and how others see us as a leadership presence. The shape we are can determine what we find, where we look, how we talk, and how we are in community with each other.

When we talk about Appreciative Inquiry, we often note that it is about a way of being in the world. Since we are in the world essentially as a physical being, it is important to consider the body in our inquiry around the best of what is and what could be. Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure of learning from a team of amazing people at the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma, California, which was founded by Richard Strozzi Heckler, author of Anatomy of Change: A Way to Work Through Life’s Transitions. Richard and his team of associates have developed the Leadership in Action programs for individuals and organizations.  They are designed to help leaders at all levels to create a body that is fully present and connected to what they care about and a body that will take action toward it. The practices that I have learned through these masterful teachers have helped me “get in shape” for a future that is focused on what I care about – helping people develop the personal leadership needed to successfully collaborate with others. The learning is practical, pragmatic, and essential to my practice as an executive coach and consultant.


The un-Boundaries of Discovery

October 10, 2006

Tom MunneckeAttending Tom Munnecke’s Uplift Academy work session in New York City last week was inspiring to say the least.  Dubbed “New Media and Infectious Good”, the conclave brought together social program developers, artists, clergy, video producers, consultants, researchers, communications experts and technology types.  Most impressive among those in attendance were Gavin White – CEO of Video Volunteers , Christine Millen – Co-Founder of The Transition Network who was recently named a Fellow in the Purpose Prize competition, and Ethan Zohn – winner of the Survivor: Africa and Co-Founder of Grassroot Soccer

The tagline of Uplift Academy is “Using the Net to discover what’s working and how to do more of it.”    It made me wonder about what would happen if the positive question was not only answered in words.  What would happen if stories were shown as video clips (caught on cell phones?) or sketches, or shared as song, or expressed in dance?  How would that impact the mind and emotions of the storyteller?  Would there be new insights?  Less constraint?  More transparency?  And how would this be received by others who listen/watch/take in the story? Ethan Zohn

A couple of snapshots of the Uplift Academy for you . . .