applying learning cyclesIf you were to think about designing a car, you would envision someone laying out engineering diagrams of the parts or modeling the body in clay. The design of a car can help to sell the car to a market concerned about fuel economy by making sure the engineering keeps fuel efficiency in mind. If you were to think about designing a house, you might envision an architect’s drafting table with blueprints showing the layout of rooms…[read more]

identify communities of practice through storytelling | In the year 2000 the World Bank had been practicing Knowledge Management (KM) for three years. The Bank had been divided into institution-wide networks, large cross sections of staff members engaged in related fields of interest. All of them had vibrant and active thematic groups (known in KM circles as “communities of practice”) – with a single exception…[read more]

gender considerations in written performance evaluations | Women have often described themselves as feeling “invisible.”1 This is the sense that managers value women’s contributions so little that they sometimes do not see women at all. If there is one place to see what a woman has done in an organization, it should be in the performance evaluation form…[read more]

masterpiece energy: essay in three voices | Following the design of Essays in Two Voices, Michelle James, Rod Collins, and Madelyn Blair tried it as with three voices. The idea came out of a conversation about what we each thought that Masterpiece Energy might be. None of us had an idea, and then we began to write…[read more]

betting on your team: the case of the customer service centerWhether or not you are dealing with a seismic shift in technology like the one described in this article, change is a permanent part of every manager’s work. You probably already know that you can make it work for you by trusting and respecting the strengths of the people who work for you. But how, specifically, does that look…[read more]

lessons using A.I. in a planning exercise | American Writing Corporation (AWC) and Communications Development Incorporated (CDI) are twin companies that share staff and facilities but offer distinct—although mutually supportive—products to a sophisticated and demanding client base. This paper describes an exercise based on Appreciative Inquiry principles to help these companies take stock and create a new set of possibilities for themselves…[read more]

storytelling at the heart of appreciative inquiry | Our intent is to convey how the same “reality” can honestly be interpreted differently. And that we can choose our interpretation; we can choose what we see, we choose what we focus on, we choose what we highlight…[read more]

the teams, they are a changin' | Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), who conquered the Greek City-States and the Persian empire, understood the importance of replacing a soldier fallen in battle and integrating his replacement quickly. The lives of other men depended on it. Coaches of professional and amateur sports, who recruit a star player, understand they must answer that same question…[read more]

managing with tracked autonomy for high returns | A question in every manager’s mind is how to get maximum efficiency and productivity with existing staff resources. This means developing and leveraging employee’s knowledge of the business. When these employees are at the lower ends of the salary structure, increases in productivity can give a high rate of return…[read more]