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Weekly Inspirations: Nov 2, 2018

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Manage Your Emotional Culture

Before leaving work each day, employees at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings press a button in the lobby. They’re not punching out—not in the traditional sense, anyway. They’re actually registering their emotions. They have five buttons to choose from: a smiley face if they felt happy at work that day, a frowny face if they felt sad, and so on. This may sound like an HR gimmick (“See? Management cares how you feel!”) or an instrument of forced satisfaction (“The team with the most smiley faces wins!”). But it’s neither. Ubiquity is using the data it collects to understand what motivates employees—to learn what makes them feel a sense of belonging and excitement at work. Other organizations are starting to do the same. Some use apps that record how much fun people are having. Some hire technology consultants who specialize in the monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly tracking of moods. Unfortunately, though, these organizations are in the minority. Most companies pay little attention to how employees are—or should be—feeling. They don’t realize how central emotions are to building the right culture.
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Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings. His Replacement Is Brilliant

In his 2018 annual letter, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos repeated his rule that PowerPoint is banned in executive meetings. What Bezos replaced it with provides even more valuable insight for entrepreneurs and leaders. In his letter, and in a recent discussion at the Forum on Leadership at the Bush Center, Bezos revealed that “narrative structure” is more effective than PowerPoint. According to Bezos, new executives are in for a culture shock in their first Amazon meetings. Instead of reading bullet points on a PowerPoint slide, everyone sits silently for about 30 minutes to read a “six-page memo that’s narratively structured with real sentences, topic sentences, verbs, and nouns.”
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Ideo breaks its silence on design thinking’s critics

Over the last year, Ideo’s philosophy of “design thinking“–a codified, six-step process to solve problems creatively–has come under fire. It’s been called bullshit, the opposite of inclusive design, and a failed experiment. It’s even been compared to syphilis. Ideo as an institution has rarely responded to critiques of design thinking or acknowledged its flaws. But at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Ideo partner and leader of its Cambridge, Massachusetts, office Michael Hendrix had a frank conversation with Co.Design senior writer Mark Wilson about why design thinking has gotten so much flack.
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5 Tips for Rocking a Public Speaking Gig

Far from the client presentations I had previously known, here, the emotional stakes were much higher. This was my personal story, and I was learning the hard way—in front of an audience of my new peers, no less—that I was clueless as to how I might frame a compelling narrative. In other words, I had no idea how to tell a story.
Feeling awkward as can be, with a bruised ego to boot, I knew I had to improve my public speaking ability. Luckily, I fast became aware that I was surrounded by the best storytellers I had ever known. I began observing, writing down, and absorbing all of the knowledge, coaching, and feedback that was offered up.
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Stop Complaining About Your Colleagues Behind Their Backs

In my coaching work with leaders and teams, I often ask my clients whether they engage in workplace gossip. More often than not, they respond, “of course not!” with a look on their faces that indicates that they are insulted to have been asked such a question. But when I ask them whether they have ever participated in a “confirmation expedition” — whereby they 1) ask a colleague to confirm their own negative or challenging experience with a third colleague who is not present, or 2) welcome a similar line of confirmation inquiry from another colleague about a third colleague who is not present, most admit that this is, in fact, a regular part of their daily work life.
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