Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #695: What Are Your Organization’s DREAMS?

On October 31, 2017, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #695: What Are Your Organization’s DREAMS?

“Authentic Leaders are not afraid to show emotion and vulnerability as they share in the challenges with their team. Developing a solid foundation of trust with open and honest communication is critical to authentic leadership.” Farshad Asl

There are a lot of articles bemoaning the fact that employees aren’t engaged. These articles explain why employees may disengage from their organization. They don’t necessarily identify a framework to help those organizations become and remain attractive to their employees.

According to Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones in their book, Why Should Anyone Work Here?, employees today are much more focused on accountability, transparency, responsiveness, and the opportunity to grow and develop. They suggest that organizations that are authentic and have integrity will … Read the rest

Tip #694:  What is Your Learning Culture?

On October 24, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #694:  What is Your Learning Culture?

“A learning culture is a strategic tool for organizational growth and advancement.” Nikos Andriotis

Many years ago, I was helping a startup organization plan their recruitment strategy. It was clear to me that their job announcements needed to alert potential applicants to the fact that there were no systems or procedures in place. The new hire would have to be comfortable with the uncertainties (and exciting challenges) typical of a brand-new organization.

At that time, I was focused on the organizational culture of the new business. Now, it appears, we could have defined organizational culture more broadly to include its learning culture.

A learning culture is a set of organizational values, conventions, processes, and practices that encourage individuals—and the organization … Read the rest

Tip #693:  Why Did It Happen?

On October 17, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #693:  Why Did It Happen?

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”  Margaret J. Wheatley

In participative learning, it is important that each learning activity be debriefed to give the participants an opportunity to reflect on their experience and reinforce their learning.

It is just as important to have those involved in a critical work situation take time to assess whether the actions taken were effective and, if not, what should be done differently in the future.

I’ve always thought that it made sense to debrief a learning activity or management situation by asking these three questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn’t go well, and why not?
  3. What did you learn?

Recently, I read … Read the rest

Tip #692:  Do Organizations Need “Best Practices”?

On October 10, 2017, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #692:  Do Organizations Need “Best Practices”?

Today’s ‘best practices’ led to dead ends; the best paths are new and untried.” Peter Thiel

Implementing best practice is copying yesterday; innovation is inventing tomorrow.” Paul Sloane

Quality performance for businesses has typically included the use of “best practices.”

According to Wikipedia, a best practice is “a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things.”

There are two problems with “best practices.”

First, while “best practices” may have generated superior results for some organizations, that does not mean they were effective in others. This is due to … Read the rest

Tip #691: Is No a Complete Sentence?

On October 3, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #691: Is No a Complete Sentence?

“You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.” Lorie Deschene

“Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.” Claudia Black

A friend who was passing through town needed someplace to stay, so he asked me if he could spend one or two nights at my house.

Like many of you, I’ve grown up with values encouraging me to be kind and helpful, and never to be selfish or put my own needs first. If he had asked me a number of years ago, I would have definitely said yes, even though it might have been terribly inconvenient for me. I would have felt too guilty saying no.

In the current instance, I looked at … Read the rest

Tip #690: Why Not Use the Tools We Have?

On September 26, 2017, Posted by , In training resources, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #690: Why Not Use the Tools We Have?

“If you get stuck, draw with a different pen. Change your tools; it may free your thinking.”  Paul Arden

This past week, I was faced with a dilemma. The shrimp I wanted to have for dinner was enclosed in a self-sealing bag. You’d think it would have been a simple thing to open it, right? But no, I absolutely could not get purchase on the two sides of the closure.

Hungry and not completely rational, I struggled for quite a while, getting more and more distressed. I tried using a rubber grip that I use to open recalcitrant bottle tops, to no available. Finally, I opened the kitchen drawer where I keep useful tools at the ready and pulled out … Read the rest