How Investing in Network Building can Boost your Company’s Bottom Line: Part 3

                            “You can’t think, how can I do this, how can I solve it? You have to ask, Who do I know who can do this? Where is the expertise? Who else can I bring in because they have the skill or the time or the resources? Who wants the opportunity or needs the experience?” Another critical insight that Cross and Garau’s recent research project revealed is that high performers’ ability to successfully execute a project or plan directly relies on their informal networks. Often, we hold the belief that execution is all about having the right plan, strategy, and talent to put a project into motion. Surprisingly, though, the research suggests that it’s not that simple – whether a leader fully leverages his/her network can determine whether the project is successfully executed. Let me give you an example to illustrate the idea here. Picture a highly connected leader in an organization, who regularly keeps up with her connections outside of her own company, and blocks time each week for network development. In other words, this is someone who regularly grabs lunch with a number of different people in a variety of roles in different companies, and often sends industry articles or blogs that she’s read to those in her network who would find it valuable. When her company wants to expand, taking over smaller organizations or forming partnerships with others, this leader is put in charge of managing the integration. With a solid network as a foundation, and relationships that have already been established with...

Failure Is A Great Teacher – Part 2

In the previous blog, I wrote about the power of failure to be an amazing teacher provided your mind, heart and eyes are open to the lessons available. Failure often produces very strong and not always favourable emotions. These emotions can block our ability to learn from failure. As a result one of the first steps in learning from failure is to give yourself some time for the emotions to stabilise. Then you can examine the event in depth and pluck out the learning and the applications to future challenges. This takes a certain level of emotional intelligence to accomplish. This learning process is what is called the Experiential Learning Cycle. This method of learning involves three basic steps. Experience, Analysis, and Application. In order for there to be learning there needs to be an event or an experience. This can be something you were personally involved in, something you observed, or event something you read about. Next, you need to analyse what took place and look for the learning. Bring in relevant models and research to help you see clearly and make your own conclusions as it relates to your goals and challenges. Lastly, you need to figure out how to apply what you have learned in a practical and realistic way. You can follow the simple steps of What, So What and Now What. As you may recall from my last blog I had failed to climb one of the world’s tallest mountains. Well, it was not just me, but it was my entire team of highly experienced mountaineer partners. Partner and team are not really the...

I love corporate team building

I have been a corporate team building facilitator for more than 20 years. It all started during my time at Lakehead University and as an Outward Bound wilderness instructor. Outward Bound is most likely the founder of the modern corporate team building program. One day I was asked to facilitate a corporate team building program for Outward Bound’s Professional Development Programs. This corporate team building program brought the experiential elements of the wilderness based Outward Bound program and adapted them to be appropriate for an adult corporate audience and to be delivered in an urban setting. I quickly discovered that I loved being involved with these corporate team building programs. I realized that I am an educator and a facilitator at heart. Through my entire life I had always been teaching others what I knew, sometimes this was very little and sometimes it was a lot, but it was always focused on helping them to develop personally. As an Outward Bound instructor I did this with youth in an informal wilderness setting. When I started working with the corporate team building audience I thrived with the adult audience and the more formal setting. I went on to complete my Masters in Training at Royal Roads University to add greater depth to my understanding of leadership training and high performance teams. I added this to all the Summit Team Building corporate team building programs to make them the best they can possibly be. One of the great testing grounds for my team building theories are the mountaineering expeditions I lead. Having climbed for over 25 years I have seen great...