I See What You Mean

"I See What You Mean" is a weekly podcast about how and why we get on the same page with each other… or don’t… or shouldn't. In my trailer I tell you why I care ...more

Latest Episodes

March 02, 2022 00:41:34
Communicating Across Generations - Or What A Boardgame Might Teach The Boardroom

Communicating Across Generations - Or What A Boardgame Might Teach The Boardroom

My friend and colleague, Brenda Blackman, opens this episode with a funny story about how the communication of clues in a card and boardgame was challenged by differences in the players' ages. It's a telling story, too, because with five generations in the workforce, how much work communication is affected by age? In what ways? Is getting on the same page affected? Brenda and I discuss these questions and what she does about them.   With 28 years in the Air Force and another 10 consulting, not only is leadership important to Brenda but so is mentoring. Mentoring is near and dear to her heart, in fact, and in this episode we discuss challenges organizations face preparing young professionals for top leadership positions. Here are a few of my ahh-ha! moments:   1:48 - Clues, games and the ahh-ha! moment. 3:57 - Taking the extra step to make sure people on your team are as vested in the outcomes as you are. 7:42 - The difference between following orders when you understand - and don't understand - a leader's objective or endgame. 12:21 - How understanding a leader's objective or endgame enables better performance - and why good leaders never ask teams to bring them a rock. 20:00 - When a team is very close, can they really "read each other's minds?" And what probabilities and prediction have to do with it. ...

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February 23, 2022 00:20:05
Episode Cover

Retrospective: Looking Back At Episodes 1 - 20

In this week's episode of I See What You Mean, I highlight ideas and insights from the first 20 episodes. Several guests discussed what they think it means to get or be on the same page. Each guest discussed ways they get people there in the work they do. Below are time-stamps and guest names so you can jump to their summaries or search for their full episodes.  I want to thank each guest for taking time to record an episode with me, for freely sharing their knowledge and experience in the hope that a listener will grab something and run with it. 1:41 - Definitions of getting and being on the same page. 3:13 - Evan Scott uses several techniques to ensure a strong fit between companies, positions and candidates. 4:00 - Tom Oates gets his team on the same page by transferring power to them. 4:50 - Esther Dyer uses information to get people on the same page, especially during change. 5:30 - Erik Jens gets teams on the same page, especially during times of change, using supraordinate goals coupled with a unique way to determine what gives team members energy, and what drains them of it. When he knows individual and team motivations he can distribute tasks accordingly, with each person playing to their strengths. 6:17 Don Weber uses goals, measures and milestones to get people on the same page. But he'll also retire organizational debt to improve work conditions, and add a nay-sayer to a project team to get the benefit of their knowledge. 7:00 Douglas Cameron uses financial data analytics to get buyers and suppliers on the same page about risk and risk mitigation.  7:54 Bob Nunnally checks his own communication when he's ...

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February 16, 2022 00:44:14
Can Better Marketing Create Better Value In Federal Contracting? This Former Contracting Official Says "Yes!"

Can Better Marketing Create Better Value In Federal Contracting? This Former Contracting Official Says "Yes!"

For a retired Fed-turned-contractor who claims to not have a sales bone in his body (I'm not sold!), William Randolph knows how to market. After 25 years in government contracting, he not only knows what the government is looking for - he knows where they're looking for it. And it's not just in proposals. In this episode, William and I discuss how government contractors - especially small businesses - can use social media to distinguish themselves from their competition and build a brand that's not only seen by contracting officials but is looked to as worth meeting, before a solicitation drops. Will explains how improving presolicitation conversations not only increases wins but produces superior value and meets the mission, while reducing risk. Here are some of my favorite ahh!-ha moments: 6:35 - Becoming "top of mind" for potential customers 11:30 - Federal contracting as the ultimate meritocracy, and how marketing right makes you more meritorious 14:12 and - How better marketing helps the government "better ask" for what it buys - with a fun example of buying apples for a pie 25:42 - Marketing-as-edutainment, edutainment-as-adding value, and why small businesses can't afford not to try 29:16 and on - Three things to be on the same page about in Federal government contracting - value, mission and risk 41:06 - Branding as a virtual avatar of your business and what it stands for ...

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February 10, 2022 00:58:20
Communication And The Art Of Project Management. Or Is It The Other Way Around?

Communication And The Art Of Project Management. Or Is It The Other Way Around?

My friend Joe Launi has been in the project management business for 35 years. He's been a team member, project manager, and trainer. And if you ask him the secret to project management success he'll tell you it revolves around communication. He'll tell you there's more to it than that. But he'll also tell you every project challenge can be worsened by poor communication or managed by good communication. In this episode, Joe talks about getting on the same project page from the trenches, not the textbooks. Yes PMs need to know how to build a work breakdown structure and a dependency laden schedule. But there will be no getting on any project management same page without skills such as listening, asking good questions, being humble, and growing your team. Skills not unique to project management. Here are a few of my favorite ahh-ha! moments:   3:11 - Did you make the bed? Getting on the same page as a communication challenge. 8:20 - I'm not vaccinated: COVID, subcontractors and seeking to understand, then to be understood. 20:48 - Team rules rule... if the team writes them. 30:09 - The Project Management Body of Knowledge v7: Is your PM a servant-leader? 41:06 - Leaders are responsible for results, not for knowing everything. As a leader, can you get out of your own way to let people work? 49:31 - The story of the client who loved that his software ran faster without having to ask - but did have to ask why the other $10M of software he bought didn't run faster, too. ...

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February 02, 2022 01:01:57
Getting On The Same Page With Yourself First... And Others, After

Getting On The Same Page With Yourself First... And Others, After

When Andy Robinson said he wanted to discuss being true to oneself as a prerequisite to getting on the same page with others, I knew we'd have a great conversation. And we did. We start by discussing what it means to be true to oneself, and how one does that with and through work. We discuss what it means to lead at work being true to oneself, to lead others to a similar experience through inspired individual and team performance. We conclude by discussing how major career change calls us to settle accounts as citizens of the universe, or children of God, or however one experiences their belief system. And along the way, Andy impressively connects the nuts and bolts of work roles and responsibilities to our aspirations for authenticity and fulfillment. Here are a few of my favorite moments... 3:34 - Who's expectations for your career? Others, or your own? 5:37 - Tuning in to oneself as an internal guidance mechanism 7:48 and on - Trust and fit with your place of employment 14:41 - Your career might call for you to reinvent yourself, and that's an opportunity 21:16 - Andy's own Cincinnati Bengals story - leading an improbable turnaround at work 32:31 - How being at peace with yourself helps others understand and communicate with you  41:21 - When performing like a machine feels like being a team - or is it the other way around? 52:46 - Three things Andy focuses on when change is the most stressful and disruptive ...

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January 26, 2022 00:46:41
Creating The Art Of The Possible, In The Simplest Way Possible

Creating The Art Of The Possible, In The Simplest Way Possible

In any situation each of us sees certain things (and not others), sizes up what we see in certain ways (and not others), and decides what to do (and not something else) as a means to some end (and not some other). Being clear on these things yields our rationale - the answer to the question of why we do what we do in some situation. The same explains others' rationales, which is where things get interesting. My friend and colleague Alex Porfirenko knows this. He figured it out by experience, by trial and error, by study. He learned the questions to ask to understand another's rationale. He learned that asking those questions of a team produced shared knowledge and shared intent which got people on the same page. Even when rationales differed - or because they differed. It sounds like magic but isn't. It's creating the art of the possible, in the simplest way possible. Here are some of my favorite moments: 3:20 - Three levels of getting on the same page with customers. 7:21 - Data intelligence isn't just about your data. There are other very important things to get on the same page about. 15:36 - Nothing can replace conversation for getting to know problem-solution fit. The only question is whether you'll have the conversation sooner, or later. 26:13 - Alex challenges and broadens my definition of getting on the same page. 35:39 - Opening up the art of the possible. 36:50 - An escalation procedure for understanding and resolution, not blame. 43:22 - The basics are basic, but mastering them takes practice. ...

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