The “Elevator Speech” is a pretty common way to self-promote and market. I’d always heard that the term “elevator speech” came out of GE when Jack Welsh was there as a way of making sure that a team had a succinct and compelling explanation for what they were about.
I mention the elevator speech because performance consultants have traditionally been challenged with finding clear, coherent ways to explain to co-workers and potential clients what it is that they do. An elevator speech is a 30 second explanation of who you are professionally and what you do.
A far better alternative in my opinion (at least when it comes to explaining performance consulting) is the audio-logo. I learned the audio-logo from Rebecca Birch. She told me she learned it from Lynn Kearney. Continue reading “Elevator Speech vs. Audio Logo”
Anyone who has studied systems thinking or looked at the science of complexity is familiar with the concept of leverage points. A leverage point within a system is a point where a little bit of action produces a disproportionately large amount of impact. For instance, if we have a fire in a room, it may take a lot of water to put the fire out. Or, if the room is airtight we can simply shut the door and the lack of oxygen can shut the fire down almost immediately. In this instance, the access to oxygen is a leverage point for the fire.
Donella Meadows has done some great work around leverage points for complex systems. Besides identifying the 12 types of leverage points, Meadows has also determined generally which ones provide more leverage. Continue reading “Leverage Points and Performance Work”
It’s been traditional within performance consulting to talk about cause analysis or even root cause analysis. This implies a mentality that we can get to the cause or primary factor responsible for the performance gap. This also seems to imply a linear “start-stop” relationship of sorts.
Klaus Wittkuhn has written about this issue. His point is that a systems approach (and a good performance analysis requires a systems approach) would reject the idea of a linear scheme with a clean start and end. If we’re truly taking a systems perspective to performance, than we have to honestly admit that issues are circular. That means that the concept of “a cause” is probably flawed. Continue reading “Cause Analysis and Systems Thinking”