Ann Arbor, May, 2003

The following is an update on some of the work I have been doing over the last months. Perhaps the examples will trigger some thoughts on what we could do together for your organization?


American Academy of Advertising Conference

Think "Whole": Academics and Practitioners
Creativity and Innovation in Advertising Research:
I had the privilege to sit on a panel comprised of advertising industry pioneers and academic scholars.

Our goal was to explore ways that researchers and practitioners can better understand each other and develop new ways of conducting research around the theme of creativity and innovation. The panel was one of various sessions at the American Academy of Advertising Conference, March 27-30, 2003 in Denver.

I provided a whole-systems perspective within the panel and encouraged participants to think "whole" when conducting research. "Thinking whole" includes inviting customers and other key stakeholders to create compelling pictures toward which they wish to move. I also encouraged those in attendance to look at how perceptions may differ between creative and account people and how to manage this dilemma.

Getting What You Want - 'Win-Win' Style
Hardball negotiation remains prevalent in the business environment. For many of us it is a default style that we have come to rely upon to get what we want.

A negotiation skills workshop I have been facilitating takes a different stance and helps participants to develop a 'win-win' (competitive) approach to negotiations. Within the two-day workshop we cover 'hard ball' (competitive/seeking only one's needs) and softball (conceding early/avoiding conflict) negotiation styles. We also work with a three-step model for organizing negotiation discussions. Keirsey's temperaments are included in the design - helping participants to understand how communication styles impact negotiation.

Sharpening Your Executive Edge
I am currently an assessor for a consulting company that conducts assessments for executives. In this context the work is conducted for the executive's personal development and sometimes for executive selection purposes.

Participants go through a two-day process that includes role-play and a mix of assessment instruments. They sharpen their executive edge though an interaction within a peer meeting, a critical discussion with a customer, and a meeting with the boss. They leave with a greater sense of awareness for their growth and developmental edge.


Impactful Presentations

"Lead Us, Moses"
Presenting your ideas is the main theme of another workshop I facilitate. It has an experiential and accelerated learning format. Moses (James in full garb) even makes a guest appearance. He passes on wisdom in an unorthodox way - telling participants the "Ten Commandments" of how not to make an effective presentation. And what's the impact? Curious looks, laughter, smiles and many engaging questions left to reflect upon.

Are You Ready for Your International Assignment?
My wife Corina and I offer cross-cultural coaching for individuals/families/couples relocating from the USA to Switzerland. For example, we recently worked with a couple moving to Zurich for the first time. Having lived in Switzerland for over thirteen years, my wife and I shared our lifestyle and professional experiences in order to raise the couple's awareness of the challenges of moving to a new country. We also explored the deeper cultural and psychological aspects of the work environment from a Swiss/multinational perspective.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss further or explore any of the above areas.

Please visit my previous E-Zine columns from June 2002, August 2001, March 2000 and August 1999.

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