This short eBook/Slide presentation offers 13 ways we can improve organizations, work, and engagement. The work is based on 3 years convening honeybees and human inside the hive. One summer, the honeybees even had a twitter account.
by David Zingerwww.davidzinger.comEmail: email@example.comWaggle39 Ways to Improve Human Organizations, Work, and Engagement.
Think differentlyinside yourhive!Think differentlyinside yourhive!Chapters1.Introduction. From wagglesto work.2.Four characters. TheHoneybees, David Zinger, PhilVeldhuis, and Aganetha Dyck.3.Waggles. Thirteen wagglesembracing thirty-nine directionsto improve work andorganizations.4.Conclusion and resources.Apply new insights into work.
What’s a waggle?A waggle* gives direction. It consists offigure-eight dances performed in the“mosh pit” of honeybees. The scoutbee’s waggle provides the colony withvital directions to essential resources.*To view a video of the waggle dance visit the resourcepage at the end of this book.
39 DirectionsThis book provides insightful waysto improve work, engagement, andorganizations.Each of the thirteen wagglesdiverges into three specificdirections for a total of thirty-ninedirections to improve our ways ofworking.The last direction for each waggleasks a question to keep you thinkingdifferently inside your organization(hive).
Meet the HoneybeesThe leading characters of this eBook arehoneybees.The honey bee exhibits acombination of individual traits andsocial cooperation which isunparalleled in the animal kingdom.The multiple levels at which thehoney bee expresses adaptations toits world provide one of the richestsources for study and knowledgeamong all organisms, made evenmore enriching by the economicbenefits.~ Mark Winston
Meet your hostMy name is David Zinger. I am a speaker,educator, and consultant devoted toimproving organizations and employeeengagement. I founded and host a humanhive, the 5900 member global EmployeeEngagement Network.Honeybees taught me new ways to lead,organize, and engage. During this threeyear project placing office objects and livecomputers connected to Twitter in thehive, I moved from a fear of bees toenchanted fascination. I set out to learnabout honeybees and ended up learningthirteen powerful lessons for humanorganizations from my engaginginteractions with this species. When yourmind is open, even a honeybee can be ateacher.
Meet the beekeeperPhil Veldhuis is a beekeeperand a bee whisperer. Hewould deny being a beewhisperer but his kindness,connection, and way of beingwith honeybees suggestsotherwise.Phil teaches philosophy at theUniversity of Manitoba. Helives and works near Starbuck,Manitoba and keeps 1200hives or about 48,000,000honeybees during thesummer.
Meet the artistAganetha Dyck has created art withhoneybees for 20 years. She receivedThe Manitoba Arts Council Award ofDistinction (2006) and The CanadianGovernor Generals Award in Visual andMedia Arts (2007).Aganetha combined her love ofhoneybees with an enthrall for thesmall. Her art offers new directions andpossibilities for both engagement andcollaboration. If Aganetha can engagehoneybees in art, surely we can engagewith each other as we find the artistry towork better together in ourorganizations.
Bee Whisperer+Artist=Thinkingdifferentlyinside the hive
The 13 Waggles1.Waggle while you work.2.Connect to your vibrant organization.3.Pollinate profusely.4.Small steps add big value.5.Collaborate incessantly.6.Be meticulous.7.There is no “i” in bee.8.Success is in succession.9.Go girl.10.One bee matters.11.Innovate.12.Small is the new significant.13.Bolster against community collapse.
Honeybees waggle or dance to communicate with theircommunity. Communicative dancing transforms the strength ofone into the power of many. How does data travel throughoutyour organizational community?Do you waggle while you work? You don’t have to dance likeEllen DeGeneres. You do need to use the power ofcommunication to stay fully in touch with the vibrantcommunication inside your organization.
Directions to waggle while you work:1.Fully attend to the verbal, nonverbal and mobile messages you transmitand receive within your organization as you strive to constantly keepothers informed about your knowledge while integrating their knowledgewith your own.2.Don’t be afraid to engage in vigorous dancing (communicating) whenyou discover something meaningful outside the organization. Tap into thepower of social media to transmit and receive up-to-date waggles.3.Ask yourself: What personal, social and structural architecture do weneed to build to offer each other a strong sense of direction based onmutual purpose?
Our old organizational chart was a pyramid.This framework fails to capture the currentfluidity of work and organizations. By 2015,1.3 billion of our workers, over 40% of theentire global workforce, will be mobile.New organizations are fluid and dynamic.An innovative and insightful organizationalchart was captured perfectly in a mindlessdoodle by Debbie, a learning participant inmy leadership class, 15 years ago.Compare Debbie’s doodle on the next pagewith the picture of live honeybees workingon a computer screen on the page followingDebbie’s doodle. The chart and picture offerus a living model for connectedorganizations.
Directions to connect to your vibrant organization:1.Stop vertical top-down thinking and acting. In the age ofconnected knowledge we need to level with each other and stopseeing our organizations as hierarchies.2.Open up the isolated silos within the organization to join in anagile and vibrant community focused on achievement andaffiliation.3.Ask yourself: How do we strengthen the glue that hold ustogether and keeps us connected to achieve significant resultswhile building strong relationships? Can we fully bond togetherthrough honesty, authenticity, and trust?
Honeybees gather nectar whilepollinating flowers. The flowersreproduce and the honeybees returna contribution of nectar to the hive.Humans benefit from crop pollination,the beauty of flowers, and theconsumption of honey.In our social networks we need toincrease our pollination of ideas,practices and insights for the benefitof all.
Directions to pollinate profusely:1.Ensure your organization is porous so that employees can makeongoing multiple and robust contributions outside the walls of the building.2.As your employees create value outside the organization by helpingclients and customers fulfill their needs and meet their demands make iteasy for them to keep coming back to the organization to add knowledge,connections, and economic value.3.Ask yourself: What can we do to ensure our organizational communityis giving clients and customers what they want and need and that theorganization also receives a return from these external contributions?
The contribution of pollinators to foodcrop pollination around the globe isestimated at $197 billion.Of the one hundred crop species whichprovide 90% of food worldwide, seventy-one of these are bee-pollinated and fourthousand vegetable varieties existthanks to pollination by bees.The production value of one ton ofpollinator-dependent crop is five timeshigher than one of those crop categoriesnot pollinated.UNEP Emerging Issues Report, Global Honey BeeColony disorder and other Threats to Insect Pollinators.
Honeybees are responsible forpollinating the United States’ almondcrop. Their contribution to theeconomic production of almonds isestimated at two billion dollars a year.Yet each individual bee, pollinates justnineteen cents worth of almonds.
Directions to use small steps to add big value:1.Help each employee determine how they can add or create value withexternal clients.2.Know that each employee’s contribution creates a much biggerorganizational contribution. Trace the lines of connection betweenexternal value creation and internal value accumulation.3.Ask yourself: What are the smallest steps we can take to createsignificant value?
The world of work has morphed from me to weand collaboration is vital as none of us is assmart as all of us. Thomas Seeley, author ofHoneybee Democracy stated:By operating without a leader the scoutbees of a swarm neatly avoid one of thegreatest threats to good decision makingby groups: a domineering leader. Such anindividual reduces a groups collectivepower to uncover a diverse set of possiblesolutions to a problem, to critically appraisethese possibilities, and to winnow out allbut the best one.
Directions to collaborate incessantly:1.Use social media tools to spread and speed collaboration. If you wanteveryone on the same page give them an opportunity to write on thatpage. Instead of going on a retreat for strategy development connect withall employees to craft strategy.2.Transform hero leaders into hosts and ensure collaboration by followingthis dictum of collaborative work: never do anything about me withoutme.3.Ask yourself: Who are we missing rather than what are we missing forsuccessful collaboration?
Honeybees are able to controlthe temperature within the hivethrough both a colony-levelresponse and each individualworker’s behavior.Honeybees keep their nesttemperature consistent insummer between 30 to 35Celsius regardless of externalconditions.
Honeycomb construction is a preciseart: Cell wall thickness is 0.073mmplus or minus 0.002mm. The angle between adjacentcell walls is exactly onehundred and twenty degrees. Each comb is constructed 0.95cm from its neighbor. One kilogram of cells cansupport 22kg of honey, over 20times its own weight.
Directions to be meticulous:1.Monitor and adjust the organization’s climate and culture. Don’t take itfor granted. Build a solid structure, encourage feedback and a clarity ofthe results everyone is working to achieve.2.Ensure both your organization and individuals are contributing to theclimate. Create a climate of accountability by transforming valuestatements into promises. Keep those promises while ensuring there areconversations when values are violated or promises are broken.3.Ask yourself: How do we develop clarity and specificity for employeesto know what results we want while giving them flexibility in achievingthose results?
Phil Veldhuis, the beekeeper and bee whisperer asked in hisphilosophy thesis: Do honeybees think? He concluded thathoneybees demonstrated intention without self-consciousness.Imagine people in our organizations proceeding with actions basedon intentions without having to say, “look at me.” Drones give theirlives to mate with a Queen. When a worker bee stings she will die.Honeybees have fused each member’s small brain, the size of agrass seed, into a mind the size of the colony extending milesbeyond the actual hive.
Directions to there is no “i” in bee:1.Step through the silos in your organization and fuse individual effortswith mutual purpose to build community and achieve results within theorganization.2.Leadership has gone from hero to host. Work is collaborative: If it is tobe it is up to me needs to be revised to If it is to be it is up to we. Paymindful attention in your conversations at work to the ratio of times youthink or say “we” to “me”.3.Ask yourself: What are you fully willing to contribute to yourorganization and what do you need to go “all in”?
Honeybees may live only for a month duringthe summer but worker bees progressthrough 15 to 20 different tasks during theircareer, including:•Cleaning•Brood tending•Queen tending•Comb building•Food handling•Ventilation•Guard duty•Orientation flights•ForagingHoneybees demonstrate flexibility in the jobsthey perform making continual adjustmentsdue to external factors and colonyrequirements.
Directions to success is in succession:1.Progress contributes to motivation and engagement. Help employeesexperience career progress while building internal succession power.2.Stop packaging work within tightly defined jobs and roles. Addenablement to engagement so people know what to do and why to do itcombined with flexibility in getting the work done.3.Ask yourself: Are we ensuring there is someone ready or beingdeveloped for each role and function within the organization to make jobtransitions seamless?
Lean in. Girl power rules in the hive. All thework done in the hive is by females. Dronesneed help to look after themselves and havethe sole purpose of mating with the Queenbee and dying after the act.Could being female or more female in howwe work be the vital elixir of collaboration?In organizations, collaboration improves withfemales. Alice Eagly, chair of the departmentof social psychology at NorthwesternUniversity and management researcher,found overall thatfemale managers are more collaborativeand democratic than male managers.Women attend more to the individualsthey work with, by mentoring them andtaking their particular situations intoaccount.
Chris Bart and Gregory McQueen in asurvey of 600 board directors found thatwomen are more likely to consider therights of others and to take a cooperativeapproach to decision making.Women’s abilities to make fair decisionswhen competing interests are at stakemake them better corporate leaders. And inturn, this translates into better performancefor their companies. Having women onboards is no longer just the right thing todo, it is the smart thing to do.
Directions to go girl:1.Loosen the testosterone grip on leadership. Lead like a Queen bee byholding the organization together rather than falling back on commandand control to get things done.2.Notice female/male differences at work and ensure you are getting thebest from each gender.3.Ask yourself: What examples can you offer that demonstrate yourorganization is making the most of “girl power”?
Phil Veldhuis, the beekeeper for this project,taught me that one bee matters. This isastounding considering he works with48,000,000 honeybees.My daughter Katharine was shooting video ofthe installation of computers into a hive whena bee landed on Phil’s hand and began tosting him. When a worker bee stings, shedies...Before the bee could sting him, Phil gentlywedged her stinger out of his palm and sether free: one bee mattered!To view a two minute video sequence of thebee whisperer saving one bee visit:https://vimeo.com/37451045One BeeMatters
Directions to one bee matters:1.Although we work collectively, collaboratively and within communitynever lose sight of the individual. Don’t let the collective make theindividual invisible. Ensure that you go beyond simple recognition in yourorganization to demonstrate with daily actions that each person matters.2.Remain calm and kind. Never lose sight of using daily experiences asteachable moment for those you work with.3.Ask yourself: What do we need to do each day to ensure eachindividual in our organization knows they matter?
Even a honeybee can text when given the right structure.
My three summers with thehoneybees was a constant placingof small bets and continualinnovation. Not only do we need tothink differently inside our hives wecan benefit by seeing beyond ourown myopia and engaging inexperiments to test out our work.To innovate requires that we seethe world differently. For example,sometimes the glass is seen as halffull, sometime the glass is seen ashalf empty, while innovators createbrand new ways to see a glass.
Directions to innovate:1.I was afraid of honeybees. I was afraid of failure. I was afraid I did notknow what I was doing putting computers in bee hives. Yet I movedahead. Don’t let fear hold you back from a kaizen of small innovations.2.Let your work and your co-workers teach you to innovate. You don’thave to have everything figured out. A good place to begin is to ask: “Canyou help me…”3.Ask yourself: How can we innovate more powerfully by thinkingdifferently inside our hives?
Honeybees aretiny indefatigablecreatures whooffer a powerfuldemonstrationthat small beingsthrough smallactions cancreate bigresults.
Aganetha Dyck taught me anenthrall for the small. This sizeten wedding dress took tenyears to build and weighedthree hundred pounds uponcompletion. It was a decade ofback and forth creation betweenAganetha and the honeybees.This exquisite artistic marriagebetween honeybee and humanentitled the Glass Dress nowresides in the National Gallery inOttawa.
Directions to small is the new significant:1.Replace big hairy audacious goals with small steps and smallimprovements. Recognize the word “all” is embedded in the word small.2.Many big scale change efforts lack the power and effectiveness ofchanging a few key behaviors during a few key moments.3.Ask yourself: What is the smallest thing I can do today that will be themost significant thing for my organization and me?
There are grave concerns about thedisappearance of honeybees and what thatmeans. It has been called colony collapsedisorder. There are a variety of hypothesesfor this disconcerting disorder and thepossible consequences.In a similar fashion, I fear for organizations. Ibelieve if organizations are to survive theymust become authentic communities.We must bolster against community collapseof organizations by building safety, living acompelling story, demonstrating respect,enlivening wellbeing, guarding againstoverload, and ensuring our organizationalcommunity is working for the benefit of all.
Directions to bolster against community collapse:1.Know and live your organization’s compelling story while creating safetywithin the organization through mutual purpose and respect.2.Guard against overload. Stop being addicted to yes and aversive to no.Drop something before adding something else. Begin with the end in mindmeans thinking about the goal you are working to achieve while alsodetermining what must end before you begin.3.Ask yourself: What social and organizational steps need to be in placeto continually bolster our organization against possible collapse orentropy?
Think DifferentI hope you enjoyed the content and images of this book. When our mind isopen we can experience our inner smallness and even a honeybee can bea teacher.I encourage you to catch the buzz and follow the waggle directions topollinate value outside your organization and make your organization atreasure trove of connection, performance, value, and engagement.I welcome and invite you to share these ideas by freely passing this eBookalong to others. Together we can engage more fully and prevent communitycollapse disorder at work.
To watch David’s 2012 TEDxManitobatalk on the honeybee projectclick on this link:http://youtu.be/M_k37kMS5r8To watch David’s 2012 TEDxManitobatalk on the honeybee projectclick on this link:http://youtu.be/M_k37kMS5r8David Zinger is a global employeeengagement expert. He founded andhosts his hive, the EmployeeEngagement Network, with 5900members pollinating engagementand great work around the world.Contact David today to create freshbuzz in your organization throughspeaking or consulting services onemployee engagement and engagedmanagement, leadership, andorganizations.David Zinger, M.Ed.David Zinger & AssociatesSite: www.davidzinger.comEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone 204 254-2130
ResourcesArt & BeesAganetha Dyck (Website) www.aganethadyck.ca/Burnaby Art Gallery (2009) Aganetha Dyck CollaborationsHoneybeesWaggle of Honeybees (video) http://youtu.be/bFDGPgXtK-UOne Bee Lives (video) https://vimeo.com/37451045Mark L. Winston (1987) The Biology of the Honey BeeThomas Seeley (2010) Honeybee DemocracyOrgBeeDan Pontefract (2013) Flat ArmyMichael O’Malley (2010) The Wisdom of BeesDave Gray (2012) The Connected CompanyAuthor–David Zinger & John Junson (2011) Assorted Zingers–David Zinger (2010) Zengage–David Zinger (Website) www.davidzinger.com
AcknowledgementsThis book is a product of my community of connections. Thanksto Aganetha Dyck for her extraordinary artistic vision and herenthrall for the small. Peter Dyck has been my mentor for manyyears and got me intrigued about his wife’s work withhoneybees. Thanks to Phil Veldhuis for the use of the hives andthe opportunity to watch him connect with his bees, and thanksto Art Veldhuis, Phil’s father, who took a keen interest in thisproject.My gratitude to Katharine Zinger, my daughter, who visited thehives with me and took some of the pictures, in particular, thevideo of one bee matters. Thanks to Susan Gerlach, my wife,for letting me bring large bins of computers and office stuffhome covered in dripping honeycomb and encouraging me toengage in a project that felt right even though I could notexplain it.Thanks to John Junson who has worked with me for years. Hetakes great pictures and continues to create the best work andengagement cartoons and graphics on the Internet. Thanks tothe Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) Winnipeg forlaunching the 24 hour challenge in 2013 and giving the impetusto write this book.Thank you to the initial readers of this eBook for their helpfulcomments and suggestions: Phil Veldhuis, Neil Zinger, PeterHart, Dan Pontefract, Peter Dyck, Aganetha Dyck, John
Honeybees Working on a Computer ScreenDavid ZingerSite: www.davidzinger.comEmail: email@example.comPhone 204 254-2130Email, copy, and share this free eBook with others.Spread the buzz to strengthen work and engagement for the benefit of all.