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Creating and Sustaining Skeptical Teams


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Workshop slides from Center for Inquiry Leadership Conference. How can you create & sustain teams of skeptical people that are able to keep their diverse knowledge and expertise while avoiding group think and spinning into an asphyxiating death spiral?

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Creating and Sustaining Skeptical Teams

  1. 1. Michael Cardus -
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  3. 3. How can you create & sustain teams of skeptical people that are able to keep their diverse knowledge & expertise while avoiding group think & spinning into an asphyxiating death spiral? Michael Cardus -
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  5. 5. Share: Who you are & where you are from? What have you already found useful about the conference? What has to happen for the CFI Leadership conference to be of value to you? Michael Cardus -
  6. 6. Systems-Drive-Behavior Michael Cardus -
  7. 7. Team = a group of people who come together, either through self- selection or appointment, to achieve a shared task or goal within a defined time-frame. Goal = What by When Michael Cardus -
  8. 8. ChoicesMichael Cardus -
  9. 9. Read each set of choices. Write down the correct answer from each choice set.Michael Cardus -
  10. 10. Cold or Blue Michael Cardus -
  11. 11. Up in the Air or Down on the Ground Michael Cardus -
  12. 12. Metal or Cloth Michael Cardus -
  13. 13. Stars or Planets Michael Cardus -
  14. 14. Green or Red Michael Cardus -
  15. 15. Snow or White Michael Cardus -
  16. 16. Stripes or Plaid Michael Cardus -
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  19. 19. o How did you make your choices? o What criteria was used? o What led you towards your choices? Why? o Now that you have seen the goal; what is your reaction to your choices? o What causes that to happen? o What about this activity can we use in our current organizations and teams? Michael Cardus -
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  21. 21. What behavior is your current system creating?  If I was to observe your team what would I see? diversity - inclusion - acceptance - exclusion - difference - same – all look the same – etc…  Without knowing what goals (if any) are established – what would I assume are the goals of your team? Michael Cardus -
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  23. 23. Evidence  An organizational culture that is dedicated to telling the truth, even when uncomfortable.  Challenging excessive Pollyannaism, Positive Psychology, and beliefs that may be founded upon false assumptions.  Decisions are based upon evidence that can be replicated and examined by peers within and outside of your field.  You are prepared to change or abandon your processes and thought IF better evidence is found that shows a better way to do something.  There are secondary sources (academic journals, peer reviewed articles, existing Body of Knowledge, etc…) that are applicable and provide evidence for what you are doing.  Organizational, Team and individual exploration for risks and drawbacks of what is recommended. Everything has side effects- There is no “Silver Bullet Solution” Michael Cardus -
  24. 24. Unicorns This term is from Elliott Jaques-Life & Behavior of Living Organisms;  False assumptions and beliefs that we create through language I call these “unicorns”. We can describe the unicorn, its color, weight, how long its horn is etc…BUT when we look for evidence none exists.  Organizations and management theory is rife with unicorns – and we hold deeply onto these because much of the foundation for our management is from the same land that the unicorns came from in the first place.  People believe and may have evidence for “unicorns” and they may even turn out to work very effectively.  This challenge arises when we explore the difficulty of maintaining an effective relationship between the sensible world (realism-the belief that objects exist outside my self and thoughts) in which work and production happen; And the world of language (Idealism-the belief that objects only exist within my thoughts and interactions with them) in which creativity and ideas can take on a life of their own. Michael Cardus -
  25. 25. Mix & Mingle Michael Cardus -
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  27. 27. Closed Decisions “determinate and tractable and has a clear-cut objective.” Open Decisions “loose multidimensional nature of our objectives, the subtleties of our interactions with others, the complexity of the systems we handle.” Michael Cardus -
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  29. 29. Decision Making in a Closed & Knowable Environment  There is one & only one solution, and when it is identified we know we have found it. Objectives are clear and constant.  The implementation or action decision is not influenced by the responses of others to one’s actions or decisions. Interactions with others, if they are relevant at all, are limited and controllable or predicable.  There is a complete list of possible actions, and we know that all the potential actions we consider are in fact available to us. Even if we do not know what will happen in the future, we know the range of possibilities and can sensibly attach probabilities to them. The problem is closed.  The number of alternative ways of completing the task, although running into many millions, is nevertheless sufficiently small that all can, at least in principle, be evaluated. Complexity, even if extensive, is bounded. - Obliquity. Why our goals are best achieved indirectly; James Kay pp. 72 Michael Cardus -
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  31. 31. We cannot know + control + understand all the outcomes that may / will happen. This is where judgment & using process (actions) while examining results (outcomes) shows that when a group of smart people work together, with the proper context & tools, great things can happen. This is innovation & people working to their full capacity. Michael Cardus -
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  36. 36. Written Response What do you find most useful about the ‘7 Steps to High Performance Teams’ model? How will you use this model with your team? How will you recognize progress / regress? Visual Response Michael Cardus -
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