Constructive Debate? Or the Meeting after the Meeting?

Building Better Ideas BookWhy do we have to have the “meeting after the meeting,” that intense discussion about what we should have said, but didn’t. In Kim Barnes’ soon-to-be-published book, Building Better Ideas: How Constructive Debate Inspires Courage, Collaboration and Breakthrough Solutions, she begins by discussing the all-too-common scenario in which ideas and honest opinions only show up in the “meeting after the meeting.”

Kim makes a compelling case for engaging in “Constructive Debate,” an open process for considering, vetting, and improving ideas. She has compiled her experience and research in her new book, to be published in October by Berrett-Koehler. Follow the link below to read a substantial excerpt from the book.

From the excerpt:

“Organizational or team cultures that discourage disagreement and debate risk missing ideas that could transform their business results, create greater efficiency, or help them to become a great place to work, attracting the best talent. Those ideas, or the seeds of them, walk out the actual or virtual door of their company every day between the ears of team members.” #constructiveDebate, #buildingBetterIdeas

Read the excerpt on LinkedIn

Soft Skills: Not “Soft” at All!

Soft Skills

Photo by B. Kim Barnes

Barnes & Conti CEO Kim Barnes, wrote a piece recently arguing that so-called “soft-skills” are completely misnamed. The article, entitled “Why We Shouldn’t Call Them ‘Soft Skills’” presents a compelling case that these skills, including influence, communication, leadership, and more are hardly “soft” in the sense of easy, but are among the most challenging and virtually unteachable to robots and artificial intelligence.

According to Kim:

“As someone who has studied, written, taught, and spoken about skills such as communication, influence, conflict resolution, and leadership, I can attest to the fact that these skills are in no way “soft” – in the sense described above. In fact, they are among the most difficult to teach and to learn. (Perhaps this is why robots haven’t as yet learned them.) For a long while, we (in my company, Barnes & Conti Associates) have been calling them “the difficult skills.”

Read the complete  article on LinkedIn

#softSkills, #influnce, #leadership

Article: Keeping the Human in Human Resources

Soft SkillsThinking about the impact of emerging artificial intelligence? Nelson Soken, Ph.D, Barnes & Conti’s Chief Innovation Strategist, gives thought to several of the issues, in the article entitled, “How to keep the “HUMAN” in Human Resources and Talent Development in the Global and Digital Age.”

Nelson makes a convincing case that certain human skills–so called “soft skills”–can never be replaced by machines. He also details helpful suggestions geared towards HR professionals in developing these critical skills for today’s workforce.

According to the article: “…companies are grappling with how to continually identify, retain, and build the skills of their workforce in an ever-shifting business climate. The challenge is to provide timely and cost-effective skill-building and talent development offerings that ultimately drive company growth.”

Read the article on our website.

#softSkills, #talentDevelopment, 

New Article on Risk-Taking and the Social Cost of Innovation

Have you ever wondered why certain innovations that are clearly superior to the technologies already in place take so long to catch on?  Kim Barnes recently wrote an article that discusses the “social cost” of innovation as one of the risks involved in developing “new” technology, the fork, the umbrella, and the emerging technologies of our day and age.

According to Kim, “When we think about taking a risk, we may not consider or acknowledge these social costs. In our Intelligent Risk-Taking program, we identify seven arenas in which individuals take risks; financial, business, career, interpersonal, intellectual, physical, and image. Often, participants in the program, while thorough and thoughtful in assessing the risks they may face in promoting or supporting a change or innovation, overlook planning for any risks they face to their image and reputation… Risk-taking and innovation require you to think about the role that emotion and social influence play in the process of technology adoption.”

Read the article on our website
Read about our Intelligent Risk-Taking program
Tagged with: , ,

Influence: Why Logic and Persuasion Often Fail

How often have you tried to exercise influence by making a logical and persuasive case for your self and utterly failed to convince the person you needed to influence? At Barnes & Conti, we’ve long maintained that successful influence is less about persuasion and much more about building relationships. 

Getting back to persuasion, we want to share worthy article that delves into the neuroscience behind unsuccessful persuasion. The article identifies seven factors that impede your ability to influence solely by persuasion. Those seven factors include the person’s prior beliefs, emotions, incentives, agency, curiosity, state of mind, and the opinions of other people.

According to the article, “…The human brain doesn’t work by strictly logical rules—but it does work by rules. And if we know what they are, we have a much better shot of framing our arguments in ways that other people will find convincing.”

To learn about influence skills that build relationships and take into account all the factors above, check out our popular influence training program, Exercising Influence: Building Relationships and Getting Results. 

Read the entire article here
For more information on Exercising Influence, follow this link
Tagged with: ,
Top