Negotiating with Yourself: How do your four execs get along?

When training a group of execs on international negotiation recently it occurred to me that I negotiate with myself. That’s a little scary because I don’t want to go up against myself. I know those are not good odds and I could get intimidated. The idea got me to thinking. I negotiate with myself a lot. I talk to myself too, but that’s a topic for another blog. I negotiate with my dog sometimes and even more with my two cats. I usually win with the dog but rarely win with the cats. So as I was negotiating with myself this morning (side note: I won!) it occurred to me that someone must have already studied this phenomenon and perhaps published on the topic. Erica Ariel Fox did exactly that. Cheers for the Harvard Business Review. Here’s the article: The Most Important Negotiation in Your Life.
How do your four execs get along?]

Now that I know the Big Four are all part of me, I can work on helping them to get along! Are your Big Four inner executives playing well today?

Ronald McDonald Called – He Needs You for a One-Day Internship – Act NOW

Ronald McDonald 35th Anniversary Gala Shift is Resume Magic
Select Ronald McDonald Internship Shift not later than 10/16, 11:59 p.m.

Gala Date: Saturday, 10/25
Location: Marriott City Center, 30 S 7th St, Minneapolis

Ronald McDonald Shift Sign Up
Name ______________________________________________________________________
Email ___________________________________ Phone __________________________
Select ONE 1 p.m. arrival: Silent Auction Set-up 2-3 hours, break and then monitor/close auction from 4p-10p ONLY 4 spots remain
4 p.m. arrival for registration or invoice running/champagne delivery (anticipate 5 hour shift) Only 3 spots remain
(Dinner will be provided) Carpooling encouraged to save on fuel and parking $.

Complete form and send this page to, use subject line: Ronald McDonald Gala, on or before 10/16, 11:59 p.m. Shift confirmations will be sent out 10/17 by noon.

Pics from last year’s event here

All interns will receive letter of gratitude from host organization, photo of event and sample collateral for your portfolio. This is resume magic and fun!!

Do Efficiency and Efficacy Go Together?

Apparently the answer to this question is well known to the U.S. government. While I have endeavored to stay out of politics since my years spent lobbying in D.C., this item is begging for me to rant about it.

Katie Bascuas’ reports in Associations Now that the Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act (H.R. 2643), sponsored by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, (R.-PA.) “calls on the Office of Management and Budget to use videoconferencing in order to reduce travel expenses by 50% from 2013 levels, or by the greatest amount OMB finds feasible, by 2017, according to The Hill.”

This is, of course, all about more reports of “lavish conferences”. The bill encourages videoconferencing to enhance communication and problem solving. Stated byproducts will be shortened project timelines, efficiency, improved collaboration and work-life balance. REALLY?

Could some conference attendance be virtual? Of course. But absolutely nothing can replace face-to-face networking. I am a staunch believer in the long-held belief that “When People Meet, Business Happens”. The organizations that cut their travel budgets during the recent recession found out the hard way that when you don’t engage in face-to-face interaction, a loss of collaboration and market share is inevitable.

Instead of work-life balance that the bill cites will be a by-product, I call for a modicum of common sense. Benchmark government conferences against industry counterparts. Supplement some travel with videoconferencing and other virtual platforms, but for goodness sake, let’s not keep swinging this pendulum of government reaction from one extreme to the other. Real jobs and real people will be impacted by this bill. And, sadly, productivity and effectiveness of many government initiatives will be decreased.

The Millennial Perspective on Learning

keyboard_learn_key_400_clr_10240 (1)The Future of Learning According to Millenials captures the essence of a study just released by Millennial In her recap of the study, Samantha Whitehorne of Associations Now explains why Millennials gravitate to online learning AND that they also embrace hybrid opportunities that bring face-to-face learning segments to the mix.

All generations are represented in my college classroom and the majority of students want their learning opportunities delivered the same way. That is, how and when they can get it … and often online. The majority recognize that when they can participate in a face-to-face opportunity, their experience will be richer and the opportunity for networking greatly increased. That makes optional Saturday classroom days a hit!

I believe that Millennials had a great deal to do with this shift in education delivery. And while my first reactions were not entirely accepting of so much flexibility, my work to meet the students “where they’re at” has been well received by students of all ages. Whether they are working two jobs or homebound with sick children or on the road with their job, their learning is online and available. If, however, they can make it to a classroom on a Saturday, we’re there — with hands-on learning and networking. Let’s face it — learning in a group while sharing in laughter and experiences, is a lot more fun and enriching than the experience one has in front of a computer screen. Life happens and often it happens in sudden and unexpected ways. I believe that learning should be able to adapt whenever possible. Yes, I know that’s my opinion and not shared by all academicians but I honor any program that gives working adults the opportunity to develop their skills and grow their career.

How that relates to education provided by the non-profit association community can be tricky. First, let’s all keep in mind that the opportunity to network is typically in the top two reasons individuals cite as decisive factors when registering for a meeting, conference or event. And just about any association professional can point to a number of initiatives and even entire corporations that began as a result of that “meeting within a meeting” that happens in hallways and break areas at conferences.

I struggle with how that synchronous collaboration can happen online in a truly genuine way. Technology is (my opinion, again) not yet ready for what we need to provide virtually. So, while much of the education provided by associations and academia can be online, there is simply no replacement for face-to-face interaction. That’s probably why so many of my students drive great distances or even fly in to the Twin Cities, for Saturday classroom days.

One of my favorite books was published in 1998. Written by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer, “Blur: the Speed of Change in the Connected Economy” looks at how the forces of speed, intangibles and connectivity converge and challenge business as we know it. The book may be dated, but the principles cited are alive and well. Back in 1998 the authors aptly described the “new economy — a world where the rate of change is so fast it’s only a blur . .. ” And so it is. We have blurred and will continue to blur if we are to succeed.

Millennials may have mandated this shift to continue blurring, but each of us benefit.

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