Innovation

Curiosity

By: Jim Bruce
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The important thing is not to stop questioning… Never lose a holy curiosity. – Albert Einstein During World War II when I was a young boy, we lived with my mother’s parents while my father worked about 100 miles away in an oil refinery and commuted back to our small town on weekends. I think that I must have been a real question box back then, asking my grandmother more questions than she wanted to answer. I don’t remember what I asked, or her answers. What I do remember is that when she tired of my questions she always responded with the old parable “Curiosity killed the cat.”

Use the 4Is, or expect our history to repeat itself

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Tuesday Reading – Use the 4Is, or expect our history to repeat itself – is an essay by Richard Knepper, Manager, Campus Bridging and Research Infrastructure, Research Technologies, University Information Technology, Indiana University. His original essay first appeared as a program reflection last year. At the beginning of this year I was coming off of an inter-group hangover. My team of sysadmins supports a team of application developers for multiple groups of researchers. Sysadmins and developers get along as well as might be expected, but there were times in the past year that "getting along like a house on fire" seemed more like a literal description of the situation than a figurative one.

Asking Questions

By: Jim Bruce
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"Without a good question a good answer has no place to go.” – Clayton Christensen In today’s Tuesday Reading, I’ll focus on asking questions. Dan Pink, in his book Drive, tells us that the factors of mastery, autonomy, and purpose, spark motivation. And, that’s what you’d like to do as a leader, spark motivation. Stanier tells us that asking questions is a simple, powerful, yet difficult way of doing this. Good, well asked questions, he believes, can increase autonomy and mastery, and possibly purpose.

Let’s Try FeedForward

By: Jim Bruce
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Among the essential skills we expect leaders to have is giving and receiving feedback.  Everyone needs to know how they are doing, what they might improve, what they are particularly good at, etc.  Feedback focuses on the past, and in particular on what you did recently.  And, that’s important in providing guidance on how you can do it better in the future.
 

Impostor!

By: Jim Bruce
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In a recent coaching session, my client began by saying “I feel like I’m an impostor.”  What that means is that the individual felt that any successes experienced – admission to a prestigious school, a special job, a promotion, recognition, good fortune of any kind, etc.

more about Mindset

By: Jim Bruce
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Two weeks ago, the Tuesday Reading focused on Mindset – a habit of thinking that determines how we interpret and respond to situations.  There we introduced the concept of “fixed” and “growth” mindsets and how a child’s mindset impacts her or his approach to learning.  (Carol Dweck’s RSI ANNIMATE presentation on the subject is listed in the references below.)  Toward the end of the essay, I noted that recent research also suggests that our mindset affects our work and life as adults and argued that we should seek to have m

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

By: Leadership Part...
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A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Before I started the leadership journey, I was doing a lot of just that. Wasting a lot of my time and mind focusing on the immediate, the unimportant, the routine tasks that certainly were not going to make a significant difference in creating, influencing, or advancing the strategic mission and goals of the university.

Biased? We All Are!

By: Jim Bruce
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In a recent essay, “Beyond Bias,” which is today’s Tuesday Reading, Heidi Grant Halvorson and David Rock wrote:
 
“Biases are nonconscious drivers – cognitive quirks – that influence how people see the world.  They appear to be universal in most of humanity, perhaps hardwired into the brain as part of our genetic or cultural heritage, and they can exert their influence outside conscious awareness.  You cannot go shopping, enter a conversation, or make a decision without your biases kicking in.
 

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