Conversations and Margaritas?

What are you reading these days? Scaling Conversations: how leaders access the full potential of people by Dave MacLeod is open on my desk... 

This book describes strategies for leaders to hear from the many voices in their organizations in a comfortable, non-threatening, inclusive way. I really believe in this philosophy and I subscribe to the software Dave’s company developed to deal with the challenges of hearing everyone in the room.  

So, what might I gain from reading this book?

Well, from page three, I am reminded that anecdotes, stories and metaphors are winners for sensemaking! I’ve used the software with various clients to explain how it will add value to their processes. However, I’ve never told them the margarita story. In the book, Dave starts by sharing the story of a group of people ordering drinks at the bar. Everyone orders a beer and the last person mentions that he has heard this bar makes the best margaritas. At that point, every person that had already given their drink preference, changed their order to margaritas.

So What? The point is that the number of ideas provided doesn’t always represent the idea that is most valued. The software, thoughtexchange, allows people to share ideas first, view everyone’s ideas, and then star their favourites to come up with the top ideas that resonate. 

Why do I love this? Well, firstly, it demonstrates that lone voices have value and need a space to be heard. Secondly, it reminds us of the power of speaking together rather than alone. Our ideas can change and influence others and often the exchange leads to better outcomes. Thirdly, with our new way of working (at a distance, across space and time), we need to use these types of tools to support better engagement and results rather than throwing our hands in the air when trying to reach out and engage. 

I’m now on chapter 6 and nodding my head around the limitations of surveys…I’ll share more once I’m done! You can buy the book on Amazon!

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