Monday, May 30, 2011


I am developing a new tool for a workshop I teach.. could use some input from you. Answer the following questions choosing one answer for each of the seven questions and then send me an e-mail with your answers.. just list the question number and your letter answer for each of the seven questions. Email to




1. I get my best ideas by

a) Watching people to see what they prefer and want from my work

b) Just trying things out until I find an approach that works

c) Investigating the problem that needs to be addressed very carefully

d) Finding others who may have good ideas on how to do things

2. To overcome problems, I usually like to:

a) First focus on having the right environment where I can think best

b) Seek out solutions by studying approaches not normally related to the issue

c) Like to bring together a group and facilitate team solutions

d) Examine how the problem affects humans to find solutions

3. I am most creative when:

a) Tackle the situation and just start trying things

b) Identify barriers to success and attack them with all my knowledge

c) I find someone who has lots of great ideas that I can learn from

d) I have the right setting to think and work in

4. For me, innovation most often comes from

a) Bringing together sciences that are different to find new solutions

b) Getting groups together who can be creative

c) Studying human nature to explore better ways of serving people

d) Implementing several ideas until one works

5. When faced with a difficult task, I am most likely to:

a) Get motivated by the difficulty and do it on my own for satisfaction

b) Find some experts who may have dealt with this task before

c) Find an environment that allows me to think best

d) Study unrelated sciences to get new ideas on how to address the task

6. I am most productive by

a) Bringing together a group and facilitating discussion and consensus

b) Focusing on people and their needs when developing solutions

c) Trying solution after solution until one works best

d) Identifying impossible tasks and then working toward achieving them

7. The best ideas are gained by

a) Finding experts in the area your working in and learning from them

b) Having the right working environment so you can do your best thinking

c) Seeking out and studying unrelated sciences to learn new ways of doing things

d) Bringing together your team and brainstorming to get the best ideas of the team

Friday, May 6, 2011

Is Duncan Watt's just another Gladwell...

So I am halfway through Watts' book "Everything is Obvious: Once you know the the answer" and pretty much thinking.. Maybe Watts' should take his own advice...

Watts' rightly points out that Gladwell takes things a bit far with his ideas on nodes and social change, but Watts' commits the same errors himself. While I can agree that online social networking is real... there is clear evidence that online social networking is different from face-to-face social networking.. And pretty much the bulk of Watt's conclusions are based only on his research using online research (so far). While his points are valid when he is describing how humans operate in online communities (itunes purchasing), it really doesn't translate to face-to-face organizational cultures. Watt's assumptions that these environments are the same, and because his sample size is so large.. ignores fundamentals of research design and practice, but it also ignores research done by real OD scientists. It appears he commits the same sins he claims Gladwell does.. and over emphasize his points.. It is obvious to Watt's that Gladwell is wrong... cause he knows the answer.. I would argue they are both partially right and wrong.

That said, I am going to keep reading Watts.. he makes several good points.. and online networking is reshaping our traditional networks.. so it is still good read.. just not as accurate as I would have hoped.