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humanize

by jamie notter & maddie grant

how people-centric organizations succeed in a social world

Humanize Worksheet: How to Be Courageous


The worksheets which accompany Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World are designed to help you start humanizing your organization, whether you are a top-level executive, in middle management, or a front line employee. The basic process for the worksheets is the same for everyone; but we do include some additional information customized to these three levels because our goal is to help you get the ball rolling in your organization, no matter where in the system you might be. Humanize spells out four key elements for humanizing organizations: Open Trustworthy Generative Courageous

This worksheet is about creating more courageous organizations.


Were here to help. Contact the authors:
Jamie Notter VP, Consulting Management Solutions Plus, Inc. jnotter@mgmtsol.com (240) 404-6493 www.getmejamienotter.com Maddie Grant chief social media strategist SocialFish, LLC maddie@socialfish.org (202) 713-5343 www.socialfish.org

Copyright 2011, Pearson Publishing


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Overview of Humanize Chapter 9:

How to Be Courageous

This worksheet assumes youve read the book, and it is probably a good idea to reread Chapter 9: How to Be Courageous, before you begin.
Courageous organizations embrace a culture of learning.
They go beyond reactive learning and take time to explore issues deeply and challenge assumptions. They have disciplined conversations that dig into learning. They have a deep respect for data and mine it carefully, but they dont obsess over the data or expect data to provide the answers in an oversimplified way. They dont run away from failure because they know thats where the learning is. They document the learning as it happens, and they admit their mistakes. They know learning and change go hand in hand.

Courageous organizations have internal structures and processes that encourage and reward experimentation.
They commit to experimentation because they value both learning and innovation. They alter structures where possible to support innovation, whether it is giving more time, changing job descriptions, or enforcing constraints. They use measurement to draw attention to experimentation, and they ensure that the learning gets measured throughout the length of the experiment, not just results at the end. They intentionally create sandboxes where people are free to experiment. They extend experimentation outside the walls of the organization, such as through open innovation projects.

In courageous organizations, individual behavior is marked by the drive toward personal development.
Todays complex world needs individuals who develop their thinking throughout their whole lives. Skills and knowledge are necessary, but not sufficient; leaders at every level of the organization need to handle advanced levels of complexity. The line between personal growth and professional growth is blurred. Courageous organizations give people the time to work on their personal development

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Humanize Worksheet

How to Be Courageous
Instructions
By focusing on these concepts in the three areas of organizational culture, internal structure and process, and individual behavior, this worksheet will allow you to assess your organizations capacity for being courageous and come up with action items that will help you move toward being more courageous. The purpose of this worksheet is ultimately to get you to do something. Reading our book is awesome (thank you, by the way), but nothing changes by reading a book. Change happens when people start behaving differently, when people start working differently. Our mantra: If you do what you always did, youll get what you always got. We feel strongly that our organizations need to be more human... Thats where you come in. The worksheet is divided into three sections that should be completed in order. They build upon each other to complete a final plan.

1 2 3

Your Assessment
Start by answering questions about you and your organization. Complete a quick quiz. Give 30 numerical ratings on being courageous in terms of culture, process, and behavior. Then answer four open-ended questions to fill in the gaps.

Conversations and Data


This section helps you have targeted conversations with others so you can collect necessary data and brainstorm ideas for taking action. We help you set up individual meetings, group meetings, and produce summary reports.

Action Plan
This section helps you design an action plan for next steps to help make your organization more courageous. We help you prioritize potential actions, both big and small, and map out what you are going to do next.

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Your Assessment

Assessment Goals
a. To evaluate your organizations ability to be courageous from your perspective. b. To identify possible ideas for your action plan.

On a scale of 1 (completely not true) to 10 (absolutely its that way around here), rate the following statements in the context of you or your organization:

Quiz A: Culture
To Be Courageous at the level of Organizational Culture: Goal = Learning
A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 Failures are rarely attributed to individuals. When things dont work, we talk about it, rather than announce it. Trying new things is encouraged. When my boss makes a mistake, she or he owns up to it. We know WHY we measure what we measure. You rarely hear someone say but weve always done it that way. Were able to question the data were presented with in relation to a problem were trying to solve. We hold postmortems after projects are done to evaluate what we learned from them. Executives are transparent about why they had to make difficult choices. SCORE (110)

A10 We embrace change as an organization. QUIZ A SUBTOTAL (out of 100)

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Your Assessment continued

Quiz B: Process
To Be Courageous at the level of Internal Structure and Process: Goal = Experimentation
B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 People generally know what innovation means and how we do it here. I have the space to try new things. We talk a lot about our experiments, including the ones that dont generate positive results. We love to beta test ideas both internally and externally. My job description includes language about having the ability to find creative solutions. We report on what were learning during our project work, as well as the final results. When it comes to social media work, its understood that the results of what we do may not be predictable. My manager will back me up when I want to try a new way of doing something. The quality control process in my organization makes our work better; its not a roadblock. SCORE (110)

B10 Here at work, were familiar with the phrase fail fast, fail smart. QUIZ B SUBTOTAL (out of 100)

Quiz C: Behavior
To Be Courageous at the level of Individual Behavior Goal = Personal Development
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 Someone here cares about me and my development. I have conversations about my personal development more often than once a year at my performance review. People are not afraid to talk about personal things at work. If its not a fit, we work quickly and supportively to help employees find a new opportunity. We make sure people operate at the level they need to be successful. I dont hesitate to request training in something that interests me. I use social media to connect with people, not just to promote our products and services. Im allowed to exercise my personal judgment and initiative more often than not. I have at least one mentor in my organization to whom I can turn to work through issues. SCORE (110)

C10 We let people go if they arent pulling their weight. QUIZ C SUBTOTAL (out of 100)

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Your Assessment continued

Compile your point scores


This assessment will give you a snapshot of how courageous your organization is from your own point of view. Add up the points for each section, then add up your total point score. Add up your three subtotal scores. A B C QUIZ A SUBTOTAL (out of 100) QUIZ B SUBTOTAL (out of 100) QUIZ C SUBTOTAL (out of 100) TOTAL (out of 300)

226300 points 151225 points 76150 points

If you have more than about 240 points, please call us, because we want to feature you on the blog as an example of a courageous organization. Nice job. Your organization is well on the way to being courageous! You can freely concentrate on the areas that scored lower than others. Not a bad start. Pay close attention to which of the three areas (or particular questions) scored highest and lowest. Can you do more of the bright spots? Can you scrap some things that are completely not courageous? This score assumes that you probably have lack of courage issues in all three areas of culture, process, and behavior. Youll need to pick your battles and figure out where you can concentrate your efforts at first.

075 points

What scored highest? What scored lowest? What are some areas you might be able to effect some change? Are there high scoring areas you can do more of? Are there low-scoring areas where you can start small but still have some impact? Focus on those as you complete the qualitative self-assessment in the next section. Your notes:

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Your Assessment continued

Qualitative Self-assessment
Multiple choice quizzes are relatively easy. Your score should give you a little bit of quantitative insight into how courageous your organization is, and will become more interesting as you start to compare it with others scores (see Section 2). But this exercise is incomplete without more qualitative thinking about why you rated the questions above in the way that you did. Look back at your answers and write down your thoughts about the following questions: Wherever you are on the courageous scale, why is it that way? If youre horrible, then why are you horrible? If youre awesome, then why are you awesome? What made you as courageous (or not) as you are today?

What is the most important area to work on in your organization when it comes to being more courageous? Why is that important? How will it matter to performance?

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Your Assessment continued

What are you doing personally that is contributing to a more courageous organization? What are you doing that is getting in the way?

Insights and Potential Actions


Take the answers to your essay questions and your own analysis of the mini survey and make a bulleted list of observations about where your organization stands in terms of courage, including your initial thoughts about what can be done to make the organization more courageous. You dont need to form conclusions yet, but you should be able to put some ideas down on paper. If you were going to start today, what could you do?

Youre done with Section 1. In Section 2, youll compare notes with others.

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Conversations and Data

Conversation Goals
a. To collect qualitative and quantitative data from others in the organization evaluating your organizations courage. b. To collectively identify possible ideas for your action plan.

You are now ready to have conversations with others about courage.

Step 1: Identify who you want to meet with individually in your organization.
Exactly how many conversations you have and with whom will vary tremendously depending on your context. What works for a six-person nonprofit will not be the best plan for a large corporation. More information to help guide you on this is at the end of this section. List their names here.

Step 2: Schedule INDIVIDUAL meetings.


List the dates and times for each meeting with those you identified in step 1. Name Date Time

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Conversations and Data continued

Step 3: Invite the individuals you have listed in Step 2 to complete Section 1 of this worksheet as pre-work for a discussion about courage.
Their answers, compared with yours, will be the conversation starter. Suggested agenda: a. Quiz resultsCulture. Compare notes. b. Quiz resultsProcess. Compare notes. c. Quiz resultsBehavior. Compare notes. d. Action Plan brainstorm. Compare and compile ideas.

Step 4: Record key ideas from your individual meetings.

Step 5: Schedule GROUP meetings.


Be sure to review the group meetings guidance in pages 13-14 before you schedule your meeting. List dates and times for each meeting. Remember to invite participants to complete Section 1 of this worksheet as pre-work for a discussion about courage. Name Date Time

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Conversations and Data continued

Step 6: List observations that you had from your group meetings.
Create a brief meeting report after each group conversation. Here is a sample: Meeting with (list names)

Date / Time / Location

Goals for this meeting 1. To assess, as a group, our organizations ability to be courageous 2. To brainstorm possibilities for improvement

Culture (learning) what are the bright spots?

what needs work?

Process (experimentation) what are the bright spots?

what needs work?

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Conversations and Data continued

Step 6: List observations Continued


Behavior (personal development) what are the bright spots? what needs work?

Specific areas that need further exploration

Ideas for actions to be taken Any and all ideas are welcome here.

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Conversations and Data continued

Guidance on individual and group meetings


Your goal for this section is to gather data from other people in your organization, and to brainstorm ideas for becoming more courageous. Every business is different, and only you will be able to judge how best to conduct these conversations. - You could plan one or a series of meetings with individuals - You could ask every department to have their own meeting and share results - You could plan a half-day workshop for the whole company - You could use online tools to have an ongoing conversation Its up to you, but among the four human elements we talk about in the book, being courageous is one that will be difficult to address casually. We placed it last in our list of the four elements on purpose. Its hard to make the changes needed to bring true courage into your organization. So we think it makes sense to tackle this one later in the processthat way people in your organization will already have a certain comfort with these types of conversations. But ultimately that decision is up to you, not us. When you do move to group conversations, we recommend you invite anyone in your organization who has an interest in the topic of courage to participate in these conversations at first. Being more courageous more open to experimentation and learningmeans inviting all kinds of voices to speak and participate and stepping out of the box of the normal way of doing meetings. That being said, in many organizations you will also want to have conversations within certain subgroups. Both types of conversations are fine. Here are some things to think about as you plan these conversations, depending on your level in the hierarchy. Executives. Start with a conversation just among the senior management (we have the same recommendation for the other levels too). Because were talking about fear here, if you get everybody together too quickly, youre likely to end up with a lot of awkward silence. And when you have those first conversations, hold yourself accountable for a responsible conversation. That is, own up to where YOU at your level are getting in the way of learning, experimentation, or personal development. This topic lends itself more than others to blaming others in the system for the problem. You need to identify your own responsibility here. When you do get together with other groups, start by acknowledging your own responsibility. Thats the best way to ensure that people will open and up and share in a multilevel conversation about these issues. And when you get people together, also start by making it clear that not all the problems will be solved in one conversation. Do everything you can to create a safe space for people to talk openly about how your organization addresses courage. Middle managers. Like the senior managers, we recommend starting this conversation with a group of people at your same level in the organization. The conversation about overcoming fear needs to start with you (and others) taking responsibility for your own role in the issue, which is easier to do with just middle managers in the room. And you might want to focus first on the experimentation issue, because that one
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might be playing out in several different ways for you (you might wish you could experiment more AND at the same time, other people may think youre blocking experimentation). When you start meeting with people from other levels, move on to how you might collectively address learning in a way that is unhampered by department silos and hierarchies. As connectors, people in the middle play a key role in learning so that will need your attention. Front line employees. Again, as with the two previous levels, we recommend you start this conversation with people at your same level. Start with the learning topic, particularly opportunities to learn from failure. Thats obviously a topic that is easier to address without the higher-ups in the room. But you want to clarify that value, because it is an important part of the conversations you have as a whole organization. Also, being closer to customers or external partners, you might have good insight to share about ways to increase external experimentation. The ultimate goal of these conversations is to brainstorm actionable ideas, small and large. If you feel you need customized consulting help to manage these conversations, contact the authors. Were here to help. Youll be done with Section 2 when you feel you have enough participation (buy-in) and enough ideas to want to take action in large or small ways. In the final Section 3, youll prioritize those ideas, and decide how you can start. Notes:

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Action Plan

Action Plan Goals:


a. To prioritize actionable ideas b. To identify what YOU can do to get started.

Looking at all of the ideas that have come out of these conversations, we now need to figure out whats do-able for YOU. What are you, personally, going to do? You can also take this action plan and complete one as a team, or as a group. But ultimately, everyone who reads our book and wants to take action to help their organization become more courageous will start with the question, What can I do? Based on the assessments and ideas youve collected, there are at least three ways to decide on a plan of action.

a) Figure out what is working, and do more of those things. Think FRY (Frequency, Reach, Yield)can you be courageous more often? Get more people to be courageous in particular circumstances? Expand the areas youre already courageous? List the ideas here, from the results of your group and individual brainstorming, that fall under this category.

b) Change small things that are not working. Find small victories and keep moving up from there. Document everything and use data to help you move the needle. List the ideas that fall under this category here.

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Action Plan continued

c) Make big changes, as long as you have a good percentage of people invested. Involve everyone in the process of choosing what changes to make. List the ideas that fall under this category here.

d) Think about priority, and degree of difficulty. Of all the ideas youve brainstormed, are some more important than others? What kind of resources need to be mobilized? More Important

Fewer Resources / Easy

More Resources / Hard

Less Important e) Think about sequence. Do some of your ideas need to be completed before others can happen?

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Action Plan continued

Action Plan Outline


Ultimately, however, helping to make your organization more courageous starts with YOU. List the ideas YOU can do.

Idea Culture

How easy/hard? [sample]

Timeframe [sample]

Can I do this myself? Who else do I need to involve to make this happen? [sample]

[sample]

Schedule new conversat ions based on our mont hly data mining.

Anot her meet ing will not be popular. Need to show results quickly.

Next mont h

Yes, if t heres no budget involved.

Remember: a courageous culture is about learning.


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Action Plan continued


Idea How easy/hard? [sample] Timeframe [sample] Can I do this myself? Who else do I need to involve to make this happen? [sample]

Process

[sample]

Create new report ing mechanism t hat documents my department s experiments.

Challenge get t ing people to tell me what hasnt worked.

Ready to roll out in one mont h.

Will work best if format works for ot her departments too.

Remember: courageous processes enable experimentation.

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Action Plan continued


Idea How easy/hard? [sample] Timeframe [sample] Can I do this myself? Who else do I need to involve to make this happen? [sample]

Behavior

[sample]

Schedule off-site retreat to work on individual development goals for team members.

Hard.

Six mont hs lead Need several t ime so people develop conversat ions at team t heir own plans. level to get buy-in for process.

Remember: courageous behavior focuses on personal development.


Thank you for taking the time and effort to complete this worksheet and start the ball rolling towards becoming a more courageous organization. There are three other similar worksheets accompanying Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World: a worksheet on How to Be Open, one on How to Be Trustworthy, and one on How to be Courageous.

Good luck!
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