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Friday Thinkers, thanks to science

Sara Lobkovich
Sara Lobkovich
4 min read
Friday Thinkers, thanks to science
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko / Unsplash

Happy Friday!

Well team, we made it through another week. I'm a strange mix of busy with year-end details and finding myself with chunks of time to focus, which has been amazing. I'm taking advantage of time to make our training materials more usable, making progress on the book in progress, and catching up with folks via Zoom coffee-talk 1:1 for a change of pace from the "all-business" of the last year and a half. It also means I've been squirreling away interesting resources to share with you.

Today's theme: what can business borrow from our friends in science?

Here is a little thought-provocation to kick-start your weekend:

(1) 3 rules to express your thoughts so that everyone will understand you, by Alan Alda

I stumbled on this article and stopped cold. Many of my 1:1 coaching clients struggle with "being understood" in their work (and I'm no stranger to that dynamic myself). I appreciate the simplicity of the advice here, which originated from thought about science communication but translates nicely to communication at work (and beyond) in spaces far beyond science.

(2) Clocks and Clouds

This gets a little meta in the setup, but then gets to the point. I'm no longer participating on Twitter, but before I stepped away I saw this Twitter thread:

The Twitter debacle is at least partly explained by Karl Popper's 'Clouds and Clocks' theory. I wish it was more widely understood, so here's more.

thread... November 8, 2022

I haven't stopped thinking about the applicability of the Clocks and Clouds analogy to so much of the struggle for shared understanding and operational approaches within our organizations, since.

The thread is about how what's happening on Twitter under its new ownership illustrates the fallacy of treating a cloud problem like a clock problem. The original source was Karl Popper, a philosopher of science. Here's another brief article summarizing the basics, if you're not clicking through to Twitter. My brain has been spotting clock vs. cloud problems ever since, and it's been really helpful for me in deciding how to approach each issue (and whether it's a cloud that merits an investment of cognitive energy to deploy vs. asking myself whether I can make the issue simpler and put the pieces together like a clock).

(3) Should introverts fake extroversion to get ahead? Science says "no."

A quote from an article shared by Inc :

"Both our own research and that of others has shown that acting in a manner that's out of character can be depleting in the longer term. In particular, one study found that when introverts acted extroverted, they experienced improved moods and energy levels in the short term, but because these behaviors were inconsistent with their natural personalities and preferences, their energy levels fell substantially just one hour after the fact, ultimately hampering their ability to benefit from these activities," report organization psychologists Evy Kuijpers, Joeri Hofmans, and Bart Wille on HBR."

You can read the full original source via HBR, here.

And the latest from my work world:

We just dropped a new Thinkydoers episode with the audio replay of last week's LinkedIn Live in case you missed it. The topic was Architecting Change (and the role that goals can play in achieving change).

In the episode, we looked at:

  1. A few of the factors that make change hard for people and teams;
  2. Separating myth from fact about goal setting for change;
  3. The importance of shifting how we think about goals from a win-lose mindset to a win-learn mindset;
  4. Some important tips for changemakers to increase their effectiveness at making the case for and achieving change in their work;
  5. And end with a set of key questions you can use to unblock change.

(And, I shared an update about a few of the ways that we've opened up availability to work with me beyond large corporate engagements -- including some this month to help you get a stronger start to 2023.)

Listen here, or via your favorite podcast app (and I sincerely appreciate the reviews and shares)!

Thank you for reading and have a restorative weekend,


P.S. This is the last call for next week's No BS OKRs workshop.
The schedule and syllabus is online, and registration is still open!

(And if you're experiencing financial hardship and a discount would enable you to participate, drop me a note. I have a few coupon codes still available!)

P.P.S. I had a good laugh at myself today listening to an audiobook citing research on how much people (leaders + staffers alike) dread performance reviews.

If people feel even a fraction of that dread about OKRs and team goal-setting (which — logically would follow)

that explains a lot about the reception my work gets among general audiences (e.g. here on my "whole self" blog).

If you're one of the folks who stops reading with dread when I start to bring up that little acronym, but has stuck around all this time because of some past connection of ours, bless you. I appreciate you. (Also, I made a TikTok to try to explain why OKRs became my special interest. Once I get through this book project and get that out the door, I promise, I'll have other things to talk about again.)