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Harnessing the Power
of Human Ingenuity

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August, 2015, Press Release

Steve Wille Presents to Mile Hi Project Management Institute Roundtable

Steve Wille, IT Executive and author of Colorful Leadership, presented to The Lone Tree Project Management Institute (PMI) Roundtable, Regis University hosted the event at their Denver Technological Center campus.  Steve is a former manager of software engineering, Great-West Financial, Citigroup, and other corporations. He has over 25 years of experience in corporate information technology management. His article on Constructive Conflict has been published internationally. Steve is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and has developed multiple large information technology systems from the ground up. Steve has an MBA degree from Regis University and a BSBA degree from the University of Denver.

Steve’s presentation on “Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity” challenged attendees to understand that is a mistake to think that past performance assures future success.  His interactive session illustrated that while repeatable processes are at the core of successful project management, managers must adapt to a rapidly changing world.  Steve’s workshop explored the three disciplines of process, people and, ingenuity; and validated them through evidence from historical studies.  He recapped how the Hawthorne studies caused a shift from scientific management to human relations management in the early twentieth century.  Steve cited proof from these studies highlighting how researchers learned that there is much more to productivity than finding the one best way to do each task.  People could mysteriously become more or less productive regardless of the physical conditions.  The ingenuity discipline in Steve’s model traces its history back to Edward Lorenz’s explanation of the butterfly effect ushered in the era of complexity theory, also known as chaos science. Steve demonstrated how to master all three disciplines, so managers can think in three dimensions and act strategically in any situation.  He used his colorful leadership model where three colors of light converge to form a full color picture on a high definition television as a teaching tool.

The Lone Tree PMI Roundtable is an affiliate of the PMI Mile High Chapter (pmimilehi.org), the tenth largest PMI chapter in the world.  PMI is the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession.  Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research.


On Friday, April 24, 2015, at 1:00 pm, I will be speaking at the Denver PMI Project Management Symposium.

Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity
By Steve Wille, PMP
Colorful Leadership
Web: www.colorfulleadership.info

The old management formulas such as continuous improvement and best practices are of little help in an era of discontinuous and disruptive innovation. The people and process skills that took companies and individuals to their current levels of success may not help as the world around them changes. To survive, leaders and managers must move beyond best practices by inventing new practices. This is why human ingenuity is of equal importance with traditional management disciplines that focus on people and process.

It is a mistake to think that past performance assures future success. Process and people disciplines are at the core of successful project management, but they are by no means sufficient in a time when human ingenuity has become so important. Ingenuity cannot be planned or controlled in traditional ways.

In this workshop, each of the three disciplines, process, people and ingenuity are explored and validated through historical studies. There is a standard academic body of knowledge supporting the people and process disciplines. This is traced forward from the early twentieth century when scientific management delivered gains in productivity that lifted the wages and standard of living for people at all levels of society. The Hawthorne studies are used to demonstrate the shift of management studies into the human relations era. Through these studies researchers learned that there was a great deal more to productivity than finding the one best way to do each task. People could mysteriously become more or less productive regardless of the physical conditions. The ingenuity discipline in our model traces its history back to Edward Lorenz’s explanation of the butterfly effect which brought in the era of complexity theory, also known as chaos science.

Our proposal is to master all three disciplines, so you can think in three dimensions and act strategically in any situation. This material will work both as a talk and as a workshop. Steve Wille is an experienced conference speaker, as well as a workshop facilitator.

Takeaway:
Respect, feedback, and team engagement are explored from the three perspectives of process, people, and ingenuity. Each perspective takes the leader in a different direction and the art of successful project management is to do all three, even when they appear to be in conflict. This workshop will offer specific techniques for doing all three in any situation.

About Steve Wille:
Steve Wille, author of Colorful Leadership, is a manager of software engineering, Great-West Financial. He has over 25 years of experience in corporate information technology management. Steve is a PMP and has developed multiple large information technology systems from the ground up. Steve's MBA degree is from Regis University in Denver, and his BSBA degree is from the University of Denver.


On April 22, 2015, 10:30 am I will be speaking at the Denver IT Summit.  http://www.theitsummit.com/event/denver-2015/


Over the past 20 years, in addition to my day job as an information technology manger, I have had the opportunity to speak at technology conferences, write and teach project management courses, and publish a book.  The book, Colorful Leadership, co-authored with Bill Kuehn and Larry Nelson, was published in 2008.  Since that time I have worked with Dr. James Reardon on new material under the same colorful leadership theme.  Reardon is a professor of management.  We have self-published a white paper, Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity.  You are welcome to download this paper.  If you want to use it, please print the copyright information and the www.colorfulleadership.info web source.

This paper became the source of a keynote speech that I have presented at a number of technology conferences.  In 2014, I was the keynote speaker IT Symposiums in Denver, San Antonio, and Salt Lake City.  I also spoke a the Society of Information Management (SIM) national conference in Denver and the Minnesota SIM chapter in Minnesota.  In 2105, I will be speaking at the IT Summit in Denver and the Project Management Institute Symposium in Denver.

After my talks, I see book sales increase, but I feel bad that some of the material in the keynote talk is not covered in the book. Therefore, I am offering a free download of a summary of this talk, Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity.  Feel free to use it and please include the copyright information if you print it.  In addition, if you are interested, you may view the Youtube video: Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity


Innovation: More is more.  Try a lot of things and something might work.
Quality: Less is more.  Get focused and do something well.
People.  Who is counting?  Each interaction with each person is a single human moment.

How many times have you heard from a successful person that if he or she had known then what is known now, a lot of time and money could have been saved and better invested.  The thing is, they did not know then what they know now and the only way to have gotten to their success was by trying a lot of things until something worked.  Running in parallel with trying a lot of things, you need to get focused on something and do it well rather than doing things poorly.  The thing is, quality and innovation are independent and you must do both to survive, with the hope you will thrive.  In parallel with that, is your relationship with the people around you.  People can help you and people can hurt you, depending on how they feel about you.  The answer?  Do all three in parallel, even thought and any given time only one of the three is in play.  It comes back to wearing the red, green, and blue glasses, one at a time to get the whole picture.  You cannot stack the glasses because no light will travel through all three filters.  It is one at a time, with a reasonable rotation to get the whole picture.


I will speak at the Denver Southeast Rotary Club on Thursday, June 7, 7:15am – 8:45am, at the Doubletree Hotel, on Orchard just west of I-25.


I found a low cost, high quality source of photographs and clip art.

123RF Stock Photo


 I will be speaking at the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group (RMOUG) February 14-16, 2012 in Denver Colorado.

Title: Difficult Decisions

Presentation Summary:
Most decisions are easy and have very little long term consequences. Other decisions are life changing and there is no going back. Picking a technology platform is an example of a tough choice that locks you in for the long term. Project managers often use a decision matrix with numerical score to make process objective and logical. This is essential, but not sufficient. The most sophisticated decision engine is the neural network inside of everyone’s head. It is good at fuzzy logic and pattern recognition, telling us things we can’t see in a two-dimensional decision matrix with a simple numeric score. A honeybee swarm provides a model of how to make a life-changing decision by a network of intelligent beings. If they pick the wrong location for their next home, they won’t make it through the winter. Bees travel a five-mile radius seeking out holes in trees, looking for the perfect home. They return to the swarm and make a group decision. Suddenly, thousands of bees fly together in one swarm to their new hive. This session will present the honey bee method for making important decisions using sophisticated quantitative measurements combined with a group process that has been perfected over millions of years.

Biographical Information:
Steve Wille, author of "Colorful Leadership," is a senior applications manager at Great-West Life and Annuity. He has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate information technology management. Steve is a PMP and has developed multiple large information technology systems from the ground up. Steve's MBA degree is from Regis University in Denver, and his BSBA degree is from the University of Denver.

On February 14-16, I’ll be at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado for RMOUG’s Training Days Conference. This is the largest regional Oracle User Conference in North America and attracts presenters from all around the country and the globe. I’ll be presenting:


Dr. James Rairdon, a management professor, is collaborating with me to produce an on-lined management class targeted for project managers, but useful for anyone in a leadership or management position.  Jim is an adjunct professor for several universities and does a good deal of his teaching on-line.  The name of our class is, Turn On All the Lights.  It will be presented in ten minute modules designed to do one per day.

Testing an online management and leadership class for project managers, team leaders, and supervisors that will be published by Construction Mastery http://www.constructionmastery.com/

1. Intro e-learning class
2. Expectancy Theory
3. Hierarchy of Needs
4. In defense of Bureaucracy
5. Scientific Management

If you found this and tried it, please let me know what you think of it:   feedback@colorfulleadership.info


I am speaking at the Annual Rocky Mountain Project Management Symposium Friday, April 22, 2011 Colorado Convention Center, Denver

The New Normal in Project Management - Work Harder, Faster, and Smarter

It’s a tough economy and to survive you have to do more with less.   Once you figure that out, and put forth the effort to make it happen, the job can be a lot more fun.  We will examine specific techniques for working faster, based on the book, Colorful Leadership.  It’s all about process, people, and embracing innovation.  We pick up were PMBOK leaves off.  A must attend session for project managers that want to survive in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

Steve Wille PMP, author of Colorful Leadership, has over 25 years senior level experience in corporate computer technology management. In 2002 he took a 3 year sabbatical to write, and to teach classes on leadership for project managers. He now works at Great-West Life where he is a senior IT manager. Steve's MBA degree is from Regis University in Denver, and his BSBA degree is from the University of Denver. He is also a wedding photographer with his daughter and he drew on his experience with digital photography as the model for this colorful book. Steve and his wife, Joanne, live in Centennial Colorado.


I am speaking at the 3rd Annual Colorado IT Symposium  Thursday April 28, 2011 Denver Marriott Tech Center

10:45 am
New Normal - Information Technology Re-invention
Room


Steven Wille
Senior Applications Manager
Great-West Life

Things have changed and they are not going back. We need to adjust to the new reality. Numerous jobs are gone, replaced by better and faster technology. Maybe your old job is gone, too. As technology workers, we must reinvent our careers, investing time in future technology to avoid the next wave of layoffs. How do you find the new normal and prepare for the future? No one can predict the future, but you can see patterns and these patterns will repeat many times over. This presentation will use a model that traces a technology from its inception, through market acceptance, to commodity, obsolescence and the discard pile of bits in the bucket. This model applies to your products, your technology, and your career.

 


I am speaking at the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group  Training Days February 15 - 17, 2011

Steven Wille, Great-West Life

New Normal - Information Technology Re-invention       
Things have changed and they are not going back. The economic crash drove productivity up because corporate survival required efficiency. Technology accelerated the change and made it permanent. You need to adjust to the new reality. Numerous jobs are gone, replaced by better and faster technology. Maybe your old job is gone, too. As technology workers, you must reinvent your careers, investing time in future technology, if you want to avoid being in the next wave of layoffs. Current trends are toward open source, along with the proprietary Microsoft tools, along with pie in the sky technologies like cloud computing. How about Android, Google Office, and Open Office? Will this continue? How do you find the new normal and prepare for the future? No one can predict the future, but you can see patterns. If you look at the present situation from several perspectives, you can get a clearer picture and make better decisions. This presentation will use a model that traces a technology from its inception, through market acceptance, to old commodity, on its way to obsolete and forgotten. This model applies to your products, your technology, and your career.

Steve Wille, author of Colorful Leadership, is a senior applications manager at Great-West Life and Annuity. He has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate information technology management. Steve is a PMP and has developed multiple large information technology systems from the ground up. Steve's MBA degree is from Regis University in Denver, and his BSBA degree is from the University of Denver.


Read the recent interview with Leadership Guide Magazine

Leadership Guide Magazine Editor Linda Hatcher interviewed Steve Wille, a leadership lecturer, writer and management expert, about his unique perspective on leadership as fully detailed in his book Colorful Leadership.


I will be the panel moderator at the RMIMA-SIM joint meeting on June 15. www.rmima.org


My book is in its third printing, and I have a new publisher.  The inside content has not changed.  I was able to lower the price because my costs are lower.


New Normal - SIM meeting March 16, 2010

I had people personally come up to me after the meeting to complement your program and energy. Several mentioned that the "tension" between microsoft and other options is great for discussion because in the work place - people don't get to do that as much... Great job. Thank you. Stacey


On March 16, 2010, I will be speaking at the Society of Information Managers (SIM).  This is a new topic where I am applying key principles in the book to technology.  The talk is titled, New Normal - Information Technology Reinvention


January 14, 2010,

I spoke at the National Association of Women in Construction, a group of interesting people with interesting jobs.  Some of them gave me permission to quote their evaluations on my blog.  One woman, Tarah Harpstreith, said, "I think it is logical and I can't wait to use it.  I am not a touch feely person so I will try using the filter."  She was speaking of looking through the people/feeling filter in addition to the more logical security/quality filter.  What was interesting to me was that the participants were all women who found themselves in professions dominated by men.  I enjoyed hearing their perspectives on how to use the material in my book.


November 16, 2009

Steve,
Once again, THANK YOU for taking the time to share your presentation on Colorful Leadership with the Jeppesen Project Management Community of Practice. I have had numerous positive comments on the presentation and the approach to viewing our "people", future and security/quality filters.  I look forward to taking the assessment as well. Again, thank you!

Pamela M. Benda, PMP

November 13, 2009

I just spoke at a PMI roundtable at Jeppesen, the company that creates the maps used by airline pilots throughout the world.  I had no idea how big this operation is, and how long it has been in Denver.  It was a real honor to talk to project managers at such a great company.


October 23, 2009

Last week I spoke at the Project Management Institute (PMI).  One of the people in attendance, Dan Rondinelli, contacted to meet for coffee at Starbucks.  Dan bought the book after hearing the talk and he wanted to discuss it.  When we met he spoke favorably of the book, so I asked him if there was any one thing that came through.  He replied, "Looking for the 3rd choice can make all the difference.  We try to make things black and white when it isn't.  It is nice to find a 3rd choice."  Dan also commented on our filtered view of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  He said we take a unique approach by saying all the needs are there all the time.

Steve


Colorado Rising
Live weekly TV show - every Monday from 2:00 - 3:00pm

View a recoding of this live Internet TV interview about Colorful Leadership

 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 5:30 p.m.
American Society for Quality Denver
Office of HSS, 900 South Broadway Ste 100 - Denver
 
Corporate Culture and Conflict

Corporate Culture can be defined as the values, beliefs, assumptions, and symbols that make up individual and collective conceptions of what an organization is all about. On both individual and collective levels, our perceptions of corporate culture tell us who we are, what we're doing here, and why we're doing it. And as we all know, behind the seemingly smooth facade that the corporation strives to present to the world, there are lots of incompatible ideas about how corporate realities should manifest themselves, and thus lots of underlying conflict.

We don't go to work for the culture and conflict.  We go to work to get things done.  Corporate culture and conflict are background processes, always influencing everything going on, but usually unrecognized.  Our goal is to carefully observe what is really happening in the background and then taking a strategic approach to the situation rather than slamming into it mindlessly.

We will use the 3-Filters discipline from the book, Colorful Leadership, to see through our blind spots. We will then develop three distinct options for what to do about it. Finally we will chart course of action that incorporates elements from all three approaches.  This sounds like it could be a lot of work, but it is quite simple once you grasp the concepts and understand why this approach greatly enhances your ultimate chance of success.


April 17, 2009

I have to echo Suzanne’s comments.

Elaine

Elaine W. Miller

Thanks again for donating two of your Colorful Leadership books to our AITP meeting.  We gave you lots of credit, and told everyone what a great book it is.  Others chimed in and agreed.  Also, I had a couple of your flyers, and put them on the tables.  I think you received much PR from your act of generosity.

Suzanne


April 08, 2009

Steve:

Thank you very much for recommending your book!

First, I discovered that you and I have quite a bit in common, most notably our similar experiences in the post-9/11 economic crash. My parachutes, unfortunately, didn't work, and I bounced when I hit. I was wondering if this book, or the research that went into it, started for you around 2002. You don't mention in the preface exactly when you met Larry Nelson, but I can well imagine how researching and writing a book would have been important at such a trying time.

Second, the instant I read the heading "Future Filter" on p. 15 my inner voice said: "Oh, that's hope!" At mid-page, you write: "When looking through the future filter, you can give up any hope of building a yesterday and instead focus on tomorrow." My interpretation may surprise you, and I'd like your thoughts - here it is - the future filter represents personal hope in the forward direction, and that's what motivates us. It's not so hard to understand when you consider that the loss of hope results in personal and professional stagnation and, most drastically, personal depression. Loss of hope (or destruction of the future filter, if you will) is the negation of life as it should be. Hope is essential for human survival, as you so correctly point out, but I don't really need chaos theory or economics to understand this.

Your book is very easy to read. In fact, I think it is a thoughtful and practical presentation of what other authors have made into ponderous theories. Nicely done!

Best regards,

David


February 16, 2009

I recently had the pleasure of reading your recent book, Colorful Leadership.  I found it to be very easy to read for three reasons: 1) the warm, "let me talk to you like a good friend" style of writing; 2) the organization; and 3) the font type and size. 

A perfect example of the first reason is the use of the word "Bummer" on the back cover; that really sets the tone of the whole book.  Other examples include the use of personal experiences to help explain a concept.  Of course, the use of photography and television analogies really helps to explain the filter concept.

The topics are organized in a natural, meaningful flow, where each chapter builds on the previous one.  I especially like the final chapters, "Unified Theory" and "Summary" which tie everything together.  Like a speech: tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them!

Suzanne I. Weston, Weston Consulting, Inc.


Rocky Mountain Information Management Association www.rmima.org

Thursday, February 12, 2009
10:30 Registration
11:00 Panel
12:00 Lunch
Hotel VQ by the stadium

Corporate Culture
Survive and Thrive the First 100 Days and Every Day Thereafter, Even in a Bad Economy

Steve Wille - Author, Colorful Leadership

Do you think your organization is going in the right direction?  Do you sometimes feel out of sync with the corporate culture?  Like it or not, you have to play the hand you are dealt.  If you want to survive and thrive in any organization you need to play your cards strategically.  Pick your direction and go for it, but avoid unnecessary battles that could end your career.  Along the way pay attention to how the people around you feel about what you are doing.  Will they be with you or against you?

This presentation is based on the new book, Colorful Leadership.  We will take a disciplined approach in assessing a situation from three perspectives to build a complete image of the current reality.  Next, we will examine our choice of action.  Sometimes a passive, wait and see approach is the best strategy.  Other time a much more aggressive, make it happen approach offers the biggest payback.  Either way, it has to be constructive if you want something good to come out of it.

Benefits:

  1. Learn how to rapidly assess a situation,
  2. Practice finding at least three alternative courses of action.
  3. Think strategically and focus on the future when choosing the best alternative.

This will be an interactive session with an opportunity to observe a situation and practice the skills.

Steve Wille is a senior applications manager at Great-West Life & Annuity.  He has over 25 years experience in corporate technology management.  His article on Constructive Conflict has been published internationally and his most recent book, Colorful Leadership, was published in 2008.


What I learned from reading my book

There is an old saying that if your really want to learn something, teach it.  Now that the book is written and published, it is an artifact that I can use as a resource.  Having lead some training sessions, I have learned what the book is really about.  It is about finding the sweet spot where Quality, Innovation, and People's Feelings intersect.  It is not about compromise where you short change each item to find the lowest common denominator.  To lead a successful organization you must pay constant attention to all three perspectives all the time, with maximum effort on all three fronts.  It is about convergence, not compromise.

Another interesting thing I discovered while preparing for the workshop is the difference between two and three choices.  When you have only two choices, you often focus on the differences and choose the least bad option.  When you have three choices, you tend to find areas of overlap and agreement.  The rule of three is, "When you have two choices, find a third option." 

January 1, 2009 - Happy New Year!


Project Management Institute (PMI) Workshop December 13, 2008,

I was surprised to see 55 people show up on a Saturday for a half-day class on my book.  They actually paid money to hear me talk on a day they could have been out shopping.  PMI does classes monthly so project manager with the PMP designation can get their continuing education credits.  I was told that we had an unusually strong attendance for the class.  Here is what they had written as the workshop description:

Weak project mangers complain about accountability without authority. Powerful project managers get things done by looking beyond authority, seeing the world as it really is. Colorful Leadership offers a disciplined approach to viewing a situation through three filters and managing a project appropriately from three perspectives: People, Quality, and Innovation.

How You Will Benefit
It does no good to look at the world through rose colored glasses, unless you also look through other colors, too. We call this spinning the filters. How people feel is important, but no more important than how they are doing against plan, or how they are adapting in the face of uncertainty. The value of a disciplined approach for spinning the filters is you see a complete picture and make the best decision to increase your chance of success.

Topics covered:
* People Filter - dealing with perceptions and feelings.
* Quality Filter – repeatable processes that work regardless of how people feel.
* Future Filter - adapting to uncertain conditions.
* 3-Filter Blindness - discovering your area of leadershipblindness.
* Automatic color balance – adapting to the current situation.
* Trump – a strategy for when you are out of sync with the corporate culture.
* Out of control situations – what good can come from this?

This workshop is based on the new book, Colorful Leadership, and is presented by the author, Steve Wille. The book is available on Amazon.com and additional information is available at www.colorfulleadedrship.info.
Presenter: Steve Wille
Location Regis University

The participant evaluations are available for your entertainment and review.


Royalty Check

I received a royalty check from books sales on Amazon.com.  I guess they actually sold some books. 


CPEx - Colorado Performance Excellence

Yesterday, I attended the CPEx Quest for Excellence VII, where Colorado organizations were recognized for performance excellence based on Baldrige criteria.

Two of the education sessions I attended caught my attention:

  • “Innovation in Process Management — Lean Six Sigma and Malcolm Baldrige” Leon Spackman, PMC Solutions
  • “Organization Creativity, Disney Style” - David Mulvey, The Disney Institute

When I think of Baldrige, Six Sigma and process management, I do not think of organizational creativity.  Process management is about driving out variation while creativity is about introducing variation.  When an organization focuses on one, it is often to the exclusion of the other.  I was quite pleased to see both topics addressed in one conference, and neither was watered down to accommodate the other.  This is what Colorful Leadership is all about.  Fully explore each perspective and then do both.  Process excellence without innovation leads to stagnation and diminishing returns.  Innovation without process excellence leads to interesting ideas that will not survive the test of reality.

The Disney presentation was particularly interesting.  I have heard the term Imagineering before, but I never really thought about it.  It is the blending of imagination and engineering.  It takes great engineering to bring the the great creative ideas to life.  It takes incredible and playful creativity to think of the ideas that are worth brining to life.  The magic of Disney is both process excellence and innovation.  All they while their focus is on the customer, defined as anyone, any age, from anywhere.  This sounds like the 3-Filters in Colorful Leadership, People-Feelings, Quality-Security, and Innovation-Future.

At the conference I ran into Cheryl White, author of Change on Demand.  As we were listening to the Disney presentation, she wrote me a note that the creativity tools would never fly at a bank or insurance company.  I thought about it and agreed that culture plays an important role in how you roll out Imagineering.  In a financial institution, quality trumps creativity.  Bank customers want accuracy and security, not fun and games.  On the other hand, banks do need to keep up with technology and adapt to the changing economy.  There is need for innovation, but it will always be trumped by quality.  This means the creative people have to act strategically when they play their cards.  Innovation needs to live within the context of the organization's culture and goals.

For more information on CPEx contact Tom Mauro, CEO, at 303-893-CPEx (2739) www.coloradoexcellence.org

Steve Wille, November 8, 2008


Workforce Filters
Blindness and Transparency at Work

Today, I met with Rina Delmonico, a leader in the Colorado technology community, and she asked me how this book applies to everyday work, regardless of your position in the organization. 

We got into the topic of filter blindness.  It is normal to think that everyone sees exactly what you see.  Unfortunately, it is not that way.  Due to your filters, you can be blind to critical information that others see clearly.  Compounding the problem, this blindness causes you to neglect to address items that others see as important and urgent.  Such items can be dark shadows that make no sense to you.  Most blockages to effective communications are unintentional.  We are totally unaware of them because we get used to seeing the world through colored glasses.

Take a look at the pictures on the left.  If you were wearing green glasses, you would see the top image.  Notice that the words red and blue are dark shadows and you cannot tell what color should be there.  If you remove the green glasses and look through red, remembering what you saw through the green, you would effectively see both red and green which gives you the yellow image.  The word blue is still a mysterious dark shadow.  The only way to see the complete picture is to take off the red glasses and look through blue, remembering what you saw through green and red.  This is how a DLP computer projector works.  A white light shines through a set of spinning filters, creating red, green and blue images in rapid succession.  You quickly assemble the three distinct images in your mind and see full color.

The way to achieve transparency is to spin the filters.  You do this by paying attention to people, quality, and innovation, one filter at a time.  After you spin the filters to see what others are seeing, turn on the automatic color balance in your brain to adjust for other people's filters as you talk to them.

Transparency is about seeing the complete picture, and then addressing it in your communications.  All of your communications need to be 3-Filters compliant if you want others to see the complete pictures.

Steve Wille, October 17, 2008


Politics, Mathematics and Chaos in the Economy
Understanding the September, 2008, economic meltdown, and how to deal with it.

In chapter 6 of Colorful Leadership, I used economic theory to illustrate how you can explain something three ways, all of them right. 

Political Economics
From a political point of view you see political causes and political opportunity.  If you are a socialist, the financial collapse is a clear case point on what is wrong with capitalism. The solution is more government regulation and oversight.  If you are libertarian, you probably want the government to stay of it and let the market correct itself.  If you are running for office, it is useful to cast blame on the other party.

Traditional Economics
Economists explain the problem in terms of supply and demand, along with expectations of the market.  The solution is to support the market and soften the blow so the market can correct itself.  Once confidence is restored the market will return to normal patterns.  Mathematical models help economists find trends, and we all want to accurately predict the future based on these trends.

Chaos Economics
There has always been boom and bust.  There is no stability and no equilibrium.  Whatever pattern is in play, it will continue with an amplified effect until something changes and the pattern reverses.  The market is like a herd of animals.  You never know where they might go, but you can count on them to stay together.  They might move slowly and they might stampede, leaving nothing standing in their path.  Give up on stability and control, and develop a strategy for surviving boom and bust economics.  Watch out for the herd as you make your decisions.   The amplification principle tells us that small changes can make big differences.

Which is right?
They are all right at the same time.  What should be done?  Look through all three filters and try to understand them all.  Only then, can you make an informed decision and develop the best strategy for dealing with the current reality.

Steve Wille, September 29, 2008


9/30/2008

Subject: Re: Chaos Economics

Oh how right you are, an oh how libertarian I am. I have a Bob Barr bumper sticker on my car now.

Mike


9/30/2008

Hi Steve: Thanks for giving me an opportunity to respond to your thought provoking blog. I must admit that I really struggled as I created my response. So let me know if my comments make any sense.

The following addresses the question "What can be done?" rather than the "interpretive reasoning" discussion which is your area of expertise. As you read this, please overlook the lack of examples at this point. So much study has been conducted on this subject, but much of it is colored by "lessons of history". I am reluctant to color the validity of my comments by including examples taken from a "fallen enemy"

Studies conducted right after WWII examine social shaping mechanisms in detail. Ellule's book on propaganda, (while sociological rather than mathematical) summarizes key findings on the subject. These studies suggest that achieving desired social behaviors requires careful manipulation of the group--as an integrated social-system!!!  (I can only imagine what Ellule could have discovered had he had the ability to apply our current mathematical modeling tools to these data.)

Since the war, scientists have discovered that social systems, including the Market and politics, are the outcomes of the behavior of complex adaptive systems. The promise of chaos and complexity theory is that the behavior of even large social systems can be regulated. The “twin” sciences tell us that social systems are ideal candidates for oversight and control because they are programmable systems. Insights from science can also assist us in determining how this reprogramming can be accomplished.

While it is true that at times social systems behave at times like migrating wildebeests--carrying people along with them, science suggests that we can reprogram these systems if the right amount of energy is applied to the system at the right place and at the right time. The secret is to know precisely how much change is possible at one time, how much energy to apply, and where to apply it. Using sound scientific techniques, a knowledgeable practitioner can set tolerances on, and provide governance over the self-regulating mechanisms inherent in wildly oscillating social systems.

The Science of Change, which is really a number of sciences that offer a set of tools for regulating social (mis)behavior, sits at the intersection of the primary colors. While offering us virtually no information on how to control the behavior of any individual within a group (the last being the domain of psychology and largely irrelevant to the motivation of "group mind"), this “New Science” tells us precisely how to reshape and direct the behavior of groups as complex adaptive systems.

In change capable hands, tools based on the Science of Change promote “good” outcomes by proactively maneuvering society (including societal sub-systems such as the Market and politics) in a socially responsible, fiscally sound direction--something that our present state of learned helplessness and passive watchfulness does not allow.

Unfortunately, these tools can be used just as readily to promote evil or socially irresponsible results. The tools, like atomic energy, are amoral in and of themselves. It is the tool user who determines the ethical nature of the outcome.

I agree with you that each filter has value in understanding a political situation. Because of the volatile nature of social situations, however, filters can only expose "the truth" that lies within the “current range of possible behaviors".  As the range of possible behaviors shifts, so does the implicit "truth" of the situation.

The white light shines where scientific principles underscoring each primary sector overlap in a single, unified theory for creating measurable social change. This light illuminates a range of behavior probabilities (probable truths if you will) from which to build a cohesive strategy that embraces all the philosophies of politics in all colors of light.

Cheryl White
Executive Partner
Change Delivery Group
http://www.changeperfect.com/


Keynote:  Corporate Culture and Conflict
Steve Wille - Author, Colorful Leadership

Do you think your organization is going in the right direction?  Do you sometimes feel out of sync with the corporate culture?  Like it or not, you have to play the hand you are dealt.  If you want to survive and thrive in any organization you need to play your cards strategically.  Pick your direction and go for it, but avoid unnecessary battles that could end your career.  Along the way pay attention to the people around you.  Will they be with you or against you?

This presentation is based on the new book, Colorful Leadership.  We will take a disciplined approach in assessing a situation from three perspectives to build a complete image of the current reality.  Next, we will examine our choice of action.  Sometimes a passive, wait and see approach is the best strategy.  Other time a much more aggressive, make it happen approach offers the biggest payback.  Either way, it has to be constructive if you want something good to come out of it.

Benefits:

  1. Learn how to rapidly assess a situation, even at the height of conflict.
  2. Practice finding at least three alternative courses of action.
  3. Think strategically and focus on the future when choosing the best alternative.

This will be an interactive session with an opportunity to observe a situation and practice the skills.

Steve Wille is a senior applications manager at Great-West Life & Annuity.  He has over 25 years experience in corporate technology management.  His article on Constructive Conflict has been published internationally and his most recent book, Colorful Leadership, was published in 2008.

Steve Wille, September, 25, 2008


9/30/2008

Hi Wille,

Looks GREAT! We are really looking forward to this and thanks so much for doing it. Is March 19th still good for you?

Thanks

Randy
http://www.denveraitp.org/

NOTE: Steve Wille will be the keynote speaker at AITP on March 19.  See my proposed talk above.

  • 5:30 Networking / Attitude Adjustment (Cash Bar)

  • 5:45 Workshop  - see Below

  • 6:55 Dinner:  (vegetarian on request)

  • 7:25 Business Meeting & Announcements

  • 7:35 Keynote - see Below

Register at: http://www.denveraitp.org/


Understanding the center by walking on the edges.

Last night I was at the Society of Information Managers (SIM) and was asked what this book was all about.  I looked at the triangle on the cover and pointed out that the only part of the photograph with natural color was in the center where the colors on the edges converge to form one complete picture.  The book is about understanding and living in the center by walking on the edges.  To understand what other people see, you need to look through their eyes.  Each person sees an image that is accurate, but incomplete.  If I put on red colored glasses everything looks red, but I can still see what is out there.  The red image is accurate, but incomplete.  The same would be true with blue and green glasses.  By spinning the filters I build the complete picture in my mind, even though I am actually seeing three distinctly different images, one at a time.

Your color television works by displaying three images on the screen, each shot through a colored filter in the camera.   The red, green, and blue component images exist as colored dots, side by side.  If you turned off one or two of the colors on the TV, the picture would look like one of the sections of the triangle on the cover of my book.  I built this triangle a section at a time by turning off colors in Photoshop.  The center triangle, of course, had all three colors turned on.

When you assess a situation, take the time to spin the filters.  Spin them slowly so you can understand each perspective. 

  • When looking through the people filter, pay attention to feelings.  Feelings are reality to each person.  To be an effective leader you must anticipate the feelings of others.  To understand feelings, you must turn off the logic filter for a short time. 

  • When looking through the security filter, turn off the people filter and take a cold hearted view of reality.  How I feel about a situation does not change the reality.  If there is bad stuff out there I must protect myself.  If the quality of my product is bad, I need to do something about it, regardless of how I feel about it.  To sustain an organization that I manage, I must build processes that work regardless of the people doing the work.

  • When looking through the future filter, forget logic and forget feelings.  Instead, look at possibilities.  Don't limit your possibilities by staying tied to the past, filtering out everything inconsistent with what you know to be true.  Don't pay attention to your initial feelings as you explore new ideas.

After spinning the filters to see a more complete images, make your decision and go where you decide to go.

Steve Wille, September 23, 2008


We were interviewed on Talk Internet, W3W3
Steve, Bill, Larry,
August 12, 2008

 Listen to the Colorful Leadership interview: Skill Set for All Leaders, All the Time
 We now live and operate at Web speed. The five year plan is out. If you can plan ahead for five quarters, you're doing well. We must produce more with less. Steve Wille and Bill Kuehn, partners of Tough Teams are also co-authors of Colorful Leadership along with Larry Nelson. When it comes to Leaders, Managers and Entrepreneurs Steve always asks, "Are you looking at the world through rose colored glasses?" Listen to their discussion as it will give specific how-to ideas that can be used right away. Past frustrations will be understood and then dissipated. You will be able to win with any boss, sell more ideas, and get results that exceed expectations. Simply stated, we all see the world through three filters - future, people, and security. We prefer to communicate with one filter. This means, if we communicate through the future filter only people with the exact same filter will receive our message with clarity. To attain total clarity, we must communicate through all three filters all of the time. This also explains why we don't understand other people the way we really want to. If they don’t communicate in our preferred filter we will be confused. Every communication needs to be 3-Filters™ compliant, and there are three simple questions to ask in any situation. 1- What do you think? 2- How do you feel about it? 3- Where can this go? Listen for some great ideas for all Leaders.
Related Links: Colorful Leadership || Tough Teams || 3-Filters Technology™ || Amazon || Keywords: Steve Wille, Bill Kuehn, Colorful Leadership, 3-Filters Technology™, Tough Teams, Leaders, Total Clarity, Communicate - Bytes: 11125240 LISTEN 8/18/08


Good Morning Steve,

First, thank you for letting me read your soon to be published book Colorful Leadership.  I found that once I had the time to sit and read the book without any distractions, I could not put the book down!  That is rare for me when it comes to these types of books. I always enjoy reading books related to this subject, but yours was an easy read and I found that it relates to the reader on a ‘personal level’, therefore making the reader not wanting to put the book down.

The material is well organized and easy to understand.  Direct and to the point.  The content is very clear – no ‘fluff’ to fill up pages.  All information that can be used and practiced easily.  I made notes in the manuscript you gave me – hopefully in a way you can find quickly and address (or ignore…….).  My notes are more towards editing and not the content of the material – as I was able to read the book – understanding exactly what your intent was.  It was very clear to me.  Not confusing or ever leaving me with the feeling of ‘who cares’.  I always wanted to turn the page to see what was next.  Again, unusual for me.

So many times when you read a book on related matter as yours, you end up skipping sections because you can’t relate to what is being said or understand why it was there in the first place.   Or you just say, who cares?

I can’t wait for you to place on Amazon.com so I can purchase my own copy – and also start planning on who else I am going to buy a copy for as well. Thank you again for this opportunity.  I truly enjoyed it.

Elliott Morgan
7/26/2008


I am seeing myself in a different light. The biggest mistake I can make is to think that others think the way I think.

This speaks to people at all levels.  I understand better how my managers think and feel.  This would help them to understand my thinking. It is not left brain vs. right brain. It is whole brain.

Patty McCully
7/26/2008

 


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