Where are we going?

Bottom it up and Top it Down

Elaborating what we hear is important to listening and the process of conversation. Bill Fox is the co-founder of Container13, a company that helps people and organizations thrive naturally in a world of constant whitewater.

There are simple ways to draw insights from interviews, and this is what we've been working on here and he's been building with global business leaders. Bill interviewed me recently for his Exploring Forward-Thinking Workplaces™ project

Six main questions:

1. How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, people thrive and find meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally?

Here I talk about the dynamics of what happens at the top and how do we pay attention to the bottom line ―but in a way that goes beyond getting a message out to how we embody a belief. What happens at both levels? How do people work together? How do we connect? Are we listening to each other? 

This creates a stronger market position. 

2. What does it take to get an employee’s full attention and best performance?

Some of us want to create more, some of us prefer clarity of direction, “Just tell me what to do.” There's no right or wrong here.

This becomes a question of working from strengths and is that good enough for us? Can we carve out opportunities even within business constraints to be more creative or to be more of where we bring our strength to bear?

3. What do people really lack and long for at work?

Purpose. This is how we take control.

4. What is the most important question management should be asking employees?

This is a difficult question because if you’re curious about what people think, it’s typically difficult to be direct because we’re always at different levels. We have different conversations at different levels.

But we do have the ability to connect all day long. Do we take it?

5. What is the most important question employees should be asking management? 

Where are we going? What is it that we do collectively here? What is my role in it?

Organizations that do this well have objectives from the top leaders that roll down to the next level, and to the next level, etc. Then the people bottom it up as I started this conversation. They match, they meet, there is an encounter, and there are connection points with all moving parts.

6. What is the most important question we should be asking ourselves?

“How can we deliver ourselves better into the world?”

Get the full interview here.

At the end i talk about a new initiative that relates to forward thinking work. More on how to increase value and attract opportunity using conversation as a tool to take control tomorrow.