Articles

Networking Mindset for Creative Coast

The Networking Mindset

November 24, 2020

I have recently had the pleasure of sharing an extended version of my presentation on The Networking Mindset. This 90-minute webinar covers the essentials from Parts I & II of Helpful.

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Pictogram of two rowers rowing towards the left

Continuous Improvement: It’s Not Just for Processes Anymore

June 9, 2020

Continuous Improvement” is a mantra for just about all areas of our businesses and — if we’re ambitious — our lives. Companies make huge investments in everything from lean manufacturing to agile development methodologies knowing that the best way to make things better is through steady and continuous improvement. We reengineer our business processes to have feedback loops so we can learn from what we have done and build on those learnings.

Learn. Improve. Repeat.

It’s a no-brainer, right? The relentless pursuit of perfection, as Lexus would say. Everything is fair game. Nothing is exempt from the beneficent outcomes of continuous improvement…

Well, almost nothing.

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The word "Mentor" written in different colored chalk on a chalk board

Mentors are everywhere, if we but know where to look.

June 8, 2020

Success can be elusive. The building blocks of success are subtle and nuanced. For those who have made it big, the real reasons for their success are rarely the things they remember and write about.

This is where mentors come in.

In our quest for growth, progress, and success, we have this latent desire for someone who will take us under their wing and co-pilot our journey from the mailroom to the corner office. Or, more realistically, we imagine a relationship with a mentor who meets with us once or twice a month over a long period of time and imparts wisdom like a college professor working through a syllabus.

It doesn't work that way.

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Multiple views of a biface (hand axe)

Relatively speaking, the world is changing really, really, fast!

May 28, 2020

Take a moment to think about all of the change that has taken place since you were born. Not just the technological change (from computers the size of small cars to exponentially more powerful devices weighing mere ounces), but also the social, scientific, and cultural progress that has occurred in the last several decades.

Now consider the Acheulean hand axe. The always-excellent podcast, 99% Invisible, released an insightful show this week looking at this primitive stone tool. 

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Silhouettes of a man dancing in eight different poses

So, you think you can dance? The choreography of networking.

April 28, 2020

Think back to the last time you were at a wedding — or any event with a dance floor. There was no shortage of well-meaning people encouraging the wallflowers, “Come on … get out on the dance floor … it’ll be fun … you’ll have a good time.”1Imagine this line the way Bruce Willis says “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs” in Die Hard. In many ways, networking is like…

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Photo of a large crowd of people

Strong Organizations: A Plea

February 18, 2020

"The only way to change the world is through strong organizations. No visionary leader, no charismatic leader can change the world unless they know how to build an organization and a team around them."
— Sally Blount, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

We all need a livelihood. For most of us, that means going to work at companies and in organizations. Unfortunately, too many of those organizations manage to suck the life out of us. It doesn't have to be this way.

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Picture of Heather in front of a prestentation screen

Interview on The Creative Introvert Podcast

January 21, 2020

Introverts often feel as though networking is not their thing. Cat Neligan and I put that notion to rest in a delightful conversation on her Creative Introvert podcast.

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Hand drawn light bulb in blue ink on a yellow Post-It note.

Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance

January 21, 2020

Knowledge is an important element of productivity. If follows that the acquisition of knowledge is equally important to your long-term success. But how do you learn? And how do you find time?

A 2014 research paper titled “Making Experience Count: The Role of Reflection in Individual Learning” offers some keen insights.

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Picture of Heather in front of a prestentation screen

A Conversation About Networking for Introverts

January 20, 2020

Introverts often feel as though networking is not their thing. Cat Neligan and I put that notion to rest in a delightful conversation on her Creative Introvert podcast. We talked about networking and being helpful (of course), as well as everything from helping your friends and colleagues understand how your brain works to a rousing defense of small talk. 

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Stylized basketball

It takes a team…

January 14, 2020

Basketball is a beautiful game. When played well, five players move and think as a single hive-mind in real time. Despite having its share of big talent and marque players, it is a team sport down to the last player on every bench.

No one knew the importance of teamwork better than Dean Smith, the legendary coach of the North Carolina Tarheels for 36 years.

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