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Teaching Thinking through Adapted Appreciative Inquiry

If you've been a reader of this blog for any period of time, you know that using questions  is something we regularly advocate for, in order to change people's thinking and thereby change their behavior on the job. But what if your learners have no preconceived notions on a topic to begin with? What if we don't want to change their thinking, we simply want to e x p a n d their thinking? That's when Appreciative Inquiry  can be an excellent tool for teaching thinking skills.
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Do YOU Have 30 Years to Wait to Develop Leaders at Your Company?

Organizational Development research tells us that it takes 30 years of on-the-job experience for someone to acquire enough well-rounded skills to be a successful leader. In addition to on-the-job experience, it is important to have experience in numerous areas of business. Hence time on-the-job + exposure to many areas of business = a C-level individual with the perspective needed to run an organization. But thirty years? Who has that kind of time?
Here are a few profiles of organizational leaders who have been on that 30 year journey:
 
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Just In Time Training Has Run Out of Time

Many organizations today are facing a skills shortage. They simply cannot find people with the appropriate skills to run their businesses. As a result, they are forced to hire those that they can, and then apply skills-training to make them a worthwhile hire for the organization. This process can be thought of as a just-in-time skills training program in which the training isn't applied until it is needed (although in 2015 / 2016, skills training is in constant demand). The future-cast for this lack of prepared workers is that in another 10-15 years, the crisis will be a lack of prepared leaders. In order to prevent businesses (all of society, really!) from bouncing from crisis to crisis like a ball in a pin-ball machine, it's time to address the root cause. It's not that younger generations have suddenly lost entry level skills - it's a result of never having learned those skills to begin with. You cannot be expected to perform something you never learned to do.
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