Why Every Company Needs a Dream Manager

dream manager

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Increasing employee engagement, creating a healthier culture and building a world-class organization that sees exceptional growth every year is what all leaders in any industry wants for their organization. If that is the goal for most leaders, then why do so few organizations succeed at the above three?

There are a ton of reasons that may be hindering an organizations success, but one key area that majority of companies completely neglect or refuse to pay any attention to is their employees’ personal dreams and desires.

Related: 10 Examples of Companies With Fantastic Cultures

I recently spent some time with Infusionsoft at their headquarters in Chandler, Arizona. You may have heard of them already, but Infusionsoft is a complete sales and marketing automation software for small businesses. I was completely blown away by their positive and healthy culture, employees and everyone’s eagerness to build the company to even greater success.

There are plenty of people who deserve credit for the culture at Infusionsoft, especially their CEO Clate Mask. What took me by surprise though was to find out that they have someone on staff who is actually labeled as their dream manager. Dan Ralphs, who is the dream manager at Infusionsoft, has one job description — to help the employees of the company achieve their personal dreams.

One of the company’s employees a few years back had read The Dream Manager by bestselling author Matthew Kelly. He loved the book so much that he desperately wanted to get it in the hands of Clate Mask, the CEO of the company. Being an avid reader and leader who is always looking to grow himself, Clate accepted the book and read it on a flight. Once he was finished with the book, he immediately knew that Infusionsoft was going to going to have a dream manager on staff.

In the book, Kelly writes, “The future of your organization and the potential of your employees are intertwined — their destinies are linked.” At Infusionsoft, you see this clearly, as employees are actively engaged in the workplace while passionately helping the organization build towards the grander vision while in return, the organization is passionately helping employees work towards their biggest personal dreams.

When talking to some of the employees at Infusionsoft, I would hear things such as, “I ran my first marathon because of Infusionsoft” or “I am almost out of debt because of Infusionsoft.” Hearing some of the personal dreams that have been accomplished is truly astonishing. Infusionsoft isn’t making miracles happen to make dreams come true for their employees, but they do show them that they immensely care about them as people and want to provide them with the resources and tools to help them achieve some of their biggest dreams in life. In return, they have employees who are extremely passionate about the company that they work for and are actively engaged in the workplace.

“The Dream Manager concept provides a revolutionary way of reversing this crippling trend toward disengagement and demonstrates how organizations large and small can actively engage their people once again, thus creating a competitive advantage of monumental proportions,” Kelly says.

You might be asking, how exactly does the dream manager program work? At Infusionsoft, every employee has the opportunity to meet with Dan Ralphs, the company’s dream manager. He asks them to write down one hundred dreams and eventually they pick one dream together and start to develop a plan on how to accomplish it. From there they have follow up meetings and track the progress of where everyone is at in relation to achieving their dream for the year.

The absolute best way to transform a company is to transform the people within that company. Regardless of what industry you are in or how big or small your company is, one of the best ways to engage your people, create a healthy culture, and get everyone on board to work towards the organization’s grander vision is to care and help them achieve their personal dreams.

You may come up with something completely different than what Infusionsoft has adopted or what Mattew Kelly writes about in his book, The Dream Manager, but the one thing you can’t ignore is constantly looking for ways to grow and develop your people. After all, your company can only become as great as the people within it.

Source : https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253067

Six Thinking Hats theory – decision making tool

Six Hats Thinking

six hats

Developed by Dr. Edward de Bono, the “Six Thinking Hats” ™ technique is a framework designed to promote holistic and lateral thinking in decision-making and evaluation. Conducted alone or in group meetings, participants – project members, key decision-makers and stakeholders – are encouraged to cycle through different modalities of thinking using the metaphor of wearing different conceptual “hats”.

This approach seeks to combine the strengths of a range of different mental “states” which individuals instinctively tend towards – from rational and positive perspectives to emotional and intuitive, or from optimistic to pessimistic – by prompting participants to consider the same problem through a full spectrum of thinking styles in coming to common agreement on a decision or shared purpose.

Six “hats” are available to use, each identified by a different colour symbolic of a different style of thinking, and each dictating a unique mode of analysis. These include:

  • White hat: “Information”. Objectively consider available information, focusing only on data available, where gaps in existing knowledge exist, and what trends can be extrapolated from the information to hand.
  • Red hat: “Emotions”. Identify emotional reactions, judgments, suspicions and intuitions in oneself and others, separate from the objective data itself.
  • Black hat: “Negatives”. Raise and consider any potential flaws, risks, challenges and fears in a decision or plan in order to preempt them and avoid the dangers of over-optimism.
  • Yellow hat: “Positives”. Identify all optimistic, constructive aspects and suggestions regarding a decision or plan, with an eye towards building confidence and enthusiasm at the outset.
  • Green hat: “Creativity”. ‘Blue-sky’ thinking. Consider abstract thinking, digressions, alternative proposals, and provocative statements.
  • Blue hat: “Overview”. Consider the entire thinking process itself, i.e. ‘meta-cognition’. Review and assess the six hats session thus far, identify places where a specific modality of thinking needs expanding, revisiting, or balancing.

In a “six thinking hats” session, each of these hats is “worn” by participants, the process guided by a facilitator familiar with the option. These hats may be metaphorical, or even physical, and each change of “hat” indicates the next stage of the session. By the end of a successful “Six Hats” session, a particular decision or evaluation will thus have been considered from a range of viewpoints.

Example

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) employed the six hat methodology in their support of Sri Lankan government’s attempts to improve the planning and implementation of post-tsunami housing and reconstruction efforts. To this end, Sri Lankan and German counterparts cooperated in a series of joint project planning sessions which began with six thinking hat sessions. These sessions were used to identify and generate mutual understanding of the key issues which needed to be better understood and addressed in the reconstruction process.

(Source: Ben Ramalingam. “Tools for Knowledge and Learning”, Overseas Development Institute, 2006. Online at http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/details.asp?id=5231&title=six-thinking-hats-edward-de-bono)

Advice

Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)

  • Sessions should begin with a “blue hat” period, allowing participants to arrive at a consensus regarding how subsequent thinking should be accomplished – the other colors are then cycled through.
  • For evaluation and performance review, the recommended sequence is Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Black, Green. Evaluators should feel free, however, to adapt this to whichever sequence they find most effective in practice.
  • The facilitator should be ready to clarify each stage of thinking, plan the sequence of “hats” in advance, refocus discussions in line with each stage of thinking, and be prepared, if need be, change the thinking in line with participant feedback.

Advice for CHOOSING this option (tips and traps)

Do you have advice on choosing this option? Add it to the comments below.

Resources

Guides

Sources

De Bono, E. (1999) Six Thinking Hats, Revised Edition. Little, Brown and Co: London.

http://betterevaluation.org/evaluation-options/six_hats

 

Draw your future – Take control of your life

One of my fave Ted Talks. Patti Dobrowolski’s energy is so inspiring. This video reminds us in just 10 minutes that if you can visualise what it is you truly want, you will make it become reality. Our brain has this amazing faculty to turn our mental dreams into actions. What you believe you can achieve, you will eventually achieve. Not overnight but one step at a time and you will get closer to what you want your life to be. Very uplifting video.