I was working with a group of business owners recently in Fargo, North Dakota.
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The appreciative inquiry approach

by Buddy Hobart | Posted on January 12th, 2016

I was working with a group of business owners recently in Fargo, North Dakota. As an aside, I had never been to North Dakota before. I learned that the Visitors Bureau gives out t-shirts for those folks who visit North Dakota as their “50th state.” I asked if they had a “46th state” shirt. In case you were wondering, they don’t. Oh well.

The purpose of this blog, I’m sorry to say, is not to discuss my travel exploits. Instead, it is to talk about how universal the leadership discussion has become across America. In places like North Dakota, which is growing tremendously and in need of attracting and retaining talent, it is particularly important to practice 21st-century leadership.

The group in North Dakota talked a great deal about providing real-time feedback and realized the importance of doing so in the 21st century. Each of these leaders also admitted how this leadership tactic was never modeled for them and that they really didn’t know how to provide it on a regular basis. Everyone in the room came up through a “no news is good news” culture.

Several of the business owners asked how they could challenge themselves and their business culture to improve in this area. (Side note — I was impressed with their recognition of the importance of culture and how it begins with them.) This group of leaders was quite willing to look in the mirror in order to accept their leadership responsibility.

One tactic we talked with them about, and have used with many clients around the world, is “dissecting a victory.” Read the rest at the Solutions 21 Blog >

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