Are You Designing Moments of Impact?

Susan S Freeman Blog

Moments of ImpactThis week’s Step Up Leader tip offers an opportunity to explore how to consciously design moments of impact as a leader. It borrows from Leading Blog, in which a new book outlines how to have strategic conversations that have impact.

One of the things we teach leaders to do is create the capacity and spaciousness for conversations to emerge. This happens when there is a vision, intention, and an invitation for collaboration among the group.

“The new book, Moments of Impact by Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon shows that the real challenge is not to find the right answer to an adaptive challenge, but rather to help shape people’s perceptions of the problem—and thus of potential solutions.

The chart below gives a quick summary of the key differences between a well-organized meeting and a strategic conversation:

Moments of Impact
Here are the five core principles for designing strategic conversations:

  1. Define the Purpose: More than a clear set of objectives, you develop a clear sense of the change that this group needs to make together—and how this conversation will advance that process.
  2. Engage Multiple Perspectives: Not just the most appropriate participants, but you dig deeper to understand the views, values, and concerns of each participant and stakeholder group. Find ways to create value from the intersection of diverse perspectives, experiences, and expertise that live inside any organization.
  3. Frame the Issues: All content should be highly relevant to the objectives and clearly communicated and they should also be framed in a way that illuminates different aspects of the adaptive challenge you are wrestling with, including how the various parts relate to the whole.
  4. Set the Scene: Make thoughtful choices about all of the elements of the environment—from the physical space to artifacts to aesthetics.
  5. Make It an Experience: Not only should you follow a logical sequence of agenda items, but also attend to the emotional and psychological experience of the participants. The experience should not only be logical but also intuitive and energizing.”

The relevance of this was highlighted by one of my corporate clients recently.

One of the leaders shared a desire for leadership team meetings to be more than simply a sharing of information. He wanted them to be a springboard for collective growth; for individuals and for the group.

I asked how they would go about that. One of the leaders said “it could be as simple as stating that we want to do it; like saying grace before meals; asking for what we need from one another.”

Colleagues immediately jumped aboard. They indicated a strong and trusting relationship existed, and that they wanted more frequent meetings with conscious attention paid to having impact. I suggested they explore the value of a structure for these conversations, and they came up with ideas on how to do that immediately!

This conversation was in itself a “moment of impact.”

Are you creating meaningful moments of impact? What are one or two steps you can take to create a different kind of meeting next time? Are you prepared and able to do so?

We invite you to share your observations here. To learn more about how to do this, contact us to set up how to design your own leadership moments of impact.

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