The Difference Between Influence and Manipulation

I was listening to an episode of Partnerships & Possibilities a while back and got to thinking about influence and manipulation.  Here are some of my thoughts.

The difference between influence, positive persuasion and manipulation.

Manipulation is me trying to get what I need.
Positive Persuasion is trying to help you get what you need while still trying to get what I need.
Influence is me helping you get what you need.

How would you define the differences?

Face to Face for Remote Team Members

Seeking Presence

Trying to do Agile practices on teams with remote team members is always a challenge. Especially when there is only one person on the team that this not physically co-located with the rest of the team. It is easy to feel disconnected from the rest of the team and even simple interactions feel painful. When you are the person left on the end of the phone after everyone else has left the room, asking if anyone is there, it is hard to feel valued. Digital tools for process management and video conference rooms are a good step, but they still leave a lot to be desired.

Virtual Team Member

Virtual Cookie Sharing.

Finding Face to Face

If we look at the Agile Manifesto‘s principles we find:

 “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”

So how can we do that on a team with a single member that works remotely?

One solution I have seen that works very nicely is an iPad Mini plus a Nootle iPad Mini Flex Stand. This allows the team to pipe in the remote person to the iPad mini and have as close to face to face communication as possibly with out being physically present, with them all the time. The brilliance is that it is completely mobile. If the team goes to stand up they simply pick up the iPad and walk with the person to the standup. They can pass the person around as the token or prop them on the wall or a shoulder. When going into a meeting room for something like planning or retrospectives they simply put the iPad on the chair and the virtual member sits like everyone else. If they decide to take a team lunch no worries they just take the team member with them.

Recently, I caught a team using this solution trying to feed their virtual team member some home baked cookies that someone brought in to share with the team (see above photo). As you can see it doesn’t solve all problems, but it sure helps some with presence.  You may miss freshly baked cookies, but at least you will still feel like part of the team.

How do you define your Bootedness?

Defining Bootedness

Julia Ivashina recently asked a very profound question of “How do you define your bootedness? **

She defines it as “the degree to which I master to exhibit rational behavior in situations where spontaneous reaction used to be my first response.”

One person framed it as, “for me it’s about living the Core Commitments: can I say I was true to them, all of them, at all times?”

Another pondered, “The aspirational goal is to behave according the the Core Commitments and fall back to Core Protocols when under stress… without being consciously aware of both.”

Another put it as, “At an individual level I agree with unconsciously following the Core Commitments and Core Protocols. At the team level have we internalized everyone’s Personal Alignment, signal, and response.”

Finally someone said, “Greatness! Bootedness = greatness.”

Copyright James Vaughan

Copyright James Vaughan

Individual Booting : The Current Metaphor

I like metaphors. One thing that appeals to me about the Core (Commitments and Protocols) is that adopting them is expressed in the metaphor of software programming. That your mind is like a computer. The core is a set of instructions that can run on your hardware to give you better and more consistent results. The reference to “booting” is loading the core operating system.

Network Booting: The Future Metaphor

So I prefer to express my “bootedness” by extending the metaphor. In today’s world of computing, the computer doesn’t matter much anymore, it really is the network that matters. Think of how most of your data and applications don’t live on the device itself. The power is allowing any device (node) on the network to access the power of the collective (the network). In 1985, a computer with an operating system and few applications was pretty incredible, but it had limited functional use to most people. Plus, they were not in abundance and very few people could wield them or use them.

Fast forward to 2013 and most of the world has access to a computer of some kind (think mobile devices), connected to a network that is extremely useful. The Internet is largely responsible for this because it set out a number of protocols to define how devices (nodes) can communicate. Additionally, massive cultural shifts about how we think about the power of computers  and freedom to interact happened (see Free Software Foundation, Cathedral and Bazaar). We moved from thinking the computers processing power was important to realizing that leveraging it as a tool to augment our qualities as humans could be much more effective. Think of what 2025 will look like…

Abundant Greatness is Coming

Currently the Core seems to be in 1990 in that is has provided a great personal operating system for people to connect on a Local Area Network (team) to interact. It is on the cusp of installing the network stack that will allow those nodes to flourish and expand. While challenging cultural assumptions that will allow humans to flourish.  Bringing the power of computing to the masses instead of the few.

Defining My Bootedness

I would define my “bootedness”, by my ability to be using the core effectively enough to interface with other nodes and advance network discoverability techniques to rapidly add additional nodes and leverage the network effect that it affords.  Exhibiting the highest integrity in reconstituting culture in ways to allow new ideas for humanity to be explored.

Yeah I know I am crazy. So what. The alternative is being normal.

What is the Core?

** What the hell is this booted crap?

In an effort to create teams that are effective at delivering every time Jim and Michele McCarthy with the help of other’s have defined Core Commitments. Agreeing to these commitments constitutes as being booted. As you can see, while simple they are extremely difficult to adhere to. When one finds themselves struggling they can lean on the Core Protocols to help them through.

Arizona Art Project – Influx AZ Comes to Chandler Arizona.

IN FLUX a innovative multi-city initiative.  It demonstrates a holistic approach to temporary public art projects.  Influx showcases installations created by local Arizona artists.  They are preparing for their third cycle.

Local Arizona Art

This cycle has three Arizona artists displaying working in Chandler, AZ. Textile artist Ann Morton, sculptor Craig Randich and mixed-media artist Denise Yaghmourian will be displaying their work.  This temporary display is intended to help show case Arizona Art.  There is plenty of FREE covered parking in Downtown Chandler.  Additionally, the installations are all located the Valley Metro Bus Rapid Transit line for those looking to leave the car at home.  Come make an afternoon of it by walking the path and visiting the Vision Art Gallery.  Stay and grab a meal at one of the fine eateries before heading back out.

We are excited that Gangplank will be the host to one of the installations. Here are the locations and a proposed walking trail.  Installations should be ready to display in the next two weeks.

In Flux Arizona Art

In Flux Arizona Art

Sunday Book Review : Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you look at almost every book on teams there is something around trust. When you get to the heart of trust there is a need to vulnerable. Being vulnerable is so damn hard. Brene does a fantastic job of laying out what it really means and how to start getting there. This book isn’t about teams. It is about you. When you can change you, it will have a world of difference on how you see every relationship you have.

View all my reviews

Shirky’s Sharing Model : Personal, Communal, Public and Civic

Clay Shirky enlightens us in Cognitive Surplus that, “the organization of sharing has many forms” and that those forms have varying output values.  He gives us a way “we can identify four essential points on the spectrum”. The four essential types of sharing/value are:

Personal Sharing/Value
“done among otherwise uncoordinated individuals”
examples: ICanHasCheezburger, most general uses of Facebook, etc

Communal Sharing/Value
“takes place inside a group of collaborators”
examples:, etc

Public Sharing/Value
“when a group of collaborators actively wants to create a public resource”
examples: open-source software such as Linux and Apache, WordPress, Wikipedia, etc

Civic Sharing/Value
“when a group is actively trying to transform society”
examples: Pink Chaddi, organized protests in Tunisia, Egypt etc

It is interesting to look at this when evaluating the world of accelerators, incubators, coworking spaces, maker spaces and movements.

Personal Sharing/Value
I have some space that I want to subsidized by others.
examples: executive/shared office space (Regus, etc), incubators

Communal Sharing/Value
I am interested in creating community and getting people involved beyond on the surface level
examples: Most coworking spaces, maker spaces, accelerators, evolved incubators

Public Sharing/Value
I want contribution from everyone at any level to build something meaningful for all
examples: Evolved coworking spaces (New Work City, IndyHall, etc), maker spaces

Civic Sharing/Value
It is about changing humanity for the future
examples: Coworking movement, Maker movement, Startup America, Gangplank

While sharing any form of cognitive surplus provides value. Shirky argues that personal sharing is not as beneficial to society:

“We should care more about public and civic value than about personal or communal value because society benefits more from them, but also because public and civic value are harder to create.”

What kind of value are you creating today?

Transform a Relationship, Be Fully Present

People need to be understood that they matter. We are wired to belong. It doesn’t matter if it is your spouse, child, employee or coworker every relationship you wish to maintain requires your attention. Most people consider attention to be measured in time. Time is in short supply and high demand in our connected and fast paced world.

What if people don’t really want our attention, but rather want our presence? If you jump up and down and start screaming, you will get peoples attention. Go ahead try it right now. Go into a room with other people and fire up your most obnoxious self. You will get someone’s attention. Satisfied? Probably not. Because it is not attention we crave, but rather deep personal interaction with other humans requiring them to be fully present.

Have you ever gotten upset when someone is texting on their phone or watching TV when you are trying to talk to them? It probably gets under your skin because you realize they are not fully present. Even if they are hearing your every word and responding, you don’t have ALL of them. Sometimes getting part of someone for a long period of time can satisfy our need for personal connection, but it is a poor use of a valuable resource, time.

Luckily, presence doesn’t have to be time it can be depth. I challenge you spend as little as 15 minutes with someone and be FULLY engaged and present with them. Completely immersed and focused on them. It doesn’t matter if they are three or ninety three you will see the impact immediately. Having the full presence of someone has become so rare for most, that providing it even in small amounts can completely transform a relationship.

So go find someone and be fully present with them today.  I dare you.