sticky wisdom

Before starting, the team members were invited to read a number of books and articles:

From Sticky Wisdom they had learnt that the six steps to starting something exciting in your company are …
  1. Freshness – this is lateral-thinking, out-of-the-box stuff: find other ways to describe things, find analogies in other fields, challenge assumptions and make random connections.
  2. Greenhousing – stay in the SUN (Suspend judgement, Understand and Nurture), and keep out of the RAIN (don’t React, Assume and Insist).
  3. Realness – make ideas real as soon as possible, don’t try to be perfect, share prototypes.
  4. Momentum – manage energy and keep things going.
  5. Signalling – tell others how you want them to respond to your ideas – analytically, emotionally, supportively, critically…
  6. Courage – find it through positive self-commentary, getting support from friends, conviction, visualise how things could be.
The team followed a lot of this advice. They had SUN only sessions and reminded each other about signalling. Their coach, Javier, in particular, encouraged them to get out and talk to friends and to visualise the future, as part of managing the ebb and flow of energy in the group. Lack of time and becoming-whale-of-an-idea inhibited them when it came to making ideas real, though. If you’re going to change the world you don’t want to stuff up by missing an important clause in your Terms & Conditions.

But who knows? Reacting and Insisting might be really helpful in some teams. More helpful than Unconditional Positive Regard. And being open to whatever kind of reaction you get from colleagues may open doors that would otherwise have stayed diplomatically closed. Clear, analytical thinking is useful when making incremental change. And so on.

I like Signalling, though. And I saw it at work. Rather than the ‘say three positive things first’ approach or the ‘criticise with abandon’ Straw Man, it seems to me really helpful to signal the kind of feedback you’re looking for. After all, who knows if the current idea is one you’ve been quietly working on for a couple of weeks or something you googled half-an-hour ago?


Don't react and insist, even though reacting and insisting may sometimes be really useful?

Is signalling the kind of feedback you want a helpful guide or unnecessarily controlling?

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