Bert’s teaching mastery unfolds naturally. He puts you at ease and you trust him right away. His well-developed sense of humor is complemented with a breadth of knowledge that makes learning a fun adventure. As chapter forum chair, turning regularly to Bert for his services has been my best call. He always delivers fundamentals and moderator trainings with good humor and high value, and our chapter trusts him to bring transformative experiences to retreats.
Our WPO Dallas Chapter is appreciative of your excellent work in helping to kick off and facilitate the first meetings with new forums (both member forums and also NextGen forums). Members of the young adult forum were inspired, and told me you were terrific in helping them with the need for commitment, mutual respect and confidentiality. Recently, some of us WPO’ers were reflecting on how you bring a creative blend of support and challenge to forum work, so as to bake the learning without burning it. Thank you for walking us along that edge.
Bert is an exceptional teacher and an invaluable partner in our YPO Forum training program. What sets Bert apart is not his strong ability to connect a new YPO member to the core principles and values of Forum. Rather, it is his ability to help a YPO member truly experience the power of Forum as part of the training experience that makes him so special. I never hesitate to ask members to spend a whole day with Bert because I know they will leave that day energized by the power of Forum and even more excited about the value of YPO. Inviting Bert into your forum creates transformation. Indeed, it may prove to be the most transformative experience your forum will have.
Just a quick thank you for the Forum Fundamentals training yesterday. I have a much deeper appreciation for the concept and the beauty of what I consider to be a very exciting part of YPO. Your teaching style is at once informative and creative. “Playfully insightful” captures it for me.
Bert is not only a world-class professional trainer, but he does so with a confidence that is complemented by highly attuned interpersonal sensitivity and empathic attunement. People are drawn to Bert as a person, enjoying his openness, authenticity and warmth. I would be delighted to furnish any further information, either written or via telephone, that might assist you in your decision-making relative to Dr. Parlee.
As a large enterprise level organization moving towards increased global complexity, we needed larger, more empowering frameworks within which to manage our many complications and contradictions. Bert introduced us to Polarity Management and related Integral mental models, allowing us to have next level conversations with new stage concepts. Over the next few years with Bert serving as coach, facilitator, coach and consultant, our leadership team was much better prepared to negotiate the shift from a print to a digital foundation.
Over the past several years, researchers such as Peter Senge et al, writing in The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, describe how, as organizations have grown more interested in encouraging high-quality teamwork, many businesses are making a significant shift at their most senior levels.
- Despite the focus by the press and Wall Street on the heroic personality of the CEO (Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, etc.), these organizations are moving away from the “great individual” model of leadership, and moving toward being led by a team of executives instead.
- This new leadership is sometimes formalized in structures such as “Office of the President” or “Office of the Chief Executive”— the “office,” in actuality, being a decision-making team of four to nine people.
In working with executive teams over recent years, I’ve discovered that the circumstances in which their mastery must be developed are generally more difficult than those faced by any other team.
- They have an even more complex and far-reaching agenda because of the responsibilities inherent at the executive level…
- AND the issues that this level must deal with competently.
Your executive team must, for example, become good at the core issues that any team must master, such as alignment around a shared vision, the ability to discuss current reality without bias, clarity of roles and accountabilities, and methods for capturing and accessing collective knowledge.
- The ability to dialogue openly and truthfully holds wondrous promise for the executive team.
- Unfortunately, divergent points of view show up too often as tensions and unspoken conflicts.
- Methods are either mastered for handling these tensions and conflicts constructively or the team’s potential is never realized.
Information-gathering mechanisms seem to evolve in ways that result in the top of the system having a limited, incomplete, and even biased understanding of reality.
- You must develop methods that surface and rectify these mechanisms, so that, for example, bad news is as likely to come to your attention as good.
- Face-to-face, two-way communication must be developed deep into the organization
- AND, a norm must be established of responsibly surfacing and naming the truth as completely as possible.
STRATEGY AS LEARNING BEHAVIOR
“Strategy as team learning behavior” stands in stark contrast to “strategy developed by experts.”
- The best strategy formulation reconceives the firm and its environment in line with the construction of new mental models, and new organization intelligence.
- The promise of such an effort is a more accurate, more robust view of the future, but it will require that everyone on your team (and many other key individuals) actually think about life differently.
As an executive team, you must master managing organization change— design, structure, and implementation.
- This must be accomplished through methods that get the entire organization engaged and committed, both in favor of the shared vision and in a rigorous search for the truth.
- If you want to create an organization committed to a new way of being and a new business concept, then the processes that must be employed must foster commitment.
- Any coercive process, no matter how well intended, simply cannot ultimately result in commitment.
Your executive team will have it’s own unique difficulties in learning.
- For the executive team member, life is more a “zero sum game” than ever before.
- Earlier in the executive’s career, on teams lower in the organization, he or she could get ahead without necessarily “winning” at the expense of another team member.
- Generally, this is not true for the executive team.
- One person getting ahead often means another getting left behind, a phenomenon particularly evident around the issue of succession.
- Lip service to collaboration notwithstanding, this is a very real dynamic on many executive teams.
- My plan vs your plan, my budget vs your budget is a common mindset.