Squishtalks Blog

Fresh Thinking to Talk About

Do You Have The Courage To Confront Racial Bias?

This week, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores so around 175,000 staff could take part in racial bias training. Yes, Starbucks staff in one of the company’s Philadelphia stores acted egregiously after calling police who then arrested two black men who were simply waiting for a friend. Absolutely there was, and continues to be, a need for education and skill building around issues of bias, inclusion, and diversity. Given that

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High Performing Teams [cont.]

’ve written before about the vital role of conversation in enabling groups to transform from average to high performing teams (as in this article: Google’s Insight Into What Makes Teams Productive). Yet it seems to be a...

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SHRM Talent Conference

Last week I spoke at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual Talent Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. Among many observations, this one stood out: HR professionals, talent managers, and employee engagement practitioners all face the challenge of building meaningful relationships and

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It’s All About Relationships

I recently interviewed Palma Strand, cofounder of Civity, a national non-profit that supports individuals and communities in building authentic relationships across social differences. As we talked, if became clear that there were commonalities between the health of our civic communities and our corporate ones. In her work to strengthen communities, Strand noted

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Real Leaders Don’t Know

Curiosity is the next big topic of business says Zander Lurie, SurveyMonkey CEO. Lurie asserts in this LinkedIn article that, “curiosity will determine which firms will thrive and which ones will stumble.” Curiosity had, since the Enlightenment, been a central part of examining the human condition. I say “had” because the role of curiosity in culture has a checkered past. Lurie may be able to suggest curiosity as the next big thing because, of late, it is in hiatus.

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The Real Value at Conferences

Marketplace Weekend interviewed MIT economics professor John Van Reenen in anticipation of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. What struck me was that this Forum was just like most other conferences that you and I go to. Reenen observed: “The interesting stuff all happens in between the kind of formal meetings, the random chats which go on outside in the corridors and walking around and maybe in the evening.”

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Lessons in Conversation from the Academy

The academic world can be a vicious place. You might imagine universities and research institutions to be places of vigorous yet civil discourse, where provocative, cutting-edge opinions are discussed in a welcoming spirit that acknowledges that disagreement for the sake of growth and knowledge is the essence of the dialogue at hand. Sometimes that is true. Sometimes, however, it is a thin veneer

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Do You Mistake Communication For Conversation?

We mistake communication for conversation. As I have remarked before here, we often belittle the richness of “conversation” by using that word unsparingly to describe any activity of personal interaction. This is particularly noticeable when we are considering communication via a virtual platform or other technological medium. The CEO of Slack, Stewart Butterfield, should be expected to have a nuanced view of this distinction, and he does. Sort of.

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Paul Gavarni Le Flaneur [public domain France, PD 1923]

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