Captured in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, PortraitPainter, TangledFX, and Blender.
Last year I shared sketchnotes from the 25th Anniversary of the Professional Business Womens Conference. It was my first time to attend and it was fantastic. I had the opportunity to go this year along with 5,499 other women:). Here are 6 Key Takeaways and sketchnotes from this year.
1. Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of the Elevate Network, among her list of 5 things, memorably quipped, “Ask for the friggin’ money!” She also pointed out that if women use their money as a vote to invest our values, that’s a powerful voice.
2. Leyma Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate and Liberian Women’s Rights Activist, was my favorite speaker. She had such gravitas and lived-in humor! She told the story of how Liberian women are supposed to walk in such a way that their footsteps are not heard and leave no footprints. She reminded us of how often we silence ourselves. She told her journey of deciding to walk loudly and to leave deep footprints. She encouraged us to live so wild that when we walked into a room, people trembled to see us coming and to refuse to live on the sideline. While in retrospect, this seems a bit hyperbolic, it’s exactly the kind of contrast we need to show how much louder we can walk. Walk Loudly!
3. Leeza Gibbons, Emmy Award-Winning Journalist, Radio Host and Apprentice winner, was new to me. She showed us that nice women can finish first if you know what you want. Her mantra was “Work hard, care more, be nice and stand your ground.” I especially loved her saying “Balance is bogus.” Ain’t that the truth!
4. Leeza didn’t stop there. She had more rich life experiences to offer. She advised us to focus on the value that will get you over the fear. For example, if someone paid you $1M you would probably say yes to a speaking engagement. What would it take to get you to climb over that fear?
5. From the panel discussion, I gleaned the following kernel: “Always talk about my contributions in terms of what impact I drove for the organization.” This is easy to do in a resume. In conversation it seems like braggadocio but it’s really just sharing information about what you did for the organization.
6. Lastly, the value of an education. We heard a lot of metrics that show how important it is for a woman to get as much education as possible to improve her prospects. PBWC gave out 4 scholarships to some amazing young women. The amount of investment was small at $20K total. This experience gave me a passion to find ways to fund education for women.
In all, I loved going to the PBWC conference. I discovered some amazing and inspirational women like Leeza and Leyma and a passion for a cause, education for women
Professor Florian Zettlemeyer from Kellogg School of Management did a great job of teaching the Leading with Big Data & Analytics last week. I sketch noted the course and gleaned 5 key takeaways.
1. Analytics Requires Managerial Judgement
While analytics itself can be performed by experts, the decisions that it drives and that are needed for it to thrive have to be made at a strategic level.
2. The Run The Business Data you’ve got May Not be the Data You Need. This was a real aha for me. Run the business data is optimized for profit and returns. It’s not objective. It is not unbiased. Analytics experiments require random data or an equal chance of each data point being chosen. They require objective data. Most of the time we try to use the data we already have to make decisions rather than understanding the data we need and generating that instead. For example, what data would help solve a churn problem? It isn’t the data we already have.
3. There is a Checklist for Bad Analytics! Any time you see a chart, ask yourself and out loud:
- Are there pre-existing differences between groups?
- Is there a common driver of decisions & outcomes?
- Can you reverse the causality?
- Is there a plausible coincidence that could also explain the result?
4. You are always sitting on an assumption! Make sure the facts really support that assumption. If you can say “For two years in a row, the difference between the price of these 2 cars has been $500 and we expect that difference to continue (all else being equal.)” then you’ve based your assumption on data.
5. Make Friends with a Data Scientist. So you can run your crazy ideas by someone and get friendly feedback.
“Eventually everything connects.” Charles Eames
Spring. Flowers. Here today. Gone tomorrow. In California in a few short weeks everything will be brown. This is when our new year should be. Not the dead of dark winter. This is the time of possibility and change. When pollen gets in your thinking, new things happen.
When I think about change for organizations I think about the PROSCI model of change called ADKAR which focuses on individual choice and has more flesh and blood on it than other more abstract models.
When I think about change for self, the same applies. Am I aware of the changes I want to make? Do I have the desire to make them? What help do I have in managing my own resistance? Do I have or can I get the knowledge I need to make the change? Do I have the ability to make the change or do I need something more? Have I set up reinforcements for myself as I make the changes? A little chocolate never hurt. And a good book.
I devoured Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must the same day I bought it. She colorfully walks the reader through these stages of change quite naturally without ever so much as hinting to a reference model. She builds awareness of the decision we all have to make between “should” and “must”. Luna builds on Stefan Sagmeister’s definitions of a job (something you do for pay), a career (a system of advancement and promotion over time where rewards are used to optimize behavior), and a calling (something we feel compelled to do regardless of fame or fortune). A must is this latter.
Luna shows you how to know your own shoulds and musts. She builds desire to pursue the musts. She proactively raises all the resistant questions to pursuing the musts and addresses them. She gives the reader the ability to factor the practical reality of pursuing musts. She shares a variety of surprising strategies to reinforce the readers’s pursuit of the must journey.
On the same day that I bought and finished Luna’s book, I also finished Leyma Gbowee’s book Mighty Be Our Powers. I had heard Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, speak powerfully and authentically at the Professional Business Women’s Conference in San Francisco. Her story was a perfect illustration. She started out with a job (to make money), pursued at times and at other times deliberately avoided a career and ultimately, over time, found her calling, her must, to lead Liberia to peace.
Luna’s language (job, career, calling) and Gbowee’s example of being in each of these spaces gave me the tools I needed to assess the past, evaluate where I stand today and plan a path for the future. After all, it is spring. A time of renewal. When pollen gets in your thinking, new things happen.
On a recent misty morning, I went for a run to scout the East side of the Fremont Bridge for a photo shoot. What I found in the fog was yes, a bridge, but also a soaring cathedral, full of skyward arches and graceful lines. Made of cement not stone so a modern day church, a gorgeous resonant hymn to transit, the Fremont Bridge, Portland, Oregon.
Deep listening, sitting with my fears in companionable silence, neither trying to deny them or fix them, instead looking at them to discern their shape, sift the physical observations and through the fog that those observations trigger in me.
Deep listening, sitting with the emotions of others. Intermittently, not trying to fix them.
“I feel out of control of my life,” said one. I tried to fix it. Ooops.
“I was so angry for so long,” said another. I just said thank you. Thank you for letting me know.
Deep listening to what comes up for me and why. The peaceful calm of sitting with my emotions, tracing them to my physical observations and searching through the misty shapes triggered is really useful.