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What Are You Measuring?

Posted by Bill Crose on September 13, 2019 at 11:33am 1 Comment

A lifetime ago, my training department colleagues and I were satisfied with training data. We cranked out the requested ILT programs plus the "flavor of the year" content, we kept a busy training schedule, and made sure the coffee was always the right temperature. When accused of not delivering effective training because the learners didn't perform as they were trained, we took refuge in our management support role and not ultimately responsible or accountable for LEARNING or productivity.…



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One potential obstacle to an idea might be the idea that is already being implemented - the "Old Idea." With insight from The Daily Drucker (November 10)- might we learn "How to Abandon."




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I decided to remove the Carol Burnett video and most of the other humor videos related to this conference to increase the potential for objective reactions to the humor "idea." I will connect the names of the entertainers to Wikipedia articles. Here is a quote from the article on Carol Burnett:

In 2005, Burnett was recognized as "one of America's most cherished entertainers" and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom "for enhancing the lives of millions of Americans and for her extraordinary contributions to American entertainment", by President George W. Bush.[6] In 2013, Burnett was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[7] In 2019, the Golden Globes named an award after her for career achievement in television, the Carol Burnett Award, and Burnett received its first award.[8]

Which comedic styles and comedians from the past might we decide to abandon?

How might we decide to abandon them?

What is likely to happen due to the abandonment?

Might comedy in general be abandoned?

To abandon comedy would be an apocalyptic act.  Consider, though, the way stand-up comics develop and continuously refine their material.  It is an "agile" approach in which they take their writing to the stage and let audience reaction to the content and delivery determine how or whether they move forward with a particular joke, story or routine.  But, times change and so do audiences. So, even if they drop a joke from their line-up today, they keep a storehouse of these for later review and possible resurrection. At an even more micro level, comic writers and humorists are reductionists.  Within any one joke or routine, they seek to eliminate any word, intonation or gesture that doesn't add to the joke's impact. The best are like Michelangelo who chiseled away everything that wasn't the sculpture.  Great comics chip away all that doesn't serve the laugh. It seems that these are readily translatable lessons for business and organizational problem solving.

Provocation: It's as much about the editing as it is about the writing. Agree or disagree? Why?

Editing is important - as is the process - as the process (the chipping away) itself might help us design new tools or experience unintended (yet important) outcomes.

Perhaps with comedy as an "art form" we might adopt an anything goes mindset?

Should we destroy/abandon/diminish art from a 1000 years ago - or learn from it - by trying to understand the "truth "of that time vs. the "truth" of the current time?

Is it safe to assume that the "truth" of the current time is always more true than the "truth" of the past?

Does that mean that the "truth" of today will be less true in the future?

It's interesting that the F-15E Strike Eagle was once known as the preeminent fighter aircraft on the planet.  But soon, it was an "old idea" and was replaced by the F-22.  In 2011, the F-22 was canceled based on lack of need.  Now it is reportedly going to be replaced by the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter.  All of which come at great cost to the taxpayer.  So is this an old idea resurfacing with improvements?  Something to think about...


I enjoyed yesterday's discussion!! Thanks to everyone in my breakout group and to Paul for organizing this amazing event!


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