INNOVATION/ADAPTION & A video explanation of LEAD 545 assignments/homework

I provide my students with short video lectures/explanations of their homework for clarity and to create a “live classroom” experience.  Here is the video introduction to the LEAD 545 assignments on “innovation and adaption.”

©️Bob Whitesel 2017, used by permission only.

INNOVATION & A Comparison Between Red Ocean Strategy & Blue Ocean Strategy

by Sage Growth Partners, 3/17/09.

Read more at …

creativity need-meeting needs safety needs

INNOVATION & Where Good Ideas Come From: Colliding Hunches #StevenJohnson #YouTube

Commentary by Prof. B: Invocation usually results when people who have “hunches” collide with people who have other hunches. See this video for an entertaining explanation of the process.

INTROVERSION & A tale of two introverts.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 1/21/17.

People often think of introversion as a weakness. And there are aspects of introversion that can keep you from collaborating with others and/or withdrawing from others when under pressure.

However intoversion is also a positive trait. Let me share a short story of two introverts … and extrovert.

The introverts were both INTJs on the Myers-Briggs scale. The “I” stands for introversion. They were close friend with an ENTJ where the “E” designates introversion. All three were working on their doctorates while teaching a heavy work load.

When an introvert (I-NTJ) on the Myers-Briggs scale feelS a need to relax they withdraw and recharge their batteries by being alone or with a very select group of close friends.

All three received very positive teaching reviews from their students. Remember, introverts are not necessarily shy but rather people who prefer being alone when they need to recharge their energy. All three had the gift of teaching ( 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11-14, Rom. 12:7, Acts 18:24-28, 20:20-21) and all three came to life and energized their students. Students subsequently thought all three must be extroverts. But the three friends knew that two of them were not.

You could tell who are introverts and who is the extrovert because at the end of the day, when they were done teaching, the introverts would withdraw to their studies and work on their research. At the end of the day when the extrovert had finished teaching, he would usually retreat with many of his friends and spend the evening shooting the breeze. This is one difference between how introverts and extroverts relax and recharge.

Not surprisingly, the introverts finished their PhD studies. And the extrovert? He went on to an executive position within his organization. But he never finished his doctoral work. To this day, people love hanging out with him. But his first career path was hampered when years of work did not culminate in the degree he sought.

Most people think I am the extrovert in this story.

But I was one of the two introverts. I love people and enjoy being around them. But often when introverts need to recharge their energy they do so through quietness/solitude … perhaps withdrawing to their books, their Bible and just a few very close friends.

This tale of two introverts can remind us that extroversion AND introversion can be assets … when applied to the right careers.

INFLUENCE & A Review of “Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change”

Reviewed by Rev. Jeff Lawson, Aurora, IN, candidate for Missional Coach, 2016.  Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Second Edition, Joseph Grenny – McGraw-Hill – 2013

The authors use at least a dozen different ‘Influencers” to make their point. They readily argue that just about anything (aside from gravity) can be changed if handled correctly. In fact, they state early on that, “Success relies on the capacity to systematically create rapid, profound, and sustainable changes in a handful of key behaviors.” The book is divided into the philosophy that there are six sources, or key behaviors of influence: Personal Motivation, Personal Ability, Social Motivation, Social Ability, Structural Motivation, and Structural Ability.

The goal for Personal Motivation is to help people to love what they hate. There are four tactics that should be utilized in order to do that. 1) Allow for choice 2) Create direct experiences 3) Tell meaningful stories and 4) Make it a game. I was moved by the idea that “almost any activity can be made engaging if it involves reasonably challenging goals and clear, frequent feedback.” The truth is that no one enjoys cleaning bathrooms, but when there is a story behind the cleanliness and how it might have saved a customer or made a client feel more comfortable, it changes the dynamics of the necessary chore.

As the discussion moved to Personal Ability the goal is now to help people to do what they can’t. The authors state, “When leaders and training designers combine too much motivation with too few opportunities to improve ability, they rarely produce change.” It is important that those people that we lead have the opportunity to put their skills to work. If not, how will they ever improve. Also, if we fail to give them the opportunities, there is a decent chance that someone else will and we could lose valuable people. The author states that, “Influencers carefully invest in strategies to help to increase ability.” Influencers know that people are their greatest commodity.

The idea behind Social Motivation is to provide encouragement. The authors say, “To harness the immense power of social support, sometimes all you need to do is to find the one respected individual who flies in the face of what everyone else has done and model the new and healthier vital behaviors.” People are copycats, plain and simple. This happens in just about every area of life. When do we start putting up Christmas Lights? The day after the neighbor does. When do the farmers start planting seed in the ground? The day after the neighbor first rev’s up his John Deere tractor. We are motivated by what we see and we are greatly influenced by what we see works well.

When it comes to Social Ability, the goal is to provide assistance. The driving force here is to come alongside each other and spur one another on. The authors say, “groups made up of people at all intellectual levels often perform better than any one individual.” Most folks would agree with this statement, yet there are millions of ‘lone rangers’ out there that insist on going the road on their own and never soliciting advice from others. Through multiple sources we see in this chapter that other people can motivate us in profound and countless ways.

The chapter that covers Structural Motivation challenges the reader to change their economy. This chapter truly pushed me and my earlier convictions on the subject. They write, “Your goal with structural motivation and using incentives should not be to overwhelm people to change. Rather, it should be primarily to remove disincentives.” They would advocate that rewards should not be the first and only tool in your work belt. Not that you never reward with incentives, but they should be used a lot more sparingly than they typically are. On page 219 they used a tremendous illustration about rewards in a daycare system with rewards and the outcome was shocking. Youngsters gave up playing with their favorite toys when they did not see the reward in it. Extremely interesting!

The last of the key behaviors was Structural Ability and we learned that the key was to change their space. “Information affects behavior. People make choices based on cognitive maps that explain which behavior leads to which outcomes.” We tend to react more to what we see and most folks do not dig to find more details. The mainstream media truly guides our thoughts and beliefs and many never challenge that. An Influencer will use that fact to alter the edge in their favor.

Again, there was a lot of helpful information in this book. I would admit though that it was not a ‘fun’ read. There was just a lot of data and stories work through. Also, throughout the book were small stories inserted called, “Act Like An Influencer” with a short story. They were all very interesting, but misplaced in my opinion. The reader was forced to choose between stopping his train of thought in the chapter to read the story or to come back at the end of the chapter and read them individually, which is what I ended up doing.

I think it is a worthwhile read for most people in leadership. Again, my opinion would be to read it without trying to read a second or third book at the same time. It deserves and demands your full attention.

INFORMAL FALLACIES & Why we tend to hold other people to different standards than we hold ourselves

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: The “correspondence bias” (also called the “fundamental attribution error”) means we typically think other people’s behaviors are the result of personality flaws, but when we do the same thing we attribute it to circumstances beyond our control. This results in a bias to view our shortcomings as easily explainable by circumstances, but to criticize other people’s shortcomings as a result of their personality flaws.

For instance if a person shows up late for a meeting, we tend to think, “They should’ve planned ahead better.” We might even (regrettably) say that. But when we are late for a meeting ourselves, we often attribute it to circumstances beyond our control. We might think, “The traffic was crazy tonight. I can’t believe it didn’t take longer to get here.”

The result is that we typically take a more negative view of others’ actions, than we do of our own actions in the same circumstances. Correspondingly, we have a more positive view of our actions than we do of others’ actions.

This error results from a lack of compassion and a seeing things from other people’s perspectives. It is important for Christians to recognize our fundamental propensity to attribute others’ actions to personality flaws and our shortcomings to circumstances beyond our control.

For more information read this research about the corresponded bias by Dr.s Gilbert and Malone at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Correspondence Bias

Daniel T. Gilbert and Patrick S. Malone University of Texas at Austin

Abstract:  The correspondence bias is the tendency to draw inferences about a person’s unique and enduring dispositions from behaviors that can be entirely explained by the situations in which they occur. Although this tendency is one of the most fundamental phenomena in social psychology, its causes and consequences remain poorly understood. This article sketches an intellectual history of the correspondence bias as an evolving problem in social psychology, describes 4 mechanisms (lack of awareness, unrealistic expectations, inflated categorizations, and incomplete corrections) that produce distinct forms of correspondence bias, and discusses how the consequences of correspon- dence-biased inferences may perpetuate such inferences.

Read more at …

RELIGION & Here’s What Evangelical Experts on Missions & Muslims Think of Wheaton’s ‘Same Go d’ Debate

by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today, 1/22/16.

Nearly two dozen evangelical experts on missions and Muslims have compiled their thoughts on how the answer affects Muslim missions, why it’s a bad question to begin with, and propose better questions to ask instead.

A 32-page, special edition of the Occasional Bulletin from the Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS) seeks to constructively contribute to the highly publicized dispute over whether Wheaton College should discipline professor Larycia Hawkins for stating in a Facebook post that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” [Arab evangelical scholars weighed in last week.]…

Robert Priest, a mission and anthropology professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) and current EMS president, has “watched with interest” the unfolding Wheaton-Hawkins debate because, for evangelicals worldwide, “what Wheaton does affects us all.”

“As I’ve observed the unfolding drama, I’ve had concerns over the way Wheaton has framed the issues, over the repercussions of this for Christian witness, and over the failure to include missiologists and missionaries as interlocutors,” wrote Priest. “That is, for most evangelicals in America, our encounter with people who are Muslim is relatively recent, relatively superficial, and all-too-often infected by American culture-war impulses.

“The one category of American evangelical that has long nurtured close relationships with people who are Muslim is missionaries and mission professors (missiologists)—many of them Wheaton graduates,” he continued. “However, these individuals, who represent the heart of evangelical gospel concern, and who represent a unique mix of professional expertise and accumulated wisdom acquired over decades of study and ministry experience, do not appear to have been adequately consulted.”

… For Priest, it was an opportunity to ask 21 missiologists and missionaries: “What are the missiological implications of affirming, or denying, that Muslims and Christians worship the same God?”

Their answers—which intentionally do not comment on the Wheaton-Hawkins situation directly—were published by EMS this month. (Most respondents are evangelicals, while one is Eastern Orthodox and one is Roman Catholic.)

In short: the answer is both simple and complicated.

“What other God is there?” asked Miriam Adeney, a world Christian studies professor at Seattle Pacific University. “In all the universe, there is only one God.”

Paul Martindale, a professor of Islamic studies and cross-cultural ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, agreed. “There is only one, true, creator God. The Bible is clear there is no other God.”

However, the experts agree that there are fundamental differences in the way that Christians and Muslims understand God.

“In contrast to Buddhism and Confucianism, for example, the Abrahamic faiths affirm God’s mercy expressed through his gifts in nature, human community, and scriptural wisdom and ethics and general guidance,” wrote Adeney. “Yet such mercy is a pale shadow of the shocking mercy that propelled Jesus to earth and to the cross. That radical mercy we call grace. If indeed the incarnation and death of Jesus are essential expressions of God’s nature, then Muslim and Christian understandings of God are truly very different.”

Acknowledging those differences is key, wrote David Cashin, an intercultural and Islamic studies professor at Columbia International University. “If there are no differences, then there is nothing to be learned and nothing to convert to.”

Understanding the differences—having a solid theology—must come before missiology, wrote Fred Farrokh, an international trainer with Global Initiative: Reaching Muslim Peoples, who was raised as a Muslim. “If we conform our theology to a pre-determined missiology, then we get the paradigm backward. Error will ensue, and we actually become incapable of missionally assisting those whom we yearn to help—in this case Muslims.”

Equating the way Christianity and Islam view God opens up other questions, wrote Sarita Gallagher, a religion professor at George Fox University. “For example, if Allah is God, then is the Islamic religion from God? Did Yahweh speak to Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh through the angel Gabriel in the Cave of Hira in 610 C.E.? If so, does the Quran contain new revelations from God?”

Different understandings of God might be compared to different understandings of Jesus, wrote Mark Hausfeld, president of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and professor of urban and Islamic studies.

“Is the Jesus of the Church of Latter Day Saints’ Book of Mormon and Doctrines and Covenants the same Jesus of the Bible? How about the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation of the New Testament?” he wrote. “Both books spell the name of Jesus the same, but the person and work of Jesus, as He [is] known in the Bible, is heretical. The use of the word Jesus is not wrong, but the context of the word Jesus is corrupted by the error of the context and meaning that defines the Person and work of Jesus as revealed in the Bible.”

The same is true for God, he said. “The word God is not misleading in itself, but the context of the Qur‘an defines a different God in nature and character.”

Practically speaking, though, it can be easier to reach out to Muslims if there is some common ground.

“Conversion studies have shown that the greater the degree of congruence between Islam and Christianity that is perceived by the Muslim inquirer, the more likely it is that he or she will seriously consider Christianity as a viable alternative to Islam,” Martindale wrote. If differences between the two are emphasized, the barrier to conversion grows.

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