How Mark Zuckerberg & Facebook Gave New Life To An Old Management Style (from Fast Company)

The following are excerpts from a Fast Company article by Katerina Walter (read the whole article here) – great examples of two very different perspectives working well together, each complimenting & filling in, the other’s shadows without diminishing their own bright spots.

The first example is the yin yang pairing of Facebook’s founder Marc Zuckerberg & COO Sheryl Sandberg – a Mountain Life Lens™ & a Carrot Life Lens™.

The second example is the complimentary & radically different pairing of Disney brothers Walt & Roy – a Heart Life Lens™ & Head Life Lens™ scenario.

It’s not easy but when opposite perspectives or worldviews work well together, magic happens. Take a look see.

Facebook example:

Facebook’s model of two worlds–product development and operational excellence–integrated together and led by two people who complement each other offers an outstanding example of a company that is succeeding through strategic partnership. I call this partnership model “The Visionary and The Builder.”

The Visionary is the partner who is a “dream architect”–he has a clear understanding of the company’s purpose and shapes its long-term strategic outlook based on that purpose; he leads the company through inspiration and blue-sky vision.

The Builder is the partner who is a “value architect”–she leads the functions that support the mission of The Visionary and ensures that this mission is executed operationally.

This is not to say that the two don’t ever overlap, or that the two partners don’t share a common vision, interests, or skills. But for this model to work successfully, as it has for Facebook, the two partners each need to have distinguished skill sets that the other doesn’t possess. In the case of Facebook, Zuckerberg focuses on product development and the platform’s global expansion, because that is what he is great at, and Sandberg brings operational skills that ensure stability and discipline within the company as it executes on Zuck’s vision.

Walt Disney example:

Walt Disney, whose remarkable imagination created the world of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and many more beloved cartoon characters, relied heavily on his brother, Roy O. Disney, in building his empire. Walt gave his older brother a lot of credit for building an entertainment business out of his fantasies.It was Roy who lent his brother $250 on top of Walt’s $40 investment to start their partnership and open a cartoon studio. Their uncle lent them an additional $500.

In the early days, Walt drew his cartoon characters, and Roy worked the cameras and kept the finances in check. Together they built an amazing empire and brightened the world for millions of kids. When Walt Disney passed away, his brother took the helm of the company.

But Roy didn’t try to fill the creative shoes of his sibling, stating that Walt had built a great organization and that he would keep Walt’s spirit alive. Roy did not change the direction of the company, continuing the legacy of his younger brother.

While Walt had a dream, Roy had the knowledge and capabilities to help his brother make his dream a reality. Roy was eight years older, had experience working in a bank, and also knew that his brother was prone to neglect his business affairs, focusing too much on the artistic side.

A brilliant businessman, Roy stayed in the shadows and provided strong support to Walt as he created fascinating stories that captured the imagination of children around the world.

~~TGIF- each Friday I rejig & re-post a blog entry from my blog, which is about enhancing our perspective & worldview.~~


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The Rock.Paper.Scissors newsletter is out: Value Innovation via Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy book

This month’s Rock.Paper.Scissors e-newsletter focuses on Value Innovation (e.g. how to create something valuable and innovative)  I learned from reading the book Blue Ocean Strategy.  Missed the article?  Check it out. (Not on my monthly e-newsletter mailing list?  Sign up for free here.)

I’m writing this from New York City – a great source of inspiration for innovation.  Want to know how to create value innovation – a.k.a. something both useful and innovative?  Check out my presentation for the Nairobi Learning & Development roundtable I facilitated on  Blue Ocean Strategy- How to Create Uncontested Market Space & Make the Competition Irrelevant.
I inhaled this book by Harvard profs W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne.  It’s full of fabulous case studies & easy to follow instructions.

Whether you’re from the corporate, NGO or other sector looking to create value & innovation for a process, a product, a service or you’re simply curious, you’ll find something applicable. Download the presentation here (1 slide/pg). Or the shorter version 3 slides/pg.

The Four Actions Framework & the Six Paths Framework are waaaay more interesting & practical than their rather clunky names.  I’ve summarized them in the presentation & provided lots of examples from the book.  Let me know if & how you use them.
Watch for my next post where I’ll share some other resources (serious & tongue in cheek) related to value innovation.

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Why parents age faster than people without kids

The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees was absent but had not phoned in sick. So he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child’s whisper. ‘Hello?’  ‘Is your daddy home?’

‘Yes, he’s out in the garden,’ whispered the small voice.

‘May I talk with him?’

The child whispered, ‘No.’ ; So the boss asked, ‘Well, is your Mommy there?”Yes, she’s out in the garden too.’

The boss asked, ‘May I talk with her?’ Again the small voice whispered, ‘No.’

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, ‘Is anybody else there?’

‘Yes,’ whispered the child, ‘a policeman.’

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, ‘May I speak with the policeman?’

‘No, he’s busy,’ whispered the child. ‘Busy doing what?” Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the police dog men.’

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background, the boss asked, ‘What is that noise?’

‘It’s a helicopter’ answered the whispering voice.

‘What is going on there?’ demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.’The search team just landed a helicopter’ ‘A search team?’ said the boss. ‘What are they searching for?’

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle …’ME.’

Story from citehr.

This joke is a great example of different perspectives – the kid’s having a great old time while the parents are experiencing their worst nightmare!

The view from a Mountain Top Life Lens™ is very different from the view of a Carrot Life Lens™ and the view from the Heart Life Lens™ is different from the view from the Head Life Lens™.

Step out of your frame & gain a new perspective.

~~TGIF- each Friday I rejig & re-post a blog entry from my blog, which is about enhancing our perspective & worldview.~~


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What is the question to this answer? Helen Keller

What is the question

I LOVE this exercise.  Talk about a tool to increase creativity, critical thinking & more.

It could be used as an exercise to warm up for a workshop – e.g. a workshop on culture could simply be introduced by the word ‘culture’.

It could be used as an informal assessment for a core concept, to see what learners are taking away.

And more.

I’m developing some online curriculum for the African Virtual University on peacebuilding & conflict resolution.  Will be thinking of how I can incorporate this – possibly have learners write their answers on a google doc so others can see.

What about you?  How could you use it?


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The Toilet Of The Future Corrects The Mistake We’re All Making In The Bathroom (via HuffPost)

Huff post toilet

Talk about turning a toilet on its head.  Take a seat & take a peek.  The squatty potty will revolutionize how you think about pooping.  And that’s a perspective changing game.

(The excerpt below is from the Huffington Post; read the entire article here, including more pictures.)

It wasn’t until our random introduction to the Squatty Potty earlier this year that we learned something was amiss with the way we use the toilet. A new creation by Central Saint Martins University graduates Pierre Papet, Victor Johansson and Samuel Sheard confirms our suspicion, and aims to “upgrade our current 130-year old flush toilet for better health and environment,” according to design site Tuvie, where we spotted the next-generation loo.

The Wellbeing Toilet, as its called, is designed to enhance the position of your body (and ultimately how you get rid of bodily waste) by enabling you to squat rather than sit.

~~TGIF- each Friday I rejig & re-post a blog entry from my blog, which is about enhancing our perspective & worldview.~~


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How preschoolers learn? Sounds like good adult ed to me

Preschool learning

How preschoolers learn?  Sounds like good adult ed to me.

Thanks to good friend Jean DuPlessis for passing this on.



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Breaking news: Chocolate counts as salad

Chocolate is salad

From: Most Amazing Photos in the World

On the dawn of a new year, perhaps this will come as a nice surprise & an interesting perspective ….

Chocolate counts as salad.

Happy day- may it be chocolate salad filled.

‘nuf said.


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Did you connect all 9 dots? In more ways than 1?

Join connect 9 nine dots social innovation safari creativity exercise

Did you catch last week’s post on how to connect all 9 dots in more ways than 1?  If not & you want to try it yourself first without seeing the answers below, click on the original post here.

I’d seen the exercise many years before & knew it had to do with ‘drawing outside the lines’.  That’s where the problem started, because that’s all I was focused on.

I didn’t think about what assumptions I was making.

I didn’t think that there could be more than one answer.

I simply, doggedly, went down a well trod path, with my head down in concentration.

Which has all sorts of implications for problem solving (or lack there of).

Here’s what our group came up with when we worked together at it (remember you can see the original post by clicking on the link above if you want to try this first yourself):


Assumption: the lines must be within the square created by the dots

Assumption busing: draw waaaaaaaay outside the lines by making a Z shaped 3 lines, by touching the top of the first dot, the middle of the second & the bottom of the third


Assumption: it’s the pen that has to move, not the paper

Assumption busting: fold the paper in such a way that the dots are connected & then draw on the other side of the paper to connect them


Assumption: it can’t be done in less than 3 lines &/or the line thickness is what you’d normally see using a typical pen

Assumption busting: use one massively thick line to connect all the dots at once


And you?  Any other ideas?  If so would love to hear them.



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Open your mind before your mouth

Gotta love this photo from Truth Theory.

Imagine the conflict, the battles, the narrowing of minds & mouths that would be avoided if we could do this easily & naturally.


~~TGIF- each Friday I rejig & re-post a blog entry from my blog, which is about enhancing our perspective & worldview.~~


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Can you connect all 9 dots? In more ways than 1?

Join connect 9 nine dots social innovation safari creativity exercise

Have you seen this exercise?  Your task is to connect all 9 dots, without lifting your pen, & in no more than 3 lines.

It’s a popular exercise.  I’d seen it years before when I saw this time around during the Social Innovation Safari.  And that, was precisely my downfall.

I knew ‘the solution’ had to do with ‘drawing outside the lines’ so I spent all my time heading down that path.

I didn’t explore options, or more importantly, the assumptions I was making, namely:

- was there another kind of writing instrument I could use?

- could I manipulate the paper, not the pen?

- just how far outside the lines could I draw?

After some inner self-chastisement (for I try to be aware of assumptions & how to bust them) I loved seeing the new (to me) solutions.

It was a good reminder how easy it is to put blinders on & keep on keeping on, down the same ol’ same ol’ path.

In the end our group found no less than 4 solutions.  How many can you find?

I’ll put our solutions in my next post.  Til then, happy puzzle solving.


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