Dispatches from the Actionable Universe

Published on
November 7, 2016
Sara Saddington
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
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Last week, the Actionable team gathered for a three day retreat in beautiful King City, Ontario. As a virtual workplace, Actionable has staff scattered across several countries and continents, and though we connect regularly online, for many of us, it was the first time meeting in person.

We played an enlightening game of Personality Poker, which let us see the different types of personalities at play in our company, and learn a bit about their strengths and weaknesses, and armed me with new ways of interacting and appreciating my colleagues. As a Diamond (a creative type who generates a hundred crazy ideas before breakfast, but struggles to figure out which ideas are worth implementing and the process that will best put them into practice), it was an eye-opening experience to look across the room at the Spades (who look at new ideas with a critical, process focused eye). We need each other, and respecting each other’s personality and viewpoints is the first step to generating some magic together.

In our conversations, we talked a lot about The Knowledge Funnel: a framework for understanding how innovation and reliability are essential to every business. Innovation is a mystery—we may have great ideas, but we don’t know if they will work. To get to reliable outcomes, innovative ideas must move through a heuristic stage, where we know that some things have worked, and other things haven’t, but without a crystal clear sense of why. The reliable—or algorithmic—phase, is the revenue generating sweet-spot where repeatable results are possible. Ultimately, business success relies on an ability to move between the levels of the knowledge funnel, to pivot if necessary, and to consistently generate and refine new ideas. Using this framework as our guide, we cooked up some exciting projects for the next 6 months.

After three days together, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the next six months and beyond. We worked through some tough concepts, got into philosophical arguments, laughed long and hard, and came away with clear next steps.

Speaking of next steps, there are some truly exciting things coming up over the next few weeks.

Today, we launched the recruitment campaign for our next cohort of the Actionable Book Club. Last week I wrote about the experience of writing summaries. Now is your chance to join me! Apply today to be part of our community of readers, writers, and thinkers, who all want to improve the world of work. From experienced consultants, to individuals who want to be better at work, to team leaders looking for a competitive edge, and everyone in between, the book club is a fantastic way to make your reading more Actionable. Join us for 2017 to make it your best year yet.

Next week, we’re sitting down with Dave Gray, bestselling author of Liminal Thinking, The Connected Company, and Gamestorming, as well as recent guest on the 21st Century Workplace Podcast to talk about ways to change your thinking in order to expand your ability to embrace and implement change. If you have questions you’d like us to ask him, here’s your chance! Tweet your questions to @actionablebooks, or leave a comment on this post!

And stay tuned next week for the publication of our 1000th summary! We’ve cooked up an exciting giveaway to thank you, the members of our community, for all of your contributions over the past eight years. Check out the Press Release for more information about this exciting milestone, and keep your eyes open for our contest.