Beyond Books—Our Favorite Actionable Content

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In September of 2016, Actionable launched three new public websites, and the Actionable Conversations Platform. In fact, my first day working at Actionable was the same day that the team launched these projects (I like to think it was a great day for me, and for the Actionable universe). Since then, we’ve published some great content that we’re really proud of. Although Actionable Books is the origin of the company, we’ve grown and evolved to embrace new audiences online (and provided even more great value to the original members of our community).

Here is some of our favorite, most actionable content from Actionable Conversations, Actionable Consultants, and Actionable.co. Whether you are a consultant or coach, team leader, or individual looking for ideas and strategies to improve at work, or simply want to learn more about what Actionable does beyond providing great summaries of popular business books, this round-up of great content will help you get started.

Stop Just Reading, Start Really Learning

We are obsessed with consuming information. Whether staying current in our emails (the desperate inbox zero), or keeping up with our social media feeds, there is a relentless push to absorb high levels of information on a daily basis. Information overload is here to stay, and you’ll never be able to entirely escape it. The key is to figure out how to manage the flow, and how to apply what you’re reading into tangible benefits for you and your team. Alyssa Burkus offers great advice for processing the deluge of information we face every day, and integrating what we learn into our lives and work.

Managing Polarities and the Power of “Yes, And”

Like many powerful ideas, you might be surprised by the simplicity of polarity management. At the core, it’s about the shift from “either/or” to “both/and” thinking. Polarities are a powerful tool in helping us get unstuck when we face personal and professional challenges. When things are out of sync, we can work on both, rather than running from one pole to another. Attention to work and attention to family, creating more structure and remaining flexible, listening well and advocating for our positions. When faced with a challenge, we often jump right to an “either/or” mindset, which ultimately shuts us off to new possibilities. Ronni Hendel-Giller provides an actionable framework for learning to manage these polarities, and embrace opportunities for growth by saying “yes, and.”  

8 Essential Conversations Leaders Need to Have With Their Teams

This infographic lists 8 types of conversations that leaders should be having to improve their work culture. Culture is more than just a buzzword. It affects every member of your organization, at every level of the org chart. Because it’s everywhere, you can’t shift culture simply by issuing a memo or making an announcement—you can try, but it’s unlikely to create change throughout the entire organization. Even if you’re not a team leader, you can use the infographic as a starting point to have better conversations with your colleagues, families, and friends—we know that better conversations result in better relationships, a win for everyone!

How Asking for Help Transformed My Work

Integration Coach Jodi Hosking decided to spend more time asking for help after participating in her first Actionable Conversation. The results were astonishing. Both personally and professionally, asking for help makes us vulnerable, and that can be uncomfortable. However, as Jodi learned, people are often generous with their time and expertise, and judge far less than we assume. In the moment, you may feel like you’re asking a stupid question. But often, you’ll find that someone else was confused, and is grateful that you spoke up. Asking for help is a simple but powerful tactic that you can use today to improve personally and professionally.

Hope is Not a Strategy

Lora Crestan advises business consultants and coaches to stop using “fingers-crossed business planning.” Wishful thinking won’t grow your business, and hope is not a strategy. You cannot take hope to the bank and pay your bills with it, or count on it for any tangible, achievable outcomes. Now is the time to become intentional about the planning you do for your business. This post is full of great advice for anyone who is struggling to meet their goals—whether you want to get in shape, save money, score a promotion, or finish your first novel, it’s important to recognize that simply wishing for it is not a strategy. Uncross your fingers, and build a plan that works.

Messy Scary Change

This fantastic post by Anna Schmohe, Actionable’s Senior Graphic Designer, offers a glimpse into the evolution of Actionable over the course of the past year. It was a staff favorite as well, and generated a robust discussion in our Slack channel about how Actionable embraces change, even when it’s messy and scary. Anna talks about what it was like to grow into a constantly changing role, be a part of a massive project (launching the new public websites and Conversations platform), and hire a new team member to support her. Change can be uncomfortable, but it’s often inevitable—avoiding it is not an option, so we need to find ways to embrace it.

These posts are a great introduction to the work that Actionable does everyday. We hope that you will join us in our mission to improve the world of work for everyone.

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