Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Compass AE: A Well-Defined Aspiration Motivates People

Metaphor-driven inspiration and motivation can only go so far. ... A team needs a Tangible Vision.

Compass AE Collaborative principle: A project team collaborates well when they build, connect and lead with a well-defined Tangible Vision. During the building of their Tangible Vision, the team determines who can they trust to complete their objective and who will collaborate as a team player. If the team connects with their well-defined Tangible Vision and each other. It means they believe in the plan and themselves. They are motivated as a team. Good things originate from within.

Inspiration can only go so far. The team has to believe in the aspiration (the goal of the Tangible Vision) before they are inspired to do more. The bottom line is that the team will collaborate well as a team. This is the essence of the Compass AE process.

This concept originates from our understanding of Chinese strategy classics. The well defined goal and plan determines the leadership, not the other way around. If the team believes in it, there is a good chance that they will do their best to complete the goal as a team.

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Climbing Other Mountains

Why one woman's adventure feats inspire corporate workers to do their best at their desks

Dorsey Kindler

Sunday, April 20, 2008

In the months leading up to her recent expedition, Alison Levine received a visit from CNN's senior business correspondent, Ali Velshi. This was not unusual. Levine had gotten plenty of press since she began mountaineering and trekking in the late 1990s. The camera crew shot her training on Ocean Beach while Velshi asked about her upcoming trip to Antarctica.

"What I'm going to be doing is crossing the continent," Levine said in her exuberant way, "from the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole. So it's about 550 miles of Antarctic ice and it's the coldest, windiest place on Earth!"

Velshi asked about her company, Daredevil Strategies, and the heart condition she had corrected through surgery, and called it a wrap. The segment aired Oct. 12. Pretty standard fare. But something about the interview struck Levine. Velshi had asked why she had given up a career on Wall Street. Why she turned her back on a five-figure income, with the potential for six in the not-so-distant future.

Even now, months later, Levine laughs at the recollection. If he only knew.

Scaling heights

Levine is probably best known for her outdoor adventures. During the past decade she has climbed - at least partway - the highest peaks on all seven continents, and has traveled under her own power to the North and South poles.

Her windburned countenance has graced the pages of Outside, National Geographic Adventure and O. And she's been featured on NBC's "Today" show, CNBC's "Power Lunch" and "ABC World News Tonight." While much is made of her accomplishments on the heights, little is said about the other nine months of the year when she works as a motivational speaker. At 41, Levine travels from her Cow Hollow apartment to cities across the country, imploring workers to make their numbers next quarter.

For this she charges $15,000 per hour onstage.

"The route to the top is different for every peak," says her Web site, "just as it is for every individual and every company. Each Daredevil Strategies presentation is customized for your event based on your goals and objectives."

/// Collaboration360 trains project teams to collaborate effectively with their team vision in mind by using our Compass AE methodology. Our process also enables project implementers to collaborate anywhere as a team regardless of distance, technology and project culture.training teams to collaborate as a team, not as a team of individuals.

Compass AE is a grand strategic process that works for all businesses. We can customize it for your Alpha projects based on your goals and objectives.

In February I traveled to Sacramento to witness the conversion of mountaineering anecdotes into parables about business competence and office productivity.

Some 900 members of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing had gathered at the Hyatt Regency ballroom. All were involved with the building and renovation of California's public schools. And all were facing a difficult year with state funding cuts and skyrocketing construction costs.

Taking a seat at a table designated for first-timers, I noticed Levine amid a cluster of handlers. Petite (5'4" in flats), she wore a dark pantsuit with a white V-necked blouse. Her dark, shoulder-length hair was glossy and expertly cut. Her cheeks glowed; though she did look a little tense.

Nonprofit association meetings like this one always take more effort than the standard company meeting. The attendees have less in common, making it difficult to craft an entertaining presentation while staying on message. (She can't manipulate the CEO's head onto her climbing photos, for example.)

The proposition

Levine was 31 before she strapped on her first pair of crampons. That expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro was a celebration. Born with a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, as a child she was scarcely able to climb a flight of stairs. She'd had the defective valve surgically corrected the year before, and was eager to test her endurance on Africa's highest peak.

Plus she wanted to do some traveling before she got her master's in business administration. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1987 (she grew up in Phoenix), Levine worked for a pharmaceutical company where she focused on business development in Southeast Asia. Then she worked for a Silicon Valley startup that produced medical lasers. But she felt as though she hadn't seen much of the world.

Levine enrolled at Duke University in the fall of 1998, and spent every break traveling to mountains around the world, gaining confidence and technical expertise. Within months of her 2001 graduation, she had bagged six of the fabled Seven Summits. Only the highest peak in Asia eluded her. Before long she would have her chance. ...

Dorsey Kindler last wrote for the Magazine on William Langeweische. E-mail magazine@sfchronicle.com.


This article appeared on page P - 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle


1 comment:

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