10,000 Hours exists to help adults – individuals, groups, teams, and organisations – to learn. We understand that real adult learning is much more than cognitive awareness, much in the same way that understanding the importance of exercise and the mechanics of how to do a sit-up does not make you fit. Working across three broad areas of Executive Education, and Conferences, our team can help your people improve their professional “fitness” in the following domains.
Leaders are in charge but not always in control. For decades we have been using a mechanical engineering metaphor for leading the complex dynamic ecology of groups of people. Most leadership development curricular teaches frameworks, tools, and models for prediction and control. In doing so it assumes stable equilibrium states and reliable knowable cause-and-effect relationships. This stance is blind to the inherent uncertainty that exists in social systems and ignores the need to help leaders acquire skill for the surprises that are inevitable in organisations.
Since 1917 sales training has been taught from a perspective that assumes prediction and control. From needs-based, to solution, to insight selling, the enduring argument is that with enough preparation the sales process can be known and controlled. We recognise this as a partial but not complete truth. In addition to what can be known we ready sales professionals for what cannot be known. We use what we know about skill acquisition and complexity to help them acquire skill for the uncertainty and surprise that is found in social systems like professional selling.
By now most organisations have some awareness of and exposure to human centered design or design thinking. The novelty of the approach has collided with the repellent force of organisational status quo. Put simply most organisations and their innovation teams are stuck. We approach this on two fronts: (1) to build a tiered capability across the enterprise so that the organisation can teach the skills internally, and (2) teach the political and social dexterity needed to mobilise large social systems to change.
For 20 years we have attached microphones to our own lapels in front of hundreds of audiences and thousands of people. As practitioners and teachers of this craft for two decades we help executives be ready for that vital few minutes when they must speak their ideas to an audience. The basics can be learned from a free online video. For professionals looking to make their spoken words a point of difference in their careers we work participants right to their developmental edge. As audiences become less patient and perhaps less polite, we help professionals be fit and ready to engage and inspire the room.
White label our 20+ years of thinking and working on helping senior professionals acquire complex skills.
For a long time the unit of analysis in leadership development has been the individual. 360 degree feedback tools and executive coaching all done away from the action and in isolation has been the popular approach. We stand in a different place informed by the science of skill acquisition in domains of uncertainty and surprise. We work with a leadership team as a leadership team. We shift the unit of analysis from the individual to the group and help that team build its fitness for being with the hard conversation and knotty problems that confront all organisations right now.
The big personalities are in the one room and there is a day or two to get things agreed, aligned and moving forward. The senior cohorts in the chairs are seasoned, smart and weary of ineffectual facilitation. What’s called for is robust inclusive debate, humble curiosity and a wide canvas of considered provocative input. Our commercial roots, academic enquiry and decades of experience meld to provide an intelligent force guiding, yielding, and propelling a group toward an unhurried thoughtful outcome from which progress can be built.
Lights down, curtains up, phones off, game on. Conference. Since 1999 we have been hired to use sixty minutes to engage hundreds of hearts and minds. Combining a well-honed distillation of our latest thinking with your themes and messages we are frequently the opening or closing keynote to stamp a provocative engaging note on your event. We are currently delivering keynote presentations on “Complex Adaptive Leadership – building the fitness of those in charge”; “Bricolage saves the world – human centred design in large enterprise”; “Leadership Development is broken”; “Complex adaptive selling – the piece that’s been missing for 100 years”.
Sometimes the biggest barrier is time. When you have the whole crew in one room for the summit, conference, or offsite how do you teach them the essence of a skill quickly and at scale. We have run learning experiences for hundreds (at times thousands) of people in one room for more than 18 years. When there is a need to give fluency and awareness to a large population quickly our Sprint sessions make sense. Currently available for human-centred design, and sense-making in complexity
The ill-fated culture change program no more. Informed by anthropology, narrative enquiry, and social complexity these sessions allow a leadership team to kick-start a cultural journey with wide engagement and comprehensive impact. Inviting large populations to quickly immerse in the stories from now and the ambition we have surface the parts of our history to leave behind, and those parts to carry forward. It doesn’t change in a day, but it does start changing immediately, and the session outputs inform and shape the ongoing cultural work for the leaders and their teams.
Post-360, this work shifts the unit of analysis from the individual to the group. Mobile-led live data generated in real time describe the patterns of communication across your team or team of teams. Immersive and rich while also radically candid, the hot spots, bottle necks, back roads and isolated areas are made clear for all to see. As teams see the problems and opportunities in their dynamic we meet them with years of work with group process to gently and wisely facilitate an often cathartic discussion.