I was talking with a Senior Executive in an organization I knew well. He complained “Nora, I really resent it when you come to meet with the CEO.” “What, Why?” I asked, feeling upset and anxious. “Because, you tell him what we have been saying for years, and suddenly he announces he is going to do it as if it came to him from the sky”. We both busted up laughing. Why is it they have to hear it from someone else?

Or, more particularly, why do YOU have to hear it from someone else? Me, too. I’m guilty of the same behavior. I think it is an attribution bias. We need to hear the same thing from multiple sources, before we take action. And, honestly, maybe we just don’t want to – yet.

A current example is Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Maybe in the course of your reading or your work, you began to be introduced to and perhaps use AI. You might not have gone really deep into exploring its possibilities but now that everyone is jumping in, you can’t be left out of exploring its applications for your business. Your team may have been encouraging you to pursue it, and you needed to hear it from someone else.

Is there a way to create a better forum for these conversations internally to be on the cutting edge, or the close second wave to technology, or processes or strategies that can differentiate you from the competition?

If you can’t hear it from me, check out this interview of Coach Tara VanDaveer, the winningest coach in the NCAA who runs the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team. The inteview, “How to Win More Games Than Anyone” comes from the New York Times. I had bookmarked it to read it later when I saw the Headline in the online feed. If retired Professor John McIver hadn’t emailed it to me this morning saying it reminded him of my blog, I might never had read it. She says what I have been saying for years, but so much more eloquently. Read it here. And, hear it from somebody else.

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