When a VALID becomes a Bridge to the Future : The Unexpected Outcome From “Telling a 15 Second Story” (VALID #20 | December 6, 2022)

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The reflections from a father and son discussion following VALID 20: Telling a 15-second Story: TikTok, the New Age of Communication & Implications for Business and Society

 What’s a possible outcome from a Global Forum VALID?
Of course, as one of the organizers of the VALID meetings, I always hope they’re seen as a valuable opportunity learn something new and different. But this became especially clear following the December 6th VALID #20: Telling a 15-second Story: TikTok, the New Age of Communication & Implications for Business and Society
What about this VALID was so special?

VALID 20 brought together Valerie Binner CHRO/SVP of HR, OHS, and Real Estate at DeLaval International; and US high school senior, entrepreneur, and social media researcher Christine Sinn to share their perspectives on the social media apps like TikTok and their broad implications for HR and the future of work. Valerie and Christine discussed how, as the popularity of social media platforms continue to rise, they’re profoundly changing our culture, including ushering in new job roles- such as influencer—and influencing our consumption of information, driving our behavior in new ways, impacting our decision-making and reshaping our society.


Video 20


After the VALID, I discussed what learned and my reflections with my son, Lucas, a third year college student studying International Management in Karlsruhe (Germany). I wanted to further understand the Gen-Z point of view directly from a Gen-Z.
Our conversation expanded to discussing the various platforms, in addition to social media, that Gen-Z are using and he directed me to OpenAI and the tool ChatGPT to see what an AI enabled writing tool would blog on this topic. So, we gave ChatGPT an assignment: Create a blog about using TikTok to create a business impact; and the chances and risks for recruitment.
Here’s the result (with no human editing!)

Using TikTok for recruiting can be an effective way for businesses to reach a younger, digital-native audience and showcase their company culture and values. By creating content that highlights job opportunities and the benefits of working for your company, you can attract top talent and build a diverse and engaged team.
There are a few key ways that businesses can use TikTok to enhance their recruitment efforts:

  1. Share company culture: TikTok is a great platform for businesses to show off their company culture and values through short, engaging videos. By showcasing the work environment, team dynamics, and perks of working for your company, you can attract potential candidates who align with your company's values and culture.
  2. Create job-specific content: TikTok can also be used to highlight specific job openings and the skills and experience required for those roles. By creating content that speaks directly to potential candidates, you can reach a targeted audience and encourage them to apply.
  3. Partner with influencers: Influencers on TikTok have large and engaged followings, and businesses can leverage these individuals to promote job openings and attract top talent. Influencer collaborations can help businesses tap into new audiences and drive traffic to their recruitment pages.

There are also some risks and challenges that businesses should be aware of when using TikTok for recruiting. One potential risk is the platform's reputation for being a place for entertainment and leisure, which could deter some more traditional candidates from considering job opportunities. Additionally, TikTok's algorithms and privacy policies may change, which could impact the reach and effectiveness of recruitment efforts. To mitigate these risks, it's important for businesses to stay up to date on platform updates and have a clear and consistent recruitment strategy in place.
In conclusion, TikTok can be an effective tool for businesses looking to enhance their recruitment efforts and reach a younger, digital-native audience. By sharing company culture, creating job-specific content, and partnering with influencers, businesses can use TikTok to attract top talent and build a diverse and engaged team. However, it's important to be aware of the risks and challenges associated with using the platform for recruiting and to have a clear and consistent strategy in place.

Not completely satisfied, we gave ChatGPT an additional assignment: Create a condensed version.
And now here’s that result:

TikTok is a powerful tool for businesses looking to create a significant impact. By leveraging viral trends, engaging with users, utilizing paid advertising, and collaborating with influencers, businesses can use TikTok to drive tangible results. In terms of recruiting, TikTok can be an effective way for businesses to reach a younger, digital-native audience and showcase their company culture and values. By creating job-specific content and partnering with influencers, businesses can use TikTok to attract top talent and build a diverse and engaged team. However, it's important to be aware of the risks and challenges associated with using the platform for recruiting, such as its reputation for leisure and the potential for algorithm and privacy policy changes. To mitigate these risks, businesses should have a clear and consistent recruitment strategy in place.

We were amazed! Not only by the AI tool and its ability to write this comprehensive summary, but its summary is exactly what we discussed during December’s VALID. My only suggested addition to the ChatGPT would have been: Some sort of protective mechanism should also be agreed upon to guard against negative influences on a potential career that may be caused by thoughtless and politically incorrect contributions of a candidate (KGD).
We would encourage you to watch the video [link]—truly fascinating.

We continued to discuss the VALID, the insights gained, the questions it raised, and the advancement and adoption of technologies like ChatGPT. Will AI enabled tools that produce bot generated writing or deep fake videos allow someone with a subversive or destructive agenda to generate meaningful content in the future, using their computer and not their mind? Will this lead to a belief in content that cannot be fully validated? Who will (accessing skills and resources like time and money) be able to filter artificial expertise and check it for accuracy and completeness? Which interpretation of facts will be allowed? If morality is important, how is it considered when these technologies are developed and adopted? Whose values will be prioritized?
I was grateful for this exchange of ideas with Lucas; the discussion has brought us closer as father and son, as well as helping me to understand the differences, challenges, and alignments in our generational perspectives. I’ve developed a deeper respect for my son and his generation.

Thank you Valerie Binner and Christine Sinn—and Lucas Degenhardt. A wonderful and unexpected VALID outcome.


P.S.: I’m curious how you deal with these innovations and what thoughts it evokes in you. Please share your reflections me at contact.

This is no time for the Olympics, guys!!

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The Japanese government keeps up their assurances that the country can safely host the Olympics. However, Japan still has the lowest rate of COVID-19 vaccination amongst all the advanced nations. This is especially so among senior citizens. Hence, I am not yet immunised, nor my husband! How can the government possibly ensure a safe hosting of the Olympics that Japan can be proud of, in the current pandemic situation? I’m outraged!! I’m infuriated!!
Instead of turning a blind eye to the roaring external criticism, the government should tune in and listen intently to the voices of its citizens, medical professionals and the world. We are not happy about holding the Olympics now. What we should be doing first and foremost is to control the spread of COVID-19 by vaccinating all those inside Japan. Donating the vaccine to other countries at this stage is totally absurd.
Holding the games in the humidity of Japan’s extreme summer has never been a good idea! If the IOC wants to ensure at least a minimum safety level for the athletes, it should put aside its greed for a moment and act sensibly by postponing the Olympics again until November.

Wake up Japan, IOC, international broadcasters and sponsors!! Now is not the time for the Olympics!!!
This is the time to unite our efforts to fight against the COVID-19!

Virtual Action Learning Using the “Classic” Method

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Virtual Action Learning Using the “Classic” Method

I’m writing this blog during the Covid pandemic, 8 months after the UK’s first lockdown. Many of us are now spending more and more of our time working virtually. At Action Learning Associates (ALA) we’ve been working with international clients virtually, as well as face-to-face, for many years. We recognise that the best way to develop and sustain our international connections and our virtual working practice is to continually refine and improve our virtual working offer.

With this in mind, and in the spirit of learning with and from each other, ALA offered “taster” virtual action learning (VAL) sessions to the Global Forum community. We partnered with 3 groups, and each group met twice for a 3-hour action learning session. GF members joined the sessions from Canada, the US, South Africa, India, Sweden, the UK, Italy, France and Germany.

Participants were invited to experience the “classic” method of AL and to think critically about virtual working. For anyone not familiar with this method, there are 3 roles in the set: a presenter or issue holder; a facilitator who acts as guide to the process, “holds” a non-judgemental, psychologically-safe space, draws out learning, and may also ask questions; and 5 or 6 set members whose role is to ask short, open and insightful questions that help a presenter explore his or her situation and, through this exploration, discover fresh solutions and new ways forward.

Perhaps the central principle of classic action learning is best expressed in the following quote:

‘The function... is not to give advice or “fix” people from the outside in but rather to help people remove the interference so that they can discover their own wisdom from the inside out.’
– The Clearness Committee, Parker J. Palmer
The writer himself is a Quaker, and action learning has roots in Quaker practice (see Y. Boshyk and R.L. Dilworth [eds.], 2010, Action Learning: History and Evolution).

Action learning encourages participants to develop a more acute level of listening. The listener is not listening and waiting to speak or listening to argue, contradict or force an opinion, but is actively listening to understand what is being said, and perhaps what is not being said. Listeners (the set members and facilitator) create space and time for a presenter to closely examine her or his own narrative, truths and assumptions. And, in making space and time, we scrutinise flawed beliefs and assumptions about self, others and situations, and we share the process of learning.

The practice also encourages us to discover and notice those questions that unlock new and fresh perspectives that reveal the truth, and that ultimately drive the changes that the speaker wants to make.

The collated quotes below are from the participants of all 3 groups. I leave the conclusion of this “taster” experience to the participants who so openly shared their zeal for learning, and who generously gave their time, knowledge, wisdom and collaborative spirit.

Comments on the classic method

‘In] very senior [leadership] programmes the thing they always say they learn the most from is the reflecting, and this space gives them that opportunity. The part they [senior leaders] struggle with is emotions, and so I think this is a space – if there’s trust – that would be phenomenal to use.’ Jane R

‘[Creating trust] has to do with you guys [i.e. the facilitators] facilitating and being part of the set, and not apart from it. That way, people don’t look at you as being more powerful. You are looking to have the group build autonomy, so I think that position invites trust and collaboration.’ Charles B

‘Ruth and John, you put yourselves at the same level as us. This makes the dynamic very different.’ Chantal

‘Coming from different parts of the world [and having] similar challenges creates some sort of extra trust because you are so curious. And, you can hear the curiosity in everyone and there is a connection between the curiosity and the trust that helped in this session.’ Gunnar

‘I feel lighter. I’m so happy I brought this up [i.e. presented my challenge]. I think the beauty of this method is that it applies to professional and a variety of settings. We will open up more in a setting like this, a safe setting.’ Sanjay

‘You asked people to keep their microphones open. It had the effect of feeling together all the time. We were engaged rather than being spectators. Closing down other apps while we are in the AL space is a wonderful discipline. You don’t feel distracted.’ Charles B

‘This is the first time I’ve heard x talking about himself. And I’ve known him for years.’ Chantal

‘AL is elastic. Whatever the group or situation, there is something when we take our time at the beginning [of the series of meetings], and when we take our time to help each other; it’s very positive.” Nicolas

‘I think that, as a group, we created a continuation from last week – a holding environment where the presenter felt comfortable sharing something that felt pretty raw and emotional.’ Michellana

‘We were really tuned in to when you [the presenter] were still thinking or still writing and we didn’t interrupt that reflection space.’ Ruth

‘From my perspective [as presenter] I’ll tell you how I experienced it. The cadence was right. It allowed for pause to happen the natural way without anyone trying to fill the void. No one was either overly eager to ask a follow up question or rephrase the question when I paused. That was really good. I think that once we’d practiced a couple of times that just seemed to become natural.’ Sharon

‘I think we created a space for learning for all of us, as well as for sharing.’ Kay

‘What was helpful to me was that you [i.e. the facilitators] helped me understand the rules of engagement and went back to the structure and process. It helped us navigate our own path within a structured framework.’ Rose.

‘Being part of this group and experiencing classic action learning has been incredibly powerful. Being in a group like this is a powerful experience that reminds me how we need each other to learn.’ Kay

‘My experience is that it is really something in such a limited time [to create] a really deep and profound experience. Before doing it last week I didn’t know what was in there for me. It’s really the connection that you make in such a short time that is very deep.’ Maria-Christina

‘For me it’s going to be the tool that I use in my graduate training. I’m starting to think about how to teach my students to be better at coaching other students.’ Drew

‘My experience has been really positive. Last week’s session and this week’s session. I really love the immediate sense of community. I love the time that was afforded. As you speak through different aspects of your challenge it triggers other memories or thoughts. I thought that this was really powerful to provide that kind of time. I’m seeing more opportunity to think about this approach together with an established programme or maybe as a separate programme.’ Sharon

‘This extended format could reinforce the learning that they (i.e. participants on a senior leadership development programme) had from their programme. They could meet in small groups to reinforce the learning they had but they could also share challenges that they bring to the group.’ Michellana

‘I was really quite amazed by being with you all last week. As we were supporting x I left the session feeling supported myself. I found myself using the experience in my internal processes. I could see your faces and the questions you would ask.’ Kay

“I felt very energised.  It was a great experience engaging with you last week and talking about being stuck made me notice my stuckness all week.’ Michellana


Comments on working virtually

‘We were able to activate and stimulate someone’s thinking from several thousand miles away.’ Karl-Georg

‘I’ve loved the sessions because it gives you connectivity to people in different parts of the world. There’s a global perspective.’ Jane R

‘You took care to prepare us. You even sent a document about how to work on Zoom if we were not experienced. That’s a lot of care for how people come into group not knowing each other. I felt at ease right from the start with that level of care. You would have thought that working at a distance you would feel distant. But quite the opposite. It was close and I think that provides a wonderful environment for opening up and for perhaps being even more vulnerable with each other because of that closeness.’ Charles B

‘Coming from an IT background, I’ve been doing this [i.e. virtual working] for years. As far as action learning is concerned this is really effective. The reality is that the time has come for this classic on line action learning.’ Sanjay

‘This has encouraged me to use more virtual, to practice. This was excellent learning.’ Chantal

‘I find the virtual environment very supportive of this process. The process is so important as well as the content and for those of us who teach and deliver on line I think that understanding that relational and connecting piece is so critical to remember. I’m also appreciating the diversity we had in the room. There’s no way we could have been in the room together with the geographic diversity we have here.’ Kay

‘So one question or one thought that I had about the uniqueness of this VAL [virtual action learning] framework is that I wonder how when we are all virtual, we’re also in our homes or at least some place where we feel comfortable. Does that lend itself to a willingness to be more open and sharing than if we were in our office space or in a conference room or hotel? I’m just struck by the spaces because not only do I see you in a comfortable space and able to share, you’re also welcoming people into your homes and you are being invited into someone else’s comfortable space.’ Michellana

‘And, there’s a plus of this time [i.e. Covid] that people are at home. There’s a positive. People spend so much time in front of the screen and so much time on Zoom so then when you say ‘this is a 3 hour session’ they say ‘oh no’ and I think we’ve all experienced that it’s energising, nourishing because of the depth of connection but that’s quite hard to describe to people in advance. In the current context people think - I couldn’t possibly’ Ruth

‘It has made me more confident in moving my leadership development to a virtual platform and so I’ve included VAL in my programme.’ Rose

VALID 2 - Tomas Carlson

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The second Global Forum VALID took place on 21 May 2020. The discussant was Tomas Carlsson, a Global Forum community member, who spoke about lessons learned from transformation and turnaround experiences in critical times, including the pandemic. He is President and CEO of one of the largest construction companies in the Nordic region of Europe, based in Stockholm. Tomas is also a member of the Stockholm’s Chamber of Commerce committee of academics and business leaders tasked to recommend how to “restart” the Swedish economy.

He outlined his key operational approaches in leading transformation. He drives profitability improvement and growth in a sustainable way with a focus on developing organizations fit for people and fit for purpose. On assuming the leadership at NCC in 2018 he took time organize the “right team”, to make sure they achieved sustainable growth well above the average. Today, two-thirds in the top team are “new” to the company.
His second operational objective was “effective “governance”. He wanted an empowered team that would lead and implement the three thousand ongoing projects in NCC. He also set up a special task force on the pandemic, spending time every day discussing and helping them implement recommended actions.
The third pillar was “the right allocation of capital” and fourthly, and certainly not least, “communication”.
There were several questions focusing on these topics as well as how he views the future of his industry and the company’s eco-system. His personal leadership goals and advice to other leaders are to always be looking ahead, be consistent with one’s leadership values and practices, and stay updated and “keeping perspective”. When asked how he does this, he replied that he tries to spend time reflecting, taking a full day once a month to do so. And his “yoga” is cooking to clear his mind and refocus. As a “thirsty learner” he reads a great deal, both non-fiction as well as fiction. Participants very much appreciated Tomas’ discussion and thanked him accordingly.

For more details and to listen to the recording of this VALID please login first please and click here [link].

VALID 1 - Drew Boyd

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Constraints Lead to Creativity!

On May 14th , during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Forum-Action Learning Team organized its first VALID—Virtual Action learning International Discussion-- The aim: to keep provide a forum for our community to continue in its learning and networking mode, and deepening our reflection on “The Future”.

Drew Boyd, our own “Mister Innovation”, launched us into our VALID discussion series with a session entitled “Creative Lessons from A Pandemic”. Listening to Drew is always a pure moment of entertainment, as he embeds profound lessons within a truly memorable story.
What is creativity? It is the sudden collision of two previously unrelated themes. With a few photos, Drew illustrated the definition, notably drawing our attention to the way in which the popular television show “MacGyver” served as an example of accessible creativity.  
Three Key Principles of Creativity:

  • The Principle of Constraints. You lack something and replace it with something else more readably available.
  • The Principle of Fixedness. You become stuck in thinking about your available resources narrowly, even though many options are available to you. Go beyond the obvious and anticipate that the unusual can happen.
  • The Closed World Principle. Prioritize the resources around you; proximity is the solution.

What a moment of self-awareness! Reflecting on a recent personal experience, compensating for the lack of availability of professional painters, I became painter. I painted the forged iron fences around my house. Because every gesture was new to me, I had to create and invent the best process for doing this work. I hesitated. I referred to the DIY manuals. I was out of my comfort zone, but I was so pleased to see the result.

What about you?  How have you successfully used the principles of creativity?

Page 1 of 3

© Copyright 2023 - Global Executive Learning
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.