Colorful Leadership

People, Quality and Innovation
Each Essential, None Sufficient

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Turn On ALL the Lights

In the early nineteen hundreds, Scientific Management delivered tremendous increases in worker productivity.  A man with a stopwatch asked, “What would happen if…?”  The Hawthorne experiment was the all time classic.  At the Western Electric plant in Hawthorne, Illinois, illumination was increased from 24 to 46, and then to 70 foot candles.  Measured worker productivity went up as the lights got brighter.  Obviously, turning up the lights made a difference. Just to make sure, the light was reduced, and productivity remained above the baseline. It was not until the illumination was reduced to the level of ordinary moonlight, 0.06 foot candles that production dipped below baseline. In other experiments the illumination remained the same, but the workers were told that it had changed. In each case, the workers described that the new levels made work easier.

What was really happening?  Obviously, it must have been a people thing.  Workers were carefully interviewed. With supervisors listening to workers there were changes in behavior.  Is it that simple?  Listen to people and productivity goes up?  No, that would be like saying brighter lights lead to greater productivity.  Every situation is different.  Real life is complex with more variables than we can ever imagine.  To get past simplistic answers to complex problems we must apply models that incorporate chaos theory, fuzzy logic, and the butterfly effect.

Turning on All the Lights, means looking at every situation under different sets of lights, seeing different pictures of the same thing, and assembling the whole picture before jumping to conclusion.  Colorful Leadership is about doing this in a disciplined way.

Our organization helps your organization turn on all the lights,  and we do it without dimming any of the lights that are currently bright.  You don't get better at one thing by dimming down another thing.  Keep doing what you do well, and add something different.  We work with organizations through strategic planning sessions where we help your staff see things in a new light.  We also do keynote speaking at conferences and conventions.

Want our help?  Call us at 720-934-7667.

Click here for a printable copy of our training programs for project leaders.

"You have an absolutely unique view and approach to the dilemmas of leadership called Colorful Leadership. I will tell you that in 12 years of featuring a broad array of leaders, I have never come across anything remotely like your approach."

Linda Hatcher, Editor, Leadership Guide Magazine  

Read the recent interview with Leadership Guide Magazine

Colorful Leaders take a disciplined look at situations from three perspectives, one at a time, and then act appropriately based on the complete picture.  It is based on the additive color process that makes every color television work.  Red, green, and blue lights combine to create white light, and a full spectrum of colors, forming a beautiful high definition image.

Steve Wille, author of Colorful Leadership, is a senior applications manager at a large insurance company with U.S. headquarters in Colorado. He has over 25 years experience in corporate information technology management. His article on Constructive Conflict has been published internationally. Steve is a PMP (Project Management Professional) and has developed multiple large information technology systems from the ground up. Steve's MBA degree is from Regis University in Denver, and his BSBA degree is from the University of Denver. 


Project Conflict: Normal, Nasty, or Nice?

New - E-Learning workshop under development
See more about our new e-learning opportunity, Turn On All The Lights

Black and White Leadership - Interview with Steve Wille

What better way to understand Colorful Leadership than to take out the color and see in black and white. Black and white leadership is pretty good leadership. It is good enough. Excellence is overrated. Most of us want to go to work, have fund, get paid, and go home to our families. Colorful Leadership can take you further, and it requires discipline. You need to look at every situation from several perspectives before making decisions and planning a course of action.

Continue the Interview - Next Page



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