Whole New Level” Interactive Workshop
Mike Lipkin is President of Environics/Lipkin, the specialist
Motivation and Persuasion Company in the Environics Research Group,
one of Canada’s largest and most sophisticated research
houses. He is a Toronto-based motivator, author and persuasion
coach who has worked in twenty- two countries with over 200,000
Mike was born in the UK, raised in South Africa and emigrated
to Toronto in 1987. By combining Environics Social Values Research
with his personal expertise and experience, he provides people
with the confidence and insights to connect with others at the
deepest level. You can read more about Mike on his website, www.mikelipkin.com
of the workshop opening, it was clear to everyone in the room
that this workshop would indeed be a “Whole New Level”!
In his introductory remarks, Mike summarized the focus of the
day- a discussion of trends transforming the workplace, actions
that champions are taking, and what each of us needs to do in
the environment of “the new normal”. Normal as we
knew it “does not live here anymore”! Normal has been
replaced by chaos and mess! Attendees were promised that by the
end of the day each person would be 0.2% more effective.
Is such a
small improvement worth the effort? Yes, because the improvements
compound! Each of us can either enhance or erode our capacity
each day- we can chose growth, or shrinkage. As we encounter challenges,
each of us needs to ask ourselves, “How can I use this to
take me to the next level?”
that the people in the room were as stressed as any of his clients-
with stress from events that often cannot be controlled. In this
environment it can be difficult to stay focused and positive.
Leaders run on the fuel called confidence- you need to reach in
and “leverage” your confidence when you need it most.
To amplify your effectiveness, you need to “Keep the Main
Thing the Main thing”- stay focused on your goals, and apply
your energy where it has the most impact. The ability to sustain
a sense of humour is important. If you are happy and excited,
you become clever- but if you take everything as life and death
you will “die a lot- or early!”
when asked what they hoped to achieve for the day, responded with
issues such as
Helping the people around them take things more lightly
a balance between getting things done and feeling good about
what has been achieved
Learning to ask the right questions
that there are generally three types of individuals/learners –
Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. Visual learners rely more on
what they can see, audiotory learners rely on listening, and kinesthetic
learning rely on feelings. Leaders need to be in tune with these
individual differences- for example, with a colleague who says
“I can’t see where you are going with this”,
you might try drawing a picture.
Participants were encouraged to dedicate a day to thinking about
themselves, their lives, and their goals. You should know where
you are going before you get in the car! You may discover that
there is already something inside you that can relate to a range
of generations- a component of “adaptive navigation”.
brain has a tendency to focus on the things that are wrong, because
that is a survival instinct. We are easily “seduced by the
dark side”. But we can chose to be a consequence of our
decisions rather than our conditions. Mike recounted how, when
given an opportunity to meet Nelson Mandella, he asked about his
suffering during his 27 years in prison. Mr. Mandella responded
“I didn’t suffer, I prepared”. Rather than focusing
on the suffering of imprisonment, Mr. Mandella spent his time
preparing to lead his country.
The Defining Traits
to the age of accountability- if not you, then who?
We are living
in an age of accountability, an age of autonomy, an age of responsiveness.
There is a new scorecard, and you must demonstrate the value you
bring to the organization.
we are trained in the belief of “Thou shalt not make a mistake”.
Does the fear of mistakes pervade our thinking? Remember- if you
can’t take risks you can’t control your destiny. Don’t
focus on the negative consequences, or on what can go wrong. Instead,
focus on what can be achieved! Often, our strengths are our weakness-
and our desire to avoid mistakes may limit us.
the pattern in the chaos, confusion, anxiety and surprise
were asked to define the mark of someone who is outstanding at
helping others understand complex issues. The responses indicated
that it is important both to truly understand the issue and to
be capable of communicating it clearly. If you know what you are
talking about, others will “get it” immediately!
Gretsky, “skating to where the puck will be”, we need
to find the pattern in the chaos, and we need to share this knowledge
with those we work with. Often, an individual’s greatest
fears are of uncertainty, and of looking stupid. Leaders need
to help their people understand the patterns and see how the dots
the past decade, which might be thought of as “spring and
summer” the next decade will be “fall and winter”
The mood in the country is serious, and the population expects
diminishing resources and increased stress. Pessimists abound,
and cynicism is easy.
To thrive in this environment, champions must be brutally optimistic.
Simple optimism may not be enough- leaders need the kind of optimism
that can survive setbacks and long periods of disappointment.
Too many of
us suffer from “achievement amnesia”. Participants
were encouraged to recall a recent achievement they were extraordinarily
proud of. We were reminded that at some point, someone probably
looked at each of us and saw more than we saw in ourselves. We
need to do this for others- but also occasionally for ourselves.
Control of Destiny Conditioning
a personal approach to gaining inner strength and motivation.
Imagine yourself in a time and place when things went well- by
imagining it, you can reclaim that feeling. Similarly, destiny
conditioning involves anticipating and visualizing things happening
the way you want them to.
precisely what you want
were asked to describe important personal and professional goals
they would like to achieve within the next 12 months. Responses
included completion of an automation project, an audit of clinical
sectors, an IT project, recruitment of pharmacists, and losing
8 lbs ( the last providing clear evidence of the statement that
one person’s worst nightmare is someone else’s fantasy!)
If you can’t
articulate it, it is difficult to achieve it. The first step is
to articulate your goal, then visualize what you want to achieve
as having occurred. Luck is the outcome of knowing what you want
and believing you can achieve it.
precisely what you give to others
the one thing you believe you do extraordinarily well. What is
your special gift? What is your “Picasso”, the thing
that makes you an artist?
your Code of Conduct
his own personal values and code of conduct with the group. This
and physical health
with great people
was asked to consider their own personal values (taking honesty
and integrity as a given).
Catalyze Others’ Control of Destiny
A person is
a person because of other people. If we must eat from spoons twice
as long as our arms, we must feed each other.
the Struggle: no self-pity parties
It is when
the game turns against you that you get to show how good you are.
Remember- our worst nightmare is someone else’s fantasy.
Keep the lantern burning brightly, especially in dark times.
all others are taken! Three principles of “improv”
the offer. Suspend your cynicism, suspend your biases
not block the validity of the idea, open up to possibilities
Participants were introduced to five social supertrends, based
on Environics Research.
#1- Apocalyptic Anxiety
months, each of us can expect to experience a significant personal
upheaval. We are living in the “mess-age”. Remember,
you are never given any problem you can’t handle, and every
heartache carries within it the seeds of an equivalent or greater
#2 Aversion to Uncertainty and Complexity
been a significant rise in the number of Canadians who report
an aversion to complexity, while at the same time the number of
people reporting a feeling of adaptability to complexity has dropped.
We are living with a new form of apartheid- not the “haves”
and “have nots” but the “can” and “can
nots” . Based on Environics research, 80% of the population
is relying on 20% of the population to make things happen!
have the quality of confluence- what you say and how you say it
must agree. Confidence is key- you need the ability to show you
are in control even when you are scared to death.
#3- From Individualism and Idealism to Conformity and Exclusion
As of 2002,
three quarters of Canadians feel they are not in control of their
destiny. They feel overwhelmed. In these circumstances, we must
be cautious of the natural human tendency to “flock”-
to hide within a group and become invisible.
tendency is attraction to negativity, and leaders must stand guard
#4- From Duty and Obligation to Hedonism and Happiness
There is a
need for escape from uncertainty, a need for a break from the
problems. Between 1996 and 2002 the percentage of Canadians expressing
a strong commitment to duty obligations and tradition dropped
from 45% to 25%. In these circumstances, it is important for individuals
to have something to look forward to- “something pending”.
Leaders will “become a walking source of pleasure”
and use positive language (“fascinated” not “frustrated”).
#5- From Personal development to Personal Survival
research reports that the percentage of Canadians who reported
focusing on their own personal development dropped by over 50%,
from 39% to 18%, between 1996 and 2002. Many people lack the energy
to invest in themselves, and are simply surviving.
engage, or atrophy. You should discover and develop your “Picasso”,
look for opportunities to support others, and stay focused on
In the next
phase of the workshop, participants were asked to work in groups
using the Target model provided in the workshop material. Using
each table as a team, participants were asked to identify three
outcomes. Using outcomes believed to be achievable, the teams
moved on to discuss the purpose (why?) strategies, and specific
actions to receive the strategies. The results of the discussions
were then summarized in 3-5 minutes presentations from each table.
outcomes identified by the Turbo Schmoozers were
purposes for these outcomes were
focused on the patient
find your stories
staff and patients
a safety inventory
outcome identified by the Bar Codes was the implementation of
a Point of Care Bar Code System.
were identified: reduction of medication errors, utilization of
nursing staff time, timely access to patient clinical information,
reduced liability and risk and cost effectiveness.
for achieving this outcome included:
a multidisciplinary team approach
a Gap analysis
Creating an implementation Plan
Measures of success
Actions to be taken included identification of key
individuals, seeking buy-in of stakeholders, developing a communications
strategy, documenting and prioritizing gaps, developing a plan with
priorities and timelines, developing a budget and conducting a pilot
project. Measures of success would include the number of errors
avoided and the actual time measurements.
“Drugs and Hugs”
entertaining old-style teacher approach provided an added element
of fun and enthusiasm to the presentation of the Drugs and Hugs
group! The selected outcome was the expansion of clinical pharmacy
or purposes of this outcome were:
development of a business plan, marketing, seeking approval and
developing an implementation plan. Measures of success included
the creation and filling of positions, measurement of workload
and satisfaction, long term follow up, publication and expansion
to new areas.
The end, of
course, will be SUCCESS!!
“Controllers of Destiny”
outcome defined by the Controllers of Destiny was the reduction
of staff turnover. The purposes identified included
provide efficient and high quality services
increase employee satisfaction
support new service proposals
to be used were to gain administrative commitment, work with the
Human Resources department to determine why staff are leaving,
and introduce retention strategies. Benchmarking to identify best
practices would be conducted. Specific actions included conducting
exit interviews, meeting with staff focus groups, and over-hiring.
success for this initiative were the annual turnover rate and
the level of employee satisfaction reported by survey.
The Lipkinites confronted
their fear of appearing stupid by beginning their presentation
with a song. Their desired outcome, to maximize retention of staff,
was indicative of the high level of brutal optimism pervading
The purpose was to
achieve improved patient outcomes and to maintain the quality
of life of workers. In this way, they would be accountable to
their patients- celebrating the struggle along the way.
strategies included identifying expectations, finding innovative
ways to recognize staff, discovering the magic and being spontaneous.
Specific actions included a performance development plan and a
professional development program, controlling the destinies of
others, and, of course, “living the code of conduct”!
Measures of success
would include the actual staff vacancy rate and a staff satisfaction
The Finely Tuned Professionals had identified three outcome areas-
Improving Medication Safety, Staffing all pharmacist positions,
and Ensuring Appropriate Drug Utilization. Since two of these
topics had already been covered, the presentations focused on
the outcome of ensuring appropriate drug utilization. The purpose
was to treat patients appropriately, and to meet societal responsibilities
to spend public money wisely.
Strategies for achieving
the outcome included establishment of protocols for ratonal drug
use and enhancement of pharmaceutical care. Specific actions included
hiring a drug utilization pharmacist and developing protocols
for specific drugs. Examples of measures were the actual drug
costs and percentage of utilization of target drugs meeting predefined
Group Activity Summary
Participants were complimented
on the quality of their presentations, and the “Drugs and
Hugs” group was declared the winners in the “best
presentation” contest. Each group member was presented with
a complimentary copy of Mike Lipkin’s CD, “Luck Favours
the Brave.” (book and CD available at www.mikelipkin.com)
Participants were also
provided with a copy of Mike Lipkin’s book, “Your
Personal Best” which provides information on the Twelve
Personal Best Practices to Help you Live at Your Highest Level:
At the conclusion on
the workshop, participants were asked to describe one action they
would take in the next ten days that they wouldn’t have
done otherwise. A wide variety of responses were heard including
about fascination instead of frustration”
“I’ll write out my values”
“I’ll remember to celebrate the struggle”
“I’ll try to keep something pending”
“I’ll ask my management team to identify their Picasso’s”.
“I’ll watch my language to keep my communication positive”.
Mike left us with some
parting motivational thoughts:
Your biggest setbacks
and challenges often come just before your greatest breakthrough.
Great leaders have vision, are great communicators, and are resilient
If you fall down seven times, stand up eight.
All of us should be “promoters in chief”- promoting
the right person to the right person.
Put a smile on your face and show that you mean and believe what
you are saying. Selling is transferring your enthusiasm to the
Regret is the worst
pain of all- the worst thing to deal with is the pain of knowing
you could have done something and didn’t.
So remember to keep the main thing the main thing! (and may you
stay Forever Young! )
Below are some comments
from conference participants:
Lipkin is AMAZING! We were truly interactive
Lipkin was fantastic- I’m anxious to use the things I’ve
very relevant to our practice and our challenges as leaders