Decoding the Puzzles of Humans

Friday, March 13, 2009 by Dave Blum In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about “decoding” situations.  Now what does that mean? According to, “to decode” is: 1. to translate (data or a message) from a code into the original language or form. 2. to extract meaning from (spoken or written symbols). When confronted with a […]

Team-building in Cross-Cultural Settings

Thursday, March 12, 2009 by Dave Blum Jack walks into his weekly team meeting with a spring in his step.  Over the last few days, he’s been developing a plan that he’s sure will save the group thousands of dollars in time and budget.  He can’t wait to share it all with his teammates, receive their […]

Surviving “Ed”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 by Dave Blum It’s hard enough trying to cope with the economic situation when we don’t even know what to call it. A “recession”? — doesn’t sound strong enough A “depression”? — sounds, well, depressing An “Economic Downturn”? — that’s probably the most accurate, although it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. […]

Team Building: Four Steps for Managing Negative Self Talk

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by Dave Blum In a recent article from ASTD’s Training & Development Magazine titled “Coaching Teams for Emotional Intelligence in Your Diverse Workplace”, the authors discuss the team impact of negative “self stories”. Tell me you haven’t heard at least one of the following statements from your teammates or coworkers (especially […]

Leadership Skills: The Personality Makeover

Monday, March 9, 2009 by Dave Blum There’s a great article in the latest issue of Inc. Magazine about the “personality makeover” of the CEO of Ruckus Wireless, a Sunnyvale, CA Wi-Fi start up.  By all accounts, Selina Lo is a hard-charging, successful executive leader; at last count, her company had 147 employees and recorded […]

Building Teams & Allignment: with Open Space

Friday, March 6, 2009 by Dave Blum Have you ever been to a conference where there are intentionally no plans, no programs, no designated speakers, and the agenda is made up from scratch that morning?  Well, that’s exactly the crazy/fascinating meeting I attended here in San Francisco this past Tuesday, The event was called “LaidOffCamp“, […]

Watch Your Step, part 2

Thursday, March 5, 2009 by Dave Blum So there I am on a Balinese beach, sitting in the sand, my feet full of sea urchin spines.   (How’s that for a lead sentence!) Sprinting off towards the nearest hotel, my girlfriend, Yumiko, can be seen from a distance, negotiating animatedly with the local t-shirt vendors.  Half an hour […]

Management Lesson: Watch Your Step!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 by Dave Blum What were *you* doing back in 1987?  If you’re a Millennial, you may not even have even been born yet!  (Wow, that makes me feel OLD.) For my part, back in the later 80’s I was foot-loose and fancy free, having just finished a two-year stint teaching English […]

Scavenger Hunt Ideas: 3 Ways to build a list

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 by Dave Blum Here are three types of scavenger hunt lists you’ll want to consider when creating your own DIY team building exercises: 1) A List of Items: When we were kids, our parents often set up our birthday or holiday scavenger hunts around the house or neighborhood.  After receiving the […]

Team-building: Building-in Imperfection

Monday, March 2, 2009 by Dave Blum >Years ago while teaching English in Japan, I was struck by the fact that many of the female models and pop stars had (at least) one crooked tooth.  Clearly there was some peculiarly Asian aesthetic going on here that I was missing, an aesthetic that was very different […]