Life is Best When You Are Ahead of the Curve

Life is Best When You Are Ahead of the Curve

Preparing for a Journey

I wasn’t sure how my week would begin when I landed in Philadelphia last Sunday night. I was there to film a course call Building Your Change Capability for Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

Soundview had awarded Change with Confidence “30 Best Business Books of 2013” status earlier this year and had created both Executive Summary and audio versions of my book – a huge honour. They also hosted a webinar with me in June that was a great experience.
Andrew, Executive Editor and
Ursula, Director of Business Dev.
In August, Ursula and Andrew approached me about a new product offering called SoundviewPro launching in January. It is a series of online courses by their authors that stream to subscribers’ computers, tablets and smart phones.
The invitation intrigued me. Online courses, called MOOCs (massive open online courses) is a hot trend in leadership development and I wanted to be a part of it. Doing so with a progressive and enthusiastic partner was even better.
I started writing my course a month before the shoot. I thoroughly researched the format, educating myself on consumer style preferences and the elements of engaging content. A successful course needed both. 
My biggest challenge was creating a narrative arc across all ‘classes’ to provide viewers with insights on change and a map of the phases of a big change project. I  spent the last two weekends creating slides and writing speaking notes. Building Your Change Capability was completed two hours before the taxi picked me up for the airport.
                    I Couldn’t Resist

Like most new experiences that stretch your capabilities, this one was amazing. The entire Soundview team, including the owners, Josh and Rebecca, were welcoming and supportive. They too were excited by the possibilities of this learning format. It felt like we were building something ahead of the curve, something that was big, exciting and not completely known.

Jen and Jackie, my directors and videographers, were excellent. Beyond putting me at ease, they were very knowledgeable and creative. I loved exploring options and selecting approaches for the different segments. We tried to see the content through the viewer’s eyes and created some exercises, which added spontaneity and freshness to the design.

Our target course length was three hours, which I thought was longer than the material I had prepared. I had nothing to worry about because after eight hours of filming we captured just over three hours of content over twelve classes:

  1. Introduction (12 min)
  2. Change Success Factors (28)
  3. The Change Leader’s Role (12)
  4. The Confidence Factor (10)
  5. Essential Change Capabilities (10)
  6. Assessing what You Bring to Change (16)
  7. Asking and Answering the Questions of
      Change (16)

  8. The Four Phases of a Change Initiative (10)
  9. Phase 1: Figuring It Out (15)
10. Phase 2: Planning for Change (16)
11. Phase 3: Managing Change (16)
12. Phase 4: Making It Stick (20)

It took me twenty minutes to get comfortable in front of the camera (and Kurt). Jen and Jackie were supportive coaches as I felt my way through the practice takes. 

On the Air

After a while, I noticed that I stopped staring at the camera and began using my peripheral vision. This change dramatically increased my concentration. I focused on speaking instead of being filmed speaking. Whenever I made a mistake, it took me a couple more tries to regain this perspective, something that practice will correct.

We talking about where leadership knowledge and education is going over breaks, lunches and dinners. SoundviewPro is the right product at the right time, just ahead of the curve. The excitement about building something new was electrifying.

I left the Soundview offices at the end of my two-day shoot. I knew I had participated in something important and vital.  Something that I would be proud of for the rest of my life. I also met great people who were a delight to work with. I thought to myself, life is best when you are ahead of the curve. 




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