Planners’ Picks — May 28, 2024

Planners’ Picks  A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

May ends with advice from a taco, encouragement to quit, and a suggestion not to take anything seriously. Sound interesting? Then read on!

*Note: Don’t fret if you can’t get through these resources! You can choose one or two that interest you if you’re short on time.


:: Image of the Week

A sign on a sidewalk

"If tacos can totally fall apart and still be amazing so can you!"

A little bit of encouragement from one of our favorite meals.


:: Self-Leadership Development

Resources for Leadership Growth

A new online hub from Leadership and Talent Development, “Grow as a Leader,” highlights resources for employees who wish to develop their leadership potential, regardless of their current positions at UW–Madison. Both current and aspiring leaders will find courses and workshops, seminars, conferences, coaching and consultation opportunities, and communities of practice — most of which are offered free to charge to UW employees. Professional development opportunities that support leadership development are provided for individuals, supervisors/managers, faculty, organizational leaders, and student leaders. Please share out with your team!

“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anaïs Nin

Leading a Company That Can Thrive in a Chaotic World

Worldwide, the past few years have been marked by multiple, intersecting crises — and things aren’t likely to get less complicated anytime soon. The authors met with a group of CEOs to discuss how they lead amid this ongoing chaos. To thrive in this chaotic new world, organizations need leaders with inner strength, character, and a moral compass. By continually adapting and learning, they’ll enable their organizations to navigate these ever-turbulent waters.


:: Productivity

Sustain Your Creative Spirit by “Orbiting the Giant Hairball”

Keep your creative energy in organizations by not getting sucked into conformity.  A great book is Gordon Mackenzie’s, Orbiting the Giant Hairball (1998). During his 30-year career with Hallmark Cards, Mackenzie discovered ways to retain creativity in the face of the inexorable gravitational pull towards conformity (the “hairball”), and to seek bliss while remaining dedicated to the corporate mission and vision:

“Orbiting is responsible creativity: vigorously exploring and operating beyond the Hairball of the corporate mindset, beyond “accepted models, patterns, or standards” — all the while remaining connected to the spirit of the corporate mission.”

Read more on this from our friend Harry Webne-Behrman in his recent blog post What Matters at Work.

“Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.” – Ben Zander

The Game-changing Magic of Knowing When to Quit

Quitting isn’t a sign of failure; it’s a strategic move that can open doors to new opportunities. Knowing when to walk away is as crucial as perseverance, especially in situations where continuing to push forward no longer serves us. Yet, it is often overlooked because there’s a common stigma associated with quitting.

It’s not always best to value grit or follow-through, says Annie Duke, a former professional poker player who knows a thing or two about when to fold her cards. She’s on a mission to help you get better at quitting. In this Provocateurs podcast, hosted by Stuart Crainer of Thinkers50 and Steve Goldbach of Deloitte, she challenges us to examine our own biases and self-narratives to focus on the things we can control, in order to make better choices.


Short transcript:


:: Remote and Hybrid Work

Camera On: Why Seeing is Believing in the Virtual Workplace

In the age of remote work, video conferencing has become the cornerstone of team collaboration. While the convenience and flexibility it offers are undeniable, one key element often sparks debate: the camera. Should we leave it on or off during meetings?

The argument for a “camera-on” policy is compelling and multifaceted; read Nicholas Davis’ take on why cameras on is the right choice, and how to be most effective while on calls.–aegac/?trackingId=KcqmPs3LpgKQnEQJaGH0OA%3D%3D


:: Work Culture & Team Development

How Leaders Can Better Support High-Achieving Women

Sohee Jun is a leadership coach for female executives, leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs. She is also a TEDx speaker, Forbes Coaches Council member, keynote speaker, leadership development expert, and author. With over twenty years in the corporate world, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including those in the entertainment, production, and media sectors such as Netflix, Fox, and Disney.

In 2020, Sohee released her first book, Mommytracked: How to Take Authentic Risks and Find Success on Your Terms, with the goal of helping ambitious women tap into their inner core throughout the different phases of their lives. She’s now the author of a second book, The Inner Game: Secrets of High-Achieving Women for Navigating Work, Life, and Mindset*.

In a world where still too few women are represented in senior leadership roles, many of us want to do whatever we can to support high-achieving women. In this Coaching for Leaders conversation, Sohee explores what her research and experience indicates that leaders can do to better support women in their careers.


:: Change Management

The DPPS Printshop Move: Finding Innovation Through Challenge

UW-Madison’s Print Production Manager had the opportunity to discuss the DPPS print production move with Nikki on the Gut + Science podcast, part of the PeopleForward Network. If you’re unfamiliar with our story, here are a few key takeaways:

  • Embracing change and innovative planning in business relocations.
  • Involving staff in decision-making to enhance process improvements.
  • Leveraging forced change as an opportunity for operational enhancement.
  • The importance of maintaining effective communication and transparency during transitions.
  • Continuous improvement post-move to optimize workspace and processes.

We hope you enjoy the conversation!

“Don’t be afraid of endings, because they empty the stage for something new to make its entrance.” – Agapi Stassinopoulos


:: CSN’s Book of the Week Recommendation

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is a self-help book by the author Don Miguel Ruiz. The book outlines a code of conduct based on Toltec teachings that purport to improve one’s life.

The book was originally published in 1997 by Amber-Allen Publishing in San Rafael, California. The intent of the book is to help readers explore “freedom,” “happiness,” and “love.”

The central point is that a person’s life is determined by the agreements they have made with themselves, others, God, and society as a whole. Through these agreements, one determines how they see themselves, what is possible for them, how they should behave, and their worth as a person.

The book is broken up into an exploration of the four agreements: “Be impeccable with your word”, “Do not take anything personally”, “Do not make assumptions”, and “Always do your best”. Chapters include the relevant linguistic and historical context for each. Ruiz says that by making a pact with the agreements described in the book, the individual can create a happier and more successful life.

More on the Four Agreements here:

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” – Winston Churchill


:: Mental Health and Self-Care

Jung’s Practical Guide to ‘Happierness’

“When it comes to happiness,” writes Arthur C. Brooks in The Atlantic, famous psychologist Carl Jung can seem a bit of a downer,” and not someone we might look to for advice in this area. Jung is quoted as observing “there is not a single objective criterion which would prove beyond all doubt” that happiness even exists. However, Brooks says this doesn’t mean that we can’t learn useful lessons from Jung about how to live more fulfilling lives: “On the contrary, Jung is stating the manifest truth that we cannot lay hold of any blissful end state of pure happiness, because every human life is bound to involve negative emotions,” but we can pursue steady progress, or what Oprah Winfrey calls, “happierness.” Towards the end of his life, Jung shared five pillars for continuously living better, and Brooks summarizes them with the help of modern research and context.

  1. Good physical and mental health. “Jung believed that getting happier required soundness of mind and body.”

    2. Good personal and intimate relations, such as those of marriage, family, and friendships. “Close relationships are at the heart of well-being,” and “cultivating them will reliably increase happiness.”

    3. Seeing beauty in art and nature. “Jung believed that happiness required one to cultivate an appreciation for beautiful things and experiences.”

    4. A reasonable standard of living and satisfactory work.Brooks upgrades “satisfactory work,” to “meaningful work,” which requires “earned success(a sense of accomplishing something valuable) and service to others.”

    5. A philosophical or religious outlook that fosters resilience. “Jung argued that a good life requires a way of understanding why things happen the way they do, being able to zoom out from the tedious quotidian travails of life, and put events—including inevitable suffering—into perspective.”


:: Upcoming Events

Thinking at the Speed of Bias

While there’s lots of talk about unconscious bias, little to nothing has been done to develop skills actually to challenge it and its impact on inequities. Faced with this pervasive challenge, how can forward-thinking leaders take the initiative to uproot unconscious biases and nurture cultures of inclusion, belonging, and equity?

Join this interactive discussion with Sara Taylor, respected DEI expert and two-time author. She’ll share insights from her brand-new book, Thinking at the Speed of Bias: How to Shift our Unconscious Filters. Sara’s concepts provide an understanding of the three functions and three types of unconscious Filters, straightforward strategies to interrupt them, and long-term development processes for both individuals and organizations to create greater equity.

Date: May 30, 2024
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST (Use Safari or Chrome for this page)