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Posted By Ted Baumhauer
Looking through the book Teach Your Team to Fish by Laurie Beth Jones I was struck by her discussion of the differences between stewardship and ownership. She’s right! Leaders trying to get their teams to own their work are setting up behaviors that they don’t want. Owners have the view that this is mine. When I have that view then I can do with “it” what I want. I can love it, hate it, improve it, or even ruin it. It’s mine. I am accountable to me. 
But stewardship implies that we don’t own “it” we are just taking care of “it” temporarily. That creates a whole different attitude, doesn’t it? Now I am responsible to those who follow me. I now know that I will some day pass this “it” off to someone else for safe keeping. That makes me accountable to someone else. I don’t want to turn over my job, my responsibilities, to someone else in bad shape. That would make me look bad and point out that I haven’t been doing a very good job.
What a difference that little change in words can have on our attitude. There has been a lot of talk about getting employees to take ownership of their work. I know I have said that in my training classes. That will change. Stewardship of their work is what we want our fellow workers to have and that change will lead to better teamwork and outcomes.
 
Posted By Ted Baumhauer

The first TEDx Rochester conference was held this past week. If you don't know what a TED Conferecen is, check out their web site at www.ted.com. What a great event. I was honored to be an invited guest of one of this year’s speakers, Larry Moss. The program was made up of 14 presenters from around the Rochester area and two videos of TED Conference presentations. We were treated to a wide breadth of information from building communities, nano technology, sustainable architecture, virtual world animation, to performance dance. Each presentation was between 10 and 18 minutes long and they were all interesting and very informative. 

The whole idea of TED conferences (TED standing originally for technology, entertainment, and design) is an old idea made new. It seems to me to be a call back to the time before television when people would go out at night in search of education. Some would certainly look for entertainment but others would attend lectures. The TED franchise seems to have taken that idea and brought it forward changed the format from one speaker to many and shortened the time for each presenter to adapt to our modern attention spans. 

For me personally I heard presenters, good presenters, talking about topics I would normally never seek out. Who knows where the cross pollination of ideas might lead?  This could also be done, and is, on Youtube or on television, but the conference gives the audience the treat of seeing it live and also the opportunity to talk to the presenters in the lobby. There is a value in that that cannot be replicated. It was a well run, entertaining, and informative event and I hope there are many more.

 

 

 
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