How Your Personal Values Play Out In Your Compression Planning Sessions

I’ve noticed something lately with my three-year old son Blake.


Blake McNellis, Age 3, Future Compression Planner

It’s about his outlook on life.

When one of us asks Blake how he is doing, he always yells “GREAT!”

We didn’t teach him that. He is just kind of wired that way and it puts a smile on my face every time I ask him.

Granted, he’s only three but my goal is to continue to nurture him to continue along that path.

Why do I share this?

Because I’ve done somewhere between 30-35 Design Alerts in the past 8 weeks and I’ve noticed something.

I’m not sure what is in the water but it has been fun and fascinating to see what everyone is tackling these days.

It led to an interesting talk I had with my dad and it’s actually quite simple.

When studying these designs, there was something I noticed that I had never really paid attention to in the past.

I think it was the shear number of them all at once that caused the insights.

And it has to do what how your personal values come across through your Compression Planning Designs.

It turns out that Designs also fit the question of “Is the glass half empty or half full?”

Two of the Design Alerts I did left me with a not so great feeling.

I couldn’t immediately put my finger on what it was.

The Design was actually pretty good in that it was in alignment…the Purposes were clear and the questions were tied to the purposes.

But…it was a bit of a bummer design…at least that was my initial response.

I think Compression Planning is best used when it is working on the future…identifying things you are currently doing that could be done to better serve your audience.

That audience can be internal or external…or both.

My school of thought and how I approach my Designs is to always try and keep it positive.

Ways to keep it fun…ways to make it interesting…ways to get customers begging for something.

The other approach and I know it can be valid, is to look historically and basically ask “where are we screwing up or dropping the ball.”

If you do that kind of approach you always need to come back and narrow it down to the top “barriers/roadblocks/problems” and look at ways to OVERCOME and deal with those top identified issues.

However…I think you can skip the barrier/roadblock/problem identification and go straight to figuring out how to “take care of people or get them to do something they aren’t currently doing.”

Skip the negative and go straight for the positive!

You keep the mood upbeat and give your participants something to look forward to.

All it takes is one person to set that stage and it turns out it’s infectious and others will pick up on it.

Keep your Headers worded in a positive future cast manner.

Study your Blueprint notebook (from the Institute) on pages 48-53 and you can wordsmith many of those questions to fit your sessions.

And when you are doing your Non-Purposes, limit the behavior ones to KEY behaviors that could side-track the group…not ALL behaviors but critical ones.

And make sure you look at content Non-Purposes on top of behavioral ones.

Remember, the flow of a Design goes as follows:

Topic Card: Identifies WHAT your group is there to work on.

Overall Purposes: Gives context to the WHAT. Let’s you know what the end result of successful planning and implementation looks like.

Purpose of this Session: Let’s the group know what they are there to work on at that point in time.

Non-Purpose of the Session: Identifies what is off the table for discussion at that point in time.

Background: A presentation of the facts (data) that the participants need to know to deliver the Purpose of this Session.

Headers: Questions/thought starters tied directly to the Purpose of this Session.

By framing your Purposes and your Headers in a positive manner, the group should have an easier time developing a plan they own and want to see implemented.

Your planning should be uplifting to your participants, to your organization and to you personally.

If you want a downer, turn on the evening news. Keep it out of your planning efforts!

Life is too short to be a “Debbie/Donny Downer.” And special apologies to all of my friends named Debbie and Don!

Maybe I should have gone with “Party-pooper Pat.”

Don’t be that person!

Let me know what you think in the comment section. I’m still wrapping my head around this and I will share how it unfolds over time!

7 Responses to How Your Personal Values Play Out In Your Compression Planning Sessions

  1. Chris Shaw June 30, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    Pat, finding the positive in design makes perfect sense! It is rare to dpfind someone who wants to hear they haven’t done something well. By finding and building on strengths members of the team feel valued and want to contribute to the team’s success!

  2. Judith Cawhorn June 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Hi Patrick, this is a terrific post. I ‘ve had conversations with Jerry about my feelings that the person delivering the compression planning is as equally important as the tool it’s self. I’ve always brought my exuberance for life and living to my sessions. I know that people can have a good solid CP session even if they don’t exude that positive aspect because CP works like nothing else. I think, however that what you get from the session when it is very upbeat and positive is much richer in terms of the end results and people actually walk away more committed to the delivery of the end product.

  3. Carrie Bearden June 30, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks, Pat! I think you are right about being positive and future planning!

  4. Jim Norman June 30, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Pat: I just finished and used ” A Curious Mind” to request a conversation.great result. How’s Jerry? Sincerely, Jim

  5. gloria jacobs July 20, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Great post Pat!

  6. Marti Harrington August 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks Pat!
    Great post and a good reminder about how important
    Our assumptions are.

  7. Chris Eder August 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    Pat – This is GREAT! I agree, and you say it so well. I like that you had this insight and shared it. It really helps to see it spelled out and contrasted. Love this! Thank you – Chris

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