5 for 5 blog – Practitioners and Researchers

13 Mar

Photo Mar 12, 11 49 38 AM

When I have a chance to with colleagues and mentees, I am always intrigued to hear who they are following in social media. Whose books they are reading. Who they consider thought leaders.

The thing that amazes me every day when I flip through Twitter or LinkedIn are the masses of people sharing valuable insights on what is working, or not, in their world. I often tell friends, with so much great information, the problem isn’t finding someone to follow and learn from…..often it is separating the signal from the noise.

For my own development and learning, I would classify the people that have been most influential in my journey as “Practitioners” and “Researchers”.

Practitioners in simple terms are the “doers”. There are people in the world making and leading. Succeeding and failing. Dreaming big and learning. The leaders in this space that I listen and follow are Tim Brown of IDEO, Seth Godin, and most recently Bill Hybels and Bob Chapman whose ideas are helping to shape my leadership in new ways.

Researchers, to me, are the people testing and studying ideas, methods, and reasons for who we are and why we do what we do.  Brene Brown and Adam Grant come to mind here. Their studies, generously, bring concepts to life that help us all to be better leaders, creators, and people.

There is another group of Researchers that I would be remiss to not mention here. People like Simon Sinek, Nancy Duarte, Susan Cain, Todd Henry, and David Burkus are intrigued by key ideas and weave together the best of the Researchers and stories of Practitioners to bring big ideas down to earth. Their writing, speaking, and podcasting break down clarify practices and thinking that can help make us all better.

Lastly, every once and a while I run across people that have, or have had, one foot in each camp. People like Roger Martin and Bill George come to mind. Their deep experience in business and academia have helped shape my own ideas on strategy, integrative thinking, and bring a mindful leader.

I hesitate to but people into categories because the relationship that is emerging in the sharing economy is that these leaders are all connected. The relationship between practitioners and researchers is symbiotic and multiplying. Practitioners reference researchers for new ways to develop their work and conversely researchers study deeply the work of great practitioners.

The point here….join in the conversation. We have a choice to continuously grow and you can assemble your own staff of career professors. You just have to start. Admission is up to you.

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

Failed first drafts: the joy of making mistakes – by Jessica Lahey – via Virgin.com

On saying “no” – by Seth Godin – via @thisissethsblog

The First 2 Questions of Leadership – by and via ConantLeadership

10 Exercises To Fuel Creative Thinking – by Diana Budds – via Fast Company

Inquiring Minds – by Wailin Wong – via Medium

all the best, kevin