Creating something impactful is like assembling a kaleidoscope.

A kaleidoscope is an assemblage of multiple small, colored pieces of glass. By themselves, they don’t seem like much, but when put together in the proper environment the pieces make beautiful patterns and create delight.

Oftentimes in organizations, I see evidence of many of the “pieces” but no one has intentionally unified them. Different departments or individuals often do things that help the same goal – creating pieces of colored glass – but no one evaluates them as a whole or packages the offerings as an intentional kaleidoscope.

Pieces of glass, no matter how colorful, have far less impact without the structure and cohesion that a kaleidoscope viewer provides.

When you think about your team or organization, assess what “pieces” you have in existence already and then consider how you can make them into something more. Can you build on impromptu recognition techniques to create a recognition program? Perhaps you can take your “pieces” of stress reduction and make them into a robust wellness initiative? Or maybe you can take your random volunteer work and make it into a full-fledged service program that reflects your values?

Part of the magic of a kaleidoscope is that not everyone sees all of the pieces in the same way. Focus on gathering the pieces and let individuals experience what you have created through their own perspective.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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