I visited La Alhambra in the Easter of 2009 and I was disappointed with it. I have always heard wonderful stories, descriptions… one day it was Bill Clinton bringing Hillary there, other day it was about the sunset… the case is that I didn’t find anything there that I hadn’t seen in the Reales Alcazares in Seville (where I spent a year studying and working) and in a better state of conservation.
Whenever I say this to someone, their reply is “but it’s not only the buildings, it’s the atmosphere, the location, the view…”… mmm… yes, sure, but I came there expecting to see one of the Seven Wonders in the World… and frankly, I have seen other breathtaking places (Machu Picchu, Iguaçu falls…) where you don’t need someone reminding you that “it’s not only this, you need also to take into account that…”.
Reading the a past issue of The Economist I came across the article “Planning for the sequel”, about how Pixar is preparing itself to continue with its creativity levels for the long-term.
The newspaper remarks two aspects of Pixar’s approach: the company puts people before projects and effort in getting people work together. Regarding the second reason, let me paste some of the sentences of the article:
“Employees show unfinished work to one another in daily meetings, so get used to giving and receiving constructive criticism.
[…] This system of constant feedback is designed to bring problems to the surface before they mutate into crises, and to provide creative teams with a source of inspiration.
[…] Pixar demands that each review identify at least five things that did not go well in the film, as well as five that did.”
Having been a member of the public speaking association Toastmasters for two years I have had the chance of seeing hundreds of evaluations. Evaluations of prepared speeches, of impromptu speeches, of meetings, of evaluators, of skilled and beginner speakers… it is not a so easy task to sit and think in a couple of minutes of 5 things that you really liked and some valuable points of improvement. It’s even less easy to speak them up in a structured, candid and, at the same time, encouraging way. And that is another thing that you can learn in Toastmasters: giving feedback through effective evaluations.
See how we do it in written at Madrid Toastmasters club (Excelencia Toastmasters uses the same form in Spanish):
Madrid Toastmasters club evaluation form.
No wonder that the majority of the 12,500 Toastmasters clubs worldwide are corporate clubs.