WOW! Learning Ally staff members are so great! What is it that makes us so terrific? Maybe it’s our WOWs: Ways of Working. A set of guidelines for positive action, we refer to them and incorporate them into all our personal and organizational goals. By following the WOWs, we all work together to make Learning Ally a great place to work and volunteer. Maybe you’d like to consider adding some or all of our WOWs to your own toolbox? Here they are for you to ponder: a. Focus on customer needs as we embrace continuous change. b. Project ahead to find and deliver on the changes that need to be made. c. Find the meaning in the data. d. Make fact-based decisions and remain aligned with those decisions until a new case is made and a new decision is reached. e. Ask how we can do it better, consistently and often. f. Display bravery and be comfortable standing up and taking an unpopular view on issues. g. Assume positive intent. h. Communicate truthfully, candidly, and constructively. i. Demonstrate concern for all functions and see the organization as one. j. Acknowledge and celebrate team efforts and wins. k. Address issues with each other directly before taking them up with others. l. Set clear expectations and define everyone’s role (ownership) for achievement. m. Ensure the right people are in the room when making decisions. n. Regularly ask for and give feedback. o. Openly acknowledge mistakes, seek solutions, and not blame. Some of these WOWs seem so obvious, but others maybe not so much depending on your personal background and the experiences you’ve had. Confession time: I grew up in a very negative household. A few years ago, when a member of our Senior Leadership Team told me, “Assume positive intent”, it hit me like a thunderbolt. I was stunned. At that moment, I realized all my life I had assumed negative intent, and it had colored so many of my experiences as an adult. I have been grateful to that person ever since then for taking the time to tell me that, and am pleased to see it as a part of our WOWs. Just that one WOW has had such an impact on me personally; imagine how incorporating ALL of them can create positive, dynamic change in all of us? Pick a WOW and try it on for size. I bet you’ll like it.