David Friedman’s Profile

We wanted to show you what kinds of questions we’ll be asking prospective members. To begin with, we’ll start with David Friedman and Jim McGee’s answers to the questions. It’s a way of letting you know what we’ll be asking of people and also of letting you know more about who we are.  Here’s David’s.

Basic Information
Your name David Friedman
Your home location (City) Chicago
Your home location  (state/province) IL
Your home location (country) USA
Your preferred email address davidfriedman AT cminds DOT net
Your preferred phone number 1-312-863-3489
Another phone number for you 1-773-551-0682
Your website (s) www.bridgewellpartners.com
Your blog’s title Positive Structures
Your blog’s URL http://www.growthcycle.typepad.com/positive_structures
Your LinkedIn profile www.linkedin.com/in/davidfriedman1
Skills and Interests
Educational achievements MBA, Yale University, 1984 

BA is Social Studies, Harvard University, 1979

Work history/highlights
  • Bridgewell Partners – 1999 to present. Trained and coached professionals on business development strategies and tactics. Provided consulting advice to professional service firms.
  • McKinsey and Company (1984-1999). Developed and implemented solutions to challenging strategic, organizational and operational challenges for large organizations. Emphasis on financial and other services.
Fields you consider yourself highly capable in  

  • Analyzing businesses
  • Creative endeavors
  • Designing collaborative structures
Other fields you are interested in  

  • Organizational development
  • Child development
  • Architecture
  • Sciences

  • Playing the guitar
  • Anything with my son!
Helping and Getting Help
Tell us a story about getting help (on something important to you) I have been reaching out for people to help me develop Collaborating Minds – trying to be open to any suggestions
What are you good at helping other people with?
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • Business development strategies and tactics
  • Thinking about business problems
  • Careers
Some examples of people you have helped
  • A sister of a friend – by putting her in touch with contacts I had in her field regarding her job search
  • A friend – in thinking about particular problems in her business
    Lots of people who worked with me
What methods and approaches do you use to help other people? What, in your experience, works best for you and them?
  • Listen – pay lots of attention to them
  • Start from where they are, but have a focus on what they can become
  • Don’t worry about how it will all turn out
  • Tell them that you have faith in their ability to do what is being asked of themor or what they aspire to do.
What have you learned  about how to help people grow and develop? What methods work best for you and for them?
  • It’s two steps forward and one step back – so expect the steps back and don’t be freaked out by them.
  • People can accomplish less than they think in a short period, but more than they can imagine in a long time.
  • Need to care about the other person – and know that you will change too as part of working with them
  • Need to watch your own reactions to what is happening – inside your head affects how you are outside
What should people who want to help you do? What would work best for you? Ask me what I am working on on which I could use help. Be a little persistent if I’m not responsive.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to relationship building? If so, what is it? Yes. I try to take care of the other person and help them achieve what they are trying to achieve. In the course of that, I always learn things that are valuable for me, and always learn about them.
What interpersonal or relationship building skill(s)would you like to improve?
  • Like to get better at listening, and at asking good questions.
  • Would like to get better at letting the other person go their own direction – even the wrong one – and not leap in as fast as I tend to.
  • To not get frustrated by people who just want to tell me their issue, and aren’t looking for an answer right now.
What people or ideas have most influenced your thinking about relationship-building? How? Bill and Martha Pieper (authors of Addicted to Unhappiness and several other books) – understanding the counterintuitive patterns of relationships 

Tiny little book On caring, by Milton Mayeroff – what caring is all about.

How do you solve problems?
  • At the start, I like to wallow in the problem for a bit – this means doing research by poking around on the Internet to see what I can learn.
  • At some point, as a version of the problem emerges in my mind, I like to think about what kinds of methods might be used to attack it – is it a problem where there’s a mathematical approach that could shed light on it (one that I know!).
  • I think about who else needs to be involved to make the conversation more fruitful.  I’ve been trained to think about issue, hypothesis, analysis and data so I like to use that approach.
  • I also like to come to a draft decision fairly quickly and see what a prototype of the answer might look like.
  • I try to work on more than one problem at a time. That way, whatever I run across can be used in any of several places – this mental multitasking helps me generate creative ideas.
  • Try to be creative, by sticking with a problem until I get a good answer and not going with the first idea that I (or my colleagues) have.
How have your problem-solving methods changed, if at all, over time? More focus on inclusion of other people. More focus on getting to an answer quickly. More willingness (perhaps not always wise) to trust my own experience and judgment.
What people and ideas have most influenced your thinking about problem-solving?
  • McKinsey training – process and methods
  • Christopher Alexander – on integrating people and beauty into addressing a problem
  • I like Edward Debono, particularly when he helps with the social process of problem solving
Intellectual property constraints
Do you have any intellectual property constraints that would affect your ability to participate? No
If yes, what are they?
Other information and questions
Reasons for your interest Because I love collaboration and problem solving and meeting other people who do too.
Are you passionate about the question, “What can we do together that we cannot do separately?” Please describe how that passion has been active in your life. Yes. That’s why I have been working on related topics for the past 10 years, and why I founded Collaborating Minds.
What topics get you talking (and listening)?
  • Collaboration
  • Baseball (especially youth baseball)
  • Teenagers and their issues
  • Anything about children
How would you like to be compensated? (You can change this later – we’re just interested) Pick among:
A. Cash to me
B. Donation to a charity of my choice
C. Donation to a charity selected by Collaborating Minds
D. Leave the money in Collaborating Minds 

My choice is D.

Anything else (personal or professional) that you’d like to tell us? No
Anything else you’d like to show us?  Please send as an email to minds@cminds.net No
Any questions you have for us? (ask as many as you like – that way we’ll be as prepared as possible when we talk with you)? No
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