Being the Change

Being the Change“We but mirror the world.  All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body.  If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi is attributed with saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  It turns out he didn’t actually say that, but it’s not a bad simplification of what he did say.  Gandhi knew that change is difficult, at times even overwhelming, and pragmatically, he knew two things:

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A Spoonful of Sugar

A Spoonful of SugarRaise your hand if you have ever started off a conversation to offer difficult feedback by giving a compliment.  I can literally hear the rustle of thousands of hands being raised.  We’ve all done it.  No one wants to see pain inflicted on another human being.  We put ourselves in their shoes, and feel the agony of knowing we didn’t live up to a standard.

But on the other hand, we don’t put ourselves in their shoes completely.  Let’s try on your shoes for a moment.  You might not want to hear how you’d disappointed someone, but what other things might be in your head when someone approaches you with a suspiciously nervous start to a conversation? Continue reading

Inspiring Through Stories

Inspiring Through Stories“The adventures first,” said the Gryphon in an impatient tone, “explanations take such a dreadful time.”  – Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Think about the people who have most inspired you. What was it that stimulated your enthusiasm, your passion, your connection to their message?  Chances are it was a story that made a connection for you. I watched recently with amazement at the connection between an 80-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy as the older man told his story of life in Europe during World War II. The boy went on to characterize that man as a hero. Continue reading

The Siren Call of the Next Best Thing

The Siren Call of the Next Best ThingAgility, Intrapreneurship, Sustainability, Crowdfunding, Artificial intelligence. Have you been hearing these terms a lot this year?  Is your organization in active process of pivoting (another trendy word) to these new best means to gain competitive advantage?

These ideas, of course, are not the full laundry list of the new and better ways of conducting your business. Depending on which business article you read, you’ll find that the gurus have hundreds of takes on the most important new things to adopt in your business. Continue reading

The Danger of Returning to Better Times

The Danger of Returning to Better Times“This company used to be known for its great customer service and its caring attitude toward its employees,” lamented Tina. “We had better benefits, greater job security, and more respect from management, and the company got really great service for its customers as a result. We need to go back to the way it was.”

We’re hearing a lot of these laments lately. Companies, governments, and all types of organizations are changing. The complaints are often about abandoned non-verbal contracts between employers and employees, about lost cultural norms, and about ethical issues emerging as the change occurred.  And the knee jerk desire is to ‘return to better times’. Continue reading