December of 2012 I published a successful academic paper called; “Best Buy Corporation Strategic Management Analysis” which I co-wrote with some exceptionally talented people in my cohort. During that time, the company was experiencing revolutionary change, juggling reputation management issues and more. The CEO had resigned, the company founder, Dick Schulze, had written a letter to the board with intention to buy the company back and run it. The competitive market was rapidly changing, they pulled out of markets in China and the UK and had brought in new CEO, Huber Joly.
Recently, our paper reached 29,000 views in less than two years and we are proud of that. It is an accomplishment and for me, professionally, it highlights the kind of work I am capable of. The in-depth research of this globally expanding company, evaluation of their internal environment and external market conditions was a great learning experience. (more…)
These pictures are from one of our first “free” nights in South East Asia, for the Global Business Systems course in the Executive MBA program. This evening four of us opted for dinner on the rooftop in Little India. I heard a calming sound of flapping water, came around the corner and this beautiful scenery, was what I encountered.
This week’s photo challenge asks that we show what “refraction” means to us. Refraction occurs when a ray of light is indirectly deflected by a wave of energy that passes from one medium to another, which causes the illumination to bend and become distorted. For example: water to light, air to glass etc.
I interpret “Refraction” as a metaphor for life. (more…)
I’ve been thinking about intention lately. How often do we find ourselves slipping into “automatic thinking” ? What does our window of aspiration look like and how do we frame it?
Doing vs. Being | Acting vs. Reacting | Ideal vs. Real |
Intention leads to quantum creativity because for many people, creativity restores order. Some of the most important things that we do in life come from our creativity, which invokes possibilities of new beginnings.
The human condition causes individuals to make flawed assumptions that people do not change. But those of us have done deep self-exploration, know that we get to make a choice to be even better today than the day before.
I am not who I was five or ten years ago because of my curiosity and creativity. They have shown me the excitement to learn and grow that exists around each corner. The good news is that this world is full of random variables that can help us reach and exceed our potential every day, and we have the privilege of being able to share that with others.
Intention – Creativity – Restoration
Thanks for visiting my blog, feel free to leave a comment! Below are some quotes about intention, enjoy!_
As long as I can remember, I have loved the art of photography. Taking photos at night doesn’t come easy for many. In this example, I think the complexity and structure of how a spiderweb is constructed is fascinating. Below is the original photo I took the other night on a tree in my back yard, using my Android. Someday I would love to get a professional digital camera, which has been added to my bucket list!.
I have been working with Photoshop Elements 10 for a couple of years now and thought it would be fun to take this version of The Weekly Photo Challenge Theme; “Nighttime” and see how I could transpose the same image to get different effects.
The only thing that will make it interactive is if you share comments, thoughts and questions below. Here are my results;
Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear from you!
Embracing uncertainty knowing there is no “around, over or under.”
Having the audacity to do something unconventional, telling ourselves;
“I can, I will, I am, I believe, I trust it is time for something new and it is necessary. I will practice this until it feels normal.“
Walking into the unknown with persistent fearlessness and a resilient spirit.
Forging ahead with integrity, courage, bravery, wholeheartedness and guts.
Past those who cast stones of judgement, unkind words and misunderstanding.
They will not define us.
For we know the only way out, is through, and that something better is in store.
Our self-assuredness will take us there,
because it always has.
This post was inspired by The Weekly Photo Challenge: “Endurance. Show us what endurance means to you.“
Though they may not understand the depth and breadth of it,
in time, they will.
Spinning, living life, pushing forward , chaotic schedules.
Hurrying to get to the next thing with good intention.
Adjusting to the shifting line of balance.
All for the sake of love.
And because we love, we forget to be here now.
But in moments, they remind us to be
centered and fully present.
Exactly where we belong,
and where it counts the most.
So thinking about what it means to be human, poses more questions than answers.
The plural definition; “humanities” takes on more complexity.
Merriam-Webster defines humanities as;
…”the branches of learning (as philosophy, arts, or languages) that investigate human constructs and concerns as opposed to natural processes (as in physics or chemistry) and social relations (as in anthropology or economics)“
This photograph taken at the National Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC is great metaphor for this week’s assignment. A young man’s image reflected in front of the wall etched with more than 58,286 names of soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam war for the sake of freedom. My challenge to you is to look at this picture, ponder its meaning and ask yourself the following questions:
It only takes one person to make a difference. So reflect, and ask yourself how you will make yours?
Thanks for visiting my blog, please feel free to make comments below.
The internet as we know it is currently neutral ground, hence the term “Net Neutrality.” That means everyone has open access – no discrimination.
As I write this post, large Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) want the ability to slow down (and break) the internet by creating slow lanes for the sake of profit.
Can you imagine a world where we would be charged for faster service? Open internet access for everyone is at the core of what has sparked innovation across the globe which have resulted in stronger, better economics.
The FCC deadline is 4 days. PLEASE ACT NOW – click here to call Congress and tell them to protect internet freedom.
In addition, please click here to send a letter to law makers. Please share these links with your friends, tell them to get on board. Thanks for your support. Together, we can make a difference one person at a time.
“When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?”
Writer’s block is a simple term for a complex process, so to add a party to it makes things a bit more interesting. If writer’s block was a destination, it would be a celebration that would never end because somewhere in the world, there are always writers in the midst of finding their muse. In fact, I am experiencing writer’s block right now, which is exactly why I was drawn to participate in The Daily Prompt.
Why does writer’s block come to me? I could give a million answers like the fact that I am fallible and there are bills to pay, closets to clean, errands to run, laundry to fold, work to be done and a family to tend to, etc. Or, perhaps I can’t get to my innovative FLOW space. Creativity is a process and for me, writing on my blog requires two things.
Once in a while, ideas need to marinate. Others thoughts come in unexpected moments. I think the key to overcoming writer’s block is to simply trust that the answers will come when the time is right.
Please feel free to join the discussion and leave a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!
Sometimes it flows and feels natural, as captured in the photo for this post. A young man who is between testing for his next belt level in karate and receiving a new status because he is ready and has done the work. He has practiced to learn the movement and techniques with precision and accuracy, and he knows that along with his sense of accomplishment come confidence and the long term rewards that follow.
In graduate school, we are taught that we should expect resistance when it comes to change in the workplace. Opposition is a natural part of the process during transformation and frequently rears its head when people do not understand why change is necessary, or there is not consistent support, repetition and communication of the messaging.
OD experts explain there are symbolic rituals necessary for organizational change that brings everyone along, so they feel as though they are part of the process and have input to the outcome. It is a blueprint that incorporates the right guidance systems so human capital can collectively take a step back, acknowledge their current reality, say goodbye to the old way of doing things while working together to build a future. (Kanter, 2008) The change will be more successful when all stakeholders understand their roles, contribution and call to action.
In our personal lives, navigating transition is more complex because not everyone is given the coping mechanisms for recognizing and dealing with change in healthy ways.
When it comes to how we work through transformation as individuals, there are times when we need to sit with discomfort and uncertainty for a bit as part of our reflection. Often our experience can provide answers and this world is one full of endless possibilities. Although there is a school of thought that might agree it is easier to give help than to ask for it, leveraging our support system is a resource we cannot ignore.
Discomfort is healthy when it motivates us to use our courage and move towards something better. Transition can be the beginning of something exciting and new that will provide opportunities to grow, learn, unlearn, re-think, re-learn, heal, innovate and re-invent.
Awareness of our own resistance to change could come in the form of anxiety, physical discomfort, fear, anger, sadness, insecurities, etc. In time, we learn the best way to overcome any of that is to get input, learn from it and then practice new behaviors until they feel normal.
Someone I know spent a great deal of time trying to work through a process like this. He shared what worked for him while he was struggling. His solutions are below.
Write down the following and reflect on the questions below, one at a time:
Once those issues had been examined, he found a trusted source to share it with that we will call “his people.” The ones he knew would not judge, give uninvited advice, or try to fix him or the situation. A trusted resource who would just listen. “His people” are the ones who have earned the right to hear his stories. It took practice, but it was amazing to see how the consistency of repeating the action over and over helped him grow.
So if you are finding yourself “between” something and are feeling in transition, perhaps his process could work for you as well. And who knows, you just may be happy you did. Thanks for visiting my blog, share your story or ask questions below, I’d love to hear from you!
 Kanter, R.M. (2008). Transforming giants. Harvard Business Review, 86(1), 43-52.
The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Prompt. Danielle Hark of Broken Light Collective challenges us to photograph between. This week, capture something between two things, reflect on the process of transition, or interpret this word in your own way.
I’ve been taking part two of a course based on a book called; “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown. Brown has spent the past 10-15 years researching topics like courage, vulnerability and authenticity. One of our first assignments was to think about the gifts that come to us as the result of our own creativity.
The book presents fascinating findings about creativity. Brown refers to vulnerability as the birthplace of innovation. She also makes the point that there is no such thing as people who are not creative. Instead, there are resourceful people who know how to tap into their ingenuity, while others don’t. (more…)
A few months back I took a six-week online class with Brené Brown based on her book; “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Early in the process we explored the meaning of courage and had a journal activity as seen in the picture. I wanted to share what Brené says about courage because I think it is profound;
“Courage, the original definition of courage when it first came into the English language – it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart – and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart…
This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee — and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult — to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.’”
-Quote by Brené Brown, speaking about The Power of Vulnerability at TED
How often do we ask ourselves the question of what it means to live wholeheartedly? It starts with having enough self-compassion to explore our stories about shame and vulnerability without judgement. Brené says that shame can not survive being spoken, so after we have explored our fears and insecurities, it is important to find “your people” – those who have earned the right to hear your story. They are the individuals you know will just listen without judgement. They are the people who will not throw it back in your face at a later time. Next, say it out loud to them. That is a step towards healing and growth.
That my friends, takes courage, and is a demonstration of living with intention. Thoughts feelings and actions in alignment with our values principles and goals. I’d like to think of it as a form of servant leadership that we give as a gift to ourselves. Genuine authenticity feels good.
If there is anything you would like to share about this please feel free to comment below.
Thanks for visiting my blog and have a Happy Valentines Day!
I took this picture in Rice Park at the 2014 St. Paul Winter Carnival on January 31st and the temperature was well below zero. There was a live band outside that evening complete with an ice bar and ice sculptures. We didn’t stay long, but we did get some great pictures.
The lights are so beautiful and remind me of a quote by Brené Brown from her book called “The Gifts of Imperfection.” A while back I posted one of her TED Talks videos that went viral about the power of vulnerability. In the book; The Gifts of Imperfection; Brené writes;
“I think the beauty of twinkle lights is a perfect metaphor for joy. (more…)
Sometimes it seems hard to remember a world without digital anything. It has changed business models, communication paradigms and how we need to think about what it means to be a digital and global citizen. Technology has shifted the way we shop, pay bills, save money, consume media, get cash, travel, advertise, manage workflows, store information and even how we want to be remembered.
According to the Ad Age Mobile Fact Pack 2013, the average adult in the United States spends an average of 141 minutes per day using mobile devices. Despite that, the good news is that the changes are teaching us how to stay connected to our families. According to Pew Internet, since 1965, fathers have tripled the amount of time spent with their kids. Even mothers spend more time now with their children than they did in 1960. Despite loads of information at our fingertips, we still don’t have all of the answers, and perhaps there is some redemption in that.
In presentations when I speak to people about what it means to remain relevant in a digital world that continues to expand, there are still so many people who feel overwhelmed. There are arguments on all sides about topics like transparency, being politically correct, when to take calls, check email and how to behave in public when talking on mobile devices, etc. (more…)
It helps to remember that people rally around causes and values that resonate with them, especially when leading through times of change. We have been trained to continuously scan internal and external environments and there is no question it takes time to figure out how to bring others with us through the journey that is change. Our role is to anticipate resistance, lead with confidence and have empathy for and redirect individuals who may get emotional. Modeling the behavior is a given and we can’t over communicate the key messaging that is required. Below are 6 simple things we can do to lead and influence people and organizations in times of transition.
1. Reciprocate – Random acts of kindness and helping others in unexpected ways sets the tone and people will respond in return.
2. Leverage scarcity – Have conversations about opportunity and consequences of not following through.
3. Authority: Lead by example – Rituals and setting goals play important roles in bringing others along. That happens when as leaders, we engage in conversation that covers:
• The past (this is where we were, what can it teach us)
• The present (this is our current reality)
• Vision (lets create the future together)
4. Consistency in messaging – People learn in different ways using various processes. We can’t over-repeat the message
5. Practice optimism because it is contagious. Seek synergies and commonalities. What do you like about how you work well together with peers?
6. Consensus – Ask for commitment because when people make a pledge, they are more likely to follow through.
Do you have other thoughts or stories about commitments? If so, make a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!