Forming the Basis for Revolutionary Change in Organizations

Many of our traditional business system models have evolved out of the industrial age and are no longer relevant. As a result, we need to adjust paradigms towards a new way of thinking. We will refer to this new thought process as the “emerging mindset“.

Today’s businesses are in a constant state of flux, adjusting in ways that entail combinations of reacting to unplanned fires blended with strategic planning. The external economic atmosphere is changing so fast that often, internal environments are unable to keep up, making organizations complex and more vulnerable than ever.

Our world has seen the intense progression in technology as of late, pushing us into a mode of hyper-connectivity, creating new open global capital market economies and new business models, impacting open global capital market economies and new business models, impacting internal and external environmental factors in organizations. As a result, many businesses that were in place five or even ten years ago have ceased to exist.

Categories of Innovation, Wheelan and Hunger 2012 13th ed

 Many organizational cultures are in the midst of punctuated equilibrium we refer to as Revolutionary Change as they attempt to seek the right amount of stability. 

The emerging mindset will need to constantly scan what is happening on the outside, monitor the expectations of behavior complexity, maintain alignment of strategic direction and plan how to begin the momentum in new ways that get everyone participating and excited about a new vision for the future. The new mindset will need to innovate and continue asking what can be done differently and whether anything is being missed. The consequences of not doing so have far-reaching implications. 

Factors Involved in Revolutionary Change

Categories of innovation to leverage when forming the basis for revolutionary change. Adapted from C. Hickman and C. Raia, “Incubating Innovation,” Journal of Business Strategy (May/June 2002), p. 15. Reprinted with permission, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Revolutionary change happens when something shakes an organization, presenting a clear need for a major overhaul, which will change the culture because the enterprise will never be the same again. Both revolutionary and constant, accelerating change are very different because accelerating change evolves gradually. (Hence the term, evolutionary change).

Revolutionary change is not linear or constant. It is the chaos that disturbs the organization and leads to the reshaping of its culture. Examples could include an unforeseen crisis, a merger or acquisition, new leadership comes in, and changes business models and structure of organizations change, which may involve the process of forming a new vision and mission.

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Seeing Emotion: Google Glass and IEEE Advances Technology for Autism

“Google Glass” or “Glass” was introduced in 2013 and is a brand of wearable computer Seeing Emotion Google Glass IEEE and Autismsmart glasses that adds information next to what people see. It has an optical head-mounted display that fits onto glasses. Since its inception, it has many applications across industries. It even takes pictures.

Recently the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Spectrum posted a breakthrough article called: Upgraded Google Glass Helps Autistic Kids “See” Emotions

It’s exciting and continues the growing narrative that shows how engineers, scientists, and doctors continue to make significant advances to healthcare and technology. Social media and technology continue to thrive, innovate, and grow, which is a great thing for humanity.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Feel free to comment below.

Celebrating International Women’s Day ♀️ Empowering Quotes

Celebrating International Women's Day copy

Reflecting to celebrate and inspire by sharing some empowering quotes in honor of International Women’s day. Have a terrific week!

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness.”—Oprah Winfrey,

“The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.” —Oprah Winfrey,

“Integrate what you believe in every single area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else, too.”—Meryl Streep

“She was a true fighter; you could see it in her eyes. She wasn’t born strong, she was made strong. She was sculpted to be her own when the world let her down and she kept picking herself back up.”        Unknown

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default” J. K. Rowling

 “You cannot be broken because you are a diamond, tougher than nails and a jewel in the rough.”         –Unknown

What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.”  Rupi Kaur

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Let’s see where it goes. So far it’s been great. … When I see women appearing every place in numbers, I’m less worried than I might have been 20 years ago.” Rebecca Gibian/AP

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”  -Elizabeth Edwards

almost crumbling to the ground, she stopped. Looking at how far she had traveled, and all it had taken to get there, she recognized her strength. The strengths she had inside of her, the strength she had gained along the way ~ her inner power. And so, she stood up. standing tall, she faced forward and continued on.”       Terri St. Cloud

Explaining Servant Leadership in Two and a Half Minutes

Recently a few people approached me seeking to understand the meaning of Servant Leadership. I thought this video called “What is Servant Leadership?” by Barclays does a nice job of summing it up in a short video that has good visuals, so I thought this would be a good place to share.


How Emerging Mindset Servant Leaders Add Value

  1. Encourages, accepts, and harnesses new knowledge without judgment of teams or individuals
  2. Strong ability to motivate and adapt
  3. Works well across cultures and geographies
  4. Encourages and solicits unconventional ideas from teams
  5. Possesses the capability to facilitate change


Thanks for visiting my blog, please leave any thoughts or insights below.

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Five Process Levels

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), is a global process and behavioral model Kakie Fitzsimmons CMMIestablished by the CMMI Institute. For many years, it has ebeen used by leadership and top-performing organizations to build capabilities that address business challenges and help them meet the goals of an organization and increase efficiency.

The process model in the image above provides guidance on what organization leaders can do to improve business process maturity, increase adoption and optimize performance. The idea is that if companies have systematic, repeatable business processes, the result is positive, predictable outcomes that save companies time and money while increasing efficiency.

This model has applications in change management and projects, programs.

The model is not prescriptive, but instead, provide general guidelines that help in understanding how processes are document and aids in creating a culture of continuous improvement.

Each maturity level represents a path of progress that builds off of the previous one and helps organizations provide structure to monitor and document how achievements are met and sustained.

Looking Towards the Future, While Creating it

I took this photo while attending graduate school as a single parent. As I captured the moment, I recall thinking about how big he was getting, without realizing I would one day look at this picture and see how small he really was. Persistence, perseverance, how people treat us and how we choose to respond speaks power to building character. I was laying a path, and for that I am grateful. Experience is a powerful teacher.

Looking towards the future while creating it

Partnering Adaptive Leadership with Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation involves creative ways to establish new markets and reshape existing ones. The result is that organizational leadership is causing us to rethink the reason they exist because companies need the ability to respond quickly when new Strategic Agility and Disruptive Innovation by Kakie Fitzsimmonsadvances are introduced internally or externally.

As I have written about in the past, the term companies have migrated to for this is called “organizational agility.

This term, “organizational agility,” is the capability of an organization to act as markets fluctuate. It was originated in alignment with the concept behind Agile Software Development, which contains primary values centered around human design.  Through agile development, teams and individuals are empowered to:

  1. Make Decisions (where managers act as advisers)
  2. Solve Problems
  3. Employees are authorized to meet customer or stakeholder needs vs. participating in contract negotiations
  4. Responding to change is more important than following a plan

Continuous change means that leaders need to learn to practice new approaches with effective guidance. Adaptive Leadership focuses on what people need in response to changing environments. It is how leaders encourage people to adopt future state changes that is critical. Success happens through consistent messaging that provides context, puts trust in the hands of team leaders to make decisions, and take risks. The context encourages competent change across many levels such as self, organization, community, and society. 

Leveraging the right tools and best practices with a knowledgeable Certified Change Management Practitioner, helps leaders and end-users to adjust and adapt the approach, which leads to the successful delivery of the desired outcomes of increased adoption, and increased ROI that is up to six times more successful. 

Below are five ways to become an adaptive leader

  1. Seek input to challenge your decisions 
  2. Focus on results, let team solve for it
  3. If it does not succeed, give praise and ask them what they learned
  4. Help them to understand why it did not
  5. Encourage them to try again

During our continual shifting transformations, please feel free to share your observations about this below. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Temporary | What Short Term Things Have Lasting Effects?

What you seek, is seeking you. – Rumi

Temporary things: Mobile phones, the next promotion, people, expectations, certainty, uncertainty, a second, minute or hour.  Whether it is a fleeting moment we experience or an object we admire, what we think about, how we feel, or the people we interact with each day, everything is temporary. So what are the things we consider short-term, that have lasting effects?

Riding the waves of leadership by Kakie FitzsimmonsWe live in an era of distraction,  where the media is enticing us of the “need” to pursue materialistic things. Temporary, inanimate objects that we can’t take with us at the end of this life. And so, these distractions continue to build up and are eventually forgotten.  But what about the real value that comes with being fully present for the people in our lives.

So where do we look to find happiness? Sometimes we are chasing that next great thing or goal just around the corner with the mentality; “If I could just get there, life will be perfect.” But perhaps when we get there, it doesn’t have the answers we seek or we don’t feel the euphoria we believed it would provide. Kind of like the quote at the beginning of this post. The answers are not external.

I love the art of photography and have for years. There is something about stopping for a moment to capture the miracle of beauty often overlooked, and then sharing it.  The picture in this post was taken at Venice Beach in California. I love how the drops individually sparkle as the waves crashed upon the rocks along with the meditative sounds that accompany it. While many would argue this photo is temporary, others could enjoy its beauty for years. I look at it and remember the joy of the experience and creating moments with my family. Thanks for visiting my blog, feel free to leave any comments below.

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Black Violin – Serene Musical Moment at the Ordway in St. Paul

The topic of the weekly photo challenge is SERENE – share a moment of silent bliss. While this isn’t a photo, this week I refer to it as a form of picture art with a twist. Though it isn’t silent, you will be pleasantly surprised. We found ourselves listening in quiet bliss during the concert. Black Violin consists of two classically trained artists, Will B, and Kev Marcus, who have skillfully taken their art form to a new level by integrating hip hop and calling their most recent tour; “Classical Boom.” These gentlemen have shared the stage with Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty. They have also collaborated with Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean (to name a few).

Everywhere they go, they work with local youth string musicians in a workshop, instilling values of leadership and creativity. These young kids then play music with them during their performances. Their show is brilliant and their message is one of empowerment and innovation. I was blessed to share this experience with my mom on her birthday and some very dear friends. If you haven’t seen them live, you should, it will be well worth your time. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Pedestrians Designed for Walking

I love taking original photos and then using tools in Photoshop to create what I refer to as a form of Digital Impressionism. Especially when they are taken in urban settings which include the pictures in this post.

I took the first shot at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which inspires wonder through the power of art.

The topic today is Pedestrian as in designed for walking, or walkers, which are the definitions I am using for this week’s post.
The second picture I took downtown Minneapolis during the first snow. In the distance, you can see two pedestrian footbridges of many, which connect 80 full city blocks and over 11 miles.  They are part of what many who work downtown enjoy, especial
We walk to visit people, to go shopping, to meetings and to see art
Sometimes we walk to clear our minds which often helps us find a fresh perspective
When working in urban settings, people take lunch to get out of the office, to talk, to watch or to be pedestrians
Walking is a great tool when we want to be alone with our thoughts and to think through processes
It also can be known as great cardio, depending on the pace of your gait
When was the last time you went on a walk for the sole purpose of walking, even if you didn’t want to?
Do you remember how good you felt when it was done?
If you do, please share. Perhaps leaving your comments below will motivate someone else to step out on faith.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Waiting and Getting to the Point

I’m sitting here letting my fingers mindlessly hit the keys to help me think through the topic of this post and the accompanying photo. It may take a while to get to the point, which oddly enough, usually comes at just the right time, even when it doesn’t feel like it. We can’t quite articulate when it happens because it can leave us feeling stuck, which is never fun.

The red traffic light reflecting on the street due to rain indicates we are WAITING for something. Regardless of what we wait for, we hope the value is received (tangible or intangible) in exchange for the wait.  With the increased use of technology, we have data at our fingertips while we do some of the waiting, and it doesn’t hurt that our society is obsessed with the need to look busy. And there are different kinds of waiting depending on our mission. In the city, we wait in traffic, for elevators, in line for coffee or a meal, for a bus or a train to arrive. Another kind of waiting is when we over-complicate deciding to decide to take action on something.

Other times we may wait on more significant things to occur which we could not have predicted such as a phone call, an answer, a revelation, truth, running into or reaching out to the right person at the perfect time. Somewhere lingering, we know this waiting will validate all of the hard work we have invested because we acquired and used tools that have taught us along the way. Something just around the corner is going to come to fruition.

And after the waiting is done, we will look back and realize that it has been part of a larger plan that has needed to unfold in its own time. All we had to do is trust the process and keep pushing forward to the best of our ability.

So since we can’t always “rush” waiting, it is up to us to decide how we use our time. Waiting has a purpose, even when we hate it. It teaches us patience, reminds us of our perseverance and makes us grateful for faith in ourselves and others.

Thanks for visiting my blog, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to leave a comment below or share it with others. Have a great week!

Perspective Around Corners

What kinds of images and emotions do corners evoke in you? They come in many shapes, sizes and with different meanings. Some of us have our own secret little corner of the world, a special place that brings peace and serenity when we think about it.

As children, we played Kings in the Corner with our grandparents. And it was there we learned that we can actually laugh and win something when we play games with other wise people, no matter how old they are.

Some kids have a designated time-out corner where they hate to go. Until later in life when they realize it was a coping mechanism that taught them the significance of stepping out or away when things feel chaotic and disorderly.

Some students may think about their study corners which could be at kitchen tables, in coffee shops or libraries.

For those who are curious explorers, a corner is an adventure just ahead of us that we can’t wait to go around and discover what is next.

To artists or architects, corners are a series of vertical lines that give texture, come together, or expand out; a room, a street, a literal or rhetorical place.

Some might argue corners are something we are backed into, as in feeling cornered with nowhere to go. Other times, corners take us around bends that result in self-reflection, letting go, learning, change, and growth.

Corners also represent places we can emerge out of or go around.  The truth is, corners have many meanings. They give us choices in more ways than we can imagine because we live in a world full of endless possibilities. Mysteries and Miracles.

Thanks for visiting my blog – can you think of other meanings about corners? Please leave a comment below. and if you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with others.  This post was inspired by the weekly photo challenge: Corners – share a photo that plays on any of the word’s many meanings.

Unusual? or Not? You Decide: Weekly Photo Challenge

Last week the theme for the weekly photo challenge was “Unusual.” I got around to posting this theme with “unusually” late timing, but that’s okay, I’m posting it anyway. 🙂 This photo consists of brightly colored balloons at a parade. I used the “Ocean Ripple” filter effect in Photoshop to create something I think looks delightful.

I love words. The ability to choose one, think about what it means and the different ways it gets used. With this week’s theme, it occurred to me that, often, what seems unusual to one person, could be perfectly normal to someone else.

That is how it is meant to be because even in the flaws, there is detail and beauty we often overlook. Think about a world where everyone, openly and unconditionally accepted the unusual in others. How often do we intentionally seek to understand another perspective without judgment? How often do we encourage others to do the same?

Years ago I had a friend who said he believed he finally found the answer to defining ‘normal.’  “Normal is the setting on your dryer,” he would say.


Something to think about.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others. Have a great week and thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to leave a thought, question or note below.

Moving Forward, Conversations about Social Justice, Remembering #PhilandoCastile One Year Later

July 14th, 2016 the line and the wait was long to get into the doors at the Cathedral of St. Paul before the funeral of Philando Castile.  There are no words for what it was like to go in and walk past the body of this man I watched take his last breaths in real-time on the internet.

Laying someone to rest does not make the pain go away. Over the past couple of years, we continue to hear crowds chanting; “No Justice, No Peace.” But what is justice? What is it supposed to look like? If we examine the synonyms for the word, it seems to lead to more questions about what has happened. Here are a few that came to mind.

  • Is there anything fair about what happened here? No
  • Was impartiality exercised in any part of this situation? There are many who would say no
  • Did it feel like the way this played out was done objectively? There are many who would say no
  • What about principles regarding the distinction between right and wrong,  or good and bad behavior?
  • Where is the morality in all of it?
  • Are the voices of the people crying out about continued injustice we witness in our communities being heard? Most would say no

It is too much repetition, people are traumatized, and tired. Yet still, we press forward. I am passionate about service, community and social justice. In conversations, it is okay to agree to disagree on points of view, and when we engage in civil conversations, it can provide new perspectives and insights for all participating in dialogue.

Philando Castile’s death was one of many events that led to the Women’s March in February of 2017, when women all over the world came together in what could be considered the greatest movement in the history of the world to speak out about treating ALL people fairly, including:

  • Refugees
  • Undocumented workers
  • People of all faiths
  • The GLBTQ community
  • Women’s
  • Black, and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC)

Building bridges, not walls pulls communities together, one person at a time, one conversation at a time. Mutual understanding can put us on the road to mutual understanding and healing. Aren’t we all better when we seek to understand, asking others to tell us more about their perspective?

In July of 2016, I wrote a post that was a poem and a prayer for Philando Castile and his family titled:

“Look Up: What Was Entrusted to you? Pay Attention.”

As a tribute, I invite you to share it with others and ask what they think about it.

Perhaps it could be a constructive tool as we continue to lift the Castile Family and others like his up in prayer.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please feel free to leave a comment below, or, if you prefer to ask some questions confidentially, let me know and I will be happy to respect your privacy and respond one to one.

People as Transition | Social Justice and Bridging Communities One Year Later

After Philando Castile was killed in Saint Paul, Minnesota, many people were called to action because they saw no other option. It was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Who said; “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

We can agree that where there is no justice, it is just us,” people coming together in a grassroots effort for a greater good, one person at a time is just part of the solution. Often, we feel a call to action, but aren’t sure where to start. Conversations can be one area of focus, but with so many varying points of view, many may not be willing to engage.

I came across a source published in The Harvard Business Review called How to Have Difficult Conversations When You Don’t Like Conflict, which seems to offer some good suggestions.

Learning how to have civil conversations when there are differing viewpoints is a step towards the call. Curiosity combined with active listening are important skills. Seeking to understand how people come to conclusions about these types of occurrences is a great start. We also have to learn to accept others where they are without casting judgment.

Imagine all the possibilities if each of us did a few things to get involved. What can you do to play your part? Below are a few examples to consider that might help pave a path forward.

Ways to support social justice initiatives in meaningful ways:
  1. Educate yourself about a specific movements, or for words you aren’t clear about
  2. Visit the Social Justice Resource Center website
  3. Community action: be a volunteer or join a nonprofit board
  4. Seek to understand. Listen to alternative points of view
  5. Visit to see if there are petitions to sign that support your principles and values
  6. Seek the information about the generational trauma that exists in the lives of the Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC)  communities.
  7. Call government representatives, ask them where they stand on these issues
  8. What questions can you ask others to engage in dialogue if they are open?

No matter how big or small, these are the things that could be done collectively to make a difference. That is how we bridge communities. It’s all about fellowship and remember that we can’t do it alone. Let us forge ahead with these thoughts and continue to lift the family of #PhilandoCastile and others like his, like ours, up in prayer.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please feel free to leave a comment below, or, if you prefer to ask some questions confidentially, let me know and I will be happy to respect your privacy and respond one to one.

Justice and”Just Us.” Remembering #PhilandoCastile

….“equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.”   -Maya Angelou

A year ago my friend, Alberto Monserrate, was continuously posting a video that I could not ignore. She called him ‘Sir’‘ while her boyfriend,  Philando Castile, was groaning and taking his last breaths. She could not console him, nor could she explain what was happening to her four-year-old daughter in the back seat. Even I could not process what I was seeing right away. But I do remember the feeling of disbelief and the questions spinning in my head.

  • How could this happen?
  • Why wasn’t someone coming to help?
  • Why was he pointing the gun in her direction?
  • Where was the compassion for this couple and their child?
  • Why was no medical assistance provided immediately?
  • Why did the police officer fire SEVEN times?
  • Where is the humanity we assume should happen in a situation like this?

No one was coming to his aid and I still can’t grasp it. I have written blog posts about unjust violence in the past. But this time, it happened so close to home in my city and presented a view that directly has an impact on me and my family in ways I can’t even begin to explain.  


To honor the memory of Philando Castile, my next few blog posts will have pictures I took during the two weeks following his death, where many came together to bridge the injustice that could not be ignored or understood. 

People felt called to action and gathered to mourn, grieve, and to try to make sense of what happened. Incidents like this have occurred for a long time, with dialogue has been circulating for years in Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities. What is new is technology provides the tools to film and be streamed to social media.

How many more times will we see this repeated in the media before action is taken? The idea of brushing it under the rug with the hope it will go away is no longer an option. We should cease the antiquated idea; “If we don’t name it, it can’t exist.” Uncomfortable conversations about the “undiscussables” are necessary to move towards healing.

It won’t feel normal at first. Practicing a new narrative until it feels familiar will mean being open to controversy without defensiveness. Everyone matters and has a voice. At the end of the day, people want to feel seen, heard, regardless of their perspective.

There can be beauty when we agree to disagree without being combative because when different ideas come together, it creates new knowledge, and that is a good thing.

Here are ways to support social justice initiatives in meaningful ways:
  1. Educate yourself about a specific movements, or for words you aren’t clear about
  2. Community action: be a volunteer or join a nonprofit board
  3. Seek to understand. Listen to alternative points of view
  4. Visit to see if there are petitions to sign that support your principles and values
  5. Seek the information about the generational trauma that exists in the lives of the Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC)  communities.

It starts with one individual, because community is at the core of how we come together. Let’s remember that as we continue to lift our families, communities and other families who face social injustice up in spirit and prayer.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please feel free to leave a comment below, or, if you prefer to ask some questions confidentially, let me know and I will be happy to respect your privacy and respond one to one.