A Prayer and a Poem for #PhilandoCastile & Family: Look Up: What Was Entrusted To You? Pay Attention

Philando Castile The System Is BrokenLook up and see those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was entrusted to you, the sheep of which you boasted?” -Jeremiah 3.2

Look up and notice

with open minds and open hearts
Put yourself in the shoes of an opposing view
Pay attention and listen to those sharing their reality
They have something to say. Their experiences are real.
Their voices matter. They are suffering in despair
They deserve to feel heard. To be heard.

Are you listening?

Because when someone says “I am hurting
The only appropriate response is; “Tell me more, I am listening
Be patient; consider that the first story may not be the whole picture
Be open to new information, in a world full of endless possibilities
These things together will expand minds, hearts and our world

Look up and look around

We continue to see repeated patterns we know exist
Minimizing them torments our intelligence
The idea “if we don’t name it, it can’t exist” is excruciating denial
Inaction leaves us feeling stuck in perpetual wait
What are these patterns trying to tell us?
They are saying that idly standing by is no longer enough
They are directing us to take a stand and to do something
They are making it clear that we have so much more to learn from one another
When different views come together, they merge to create new knowledge, and that is a good thing. I have never known a time when we didn’t need ideas to continue to evolve

 

Entrust: to give someone the responsibility of doing something or of caring for someone or something  (Merriam-Webster)

  • Police officers are given the responsibility of protecting people, property and the law
  • Humanity is given the responsibility of being kind and compassionate to one another

Look Up2Look up:  Today, Philando Castile, who was killed last week in Minnesota by a police officer, will be laid to rest. Say his name. He is not the first and sadly, will not be the last. Let’s work towards coming together and leaving our differences behind.

Pray for these families, because they are our families. Our families are hurting.

Pray for parents of young black men and women, who are faced with presenting a balanced view about systemic injustice, because the dialogue is very complicated. May they be given the words to adequately conduct constructive discourse in a loving manner so that it leads all of us towards the right solution, together. It is time to set our differences aside because we owe it to ourselves, and one another.

I want to hear from you. 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.

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“I AM” and “SPIRIT” In Sync With One Another #FierceForward

Fierce Forward - I AM and Spirit = Parters

I AM – two of the most powerful words you could ever declare to yourself. This is your declaration, your choice to stand in your power and allow your vision to come to reality/ #FierceForward

SPIRIT – Your truth. Freedom is found when you live you truth and let your spirit live out loud. Do not hide. Do not deny your truth. Do not let her stay quiet. Go forward, fiercely and let your SPIRIT lead the way. #FierceForward

Knowing who we are and being grounded in our truth are at the core of what teaches us to be great leaders and even better human beings.

These bracelets are handmade using African Trade Beads to support women in Africa. They are special because they support a worthy cause and they were an authentic gift from someone whose friendship means a great deal to me.

This post is inspired by The Weekly Photo Challenge themed: Partners: Whether two of a kind, or ten, give us subjects that are in sync with one another – show us partnerships.

Learn more about #FierceForward at fierceforwardforlife.com

Things Change, People Transition: Change as a Process

In general, change isn’t complicated, but it is complex. In its simplest form we use terms like; to alter, shift, adjust, move, switch, transfer, etc. Change is a transformation or transition from one phase, condition, or state, to another.

From a change management perspective, assumptions that each individual impacted by a new initiative will always experience change on time, on budget and on schedule, is flawed, because this approach lacks context and doesn’t always consider the people side of change. It may not consider outcomes and results after the change or ask what behaviors need to change and be sustained. Organizational and personal change have to be approached and measured differently because people embrace or resist change differently. No two are alike.

Organizational and personal change have to be approached and measured differently because no one will embrace or resist change the same. Individual Response to Change Management BestBehavior doesn’t happen in a predictive order and as a result, it is imperative to think about change as a process, rather than a project.

Things change. People transition.

The change curve was created in the 1960’s by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross as a way to explain the grieving process. Over time, it has evolved as a tool to help people understand responses and reactions to significant change. Since change is a non-linear process, some people may take two steps forward and one step back along this curve for a number of reasons. Some examples might include:

  • Assumed or no role clarity for the change
  • No visible support and commitment from leadership
  • Lack of project, organizational and individual change integration
  • Those impacted do not feel they have had input into the process
  • Leaders and/or impacted people are not engaged
  • No consistency in change messaging formats, channels and frequency
  • Lack of transparency about why the change is happening
  • People impacted don’t understanding of “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)
  • Business readiness or training may have limited or no understanding of adult learning theory application
  • People don’t feel permission to speak with candor
  • Past performance with organizational change could create assumptions that history will repeat itself
  • Impact on current role and/or fear of losing a job

There are countless strategies and tools we can use to help us to understand where people fall on the change commitment curve and then subsequent strategies to take corrective action. As change management practitioners, we focus on results, outcomes, reinforcement and realization of benefits (including ROI), for the people side of change. We do this using a structured, yet flexible set of tools, processes, skills and principles to achieve the required goals of projects and initiatives.

What challenges and approaches have you experienced or used to help bring people impacted by the changes along for the journey?

Please leave a comment below. I’d like this blog to be a forum where people feel comfortable sharing what they agree or disagree with along with best practices or key learnings. I will honor desired anonymity, so if you would like to leave a response without having your name listed, please feel free to let me know.

If you found this post thought provoking, please share it with others and thank you for visiting my blog!

Time: Stop, Travel, Escape, Feel, Release | Weekly Photo Challenge


|  How to stop time:  kiss.  |  How to travel in time:  read.  

|  How to escape time:  music.  |  How to feel time:  write.

| How to release time:  breathe.


 MATT HAIG; REASONS TO STAY ALIVE

 How to stop time: Kiss

AKiss

anotherkiss copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to travel in time: Read

A-book_edited-1

READ

 

 

 How to escape time: Music

piano2_edited-1

Dance

Piano2.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to feel time: Write

Write_edited-1

   How to release time: Breathe

Breathe copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post was inspired by Lignum Graco who asks us to show him time as part of The Weekly Photo Challenge over at The Daily Post. Please feel free to leave any comments below and thanks for visiting my blog!

Achievement, Accomplishment, Work Ethic and Success

What is achievement really? How do we get it? Where does it come from? Is it an end goal? A process? Does it take work ethic? Does it mean success? Does it make someone “accomplished” ? Find out here: Projects, perspective, insight, success.

272 steps to forgivenessDecember of 2012 I published a successful academic paper called; “Best Buy 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. Read more of this post

The Universe as a Subtle Teacher |The Daily Prompt

Magestic SnowWhen my son was just 3 years old I recall pulling into the driveway after a full day at the office. It was early April and there was a fresh, light dusting of snow. The air was crisp and the neighborhood quiet. Often, getting out of the car after a long day at work was a chore because my mind would be whirling, as I processed the events of the day.

I unbuckled my little guy from his car seat, pulled him out of the car, grabbed my purse, his diaper bag, my laptop case, etc. and headed towards the door. I was in “full speed ahead” mode, focusing on the tasks at hand, thinking we needed to hurry. I had to fix dinner, do laundry, get him in the tub, prepare for the next morning, read a children’s storybook  and in the blink of an eye, it would be time for bed.

As I walked up to the house I was stomping in the fresh snow and he was following not far behind. I got to the door, turned around and said; “Come on little man, let’s get in.” What I saw caused me to take pause for a second.

There he was, his little self concentrating on the ground, stepping his tiny boots into my big footsteps of the fresh snow. For a moment it brought me back to my own childhood and I was reminded how quickly the time flies, that the universe is so big and is a subtle teacher.  I calmly waited,  and it was a wonderful feeling that put a smile on my face.

As we work to navigate the world and teach our children about faith, family and staying on the right path, one would think that we teach and they learn. But little moments like that of those footsteps, remind us that the most valuable asset we have is time and we become the student. They teach us that how we use that time, is up to us.

Later that night I picked up one of my meditation books and the quote at the beginning of the entry read:

The journey is bigger than we are no matter where we are in our search to know God.” –Earnie Larsen

Wow.

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This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt Topic; “Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself. Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING.

Learn, Unlearn, Rethink, Relearn, Innovate and Survive

Adult Learning Principles by Nicole Legault

 “Leadership should be born out of understanding the needs of those who would be affected by it.”

– Marian Anderson

In my roles as senior project manager, change consultant, marketing leader, coach and mentor, I use something called andragogy (adult learning theory) to manage and lead because I have seen its effectiveness. I thought it would be a great blog topic, so please, read on!

Throughout my professional life, I spent time designing various formats of training about topics that included marketing, identifying and adapting to social styles, emotional intelligence, repackaging a new improved client service model, how to ask for referrals, business and marketing planning, new customer acquisition, retention, social media and more.

The process of designing training modules is about working to ensure the content is engaging and adding value for the intended audience and providing them with what they need so they will adopt the new change program. When classes are written and created, the blended approaches are different for each medium. For example, content will be written differently for an e-learning self-study, vs. classroom or live web-ex conferencing.

The andragogy method leverages problem solving and collaboration and levels the playing field between learners and trainers. The six principles of adult learning theory asserts that adults are:

  • Internally motivated and self-directed
  • Experienced and bring our knowledge to the learning platform
  • Engaged when the information is relevant to our background
  • Goal oriented – motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors
  • Practical and need to know why they are learning the content
  • Learners who place value on being respected

For years I consulted and coached franchised business owners to help them adopt new behaviors into their practices. We did this using a structured yet flexible approach by installing repeatable and predictable processes into their businesses. Through coaching and the leadership development process, my clients learned about knowledge transfer through applying a process that looked something like this: Learn, unlearn, rethink, relearn, innovate and survive. I challenged them to step outside of old ways of thinking and to embrace unfamiliar territory. Success means we practice new behaviors until they feel normal and when we began working together, we would contract for what the behavior outcomes would look like.

While it sounds simple, it is a frightening concept because it is natural for people to resist change. It takes courage to embrace uncertainty by looking fear in the eye and pushing forward.  Coaching people through resistance management plans, I can say the greatest victories I have seen came when people chose to take a little risk that led to success and when that happened, we celebrated.

There is diversity in learning, we all discover and grab onto ideas and concepts differently. People absorb data in their own way, and when we take that diversity into account coupled with andragogy (adult learning theory), the results will lead to increased end-user adoption and better organizational change readiness, rewarding components for learners, trainers and leaders.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please share what you think about using and applying this process into your leadership style?

This infographic was created by Nicole Legault, who has a blog called “Flirting with e-learning.

Read more of this post

Day 3: Rewiring Our Brains: The Power of Affirmations

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for. 

What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become, has consequences”                                                                         -Earnie Larsen

Believe it or not, consequences can be good! A while back I wrote a post about it called “Affirmations: Kids, Empowerment and Healthy Families,” because we used affirmations at home when I was a child. I believe those declarations played a role in giving me my optimism and helped me persevere when times got tough. I have unwavering faith that when we put positive energy out, it returns to us in ways we never imagined.

I recently read The Mind Map Book: How to use Radiant Thinking to Maximize your Potential and discovered the concept of synaptic learning, a process in the brain that literally rewires how we think by transferring activity from one cell to the other. Regular use of affirmations reinforces chemical pathways in the brain, making linkages between two neurons stronger. There is a saying “Neurons that fire together, wire together,” which is a great way to illustrate the point.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit. There is  proof that affirmations done right, work. In order for an affirmation to be effective, they should be stated in the present tense, express a positive statement or new truth, and be short. A couple of examples below could include:  

  • There is a great leader within me today and it is reflected in everything I do
  • Today, I take charge of my life, I am valuable and stand firmly in my belief in myself
  • People are drawn to my authenticity, positive attitude, work ethic and leadership style
  • Doors of opportunity and abundance are opening for me every day
  • I accept feedback with humility, gratitude and as opportunities to learn and grow

Three things I am grateful for today:

  1. There is power in choices and I make ones that affect my life positively
  2. My faith, because it has taught me that compassion over judgement is a reflection of who I am
  3. My commitment to life long learning, personal growth and healing for myself and others

Sea World Dolphins Embrace New Social Communication

Social interaction is not just changing in the human world. I came across this video and thought WOW, how can I tie this into my blog? Just as the way we communicate evolves, so does that of other creatures in our world. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.

More about Kakie Fitzsimmons

My 50k Foot Project Management Overview

PMI Certified Project ManagerI have managed projects my entire career, but in 2008 when I stepped into the world of  job transition after being at the same company for a several years, it was challenging to understand how to prove them on my résumé. The reason for this was because many of the projects I led were on the business (vs I.T.) side, which isn’t always as structured of a process, and I was using terminology specific to that organization instead of the project management methodology. Furthermore, sometimes I led projects while other times I led the change in behaviors that were needed as a result of what was being implemented. So I decided to become a PMI Certified Project Manager.

For those new to project management, it is confusing because we deal with loads of ambiguity and have to acknowledge the uncertainty that comes along with it. We are facilitators who bring it all together with people that don’t report to us, but who are accountable for activities, project tasks and deliverables. We also deal with combined issues of managing project artifacts, analyzing risk, managing the time, cost or scope changes, tracking issues and decisions that need to be made, while keeping Sponsors, the Steering Committee and Stakeholders informed and engaged. We make decisions about allowing a project to unfold with many unknowns, or to ensure it stays on track.

Despite the ambiguity, what we do know about projects is that there is an understood beginning and a clear outcome.

The real opportunities are what happens between planning and implementation because that is the moving target.  In addition, every client has their own standards by which they manage projects. The tools will be different in each scenario, but the tools are not important because we have to use the right amount of project management knowledge in order to be successful.

According to the Project Management Institute, there are 5 internationally recognized best practices or stages of project management.  These Processes include:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Controlling
  5. Closing out

These 5 phases give us content, but it is often non-linear because so many things happen concurrently. We need these phases because we can’t audit ourselves if we don’t have a process to know the outcome.  Each of these stages involve re-working and redesigning the model to close gaps and improve the project fluidity. Each one of these 5 phases is a progressive plan that gets touched many times. As the project moves along it will expand as the momentum of the project picks itself up.

By passion, I am a researcher who loves the problem solving that goes with bringing it all together and then be a valuable resource for others. I also am an organizer. Often, before I start anything I want to understand “the why” behind things, not because I want to have all of the answers, but because I love the process of learning and how it helps me grow.

Once I understood this context I can apply these 5 phases as a model for many things in my life including job search because when I look at the chart from the Project Management Book of Knowledge (affectionately referred to as the PMBOK), I see exactly how I am toggling between all 5 project phases at any one given time. My résumé is like the Statement of Work (SOW) that eventually becomes the project charter and getting it just right is an art, not a science. This context helped me to paint a picture for others, of the things I do really well when I was in transition.

Please comment below: What is it that you do really well?

 

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