The myth of time

In physical work, effort counts. Working longer produces more. Brain work differs. How much time we put into any task doesn't necessarily equal high value outcomes. The quality of outcomes is shaped by the intelligence applied. One person can produce more value in an hour than someone else can in four. Knowing this profoundly reshapes how we think of the value of time at work.

Why people stay in jobs they hate

Whatever their narrative, people who stay in jobs they hate are stuck primarily by two things. They are not dreaming the future they want to create and see. They are not taking small actions to learn or connect their way into new work possibilities. Both of these are possible and learnable. Everyone benefits when people move to jobs better aligned with their strengths and passions. And no work is too humble for heart fulfillment if our intentions are noble. 

Strategies for anxious living

In many psychological models, anxious living is considered a function of an over indulgent focus on oneself. Being self-centered and anxious go hand in hand as symbiotic experiences. Any redirection of attention to our world creates relief. This can be through service to others, curiosity and awe, engaging in any craft or art and having passions that have to do with making the world a better place for all. It's not a complex program. And it works. 

What motivates us

Motivation often holds two connotations. We are motivated by what we consider the cause of action. We can work from the narrative that we work from the need for money, status or both. We are also motivated by what we consider the impact we want our actions to have. We can work to change the world, our industry or at least our markets. Both are motivational narratives that matter to how we do contribute our value in our work.

The expectation that people can and will change their minds

It's a healthy practice of mindfulness to expect that people can and will shift in their thinking. It is far more useful than the self-limiting assumption that they cannot and will not. It is being curious if and how people's thinking and curiosity may be shifting and changing. Actively inquiring opens possibilitt space in which everyone benefits.  

We can cultivate this practice by first noticing what about our thinking do we think is open to shifting, evolving and changing. 

The power of leaders of leaders

Leaders who support other leaders in an organization have a unique opportunity to help those leaders become as empowering and engaging as possible. This is the work of permissions, reminders, coaching and storytelling. Without these supports, leaders could feel otherwise obligated to practice leadership as controlling and non-engaging.  

Worrying about digital natives

How much should we worry about how seamlessly integrated phones are into the lives of digital natives? Can they be mindful even with technology so embeddd in their lives and relationships?

Why not? Just because previous generations lived free of these technologies doesn't mean they will inevitably disrupt quality of life, meaning and wellbeing. There is no evidence that living and work with meaning is somehow negatively impacted by tech. It could just as easily be that technology can add another useful dimension, especially socially.  

Taking group creativity to next levels

At some point in an ideation process, every group runs dry on ideas. They hit a wall where new and more ideas seem unlikely, at least in the short term.  

One of the best ways to get past this wall is to switch gears into question generation. The group identifies and crafts any questions they can think of relative to the focus. The evolution of questions becomes a lens revealing new idea possibilities. It's that simple and powerful.

Collaborative composing on Trello

Trello is one of our favorite organization tools. It is one of the better UI kanban boards that features instantly creatable, adaptive, movable lists and cards.   

It is also an ideal collaborative whiteboard space, far more useful than an actual whiteboard. On a Trello Board, we can keep reorganizing lists and cards as our divergent and convergence thinking and learning evolves. We can post images and documents to any cards for further elaborations and iterations of specific ideas. We can have endless conversations abiut ideas on the backs of cards. None of this is possible on a static whiteboard or document.

We use Trello to cultivate and curate new ideas in projects. We use it to construct new proposals and reports. It acts as an optimal space for accelerating creativity and scaling engagement. 

Should training replace degrees?

As much as higher ed institutions would balk in defense of their own legacies, we should have more conversations about whether students should have at least as many options for work specific training than degrees. We would more rigorously research the short and long term differences in how people work, live and develop.

Taxing robots

We're starting to see talk about taxing robots, which would raise funding to support people displaced by them in the forms of basic incomes and retraining. It's not out of the realm of possibilities, and places automating companies in greater proximity to social responsibility,  

Getting communities to own their future

Who should participate in civic planning? It has long been the purview of public officials and leaders. That was before we had the technology sociology that enables broad community engagement. We now have the tools to engage anyone in the community in any kind of planning, creativity and engagement in projects. This allows the community to own rather than outsource its future.

The idea of teams choosing their own leaders

Should teams choose their own leaders? It's an interesting diversion from the conventional parent-child model where leaders are appointed by more senior leaders. It would require that teams learn what good leadership is, which will make them far more capable of having realistic expectations and meaningful support for their leaders. It would also develop more leadership capacity on the team.

The return to apprenticeship

The system of apprenticeship first developed in the later Middle Ages and came to be supervised by craft guilds and town governments. A master craftsman was entitled to employ young people as an inexpensive form of labour in exchange for providing food, lodging and formal training in the craft. Apprentices usually began at ten to fifteen years of age, and would live in the master craftsman's household. Most apprentices aspired to becoming master craftsmen themselves on completion of their contract (usually a term of seven years), but some would spend time as a journeyman and a significant proportion would never acquire their own workshop. Wikipedia

It's time to think about how career preparation in many fields could involve new forms of apprenticeship. This becomes especially more viable when as never before mentors and learners have technologies that make recording, archiving, accessing and sharing of any learning more possible.

Urban farms as pre-schools of the future

A group of Dutch and Italian architects are designing a pre-school that is urban farming centric. The reasons and benefits are many.  It is an ideal context for question based learning, teaching social and environmental responsibility. 

Why would it continue to make sense for students to do most if any learning in traditional classrooms rather than in the community? Why couldn't community-based and question-organized learning become the new standard?

The Unique Vision of Socially Responsible Companies

In the age of Amazons addicted to shutting down as many smaller business as possible, it is less often we hear stories of socially responsible companies helping people grow their entrepreneurial passions and strengths so they can spin off and start new businesses. It is equally rare to hear about colleges and universities more dedicated to graduating new employers than new employees.

Profit and social responsibility can be both-and, to a point. The polarity breaks down into either-or when profit motives become the exclusive intention. 

Shaping customer experience

Because we put a ton of honest effort into shaping our customers' experience doesn't guarantee the experience will be the quality we want to create. We have to assess their experience at all points of contact. The gold is in mining the unspoken perceptions that influence the customer narrative and levels of loyalty and story sharing in their adoption networks.