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18 01, 2018

The Epic Face-Off: A Vision of Humanity’s Collective Potential vs. Bigotry/Xenophobia

By |2018-01-18T16:17:46+00:00January 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

We are definitely in it, this contest between progressive advancement of society and deeply entrenched fears and animosities. Some days I wistfully remember that, 30 years ago, I believed that this aspect of our work (diversity, inclusion and equity) wouldn’t really be needed by this late date. I was optimistic, and choosing to ignore the fact that society just does not change quickly, no matter how reasonable, sensible, ethical and practical the desired shift, more’s the pity. Homeostasis, even when it is miserable, is preferred by the human collective over change. It’s actually a hard-wired aspect of who we are. In the face of that, it can be hard to take solace in “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it aims toward justice” when we are living in the middle of that seemingly interminable arc.

Today, we are in yet another moment when we need to keep our eyes on the prize. When we allow ourselves to deeply, fully, joyfully envision the future for humanity that is our dearest hope, we are lifted up, renewed and invigorated in our pursuit of a human existence that is caring, just and equitable for every one of us. We have, every day, evidence that we are capable of moral greatness as individuals and as a species. We see it in acts small and large, from kindness to a stranger to entire countries welcoming refugees of war and disaster. Our capacity for goodness is astounding. As Desmond Tutu has said:  “We have seen some wonderful human beings –– Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa. What that says is that ultimately good prevails. It is a moral universe, despite all appearances to the contrary. Hahahaha! It is that… there’s no way in which evil will ultimately triumph.”

What does this mean on a daily basis? It directs us to live in this moment with conviction that we are ultimately on the right path. We have the mountaintop in our sight and know where we are headed on our journey, even as we slip into deep crevasses and slog through swamps and contest with misguided souls who stand in our way. One step at a time, always toward our goal, with firm determination grounded in inspired hope.

As has been recently observed, Trump and his ilk are a vaccination against the disease of electoral complacency that we have been lulled into. We now are powerfully reminded of the vital importance of being in action to drive toward our image of healthy democracy. When we keep our beautiful vision in mind, we naturally move toward it. We are inoculated against despair and empower ourselves to live into the dream.

In the corporate world, the confluence of regressive politics and demographic change is turning out to be quite the bracing tonic. It is clear to most of us that a positive future for humanity (and for business) everywhere will depend on a foundation of deeply effective equity and inclusion, one that allows the genius of our highly social species to bloom for our collective success. Our potential for living into the dream is magnificent.

Yes, the messes we’ve made will take a painfully long time to clean up, from post-colonial cultural dissolution to post-industrial economic disenfranchisement, but we have to keep on. The alternative is failure of this brilliant, beautiful, and terrifying evolutionary experiment of homo sapiens. I’m not going there, as a matter of conviction, faith, and sheer stubbornness. I’ve bet all my stake on our better nature winning out, in the end. How about you?

13 04, 2017

Data Shows that Race Trumps Economy in the Election

By |2017-04-13T16:33:13+00:00April 13th, 2017|

We really do have work to do. This data [ voters more motivated by race than economic issues ]demonstrates that we are, in no way, living in a post-racial society. Yes, economic worries do heighten the fear of, and anger toward, others. Nonetheless, the proof is here. Our segregated society (as separate, across the nation as a whole as it was in the 50’s– schools, churches, housing) is not facilitating real integration of our worlds on the ground where we live. The media may sort of look like a multiracial society (if we ignore the ongoing apartheid in the Academy and elsewhere), but it’s not real in most of the country.  

We discovered, when factories and other workplaces were forced to integrate in the ’60’s that actually working with people who are different from you slowly but powerfully changed the dynamics between people, at least on the shop floor. We simply can’t hold simplistic biased ideas about people when we actually get to know them and interact with them daily. But, out here in the post-manufacturing world, the biases of those who never really rubbed shoulders across race still reign supreme. From high-tech to the kindergarten classroom, our lifetime of separation allows old, ugly mindsets and fears to lead the way in hiring, promotion, development and investment. And it’s there in the differential discipline of four-year-olds.

So, take a deep breath and look at this data, then ask yourself, as I am– What can we do to collectively discover and enjoy the full extent of our human family? How can we actively tear down the walls of old but vigorous and deeply rooted prejudice that we have inherited? What am I going to do, today, to open my own mind, just a little more, to the truth of another’s race experience that I don’t see, and how will I allow it to change me?”

25 03, 2017

DEEP IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST…

By |2018-01-18T14:06:21+00:00March 25th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

DEEP IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST…

a dream culture is calling to you.

 

 

 

The Achuar and Sapara peoples are inviting you to come to their home in the sacred headwaters of the Amazon, the heart and lungs of our earth, to learn how to be one with the world of the trees, the rivers, and the amazing animal life of our shared universe.

In a land closed to outsiders for four hundred years, these fierce yet gentle warriors are offering a small  number of people from the modern world a chance to experience their earth knowledge, their lives and their communities.  These, our brother and sister human beings, live not in the forest, but as an integral part of the rainforest.  They innately comprehend all that transpires in their natural world, and with that understanding comes an intuition, a connection to the spirit of nature that guides their every decision.

We stand in awe, when we begin to grasp the science of their wisdom and their desire to share it for the benefit of all.  And they do so with a grounded, loving commitment to each of us and the greater community of this magnificent earth.  Immersing ourselves in their world is a life-changing experience.

Will you consider joining us Anita and I this July, 2018 when we next visit the Amazon with the Pachamama Alliance?   amazonian-immersion-with-the-achuar-and-sapara  

 

 

 

18 12, 2015

The Powerful Payback in Positive Organization Cultures

By |2017-01-11T21:09:55+00:00December 18th, 2015|

My colleague, Steve Mollen, just sent me an article (below) that gathers a raft of data together to empirically underscore the argument that positive organization culture contributes to higher productivity, engagement, satisfaction AND lower health costs, lower illness, and even lower mortality.  I love this kind of research.  My own dissertation, 30 years ago, demonstrated the connection between ugly workplace culture and burnout in healthcare.

I actually found the whole topic depressing, but it was motivated by a belief that we can, and should, foster workplace cultures that are uplifting, fulfilling, and human-centric in ways that generate high performance, creativity, and social cohesion.  We certainly need all the help we can get these days, when miserable work satisfaction and engagement scores are symptomatic of a deeper malaise in the world of work.

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5 10, 2015

Everybody Matters: Proof That There is Hope for Business

By |2017-01-11T21:10:32+00:00October 5th, 2015|

I just finished reading an advance copy of the deeply touching and brilliantly insightful “Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family.”  Penned by Bob Chapman, CEO of the Barry-Wehmiller Companies and Raj Sisodia, of Conscious Capitalism fame, this book is proof that business can create workplaces that heal, uplift, and even transform workers’ lives in ways that grow healthier communities, reinvigorate sectors like manufacturing, and make a ton of money as the by-product.

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24 05, 2015

Sisodia + Chapman = Everybody Matters

By |2015-05-24T21:41:01+00:00May 24th, 2015|

This introductory excerpt does a beautiful job of explaining the basic concept of Truly Human Leadership, the clearest example of “conscious organizational evolution” that I know of. Consider an old line manufacturing company in an industry where the jobs are disappearing overseas, the capital plant is deteriorating, the employees are miserably disillusioned. Then examine what happens when those same employees are given the opportunity to rewrite the story, redesign the processes, regain their self-respect and their optimism for the future. Transformation because the way the new company owner views success is through the way they touch the lives of people. People are not hot-swappable production units, they are the reason for having the company in the first place.

It’s real, it’s practical, and it’s wonderfully profitable. Consciously choosing to grow a company culture of appreciation, caring, and deep respect can turn around “lost cause” companies and re-energize communities. The Barry-Wehmiller Company is the proof of concept so many of us have been looking for. This book, from CEO Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia will give you hope for the future of work. Period. I’m here to testify, along with thousands of B-W employees around the world, that you can do what B-W has done, and it can be the most fulfilling leadership role of your life.

For a taste of what is possible, see this excerpt: Everybody Matters

 

12 04, 2015

When observers believe you support bullying and discrimination

By |2017-01-11T21:10:56+00:00April 12th, 2015|

Observers believe that those who don’t act to stop bullying and discrimination support that behavior. From the point of view of the victim, particularly, inaction is interpreted as agreement. Otherwise, any decent person would intervene, they say.

Do bullies also  believe that passivity on the part of observers denotes acceptance or approval of their behavior?  That is exactly what we’ve found over and over in industries (e.g., oil, chemicals, manufacturing, +) where women were entering “non-traditional” jobs and received intense bullying, hazing and disrespect from a few men. The other, observing but not interceding, men were often horrified to learn that they were tarred with the same brush– that the women believed that they were fully in support of the ugly behavior. Once that conversation was opened up, the rules of engagement rapidly changed. The observers now stood to be personally blamed for what they allowed to go down.

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2 04, 2015

Conscious organizational evolution

By |2017-01-11T21:11:18+00:00April 2nd, 2015|

I’ve always been driven by a sense of the waiting potential of the human race, our systems, communities, organizations, teams and individual members.  I’ve provided lots of service in pursuit of that picture in my mind, mostly without an articulated overarching model.  I’ve been deeply involved in helping men and women, people of different races/cultures/nationalities/mindsets/organizations learn to see deeply into each other and find new partnership.  I’ve led large-scale organizational culture revitalization and small team self-reinvention, and lots of training, facilitating and coaching in between.  And I’ve been deeply involved with the work of the Pachamama Alliance in recent years, volunteering in many capacities toward their vision of helping “bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on the planet”.  I’m taken by their proposition that we cannot successfully achieve any one of those three goals without concomitantly working on the other two– that they are inextricably interwoven in how human consciousness and human systems operate.

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2 01, 2015

RESOLVED: Turn toward nature in 2015

By |2017-01-11T21:11:39+00:00January 2nd, 2015|

It is too easy to grow away from Nature.

Our lives are so densely packed with constant action, endless lists of unfinished tasks and every kind of media that we are often buried in our heads, at our desks, on our computers and phones. We power our way through our days, keeping our heads down and our focus on the goal. Absorbed by this intense and frenetic energy, we too seldom notice the Earth around us, except as it gifts us with inconvenient weather like blizzards and monsoons, deep freezes and heat waves. We lose the feeling of the nurturing love of the natural world. A part of our soul begins to wither. And the pattern can be frighteningly self-reinforcing, keeping us indoors, away from the sky, the birds, animals, plants, and the earth beneath our feet.

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28 08, 2014

Listening is the greatest form of flattery

By |2014-08-28T20:22:52+00:00August 28th, 2014|

This very wise remark, by Joyce Brothers, is only part of the story. As the folks at the Barry-Wehmiller Companies are discovering, listening is the foundation of a uniquely healthy, supportive and productive company culture. Barry-Wehmiller has the single most admirable organizational ethic I’ve encountered in 40 years as a professional, and their commitment to valuing every member of their team, demonstrated by their intent and empathetic listening and communication, is the key. People go to work, learn a whole new suite of communication skills, and transform their relationships with their partners, their children, their parents, and their co-workers. They live the principles of “people-centric leadership”

For a taste of this secret sauce, go here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLwS7vh9XbY#t=60

If you’d like to know more about the B-W story, drop me a line. I’m a true believer.

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