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Per your BIF story and our discussions, I'm mapping out my 'trusted advisor' business model - :)
I'm so in!
John - I would argue that strategy should always have been trajectory but in the 20th C some had the 'luxury' of not thinking that way...and most of those either don't exist, were bought out, or are struggling today. The "core competency" movement has driven me nuts and I try to get my clients to consider if their core competencies are really core liabilities going forward - just as if their 'core assets' are now core detriments (e.g., if it's a sunk cost, it's sunk! move on!). I hope more people read this and understand the imperative of making one's future, of designing your future for your customers, employees, industry and communities.... he who experiments-learns-applies-iterates fastest has the greatest impact!
John - I echo Saul's words. There were several things that hit me about Lepore's article: - Disruption is all around us - and it's not just technology as you say. The fact Lepore, a historian, didn't 'see' this is disheartening on many levels (including as a mom whose son is looking at colleges and wishes profs were more open-minded!). There are huge disruptions going on in government, societal structures, definitions of 'work', education, etc. Couldn't one see the Ukraine-Russia issues as the last gasps of an old empire desperately trying to hold on to something that's evaporating? The issues in Iraq highlight the folly of artificial national boundaries that are not sustainable and I could go on and on. - The fact the New Yorker published the article actually made me think of Putin invading Crimea! Please please, don't take my deluded world view away from me! It was as if, through Lepore, the NYer was asking for the restoration of the 20th C. - perhaps so desperately that they would publish an article that was not really up to the 'old' NYer standards (e.g., walk across the street to talk to the guy before you lambast him in the press). Thank you again for your sage words. This incident is so telling on so many levels. See you soon at #BIF10!
John - how prescient! this was a topic of so many of my skypes today - from afghanistan to providence to california - the need to learn how to ask great questions that would lead to impact - that by truly listening and understanding, by 'rushing to discover' instead of 'rushing to solve' we can hone our ability to become great at asking questions. Almost verbatim! And the more you 'practice' asking questions, and listen and learn from the responses, you learn how to ask good questions even more - thank you!!! as usual, serendipitous timing - deb
And this is why the rejuvenation of needing meaning and purpose is so timely and critical.... in such a fast changing world, where the line between black/white/good/evil is finer and finer and the grey so much bigger we need to be grounded in the virtues - and applying them to every day life - the ballast we'll need. Which is also why a liberal arts education matters - a whole lot!
John, perhaps people just haven't seen, at least 1st hand, the difference between the 'grand narrative' and the opportunity narrative - or even narrative and story. I've been blessed to have several clients who create opportunity narratives that all of their people co-create, from the plant floor to the front Menasha Packaging ( and Thogus ( But they are still way too rare
John - ever since I heard you make the distinction between stories and narratives at BIF-7 (was it that long ago?), it's been a powerful meme for me. Stories are classic; stories are wonderful and many are timeless and also, depending on the story, very comforting - providing hope, a path forward, lessons learned and applied...yet to me, stories are also finite. Narratives let people come in when they're ready or realize it's relevant...they let you be a part of it even if you weren't there at the beginning. I think that narratives let you come and go, let more diverse perspectives participate and be heard. It's not that stories aren't relevant and important. They are different and have different applications. We have and love stories. It's time we started to to create more narratives - to let people be a part of the 'doing.' Thank you!
Here! Here! I'm signing "dms" - thank you john!
Fabulous post -- and gets to one of my biggest ROI/Financial calculations of corporations - sunk costs! they are sunk! done, over. Getting the C-suite to look at "opportunity gains" in terms of what are you giving up because you're stuck in the past, because you want to fully utilize your 'sunk costs' what 'opportunity gains' are you losing?? They don't fully understand the cost of not innovating, only the capital/resource costs of innovating...
thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!!!
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Amelia & Whitney - 1 of the last few lines hit me - so many choices we don't make a choice. Sometimes I think we do have too many choices - it can be paralyzing. There are times I yearn for the simplicity of previous decades when it was all clear - but most of the time I relish the mess of choices. But the flip side is too much 'greatness' - I know a very very talented man in his 40's who is truly gifted in so many areas that it's paralyzed him - he's never been able to focus on 1 of the talents and also gives up if he can't be perfect at them all - he's paralyzed by an innate overload of choices. Go dream - go try them - whatever you learn along the way you can use for the next one and next one - no matter how they turn out - just pursuing a dream is a tremendous accomplishment!
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Thank you so much for writing about this - it's a process of creation, of invention and of innovation and from the heart - i'm anxious to read it (and get you to sign it!)
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2012 on My Dream of Writing a Book at dare to dream
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We are so richly blessed to have options -- and nothing is irrevocable - Avni, with your attitude, perspective and passion, you, your husband, and your children will always be on a learning and growing adventure - making an impact!
Toggle Commented Dec 31, 2011 on Avni Patel Thompson: Repatriation at dare to dream
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I think you're spot on in how we put our earthly parents personas & relationships to us onto G-d. Blessedly, I was given parents that were (almost) perfect for me so that quite positively impacted my relationship with G-d. However, even so, trust remains so hard. If I look back on my life I have NO reason NOT to trust Him - yet I always worry - if I don't nudge enough, maybe He'll think its not that important to me (like He doesn't already know!). For any other type of analysis, given the track record, I'd have a strong faith in future performance - tho of course it's not a given. Yet I don't apply that to my L-rd and Savior. Why? I have no clue - except perhaps that since I trust Him with the most important things/people in my life, the stakes are higher so my fear of 'failure' is higher. The parable of the Talents is powerful. I often think of Salieri who was so jealous of Mozart's gifts, he neglected to use his own. I've also known people who are so gifted that they are paralyzed because instead of thinking they can use 1 or 2 at a time, they feel they must use all at all times. G-d has given us gifts, we are to use them - we are to trust Him that when He gives us the opportunities to use them, share them, we wont disappoint Him and will use them to His glory. And there's the kicker - I believe G-d gave us gifts and talents to be used to glorify Him, to cause Him joy - and as a byproduct, it makes a difference (positive) for others - but our audience is Him and Him only. If we try to please those around us, we are destined to fail. So, the mantra of my life, learned/adopted/adapted from my parents and Judaism, is to Cause G-d Joy. I really try (and often don't' succeed) to be concerned about just Him - have I caused Him more joy today than not-joy? And you know, the wonderful gift He gives us is Grace & Mercy (hesed in Hebrew - combined, 1 word, not 2 words - interestingly enough). The L-rd delights in my just existing - in just being His - not in works - what a relief! what a Christmas and every day Thank you for this wonderful, touching, honest post -
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Great point Whitney! Sometimes it is easier to give than to receive. Made me stop and think - I am anxious to read your book.
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2011 on In the Vicinity of Weakness at dare to dream
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What a beautiful post. There are times I walk into the house, with all the bags, soccer bags, papers, sweatshirts all over the place and I could scream and the I remember in a few short years everything can be nice and tidy and I will sorely miss the chaos. Being a mom is the hardest job, the most rewarding and one of the least really appreciated in our society. There is nothing like the smell, touch, sound of your child...heaven on earth.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2011 on Lee Chipman: I Can Do Anything at dare to dream
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In 1988, AT&T/Bell Labs graciously offered to move me to Oberlin, OH when I got married if I wouldn't quit. They set me up with a home office and I commuted to NJ or somewhere else in the world weekly. When our son was born in 1997, I went part time from home, no travel, working remotely. I gave up managing people (which was fine). That worked thru another child in 2000, til I quit in 2001 because the ability to do anything meaningful at AT&T, no matter where you were, was increasingly difficult. I went out on my own, using my "network" to start my own consulting practice and become a partner in an early-stage VC firm. To say I've been blessed is an understatement. AT&T was ahead of its time in encouraging and enabling my situation. But it boils down to people. I had incredible management who realized my value and the power of the network, heck we were a networking company, we should have! To think that was 23 yrs ago is amazing. Unfortunately, we haven't come as far as we should have. Thank you for your very important post and sharing your journey! Deb
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This is so true and for me, highlights the distinction between "output" and "outcome". We focus on the "output" of appearing selfish, arrogant, "it's all about me" if we seek positive perception, visibility & influence instead of the outcome of those: the ability to make a bigger difference and have a positive impact for change on many levels. Thank you Whitney for highlighting the issues and the distinction.
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Paul Tillich was a very wise man in many ways - this quote is just one of them. Doubt is the way we grow, we learn, we explore, we discover - it is a powerful motivator to press on - something I try to teach my kids - if you doubt, go learn more, think it through, realize perhaps you don't have all the answers (and can't) - so leverage doubt and, as my father has told me over and over as well, don't just doubt what's before you, also doubt your doubts....
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Whitney, I think one of the hardest things for a parent is not to indulge their kids because you love them and want the best. And, let's face it, there are many times it's just easier to do it yourself than have them do it. Fortunately, my husband and I balance out our "indulging" areas and we've tried not to but it is hard. That said, I don't think you can I indulge with love, but you can with "stuff" and chores. And yes, the federal Gov't feels incredibly entitled.....breaking that cycle is a necessary challenge...with huge societal effects! Deb
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Terrific point!!
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2011 on KidTunes at ignire
Steve, another great post. I was chatting with a friend who was lamenting that his 8th grade son is "going out" with a girl but all they do is text. "How will he know what a relationship is? We used to talk on the phone!" So first I said that at that age, texting was "safer" (well depends I guess these days). Then, I asked him what kids would say on the phone when they talked for hours...not that different from what they text! Duh! As we kept talking about it, turned out it wasn't that different after all! And of course, neither type (text or voice) was deep. Deb
Steve, thank you for another great post. Since capitalism is dependent on people (until robots make, sell and buy :) ), the problem, and solution will always be people. Too much discussion, til now with you and others, has focused on the theory of capitalism vs the reality.