Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bits and Pieces of 12 Days to the Mas: Somehow, even the sound of divorce bells do not seem as dark when you look around - the sun still rises and the ocean is just as mysterious ...

Appreciation is like looking through a wide-angle lens that lets you see the entire forest, not just the one tree limb you walked up on.

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing ...

What you put out comes back. The more you sincerely appreciate life from the heart, the more the magnetic energy of appreciation attracts fulfilling life experiences to you, both personally and professionally. Learning how to appreciate more consistently offers many benefits and applications. Appreciation is an easy heart frequency to activate and it can help shift your perspectives quickly. Learning how to appreciate both pleasant and even seemingly unpleasant experiences is a key to increased fulfillment.

The best things in life are not free but priceless.
-Benjamin Lichtenberg

Life is the greatest bargain—we get it for nothing.
- Slavic proverb

Nothing is more disgusting than the crowing about liberty by slaves, as most men are, and the flippant mistaking for freedom of some paper preamble like a Declaration of Independence, or the statute right to vote, by those who have never dared to think or to act.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 14, 2006

There are so many movies I want to recommend. However, I stop with this one On Earth: As It Is in Heaven

Do experience the beauty of life, and you will take home a piece of heaven with you.
As it is in Sweet Sweeden

This is one of the best things to come out of Sweden since Abba - a completely charming, disarmingly frank, robustly opinionated and sweetly tuneful film about a small-town choir, a famous conductor and the redemptive power of singing.
Some people had to drive all the way to Poseville (Roseville) to view it

Monday, December 11, 2006

Snipppets of cafe literature (Surry Hill - Sydney Dec 06) Dinosaurs or democracy?

Describing managers as dinosaurs is perhaps not very kind – but for visiting organisational experts Joan Goldsmith and Ken Cloke, it’s by way of being a wake-up call.
It’s not that managers don’t perform valuable functions, but that these ought to increasingly become the responsibility of employees to take on for themselves, explains Cloke.
The reality is that organisations are moving toward more democratic, participatory structures. And the things that can’t be managed – a list that includes trust, creativity, innovation, values, commitment and integrity – are much more the stuff of leadership.

These are the things you can lead people with. But you can’t stand over someone’s shoulder and design a step-by-step process for them to follow that will end up with them becoming creative.

Cloke and Goldsmith heralded The End of Management and Rise of Organisational Democracy in a jointly authored book back in 2002 and followed that up with The Art of Waking People Up: Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work (both published by Warren Bennis). In New Zealand last month as guests of Massey University, they talked about how to create a democratic organisation and ran workshops on dispute resolution.
The two subjects are totally intertwined, says Goldsmith.
That’s because conflict resolution is at the heart of the change process and at the heart of any democratic organisation. What we’re talking about is everyone, at every level of the organisation from factory floor to boardroom, having skills in confronting conflicts, preventing them and resolving them when they do emerge.”
Cloke has a shorthand description for conflict in organisations.
We call it the sound made by the cracks in the system. What happens in organisations is that you get individual conflict but you also get chronic conflict.”
These are costly cracks.
We believe and know, because we’ve been working in this area for 25 years, that a conflict is not just something that isn’t working but is something that if it were fixed and made to work would allow the organisation to become far more effective.

It’s not a question of boundless sweetness and light. The point is that conflict can be both positive and energising if it is well handled. What they’re talking about is a higher level of conflict and higher order of resolution technique.
It’s to do with the attitude toward conflict and toward learning.
What we try to do is help managers not to fear the conflict but to take it on and use it as a learning opportunity both for themselves and those directly affected.
If swept under the carpet, conflict tends to expand – creating more widespread fissures in the system. It’s an issue that Cloke in his role as director of the California-based Centre for Dispute Resolution, knows plenty about. He says there is now a tool that provides organisations with a detailed ‘conflict audit’.
“This looks at the chronic sources of conflicts, how much they’re costing the organisation, how much managerial time is spent resolving them, what can be done to prevent them, what can be done to manage or resolve them better. This is a very powerful method that has saved companies millions and millions of dollars.”
But few companies have yet embraced it – though lack of conflict resolution ability is a major stumbling block in the creation of a democratic organisation. Hierarchic structures just don’t provide enough opportunity to resolve strife, says Cloke.
It’s difficult to have those face-to-face conversations in which informal problem solving or conflict resolution can take place. It’s very difficult for personnel to have a conversation with engineering or with sales. And this is what leadership does – it brings together disparate parts of the organisation into a single conversation.

Cloke and Goldsmith talk about ‘linking leadership’ that builds bridges between different teams. Or, as Goldsmith puts it: They make porous the boundaries between departments and organisations and provide a context of values and of human wellbeing for the work people are doing.
While the past few years have brought a whole raft of ‘leadership’ initiatives, Cloke doesn’t think many companies have got the whole picture. The language may have shifted but it hasn’t always been accompanied by a real shift in organisational power.
“The shorthand answer to your question is that we don’t see enough of a large scale transformation at this point in the way decisions are actually being made.”
Both he and Goldsmith – whose long-term collaboration means they’ve had “several years of trying to figure out how to argue better with each other” – reckon New Zealand offers a good case study in conflict resolution. That, ventures Clone, could partly be due to living on an island. There’s no place else to go to avoid conflict. Also because we have an indigenous population with a long history of conflict and a very intelligent decision to work these issues through.
That we’ve been able to make a stand on nuclear arms, resisted jumping to warlike solutions and made efforts to make amends for the historical pain caused by colonisation is something to admire, says Goldsmith.
Conflict resolution is still a very young field, says Cloke. But everyone involved in it understands that it has transformational power.
I don’t think we will be able to stop global warming, or solve problems in the Middle East or stop the war in Iraq or any of those things unless people figure out how to talk with each other and engage in joint problem solving.
People are capable of coming together in their conflicts and understanding each other and this is really part of the purpose of management. So we see conflict resolution as a place where management does become leadership – and you can’t do without leadership.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ach, Beware: The working memory is where new information is combined with existing emotions and knowledge, and is assessed for rejection, modification or long-term storage.
Survival and emotional data have the highest priority for making it to long-term memory. If your information is not related to these matters, it is automatically accorded a much lower priority by the recipient.
The main factor that will lift your management information up from the low priority is the strength of emotional content or connection it makes with the person.
Considerably less significant, but still enough to move out of short term and into working memory is information the brain thinks is new, makes sense and is relevant to the person’s life.

The trick to persuading
Brain research has revealed what makes good management communications:
• Information is delivered in ways that maximise the amount which gets into the brain in the first place (visual).
• Information will make sense against the existing knowledge of the audience and will be of use to the audience.
• It is likely that the information forms a great mental bridge between what is already known by the audience and what they do not know.
• To be that mental bridge, the manager provides a real-life context for the information, will use metaphors to make the information more relevant, and will get the audience to immediately act on the new information.

The art of management remains
The research has uncovered patterns of brain operation that free us of wishful notions of people being driven by logic, higher ideals, or economic incentives. We now know that information about physical and emotional safety of primary importance, followed by information that is relevant to individual’s lives and makes sense within their experience.
The art of management will be to use this new knowledge to bring about behaviour change that is not a match with what people’s brains may be prepared to accept easily ...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Terry has been keeping me occupied on the script of all scripts in 2006 and it looks like the year of BOND 007 will also prove busy ... (PS: Michael R. and his MJR 007 number plate will be even more valuable on ebay in 007 ;-)

Cold River Review Deep Voices from the Foreign Past
No one can deny that Cold River is flowed everywhere in 2006.

A culture can evolve no faster than its language evolves. Language actually defines the frontier of the knowable. I take the language issue very seriously. I see us as being imprisoned within the limitations of our language. You can’t plan social strategy that you can’t talk about. You can’t build a work of art that you can’t describe somehow. So the goal is always to push language to its outermost limits and then beyond that. Wittgenstein said that “the appetition of language was for the unspeakable”. Not to be content with it or to contemplate it, but to take the unspeakable and speak it and thereby extend the frontiers of language.

Cold River Review The River Less Traveled

Swimming in deep waters of the Amazon has been a real joy in 2006 - despite a few spiteful characters from the incestous (sic) Shire ;-) Cold River on Amazon

While I never wanted to be part of the richest club in the world the destiny took me in the direction of the unexpected ;-) Cold River by the Richest clubs of them all - Forbes