Stakeholder Care

I had the opportunity to lead a roundtable during the Resilient Business Summit a few years ago – here are some of my thoughts.

Finding and holding onto the pulse of your many stakeholders – Community engagement as the conduit.

I arrived on campus during the summer at the elite private school. No one was around. I wasn’t sure if I needed to call the cable company, or how to place a phone call. I didn’t know the area or which restaurants to avoid. I was brand spanking new to this school and community and felt very alone.

It became immediately apparent why so many people early in a new job or locale make the decision to leave. They have no real connection to the community and so the decision to leave is an easy one.

Tip #1 – Welcome Continue reading “Stakeholder Care”

Booritos & Transformation

People wait on a long line to get burritos from Chipotle on Halloween
Boorito Night: A cell phone picture of a very long line.

or What Chipotle and the Dali Lama have in common.
(hint: They are able to touch and transform a lot of people)

Lately I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about gifting and inviting abundance into my life. I’ve also been very focused on personal transformation.  I’ve done breath work, dream analysis, meditation, et cetera.  I’m following this path because I can feel and see changes happening in my life and in the lives of those around me and its powerful stuff.

But much of the change that I’ve seen is localized or only affects a certain sector of the population that can afford it.  While I see the consciousness of the business world shifting through my friends’ businesses at SVN I wasn’t seeing much mainstream or popularized that really grabbed our transforming planet by the balls and… ok maybe a different metaphor.  Not that they weren’t doing enough.  They just hadn’t gone off the high dive.  I’ve been seeing the change as we live the words of Ghandi, and even some cool new products and businesses, but holy crap Chipotle just did a cannon ball into a pool that’s only had a little splashing.

Continue reading “Booritos & Transformation”

Changing Culture Norms through Storytellling

Cultural norms help to shape who we are. The stories that we hear every day. Those going against those norms are often outcast, but they are brave and being true to themselves in their actions.

What if this was all about gaining equality. Equality in the races, in gender, in identity. We are all people after all. Men had been forced to hide their feminine side and women their masculine. Many behaviors seek to overly espouse the opposite. Business women with short hair in suits. Women smoking. Or driven to over expression through hiding their true nature. Men who become over powering and violent in action. Culturally we seek to numb and hide in our actions. Drinking, drugs, over-consumption. We are obviously sick and getting sicker. While some of this can be attributed to our diets, those have been controlled by the cultural norms and so we must look deeper at the root. Continue reading “Changing Culture Norms through Storytellling”

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I went out to the mailbox yesterday and tucked in with the immediately to be recycled junk mail was a hand addressed letter.  I opened it wondering what I might find and it was a real letter.  This full page missive from my uncle in Florida was a wonderful treat and had me smiling the rest of the day.

I like to write letters, but don’t do so very often now.  I did more when I was younger; my grandparents and other family would send letters periodically and then there were also friends who lived far away with whom I could correspond.  Also, as I remember it, Pen Pals were all the rage in the 80’s.  I know I had at least one Pen Pal in school and I think one that I found on my own.  My connection with them was short lived, however, and I doubt if a single letter remains in my memory box as a reminder.   Continue reading “The Lost Art of Letter Writing”

Weathering the Storm

The snowstorm of October 31st wasn’t unexpected. In fact, it seemed like everyone knew about it and was preparing even though the first I heard of it was the night before. Knowing what an early snowstorm can do I was expecting lots of downed trees and the potential for a longer power outage.

True to form the storm shut the region down for several days. For some communities, like Agawam, this meant over a week. Without tv, internet, and the power to charge up those smart phones that we all love the rapid flow of communication, quotidian for 2011, stopped.

Who had power? Where could you find the sundries that became necessary to buy (and re-buy) with a refrigerator out? What do you do when disaster strikes? These and many other questions came up for us Valley residents. Continue reading “Weathering the Storm”

Yes, and…

One of the rules to improvisational acting is to never say ‘no’ or ‘but.’  Why?  Well ‘no’ stops the flow of creativity.  It stops momentum.  The trick is to say ‘yes, and…’

Just like a good improv, brainstorming is facilitated by always saying yes.  Gathering all the nuggets of information and ideas before determining which is best or suits the situation the best.  Continue reading “Yes, and…”

Redefining the Heroine

Traditionally the hero/ine was the achetype that comes in and saves the day when something has gone wrong or justice needs to be done.

To me, through the lens of sustainability and environmental justice, a heroine is a support for people who know they need help.   She enables organizations and groups of citizens, through facilitation and training, to create a better world for themselves. A better world which is based on the shared values and culture of the community and not what someone else thinks they should be. Continue reading “Redefining the Heroine”