Archive for April, 2009

Meaningful Connections = Growing Businesses

April 23, 2009

I was encouraged today when I answered my emails and found a “connect” request from my cousin who resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He wanted to connect me to an entrepreneur located in Bay Village who once was employed with him at one of our former client’s (place of business also in Cuyahoga County). The entrepreneur and I talked briefly today about how to grow his business in Northeast Ohio, where he might find clients, and how to prepare for future opportunities as the economy and our region recover from this downturn.

When people take the time to make meaningful connections, businesses grow.

We are meeting in early May to have another conversation.

Change Management and Managing Expectations

April 17, 2009

As the first 100 days of the Obama Administration draws to an end, it is a good time to talk about managing expectations for change.

Anyone who has ever managed change knows that there is a predictable ebb and flow of change/resistance/progress. There are high points when everyone is ecstatic that change is happening (like election night this past November). There are low points when so much change has happened that everyone just wants to stop the merry-go-round, get off and take a break (like the Tea Parties held on tax day). And there are the points along the way when those managing change are stuck in the “down trough” of the change cycle because everyone around them wants change to happen to everyone — except themselves.

The environment of change is full of opposing forces. Managing sustained momentum in any change process requires leadership that can anticipate and manage the cycle of change. Today, we might be approaching a down trough, but with strong leadership this too shall pass.

Civil discourse . . . a definition

April 2, 2009

Last night, Oberlin College hosted NPR journalist Diane Rehm. As her son interviewed her in front of a standing room only crowd at Finney Chapel, Diane reflected and spoke honestly about her ethnic roots, her childhood, her coming of age, and the life changing moments that have made her who she is today.

She was never shy and offered her perspective on many contemporary issues including civil discourse. I paraphrase her definition which is powerful and meaningful:

“Civil discourse is our ability to have conversation about topics about which we disagree, and our ability to listen to each others’ perspectives.”

She commented further that, “Civil dialogue and civil discourse begin at home.”