Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Life as we know it.

September 23, 2010

When will leaders understand that big ideas and no action have no place in every day life. Life is action. Action brings change – however you define change. This is life as we know it.


What is important in life?

July 9, 2010

While change swirls around us, and unexpected challenges confront us daily, we need to ask ourselves: What is important in life?

Clean and safe water, food and neighborhoods. Access to health care and professionals who care. Safe streets and households. Self-worth. Contributing to our society and family. Self-esteem. Respect for the environment. Respect for each other. Lifelong learning. Love. Peace . . .

What is cultural capital?

June 5, 2010

Academically, cultural capital is defined as “forms of knowledge, both tangible and intangible, that have value in a given society in relation to status and power.” However, I would like to offer a more practice-oriented definition of cultural capital: the rules for engaging other types of capital (human, economic, social).

Cultural capital defines how people (human) engage each other (social) and their resources (economic). Whether the culture of an organization is good or bad – cultural capital is created when values, traditions, beliefs and language become the currency to leverage other types of capital.

For actionable leaders, cultural capital is the most important type of capital. It is the difference between creating an environment to maintain the status quo or building the foundation for making change.

Diversity and Democracy must start now.

February 8, 2010

In her autobiography, Reconciliation, Benazir Bhutto “tried to trace the roots, causes and potential solutions to the crisis within the Muslim world and the crisis between the Muslim world and the West. Theology, history, economics, democracy, and dictatorship have all played significant roles in bringing the world to this crossroads.” Her premise from the beginning has been “that extremism thrives under dictatorship and is fueled by poverty, ignorance and hopelessness. The extremist threat within the Islamic world and between the Islamic world and the West can be solved, but it will require addressing all the factors that breed it.”

Today it was reported that India has successfully tested a long-range nuclear missile capable of reaching Pakistan and major Chinese cities.

Let’s start now. Our future depends on it.

Change happens when . . .

January 6, 2010

. . . the status quo is unacceptable.

A call to action that is priceless.

October 9, 2009

One trait that effective leaders possess is knowing when and how to call people to action. Regardless of what a leader is “calling people to act on” they must understand when and how to build widespread support. They also must be able to seamlessly engage simultaneously at the individual (micro), organization (meso) and community (macro) levels of society.

Like many competencies of effective leaders, this competency rarely manifests itself early in a leader’s life experience. In fact, it is usually the trait of an experienced, successful and more senior leader. Engaging the average person, building consensus across organizations, and taking the time to understand the wide diversity of perspectives which people hold is no easy task. And, the value of using this competency to act and make change  . . . priceless!

Negotiation. Compromise. It is all change.

August 21, 2009

Ever since taking the Harvard University course on “Negotiation” in the late 1990s, I have used the “BATNA” framework for a wide array of negotiations. What is interesting about this framework is that it also applies to change management.

Change happens when the status quo becomes unacceptable, thus, precipitating a need for an alternative .

For change to happen a leader must first understand what their BATNA is.

Note: BATNA stands for: Best Alternative to an Negotiated Agreement.

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.

Learn, Live Healthy, Prosper.

February 25, 2009

It seems like so much of what we want to be is simple.

But it is powerful.

Whatever our age, our status in life, our longings . . .

We all want to learn, live healthy and prosper, so let’s do it.

Now we can.

Change: A Simple Definition

February 24, 2009

While visiting Washington DC last week I was comforted by the professional, collegial and intentional manner of Federal staff.

Furthermore, I was energized by the approach to making change. Here are a few lessons to share:

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel (someone already did . . . a million times over).

2. Do integrate successful components of other successful efforts (just don’t try to duplicate them exactly).

3. Don’t think that everyone is on board with this change (just look at the Governors who openly refuse resources their constituents need desparately).

4. Do look to build partnerships and strategic alliances (start with those with common experiences, then branch out to those with common cultures.)

5. Accept change.