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Showing posts from July, 2020

On Sensational News Headlines ...

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So, July 30th was Child Trafficking Awareness Day. The statistic that the media and advocates often quote is 'Half a million child abductions in the United States per year'.  Wow.  Child abduction is terrible and it definitely happens.  It is sick and we need to remove this evil from the world, for sure.
In order to draw attention to any problem, the advocate must define why this problem is worth caring about and possibly, why its worth your money or time.  The objective is to play on the human capacity for empathy ... the more people/families impacted by the issue, the more stress the observer will feel and the more empathy they'll feel towards the victims, driving them towards an action.  It's how TV dramas work, how movies work and how new media works.  No one will consume media that doesn't invoke a feeling in us.  Honestly, who would read or watch a news story that 99.99% of people on the planet had a regular day.  90+% of them went to work or school.  Almost…

On Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials and Gen Z ...

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In broad terms, the world is currently made up of Baby Boomers, Generation X (like me), Millennials (aka. Generation Y) and Generation Z.  To begin, each and every one of these groups, during their formative years, were the most progressive generation that has ever been.  Their experience of the world during that period will influence their idea of what the ideal world should be in order to provide maximum personal happiness ... how can anyone anticipate the possible happiness that they would experience if the world were different?
Now this is not across the board of course, people who's experience of the world is more challenging will identify those items and passively or actively try to change the things that created their discomforts during their formative years.  This is what's know as "progress" - this is also presented as social justice, equality, liberalism and many other names ...
Why is this important? The world functions on progressing experience and continuou…

On Strategy and Execution ...

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There is a saying "A goal without a plan is just a wish" and it is so very true.  Sometimes we are so anxious to start the execution, excited to start a sprint towards the finish that we forget about the planning part.  We have all done it - we think we have a target, an end state, and we start to move towards it - then, at some point, you realise that you can't actually define what "it" is anymore ... so you wouldn't even know it if you got there.

First off, we need to realise that there is no end state, there is no finish line - only a pass-through into something bigger.  What we are actually shooting for is a marker on a much longer journey.  For example: in sports, an individual may wish to play professionally.  First, they must develop enough basic skill to qualify for a team - or find a team that will invest in training the individual to a certain level.  Next, that individual will need to improve their skills and develop their body to compete in inc…

On Actions and Reactions ...

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I was chatting with some friends the other day and they were telling me about an experience they had with an UberEats driver who parked in a handicap spot for his pickup.  My friend confronted the UberEats driver about parking in a handicap spot by mentioning that there is a large fine for doing so.  The driver attempted to stare her down and intimidate her and she stood her ground but the situation was going to a bad place with words exchanged.  Her significant other - a tall, large and tattooed man - was able to de-escalate through increased intimidation and the UberEats driver moved from the spot.

Now, as she was telling me this story I could feel my anxiety cranking up.  We started to discuss if this was the right choice or if there were other options.  I explained that I would not have engaged that way.  That I would have calculated that there is a 99.9999% chance that nothing would happen as a result me remaining silent AND that if the 0.0001% happened, the worst outcome would …

On setting expectations ...

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There are over 6000 languages on the planet- and 2000 of those with over 1000 speakers.We’ve also all had the experience of talking with someone who, despite using the same language, because of an accent or localised slang, you are unable to properly communicate your message, intention or question.In addition to these communication languages, we often use very non-specific language when making requests with the assumption that the person receiving the request somehow has the same history, training, wisdom and point-of-view as we do, and that they will interpret the vague language we’ve used in the way we have intended it to be understood.
If we work from the assumption that all people are in the pursuit of happiness, then conversely, people should be looking to avoid stress and conflict.What this means is that conflict arises from a lack of understanding the other side’s perspective and no clear understanding of the middle ground, no willingness to listen and compromise and also an u…

On Conspiracy Theories ..

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Truth is relative so I'm not going to make some blanket statement about all conspiracy theories - but I am going to address some of the more pervasive and damaging ones in the current world.
There is a lot of talk about masks, COVID-19 and government control going around right now.  People are resorting to violence to protest masks and closures and a host of other actions taken by governments on the advice of health scientists.  
First off, in Canada at least, I know the people working on the response - all the way to the CPHO.  I am married to someone working 70hr weeks as an executive on Canada's response.  I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that these people, first and foremost, have the health security of the people in mind in every action they take.
So lets break down a few walls here: 1. This is a government conspiracy to control people.   Play this out for a minute.  If you think that governments can do anything in secret, especially of this scale then you sure…

On race ...

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Consider for a moment 2 races ...
In the first, 2 runners sprint to the finish line.   As the winner passes the finish line he sees that the person he has been running with for several miles has fallen.  He returns onto the course to help his fallen racer up and helps him complete his journey.  The winner then stands at the finish line cheering on the others ... here comes the first wheelchair participant who lost his legs in a car accident that wasn't his fault.  Here comes the first woman who at 5'2 just doesn't have the same length strides as the 6'2 inch winner.  The next participant to finish grew up in a country without many paved roads and no sports facilities, followed by someone whose parent fell ill and they spent the 6 weeks leading up to the race caring for them and not training as hard ... 
In the other race, the winner walks back onto the course and points and laughs at the fallen runner.  He says to the person in the wheelchair and the woman "You just…

On memes with the wrong message ...

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All over the internet you will find memes with "uplifting" messages that are actually damaging. Let me give you an example:

Feels good right? Rise up and conquer! But consider this: 1. Grapes are more healthy than wine. 2. Diamonds only have value as a reflection of wealth (except maybe as a diamond cutter) and human blood is spilled to collect them. 3. It take 5kg or olives to create 1L of oil - a single olive tree will at most create 4-5L of oil a year - everything else is waste. 4. Flowers bloom in the light.
There is always another way to look at things.  This meme is a great example of the mindset that "only if I keep you down can you rise up".  It is fundamentally flawed ...
#meme #wine #changemanagement

On happiness ...

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So ... 2020 has got me thinking ...There is so much going on right now that it's hard to absorb it all. Information is coming at us one meme or tweet at a time with no context, no perspective, just meant to evoke an emotion. Why do we love them? Because we all want to feel like we are part of a community (more on that later) and we post click-bait to get likes ...Now why likes? Well for that you have to drill down into some basics - like what creates human happiness (or any creature with a brain really)? Chemicals! Yes, really. Stimuli cause the release of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin in the brain that create a sense of happiness, wellness and belonging. As people (or animals) we are all seeking to find happiness. Moving from stimulus to stimulus to create a feeling.Consider for a moment that brain development is complex - there are 7 billion people on the planet (consider the magnitude of that number for a second) and our brains are formed through a combinat…