Showing posts from September, 2006

Imagine That!

In graduate school many moons ago, pursuing my masters degree in Education at Rutgers, I studied with author, artist, poet, and new paradigm research scientist Jon Klimo (whose massive book on channeling is the definitive work in the field).

What a trip! Klimo was (and apparently still is, thank goodness) one of the most brilliant and "far out there" people I have ever met.

As part of the Creative Arts in Education program that Klimo pioneered, we studied thinking, learning, creativity, intuition, and imagination. His ideas on imagination in particular still resonate with me twenty four years later.

Imagine my delight to see that Dave Pollard's recent entry at How to Save the World is on the process of imagining.

Pollard reminds me of Klimo in this piece, especially in his recommendations to:

- Remember your dreams
- Change your point of view
- Explore your mental images
- Transport yourself
- Open your senses
- Make connections
- Make time and space for imagining

And I really l…

Reloading Your Accumulator

Our good friend from Germany, Wolfgang, wrote to us early in the Summer to recommend that we take a vacation. He wrote: " need some time to relax and to reload your accumulator, and I know from my own experience that it is far the best to do it away from home."

Never having heard the phrase "reload your accumulator" before, I plugged it into Google Translate and converted it to German: deinen Akkumulator neu laden.

Question to my German readers: Does that phrase make sense to you?

As the Summer passed, Wolfgang's recommendation went with us. At each place we visited, we would recall his admonition to "reload your accumulator" and we would do our best to live up to it.

Did we reload our accumulator successfully? Yes, I think we did. We got away from home. We went to new places. We enjoyed nature. And we relaxed with friends.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/28/06

When KM Meets OD

Jim Murphy has a new question at the Mass Bay OD Learning Community Blog: What can organizational development practitioners learn from Knowledge Management?

(The NJ OD Learning Community addressed a similar question a couple years ago when Stephan Kudyba of NJIT spoke on the strategic implications of KM.)

Murphy's question arose from a presentation given by Bruce Hoppe and Patti Anklam to the Mass Bay OD Group, where they identified several challenges...

- Change management
- Talent management
- Learning organization
- Collaboration

...that not only face knowledge management practitioners, but organization development practitioners as well.

You can view their presentation here.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/23/06

Changing For The Better

At my thirtieth high school reunion a couple years ago, there were various prizes awarded. I won the prize for The Most Changed. (Hint: In high school, I had black wavy hair. Today I am bald as an egg.)

My wife Joan and I talk about change a lot. She will often say that she hates change. Especially those things that change irrevocably like the death of a parent or a sibling.

At the same time, we are experiencing positive changes all the time. Like seeing our eldest son Kevin grow to be over six feet tall, enroll in college, and go off to film school in California this Summer. It seems like yesterday that he and his younger brother Dave were curly haired Little Kickers running down the soccer field.

It's intriguing to me that I pursued a career in a field that is all about change: training and organization development. Would Dick Richards say that it has something to do with my genius? my purpose in life?

That's what we do in life, change. All of us. No exceptions. We all…

What Is Bill Clinton Doing?

Check out what former US president Bill Clinton is doing these days, via a funny but interesting interview by comedian John Stewart on The Daily Show.

Apparently Mr. Clinton is pursuing some BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals) related to making the world a better place for millions of people here on planet Earth.

Way to go, Bill!

Has anyone phoned Mr. Clinton to see if he is available to speak at the next Organization Development conference?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/19/06

Rules and Creativity

Rosa Say, the author of Managing with Aloha, and owner of the blog Talking Story, has an entry at LifeHack, about how rules stifle creativity.

I like just about everything I've read of Rosa's output. This one on rules, however, made me pause and reflect upon a story I heard when I was in college.

It was a study of children playing in a schoolyard during recess. The aim of the study was to see what would happen if the playground fence was removed. Would the children experience more freedom and enjoy the openness of a fence-free playground?

When the fence was removed and the children sent out to play for recess, the researchers were surprised by the behavior of the children. Instead of fearlessly exploring the newly unbounded environment, the children huddled fearfully by the school door, afraid to play where there was no fence.

Without a fence, there was no protection. A wayward automobile could careen through. A gang of toughs could freely enter the yard. A stray dog could p…

On September 11

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Let there be peace on earth...and let it begin with me.

St. Francis

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/11/06

On HR and Happiness and Asking Good Questions

Over at Management Craft, Lisa Haneberg asked Is it time we got rid of HR? and I wrote:

What needs to change is that HR needs to "pull itself together" and reinvent itself as a strategic, systems thinking, business partner focusing (like a laser beam!) on the really important stuff, e.g.

- talent (developing, tapping, unleashing)

- culture (creating great values-based workplaces where people can flourish and do their best work)

- results (removing the obstacles, creating alignment, equipping people for success)

- profitability and growth (including a commitment to building wealth for employees)

- purpose and stewardship

Also, at The Chief Happiness Officer blog, blogger Alexander Kjerulf has made my day by adding my blog to his list of Happy At Work blogs.

And Don Blohowiak mentioned me at his blog in a piece about asking good questions.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/10/06

Getting Things In Order on Planet Earth

At ryze, CEO and blogger Ken Hilving asked a great (and I mean GREAT) question. It's like one of those questions that Bono or Stephen Hawking has posted at Yahoo Answers:

"What would it mean to have things in order on planet earth? Would order preclude change, growth, imagination, discussion, dissent, or what? Can creativity coexist with order?"

"Getting things in order on planet Earth" means, to me:

- that we settle our differences peacefully, rather than by dropping bombs, invading countries, setting up secret prisons, assassinations, etc.

- that we teach peace and stewardship to children

- that we take care of our planet...because it's all we've got

Does "order" preclude change, growth, imagination, discussion, dissent, and creativity? Not at all.

Order based on peace (rather than power and use of force) and stewardship would depend on & thrive on all of these.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/08/06

Real Leaders Ask for Help

Many years ago, when I first entered the field of Training and Development, I was sent by my employer to be certfied in a leadership development training program. One of the leadership principles taught was a simple yet powerful maxim: Ask for help in solving the problem.

At Leadership. Now, consultant and blogger Don Blohowiak has another great blog entry where he salutes Bill Ford for recognizing that Ford Motor Company needed a new leader.

An excerpt:

"But in the face of continuously declining vehicle sales and market share, Bill Ford dug deep...(and) decided to do what all wise leaders do about their limitations: Recognize them and compensate for them with the help of others.

"Bill Ford reached out to an executive whose skills and experiences were different from and complementary to his own.

"Real leadership is knowing your limitations and getting assistance to move you past what you don’t have. Real leaders ask for help.

"It took more than a little guts for a gu…

Going Bedouin

Came across this concept, "going Bedouin" via Regina Miller's blog .

Going Bedouin is a buzzword in Silicon Valley for low-overhead cost, highly virtual and mobile, very Web 2.0 companies.

An excerpt:

"Any reduction of distraction or complexity that is due to operational infrastructure is a good thing. The goal of "going Bedouin" is to create a low inertia business that takes less capital to get started and that can react with greater agility to changing conditions."

I wonder what sorts of HR and Organization Development challenges they are encountering? How are they dealing with them?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/05/06

Summoning Positive Energy

A job hunting buddy of mine asked me, How do I summon positive energy when the grind of the search tires me out? Good question.

As I think about some of the things that work for me, the common denominator is Change. Change what I'm doing. Move to a different room or spot. Go outside and take a walk, get some air, some light.

Breathe. I love certain smells. Coffee. Sage. Clean laundry. A good smell can stir up memories, change my mood, and even inspire the creative impulse.

Talk with someone. Pick up the phone. Go to a meeting. Just get some talk going. It doesn't have to be deep.

Listen to music. I've always found music to be a good transporter, a way to take me away from the present, from the burdens of the moment. Like music, the sound of bells and wind-chimes can take me away.

Read some inspirational writing. Henri Nouwen is a favorite.

What else works for you?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 09/01/06