Showing posts from February, 2007

What's Cookin'?

My friends poke fun at me for my habit of saying things like "Howdy" and "What's cookin'?"

What can I say? I'm just a down-home Jersey Guy. Guess I'm funny that way.

Anyhow, I like to visit some of my favorite blogs from time to time to see "what's cookin'" with them...and I see that Jim Murphy and the Mass Bay OD folks have been doing some very cool stuff:

- What makes leaders effective?

- Have you translated squishy OD into financial terms?

- Do different work environments call for different OD practices?

Great questions! This OD group seems like a true learning community.

PS - My answers:
A) Integrity;
B) While it aint easy to do, it helps to front-load your OD efforts with the client's end-measures;
C) Yes, they do.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/27/07

Sustenance for the Soul

Astha recently wrote about how good friends give you "sustenance for the soul." How true that is.

Another source is books. As a child, I spent many a happy hour sitting and reading the World Book encyclopedias, studying such fascinating topics as the human body, dinosaurs, planets, rocks, stars, and weather.

Later, I met other books that have had a deep and lasting impact on me, including:

- the MiddleEarth books of J.R.R. Tolkien
- the original James Bond books by Ian Fleming
- poetry by Neruda, Bly, Simic, Whitman
- the spiritual essays of Henri Nouwen and Joan Chittister
- Leo Schaya's book on the universal meaning of the Kabbalah
- the speculative essays of Ahmed Osman and Immanuel Velikovsky
- Sharing Wisdom by Sr. Mary Benet McKinney
- the works of Sigmund Freud, Gaston Bachelard, Carlos Castaneda, and Alan Watts
- Norman O. Brown's great work Love's Body

What books have had a deep impact on you?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/24/07

All Mashed Up

Imagine a website designed to be a "mashup for your un-conference, gathering, meeting, or party."

One that has such features as:

- Map-based view of all the attendees
- People-meeting facilitator: mark the people you'd like to meet; see who wants to meet you
- Visualization of the attendees' connections
- Tag-based people matchup
- Visualize the tags on the map

It's attendr.

The upcoming Nexus for Change has an attendr site...where you can find me.

I first heard about attendr from Gabriel Shirley at Dancing Fish.

Attendr: a pretty cool idea.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/23/07

"We Help People Change to Be Successful"

I learned yesterday, in a conversation with a consultant, that some years ago a very well-known consulting firm had a simple but powerfully compelling mission statement:

~ We help people change to be successful.

What an excellent mission statement. Short. Simple. Memorable.

And evocative: What people? What change? What does success mean?

As I think about it, it's dawning on me that this could be my life mission statement. It fits all of my major undertakings in life, including maintaining and strengthening my marriage, raising two sons, training employees for 25 years, facilitating organizational change, and deepening my faith.

What is your mission statement?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/22/07

The Engine of Success

In her most recent blog entry, Astha quotes S. Vivekananda:

"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far."

Very true.

Our thoughts do make (or break) us. But our thoughts are affected by our experience.

In fact, there is a cycle going on all the time, involving our thoughts, our actions, our results, and our relationships, that has been dubbed The Engine of Success:

- The Quality of Our Relationships has an impact on our thinking...

- The Quality of Our Thinking affects our choices...

- The Quality of Our Actions determines the outcomes we get...

- The Quality of Our Results affects our relationships...and the cycle continues.

As computer educator Ken Modesitt says: As the quality of relationships rises, the quality of thinking improves, leading to an increase in the quality of actions and results. Achieving high quality results has a positive effect on the quality of relationships, creating a reinforc…

The Nexus is Coming

The Nexus for Change is coming!

Sounds like something out of Star Trek, no?

Actually it's a meeting in Ohio next month of some world-class level people from the field of organization development. People like Billie Alban, Peter Block, Barbara Bunker, Harrison Owen, and Marv Weisbord.

It's described as:

An unprecedented conference bringing together practitioners, researchers, leaders, activists, and educators to advance participative change methods.

Sounds great. Wish I could go.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/18/07

The Power in Asking Questions

Questions have always been useful. Now with the power of the internet, you can ask a question and get answers from a global community.

Phil did this recently at LinkedIn and got a tremendous response.

Following his lead, I asked a question too and got a great response.

Over at the Learning Circuits Blog, their question of the month is: What questions should we be asking?

Talk about a great question.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/13/07

How to Change the World

Blogger Phil "Make It Great" Gerbyshak has a great post on how to change the world where he identifies actions anyone can take such as:

- Smile more
- Hug more
- Share more
- Serve others more

It reminds me of futurist Joel Barker's starfish story where a man, walking along a beach, comes across a huge number of starfish that were washed ashore. He starts throwing them back into the sea one by one. Another man comes along and asks the first guy, "Do you really think what you're doing is going to make any difference?" The star-thrower looks at the starfish in his hands and answers, "It will make a difference to this one."

Seems to me that what Phil is offering is the way to be a star-thrower. A way to make a difference one person at a time.

And the starting place is the man or woman in the mirror.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/4/07

"Intelligent Disobedience" Rings Some Bells

My recent entry on "intelligent disobedience" seems to have resonated in the blogosphere:

- Wendy delves into the implications for project management

- Alexander calls it a "happy link"

- Astha relates it to the "displacement of responsibility"

- and The Big Dog himself, Don Clark, noted it in his newsblog.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 2/2/07