Friday, August 29, 2008

500th Post

My 500th post!

I've been wondering what to write about. Then it hit me: appreciation!

This blog began in 2004. As it grew, I gradually came to realize that blogging is a way for me to make meaning of my life. To think about my place in the world. Discovering one's unique purpose and gifts, and following the calling to make this world a better place . . . that's what it's all about.

Along the way, I have encountered and connected with many cool people including
~ Regina Miller
~ Scott McArthur
~ Bruce Lewin
~ Lisa Haneberg
~ Chris Morgan
~ Gautam Ghosh
~ Anna Farmery
~ Mario Gastaldi
~ Jim Murphy
~ Terry Starbucker
~ Phil Gerbyshak
~ Rosa Say
~ Michael Stallard
~ David Zinger
~ Nimmy
~ Mike Schaffner
~ Annette Clancy
~ Tim Wright
~ Michelle Malay Carter
~ Alexander Kjerulf
~ Astha Parmar
~ Steve Roesler
~ Bettina Neidhardt
~ Wayne Turmel
~ Lindsey Pollak
~ Alexandra Levit
...and so many others that I read and admire.

I look forward to the next 500 posts and all the great bloggers I will meet along the way.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 30, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Are You Here?

Why do people visit my blog? Why do people come to any blog, for that matter?

Do the things that interest me, match the things that interest you, my readers? As much as I wish the answer was YES, I am starting to suspect that that is not the case.

Colleague, blogger, and baker Jordan Salvit stopped by the other day when he read (on LinkedIn) that I had just posted my 498th blog entry. (This is now the 499th. The next one is the BIGGIE!)

He is wondering about this same question, Why are you visiting my blog?, and is exploring blog analytics to try to determine the answer.

His interests, like many interesting bloggers, are wide ranging, including artificial intelligence, online privacy, Web 2.0, as well as baking delicious chocolate mousse cakes in his spare time. What has garnered the most traffic on his blog? The cakes!

It was his chocolate desserts that pulled me in too. So it has me wondering if I should add something different to my blog that will pull in a bigger audience.

At the recommendation of Mike Schaffner, I have just subscribed to sitemeter and am looking forward to reading the tea leaves.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 27, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Ways of Working

Blogger Leo at ZenHabits has an entry called "12 New Rules of Working You Should Embrace Today," that includes some good ones, especially:

- Collaborate on documents, don’t email them

- People don’t have to be in an office (Yes, you can work from the beach!)

- Small teams are better than large teams

- Fewer tasks are better than many

- Meetings suck (True, but I have the answer.)

- Communication is a stream (This one seems especially zen-like, to me)

- Rest is as important as work (Amen, to that!)

Leo says, "Not all of these “rules” are accepted by the majority of people today — in fact, most aren’t. But a growing number of people are working this way, and I think a majority of people will work this way in the near future."

I hope he is right.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 24, 2004

Pathfinding

Via Bloglines, I discovered Aviv's Blog where consultant Aviv Shahar has an intriguing entry called "Why I Disagree With Marshall Goldsmith." Being a fan of Goldsmith, I was drawn in right away. As much as I agree with the tonic of Goldsmith's points, I must salute Aviv's responses. In particular:

~ "Investing in what you are about, in what you believe in, and in your growth and development is the best way to invest your time and money in your future. The future is not a repetition of the past."

Exploring Aviv's blog further, I came across his most recent entry on leadership development, where he says:

~ "As a leader, maps can help you a lot, but you need something even more important than maps — You need your own compass. You need to know yourself and have the capacity to enter an unknown terrain that has not been mapped, where you draw the map as you walk the terrain. This is the nature of leadership. You find a path forward in a place you have not travelled before."

Beautifully said.

For me, mapping is a dimension of pathfinding and is related to Weick’s idea of sensemaking, that we go through life making meaning of the events we experience and setting direction for ourselves...and for others.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Passing the Baton

At LinkedIn Answers, Rony Szleifer asked, What can the Olympics teach us about organizational performance?" Good question!

One lesson we can explore is the importance of handoffs.

A friend of mine, who is an expert in Track & Field, was analyzing the recent losses in the Olympics relay races. His comment was that some of these great runners lost on the handoffs. He explained that Olympic level runners, who are at the top of their sport and often have a very inflated self-image, have no time or patience to practice the handoffs. So, when the big race came, they blew it on this crucial detail.

This, I believe, is a direct lesson for organizational performance. No organization can operate without handoffs, for example Sales to Operations to Customer Care. It's not enough for each unit to be very good at what they do. Overall success depends upon the units handing off to each other seamlessly.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Millennials Inc

Author Lisa Orrell's new book “Millennials Incorporated” is done and now available on Amazon.

Not only is this a great book on a hot topic, but Lisa included several folks (including Me) from the Employee Engagement Network who contributed some of the content from David Zinger's A-Z of Employee Engagement e-book.

Lisa says: "All of you were clearly listed, along with your contact info... I think you will be pleased with how each of you were represented (in) the book!"

Thanks, Lisa! Best of luck with the book.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 22, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What If Kids Ran Organizations?

If kids ran organizations, what might they be like?

- more fun, games, songs, and fooling around
- more questions, especially "Why?"
- more impulsive
- more haphazard
- more crying
- more naps in the afternoon

Here are some videos, from AMA, to enjoy.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Social Media and Management Development

How do you develop managers? Train them. Coach them. Give them challenging assignments. The list of approaches goes on.

Recently, while chairing a webcast on Management Development, I found myself thinking, What about social media? Is there a role for social media in a comprehensive approach to developing managers?

In today's networked world of virtual organizations, social media has to come into the management development picture.

For example, how do you manage at a distance, say a global team that has members in different countries, different time zones, and different cultures? What technology can you use to provide social linkage that builds the cohesion you need to develop a fully functioning team?

What do you think?

PS - You can access the above webcast here.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 14, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spiritual Stewards

Blogger Michelle Malay Carter wonders if business executives are (or should be) spiritual stewards of their organizations. She is definitely on to something. It's something very elusive, but very important.

It’s elusive because there is so much distracting noise in the way that it’s hard to hear the “small voice.” It’s important because we are more than the sum of our parts. We are spiritual.

One of my favorite definitions of spirituality comes from writer Ronald Rolheiser (The Holy Longing) who defines it as “…the fire that burns within us.” He says, “What we do with that fire, how we channel it, is our spirituality.”

Do executives have a spiritual stewardship responsibility toward the people in their organizations? Very interesting question!

Imagine if leaders had the ability to nourish and guide "the fire" in their organizations toward more than profit?

Former monk turned HR/OD consultant Kenny Moore says that his work is to "awaken joy, meaning and commitment in the workplace."

I'd say that that is a nice description of what we need from Leaders in the 21st century.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 10, 2008