The Power of an Emergent Network


Last week several of us launched a social media driven fundraiser for our friend and colleague Jamie Showkeir who is courageously facing ALS.

In just one week we sailed past our goal and raised over $60,000!

I am thrilled for my friend, and it has reaffirmed my belief that the natural movement of humanity is toward goodness.

I had hoped an emergent network would arise, but in my wildest dreams I never expected it would be this strong.

That’s the thing about emergent networks -they are unpredictable.

What is an emergent network and why is it so powerful?

An emergent network is a type of community that arises in response to an issue, and once the goal has been achieved, naturally dissolves. They ebb . . . → Read More: The Power of an Emergent Network

Join Our Emergent Network and Keep Jamie at Home


Last spring my good friend and fellow Berrett-Koehler author Jamie Showkeir received the nightmare diagnosis of ALS.

By summer, he needed the support of a cane. By fall his legs no longer supported him. Today he has only 20% use of his arms, cannot feed himself, and needs total assistance getting in and out of his wheelchair and with other tasks of daily living.

Throughout all this, Jamie remains a bright, loving, generous man, who is mentally sound and engaged in life. He is teaching us about the true meaning of authenticity and courage.

If you’d like to know more about Jamie, read this excellent article in the Arizona Central: When the reality of ALS hits you harder than a bucket of ice water.

Jamie . . . → Read More: Join Our Emergent Network and Keep Jamie at Home

What Business Are You Really In? Grace Hearth Knows

Grace Hearth

Is it possible to earn a living, have fun and make a difference in the world? Jocelyn Jackson and Keri Keifer have figured out how.

Their business Grace Hearth might be considered a catering company – they cater all sizes of events, from weddings and meetings to small social gatherings.

But the first time I saw their video, I quickly realized they were in the same business I am – building community – only through food instead of facilitating dialogue.

Grace Hearth provides food for all types of occasions, but as Jocelyn and Keri explain in their video, they are actually in the “nourishing business.”

I was so excited after watching this video, I had to interview the owners to learn more about . . . → Read More: What Business Are You Really In? Grace Hearth Knows

Collaboration Is the Remedy for Polarization

Polarization creates "win-lose"


Polarization keeps us apart, disconnected. Polarization keeps us from finding creative solutions that benefit all.

There is no winning in polarization. There is only “win-lose.”

Leadership is about bringing people together, unifying around a common vision. It is about creating community.

“Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it.” ~Warren Bennis

Unifying people against a common enemy is an immoral use of power. This is what Hitler did — he led his people right over a cliff.

When we are filled with hatred and disrespect, we can only square off in opposite camps. We might negotiate agreements, but each side walks away feeling like they lost more than they gained.

. . . → Read More: Collaboration Is the Remedy for Polarization

No More Finger Pointing - It's Time to Rise Above the Negativity and Reconnect

Image via Sun Gazing

I am hopeful for our planet. I believe we have the capacity for unity and great goodness.

I am disturbed by the animosity, anxiety, and polarization surrounding the 2012 elections here in the United States.

This election is not about a cause that people care deeply about. It’s not about great ideas to address the very real issues we are facing.

Each party has worked hard to cast the other candidate as evil, and this election is about how to keep the opposition out of office.

We have become polarized because we have focused too much on our differences and forgotten our similarities and shared concerns. We can’t come together to solve problems because we have been too busy pointing . . . → Read More: No More Finger Pointing – It’s Time to Rise Above the Negativity and Reconnect

If Your Vision Is Only About Yourself, You Are Too Narrowly Focused

If your vision is only about yourself, you are too narrowly focused.

If you take only from your environment and contribute nothing in return, you are harming that which supports you. In fact, that’s the definition of a parasite. And ultimately you are harming yourself.

Your vision needs to include the larger context in which you exist – your community. Strengthening your community makes you stronger.

My friend and colleague Hank van der Merwe, author of the powerful new book Live on Purpose, reminded me of the importance of this principle. Hank lives is Johannesburg, South Africa where “only 500,000 of the 1.5 million children starting school will end up sitting for their final year exams. Of these, less than 70% will meet the minimum . . . → Read More: If Your Vision Is Only About Yourself, You Are Too Narrowly Focused

Let's Harness the Power of Social Media to Help Dan Rockwell

Dan does not remember the accident, although he was later told they found his truck down a steep ravine wrapped around a tree.

He has a fuzzy recollection of the ride in the helicopter. But he does not remember the EMT folks who saved his life at the scene by inserting a tube into his collapsed lung. Nor does he remember the emergency surgery at the hospital to repair his shattered hip, save his damaged eye, and set his broken hand.

In fact, he does not remember much of those first days while his family anxiously waited to find out if he would survive. But Dan’s a fighter, and a lot of folks were praying for Dan that Thanksgiving week.

Dan Rockwell aka @LeadershipFreak writes . . . → Read More: Let’s Harness the Power of Social Media to Help Dan Rockwell

Vision: How It's Created Is As Important As What It Says

If you want to create a vision that engages the hearts and spirits of everyone in your organization, remember what’s important is not only “what it says” but also how it’s created.

In 1994, Connecticut became the first state to open telecommunications to the competition. The local telephone company, Southern New England Telephone (SNET), was the smallest of the “Baby Bells” with a typical monopoly culture.

In anticipation of deregulation, the officers of SNET had created a new vision for the company and a competitive business plan. But when they looked at the culture of their company, they realized their sleepy monopoly culture was not going to be able to implement their new competitive strategies.

In other words, the only people who understood and bought . . . → Read More: Vision: How It’s Created Is as Important as What It Says