Like so many others, I’ve lost sleep over everything that’s been happening. I can’t even wrap my head around all this suffering. None of this is acceptable to me.
In the midst of all this, I’m clinging on to my faith and looking for signs of hope. Positive action must be taken in a negative world. There’s one thing we can all do:
GOOD things we are GOOD at for the greater GOOD.
We are wonderfully different from one another, gifted in so many ways. And yet, we are all connected in this shared world. We, collectively, individually, continually, and simultaneously, have to do so much good in our lives that the bad will never prevail. Whether we come from a place of privilege, being blessed, or having disadvantages, we can all affect this world for the better with our unique gifts and calling. This isn’t aspirational. It’s fact.
I know why I do what I do. These recent times have given us many more reasons on top of that. As much as we want to forget that which makes us uncomfortable, we need to honor our brothers and sisters and preserve our own humanity through our good deeds. Never losing attention to this will make sure we do that.
Won’t you join me?
I recently attended a talk about humor at work. My interest in the topic was two-fold. First, I just kicked off a new project working with a new team. There are lots of benefits that come with making hard work fun and at times even humorous. I was interested in picking up some new tidbits to either experiment with or share. Second, I wanted this to serve as stimulus for me to think about the relationship between humor and organizational culture. The audiences' questions were not mine to answer. Most were around trying to figure out how to use it: where there are cultural differences between countries, when what's humorous is so subjective, and without offending people. I'll put my two cents in here.
IMHO, humor is another form of communication that comes in play when we interact with people. When companies identify humor as a cultural value, they are communicating an expectation--or in some cases, permission--that humor is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
When we see it this way, use of humor becomes more purposeful. As with all other communication, think about how to deliver with intended impact. That includes making your intentions evident to the receiver, and getting the desired response--a smile, chuckle, laugh, or even a stronger rapport or connection. If the chances of that happening are outweighed by the chances it won't work based on what you know, then don't do it. When it misfires, address it--right away. Ok? Ok. "So a management consultant walks into a bar..."
Google announced a huge re-organization yesterday with the founding of Alphabet, it's new parent company. This gives a lot of latitude to explore a variety of new businesses that will be led independently.
With this, they join the ranks of other big "family" companies. Their new peers do okay, but IMHO no one's figured out how to do the conglomerate thing very well, especially when it comes to things like:
COMMONALITIES: What makes them all part of the parent company other than ownership? What should remain consistent with every subsidiary no matter what? Will they be bound by a common mission? (As of yet, Alphabet has not announced a new mission statement)
EFFICIENCIES: There tends to be an inverse relationship between size and efficiency. Work, resources, and money are wasted on multiplying the same thing over and over again. Other parent corporations have attempted to manage this by establishing Centers of Excellence (COEs) and sharing overhead functions like finance, IT, and HR--all with mixed results. These efforts at efficiency tend to decrease effectiveness and add bureaucracy.
CULTURE: Whether the subsidiaries will cultivate their own distinct cultures or share one large one is still TBD. Right or wrong, the reputation of the entire family of companies rides on its worst subsidiary culture. Culture impacts everything from employee morale to company performance. One large mistake in one place ( a poor decision, safety/compliance issues, etc.) could harm the business and reputation of the others. The ability to recruit top talent for future business needs can be impacted as well.
Even writing about these feels daunting. Alphabet's got some big challenges ahead, but...they can also be great opportunities. There's no shortage of opinions out there, but hopefully this unsolicited advice proves helpful:
It is my hope that Alphabet won't be just another conglomerate created simply because Google got too big. Rather, this is an opportunity for them to change the status quo once again and lead the way. Goodness knows the conglomerate model needs disruption. If anyone can do it, they can.
This is an example of what I suspect is an unintended benefit identified by users: http://nyti.ms/11Xs2lb How might we look for these in our own backyard? We are all too often paralyzed with fear at the prospect of "unintended consequences"--so much so that we forget all about its lesser-known counterpart. There's no need to learn how to do this, you just have to expand your thinking and look for them. It's about paying attention.
(Click here for the article) I happened to be traveling for work and in-between sessions with a client when I first read this. It could not have been timed better. I challenged the team to push their brainstorming beyond their comfort zones toward ideas that will really make a difference. This article on Business Insider is proof that those ideas don't have to be BIG ideas, just IMPACTFUL ones. What is the smallest or most straight-forward change your organization can do that will have the greatest impact? If you are stumped, perhaps DOWE can help. Look to the context of your organization to find the solutions that will work best.
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