As her time ended with her last employer, my sister watched a bunch of graduation speeches on YouTube “for inspiration” to take her to her new job. I found this so amusing. This is also why I am pretty confident that this speech is one of the best for the Class of 2012, based on her extensive research. :) Jane Lynch talks about “yes, and..” (from improvisation) as an approach to life, and inspiring it is. Warning: some slight profanity for comedic effect, delivered perfectly.
3rd place has a bad rep—It’s not 1st, and it’s not close enough to first to be considered 2nd. However, in this wikipedia entry, it gives a whole new meaning to 3rd place. I have no idea how I stumbled upon it, only that it fascinated me enough to make a mental note to explore the concept further. Ray Oldenberg suggests the “third place” as a setting where one can find a sense of belonging, a sense of community or (one can argue) a place that can “give life” or energy to those that visit. It’s not home, and it’s not work—it’s a third place where one can interact with others. Goodness knows that there are sometimes stresses that come from home and work, but the third place seems to be somewhat less prone to the types of stresses that emerge in the first and second places. I can’t help but hum the theme song of “Cheers” in my head, “Where everybody knows your naaaaammme..dum, dum dum…and you’re always glad you caaaamme…” In reality, a third place could be many settings, not just a local pub. Without knowing it, perhaps many people have and rely on a third place. For me, I seem to float to a bunch of temporal thirds places from time to time, perhaps not often enough. And I wonder whether third places are found or created? How can we leverage the third place as a possible oasis to cope with 1st and 2nd places?
Did you know? Psychological Fact #37: Dopamine Makes You Addicted To Seeking Information is a great article in general, but I was especially interested in Fact #37 and how knowing this might help us to apply this concept in developing learning programs in the workplace. How do we tap into this biological need in way that stimulates motivation for learning? How can companies set up learning communities that foster developmental growth through seeking? I’ll be experimenting with this to see.
Many of us have worked in offices that took a traditional approach to office planning—you have a desk, a chair, a cube or office, your printer, and (if you are lucky) maybe a window. Your space looks like everyone else’s, except for maybe framed pictures of your respective families and friends. The purpose of these designs is to squeeze in as many people as possible into limited physical space, with the occasional conference room for meetings. And guess how people worked as a result? You could probably describe it yourself. More and more now, there is attention being paid to workspace as a part of one’s work experience—how physical environment (and how people behave within it) could be strategically leveraged to encourage productivity, creativity, collaboration and innovation. The high tech companies figured that one out a while back (during the dot com boom of the 90s), as a way of differentiating their employee experience and getting results. It’s taking a while for other industries to catch up. “The coolest workspace” in Chicago, 1871 shows us what it could be—how these workplace designs are within anyone’s reach and can be used as permanent, or temporary environments to experiment with. Steelcase is also doing real research in this area. It’s an interesting concept to think about when it comes to your own workspace and may be an opportunity that could yield a big difference. Try it. :)
I “follow” Seth Godin on Facebook. His post on Persistence and Possibility appeared on my wall last month. I feel this is worth re-posting here. It speaks to me. I wish I could say I’ve read all of Seth Godin’s books (there are quite a few) but I will endeavor to do so with persistence :) In all seriousness, I do admire Seth’s work, not only because he puts it to practice, but also because he does it without fear of failure. We all experience failures, but it shouldn’t stop us from trying or learning from it. All to often I’ve seen people make decisions (or worse, do nothing) out of fear of failure. There are lot’s of quotes from lots of famous people about failure and success—maybe we should listen to some of them. Consider myself inspired, and hope you are too.
Over the weekend, we happened upon Sweet Water Organics in Milwaukee by accident. We went inside to check out their general store and ended up tagging along to a tour of the entire place. IT WAS NEAT! They are part of the “urban agriculture” movement, specializing in aquaponics. They farm fish and leafy green vegetables in a system that promotes “symbiotic mutualism”—where one basically sustains the other. You could set this up at home too. In addition to their farming, they have created a community around this, where people could come and hang out, listen to live music, share food at a monthly potluck, or participate in any number of their community programs. Makes me think about how these concepts could apply in lots of other places, say...the workplace?!
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