This is one of those instances where doing something over thinking about it especially significant. Personally, this holiday seems more like a celebration of our personal excess through gluttony (eating, shopping, or whatever else). Showing gratitude to others should be a day-to-day practice, one that is as good for the giver as it is for the receiver. Ever see that video from Soul Pancake about their research on happiness? It's worth every single minute to watch it, but I will cut to the chase with what they discovered:
1. For people that "actually picked up the phone and personally expressed their gratitude, we saw increases between 4 and 19 percent...Expressing your gratitude will make you a happier person."
2. "The person who experienced the biggest jump in happiness was the least happy person who walked in the door."
To translate this into the work context, behaviors that demonstrate gratitude are a great form of RECOGNITION. Isn't that important to your employees? Don't be a perpetrator of a gratitude #fail. Explain what you're grateful for, why, and its impact to those you want to thank.
I couldn't agree with myself more :) In this self-centered world of ours, we could all (not just children) use some lessons in empathy. Guess what? It's good for business and innovation too. Empathy is what helps us to understand our customers, our employees, and our stakeholders in ways others don't...and that helps us to create strategies and make decisions that differentiate us (read: better). Good design (and thus DOWE) starts with empathy--any innovation leader will tell you that. If you don't know where to start, begin with these ideas from the article--whether or not you are a kid (or just act like one).
Here's an interesting news story about the short tenure of the Today Show's GM after 10 weeks on the job. You can click on the pic above to learn more or check out this CNN article that provides some more perspective from behind the scenes. My favorite line was that he was "doing the right thing the wrong way." Something tells me that it was more than just that, but I love the insight. While the buzz here shall pass, it does prompt us to reminisce about other short-lived stints, like Bill Perez's 13-months with Nike back in 2006. Contrary to what the top 10 listers would tell you, each and every one of these had very different circumstances with only one thing in common: job-person (mis)match. Though it is easy to criticize what these leaders did wrong (and they might have), I am more apt not to blame specific people. I'm much more critical of the circumstances, however. How purposeful was the selection? What conditions were set for failure vs. success? Did anyone, ANYONE look at the culture? Sometimes it just doesn't work out, but it behooves us to learn from it every single time. Just my two cents :)
As you may know, I'm working on a book to be published with Columbia University Press. I'm feeling the pressure of the deadline as I grasp the enormity of this project. I've been quite comfortable writing when I was a student, but working as an author has been quite a different experience. I care so much more this time and I feel that what I have to communicate is so important. This is what I'm sure will make it all worthwhile. On my toughest days, I rely on Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and her words on $hitty First Drafts for inspiration. I also shared this with a client when it became clear that some of their strategy plans needed a "try again". No need to be discouraged or disappointed. It's all about iterating toward something better. This is true for writing a book, design, most experiences, and life in general. From time to time, I will document my writing process here in the hopes that it will be helpful to all the aspiring writers out there.
I find this to be especially true when it comes to ideas. We have a tendency to self-edit and to judge too quickly, whether it our own ideas or other people's. In reality, ideas are sometimes seedlings that need nourishment, enrichment, or new environments to grow. Before you toss out that next inspired nugget, think about how you can play with it, recycle it, combine it into something new. Whatever you do, don't throw it away! Your creativity is precious, not disposable.
Last night, I attended a panel on Mindfulness and Design as part of Stanford University's Design By Contemplation Week. Here's the lineup:
Moderator: Tia Rich, Stanford University, Director Stanford CARES
We had a good discussion between the panelists (despite the theater style set-up) with lots of attendees experienced in design and/or mindfulness. This meant that the starting point allowed us to delve deeper, and there were great questions from the audience. I was personally pleased that much of what was discussed was either adjacent or complemented/supported what I am writing in the book. Always good to get validation along the way! Thought I would share with you screen shots of my twitter feed on this panel. Enjoy!
A place to share interesting concepts that will inspire, spread, and/or apply new ideas. This page is dedicated to sharing my twitter feed, announcements, and blog posts.