Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fusion Advisors’ Blog Library

Thank you for being interested in Fusion Advisors’ blog!  If you’d like to see and perhaps read earlier blogs, they are available on my website… Fusionadvisors.com.  But…. while you’re here, why go there?  Here is a summary of the blogs with a link to the full posts.  Enjoy!!!

Thanks for reading!

Kathleen

DSC_0104 - Version 2Seeding the Fall Garden

Fall is wonderfully busy with teaching at Georgia Tech….. The foundation of my leadership and entrepreneurship classes is awareness. Awareness:  acquiring knowledge and learning tools to understand new perspectives about ourselves and organizations. Awareness:  consciously  integrating the new material……Read more…

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diving1Diving into History

History fascinates me. Not necessarily the kind I got in school, where we memorized facts, figures, and outcomes; but the history that shares stories about people, cultures, and time. This version helps me understand the “why and how” of life that came before, through which I can develop a deeper understanding of the world in which we live….Read more…

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DSC_0244Expanding into New Ideas

I thought it would be of interest to dive into books that got me thinking – either because of what they said or how they said it. The first book that popped into my mind often finds its way into my conversations and teaching – The Starfish and the Spider. ..with a thought-provoking subtitle “The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations”….Read more…

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imagesNavigating Paradox

Last week on Facebook, I smiled at the posting of a Monopoly card.  It read…Get Out of PARADOX Free……“The bearer of this card is entitled to hold 2 or more conflicting beliefs at any given time.”….…..It got me thinking….More often than not, even seemingly simple questions create conflicting answers, each with their own train of thought..  Read more…

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IMG_0430Where the Rubber Meets the Road – Part 2

In the last few blogs, we’ve looked at life inside organizations – and specifically, where the “Personal” view (you) meets the “Not-Personal” view (the organization).  Yes, our job is “Personal”.  And, when all is going well, “Personal” works just fine. But, when decisions impact us adversely, “Personal” doesn’t feel so good. That’s okay too. The feeling prompts awareness and the question, “Now what?”, opens our attention to create next steps.  Read more….

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IMG_0441 - Version 2Where the Rubber Meets the Road – It’s our Life

“Know thyself” ….. Inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  Most commonly ascribed to Plato and found in the teachings of 11 ancient Greek sages.    Let’s see how  how this might inform our understanding of the organizational Personal and Not-Personal conversation.   Read More….

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DSC_0474 - Version 2The Secret Ingredient

I learned a long time ago that it’s one thing to do something well – and it’s totally different to teach  someone else to do it.   When we’re learning and expanding a skill, our creativity and focus are on what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and the results. Teaching, our creativity and focus are on interpreting what we already know how to do, and building content for others to learn and integrate the material.    Read more..

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C Lazy U - Sarah - 2009 148 - Version 2Personal, Not-Personal – Part 2

Having written It’s Personal, the thought occurred to me – “This is not a “rocket science” conclusion. Of course business is personal.”  ….. Marketing gurus are aficionado’s at evoking an emotional response sufficient for us to dive into our wallet…….   Although the business-to-business (B2B) community presents Not-Personal by presenting ROI, people make the decisions.  Not-Personal – definitely. Personal – of course.  Read more…

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DSC_0487It’s Personal

How many times have you heard or even said in a business setting, “It’s not personal”?  Is this true?  Our life is personal – everything we do, think and feel comes through us, irrespective of how many others have done the same thing. This includes our work…… we are the ones doing it. We bring our energy, our personal energy, to every moment.  Read more…

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Action’s Ingredients

Actimagesion.  It’s easy to talk about and easy to describe –  “What” we’ve done….  “What’s” keeping us busy.  Nice and concrete.  Works great for planning, meetings, and status reports.

But as we know, only too well, “Action” doesn’t  suddenly appear.   Rather, it’s the result of all that has gone on before it, for example time, experience, practice.  And it is energized by what lies beneath:  desires, intentions, purpose, passion, commitment, courage, to name a few.

A child learns how to walk from the day they are born:  moving their bodies and developing coordination, powered by their  human desire to move, freely.   Likewise, a great soup, epic movies, disruptive innovations,  successful companies develop over time.  They  are initiated by imagining possibilities and are born into life with focused action.   Success emerges as the creators’ emotional fortitude moves them forward through the inevitable trials and errors.

Malcolm Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point, explores the range of dynamics behind “Action” by asking key questions.   How does it happen?  What goes before?  What can we see, not see?  His conclusion was that small things, seemingly unnoticeable events, create a threshold of critical mass when results  appear.   This is the Tipping Point.  His point?  Action + Trust = Results.

In his later book Outliers, Gladwell offered more detail on what it actually takes to move an idea into success.  It takes time and practice; in fact, he suggests, it takes 10,000 hours of practicing a specific task to be successful at it.    But, alas, just when you might think there is a quantitative path, he describes the importance of cultures, backgrounds,  and personal aptitudes.  His point here?  Lots of Action + Commitment + Conducive Environment = Results.

By now, you might be thinking “Okay, got it…. BUT… How does this work in the midst of organizational life where we plan, forecast, execute and report?  Where we don’t talk about “Trust”, where we believe we can push through unfriendly environments and where deadlines are not planned across 20 hours a week for 10 years, but in quarters?”

In fact, imagine you or your manager asking how long a project will take.  Would you wonder “Is the Tipping Point ready for success?”   Would you calculate whether you or your team are even close to chalking-up 10,000-Hours of competency?

Looking back through my experiences and others’, I have seen a flow between the doing of action and the leveraging of its energizing dynamics.  Here’s some starting thoughts.

Leveraging “Action”

  • Have a vision.  Power the vision with purpose and passion.  Begin.                                     Successful action asks us to access the full range of our capacity – our ability to vision and to act.  We don’t do just one or the other, we do both.  The business guru Stephen Covey puts it like this: “Begin with the end in mind.”  Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher noted “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.”
  • Be Focused and Curious.  Revise often.                                                                                                      Irrespective of our vision, we begin with where we are and what we know.  So, a determinate of success is watching where it takes us, determining if we are getting what we expected, and being willing to explore new approaches.  The actor, filmmaker Vin Diesel put it this way:  “… to fulfill your plans, you’ve gotta be resourceful to make sure you can do it.”
  •  Expect the unexpected.  Revel in the challenge.                                                                       What would it be like to bring our sense of adventure into our work life?    After all, Lao Tzu reminds us “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”   Note, there is no exemption clause for organizations that says “except at work when all will go according to plan and expectations.”  So, we might as well be adventurous.  Stuff is going to happen.  Be in the moment.  Do what needs to be done.  Keep your eye on the goal.
  • Einstein - countingTrust the Tipping Point and the 10,000-Hour Rule.  Action is important.  It’s how we create, implement, succeed.  It builds our capacity and competency.  We learn what works, what doesn’t.  We develop judgement and understanding of what it takes to get things done.  And, it moves us to the Tipping Point – the moment the soup is ready, the film is done, sales take off, the project is a success.

Thanks for Reading!

Kathleen