Dreamy-eyed, I look to the horizon across the Puget-Sound and imagine an ocean vast and terrifying. My life, a story, rises and falls with the waves which distort the image I see, like Narcissus captivated by his own reflection. Yet, instead of reaching for this ungraspable phantom and drowning myself, I shall reach past the image into the depths, fight the whale of a monster, and ride the waves.
Shall I float and survive this monster beneath the surface? Only time will tell; but I can’t fight him alone. Come, be my army; peer through my looking glass. Adventure, mystery, pain, confusion and much more lie on the other side. Hold my hand as I plunge myself into the waters of the unknown. Only then may I reach what is under the image of my life-blood, my dreams.
Jeff Young on Feb 02, 2011
Tagged in: purpose, learning, leadership, innovation, education, challenges
I came across the following video yesterday and was deeply moved. (Link to the Video) Sir Ken Robinson has once again spoken bringing great clarity to the changes needed in learning and education. I have been focusing for many years on digging deeply into the gifts and talents of people and helping them develop those gifts to the point of designing a life around the pursuit of mastery of those gifts. I have long held that we absolutely require a change from the industrial model of learning to one centered on empowering each individual to follow their own path, offer their unique gifts, and organize around actions they care most about.
Here is an absolutely wonderful speaker describing this central issue in an impactful and entertaining way. I am interested in having conversations about how we actually do what Sir Ken Robinson advocates. How do we create learning centers for people of all ages that is focused on creating the environment that cultivates each individual’s unique spirit and brings us together into communities of common interest in action? I hope you join us in this conversation and exploration.
Jeff Young on Jan 27, 2011
Tagged in: teams, sustainability, learning, innovation, collaboration, challenges
I was reading the following blog article about the “New Generation of Non-Profits on Stanford’s Social Innovation Review and found it very interesting. (http://bit.ly/e76moG) (Written by Rosetta Thurman - @rosettathurman) The point of the article is that a new generation of non-profit organization as well as leadership is being strongly called for. It clearly identified the more collaborative and network oriented skills that leaders and organizations now need to be successful. I agree with the author and with all of skills she identifies.
Whether we work with for-profit or non-profit organizations, we all need to develop these new organization and leadership skills that reach out and develop relationships with others. It is critical to our continued success. In fact, I think our choice really is to learn how to become this new generation of organization or be left behind. Rosetta Thurman’s blog article and the resources it references point out a good start to get a sense of what is needed.
While identifying what a new generation organization might look like is useful, it doesn’t yet tell you how to move from today’s reality to that new generation organization. The people I talk to lead me to believe that we all seem to be working too hard being overwhelmed – doing far more than we really can with continually less and less. How can we possibly figure out how to learn these new skills on top of our existing work just to keep going? I am currently focusing on exactly this issue in my own work – how we can successfully build a bridge to this next generation of organization.
My work has led me to a framework I am using with organizations and individuals that does create this bridge to a new generation of non-profit and teaches them how to cross it over time. The structure of this framework includes the following principles:
This weekend I saw a really great program on PBS’s Nova entitled, “Dogs Decoded”. (http://bit.ly/dJpw3R) The program sought to explain how dogs evolved from wolves. The program is typical of Nova being both entertaining and scientifically interesting at the same time.
One major discovery of the scientists exploring the evolution of dogs is that much of what we see as differences between dogs and wolves probably evolved by humans selecting and breeding non-aggressive wolves. Demonstrated by experiments on grey foxes over generations, this selection process of breeding based only on non-aggressiveness created populations of animals that are more emotionally aware and cooperative with others including humans.
On the other hand, wolves, no matter how they were trained or raised from birth were not able to exhibit the cooperative and collaborative behavior of dogs. I wonder whether we can/should learn anything about humans from this study?
It makes me wonder whether it is even really possible to deeply teach collaboration and cooperation to some people who are not “wired” for it. Is this something that is built into our DNA like it is for dogs? Do some humans have the genes for collaboration and cooperation and naturally show that as desirable behavior early on as dogs do? Are other humans wired for more independent hunters as wolves are and should be honored for that trait?