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As the year winds down, you can finish strong even in matters of few weeks.
2022 is full of challenges and opportunities. But these challenges shouldn't define your organization.
Your organization should be defined by what you have done in spite/despite the challenge and pressures facing every on-purpose organization
Are you ready .....
To think about what could be in 2023, in terms of restructuring and governance changes?
To think about a strategy that you could use in the next 2-3 years?
To set aside time for reflexivity within your team and Board?
To integrate lessons learned to new practices?
To improve your leadership and resiliency so you can model what it takes to lead without having all the answers?
To innovate next year as opposed to putting out fires and reacting?
You can finish well and in advance. Life is a series of starts and stops. Of continuities and discontinuities. Whether you believe this or not, next year starts now.
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The vast majority of the population is sleep walking through opportunities.
The rest is hustling without ceasing. They can't simply be bothered.
While this is the case, you can begin to do WOW!
Working while waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
WOW assumes that you're open-minded and adaptive to changes.
You can quickly pivot and adjust your course without incurring so much time and effort.
Your system should be ruthlessly aware. It should tell you when and where to go next and when to slow down and breathe new air.
Opportunities should not be chased. Be still. Learn to read the times and see that everywhere there are many micro-opportunities waiting to be revealed.
Are you working while waiting (WOW)? Are you opportunity-ready?
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How many organizations have strategies that are unimplemented? You will never know unless you get inside the cubicle.
This is not just prevalent in the profit sector, not for profit organizations are as well not implementing their strategies.
I question this: if the strategies are not implemented, why are they expending their staff time and managerial attention on something that will not be used at all? There is simply no logic to this!
When I asked an Executive Director why not? The answer I got was: "We just make this because of our funders. We have to wait for the funding cycle to begin to really create a strategy that will restructure the way we work. For now, it will be just a transitional one."
Fair enough. I get the point of transitional strategy. Emergent design is what the current climate calls. Managers and executives must adapt to the rigors and demands of modern organizations where supply chain issues, financing and sustainability, climate and diversity challenges, impact day-to-day decisions.
But non-implementation is a totally different issue. I vehemently challenge the notion of doing something for something else's and not for the benefit of the creator.
What drives this performative action is a culture of obligation, 'looking good,' and conformity.
In my book Provocateurs, I discussed how the culture of conformity creates conditions for organizations to punish early-warning signs of problems and issues, which leads to you know, failures. The same culture of conformity outlaws innovation, creativity, and simply rebellious thinking that shifts control and power.
Your donors do not know you're doing this. Probably, I bet, that this practice is not something that is generally accepted and outwardly legitimized. But because this is what's happening, I also bet that this is not a one-off deal. More organizations are acting this way despite what management books are saying.
Practice defines organizations. Tell me who's not implementing their strategy, and I will tell you there's more to the strategy than meets the eye.
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A SYSTEM OF GRATEFULNESS
Like everything in life, there is a system for it.
A system for gratefulness and showing gratitude is a must in this finicky and materialistic world we live in. We are at the beck and call of our gadgets. For some of us, every working minute is a hustling opportunity.
Why do we lack that joy that comes with purposeful living? One thing that strikes me is that a complaining and grumbling person is never at peace and joyful. Either you're the latter or the former.
When I was young, living with my siblings in one of the most impoverished areas in Metro Manila and yet subsisting remarkably was life affirming . Everyday, I will think that things will get better and that we will have some niceties in life such as an electric fan, a television, a refrigerator and so on and so forth. Sometimes, we have a feast, and sometimes, we have to get credit from the local store to buy some basic food items. When we make complaints about how our lives were miserable, my mom, a single parent and breadwinner, would say: "Don't complain, be grateful for what you have. See the other kids in the neighborhood, you are way better off than them."
We may be materialistically lacking but spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically we were strong in these terms. We had a lot going for us but we only see the material aspect of our existence.
Now that am coaching high-performers and high achievers, gratefulness is not an art, but a science. It comes with systems and processes that when practiced daily will enrich your life. A little more of gratitude can provide you the perspective in meeting life's challenges. The moment you let that slip for a while, the self will look for things lacking and problematic, rather than what's working perfectly.
That said, a few habit-forming practices you can use starting today.
1. Have a gratitude journal. Keep writing one blessing everyday that you receive.
2. Adopt a positive, thankfulness self-talk. Aside from asking yourself at night about your highs and lows, ask yourself what's the major gift I received today?
3. Call someone that's in need and listen intently. Look for similarities and not faults and deficiencies. Celebrate that person in your life.
4. Celebrate simple life's seasons such as anniversaries, seasons' turning, birthdays, goals achieved, graduation, and other important occasions. Better than that, celebrate when there's no obvious occasion too. Invent one.
5. Recall the people who helped you along the way when you were starting your life journeys. I would recall my Grade 5 teacher who helped me buy my majorette's skirt so I can join the school band. She made it happen for me.
6. Listen to the still voice telling you, you're complete. Whole. Enough. You're alive and well. That is a cause for gratitude.