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I had just released my first commercial book.
Yes, it's a big achievement. It's a cause for celebration.
Some call me lucky. Others tell me, "You had come a long way."
Some said, that I should start paying tribute to the people who helped me along the way.
They're very happy for me. I'm pleased that they're happy for me.
But this book, like any other things in life, is part of a process.
The book is a product of that long process. For me, it took me two decades of sharpening that process- the wisdom, discipline, lots of lessons learned, and eventual putting it down to bring more value out there for others to partake.
Like any other process, it was a product of other processes that came with, my consulting business founded in 2013 but operational in 2014. The business grew in 2015 and cocooned to accommodate my personal vicissitudes. Back in 2018 soft launch and massive work thereafter to grow where I am now. It followed by creating value and ensuring quality every step of the way. I means late nights work, weekend work when my baby was with the in-laws, meeting potential clients, lots of networking, pro-bono work, writing while cooking, cleaning, and chasing butterflies, and enjoying the ride. I also learned magnificently.
Life is about failing well and coming back up to straighten one's paths. To all of you creators, you know what I'm talking about.
Cheers for this first book, cheers to many more, beautiful and valuable creations.
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To continue on the "big idea" discussion....
Big ideas generated from design schools and labs are great. They're ideas.
Everything we have right now, these tangibles were products of someone's imagination.
Some are dreamers, some are designers, some are investors of dreams, some are implementors. Some are borrowers, refiners, and even auditors of dreams and ideas.
From conceiving to implementing, many processes and actors will be needed.
Which one are you? What position will you take in this continuum? Where is your default position?
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When you think about it, really, relationships are everything.
Everything and everyone is interrelated and interconnected. The survival of one is dependent on the survival of the system to which that organism belongs and vice-versa.
When complex issues are taken together systemically, new insights appear, normally, unseen and oblivious to the decision-maker.
It sounds like a cliché, but what goes around, comes around.
In reality, what comes around, goes around faster than ever before. We know that serendipity is not that unpredictable. There's no such thing as chance encounters.
Interconnections and interlinkages shouldn't just be in our social relations.
In many instances, the best innovation starts within the interstices of divergent and contrasting approaches and disciplines. Take the case of a watch that does tell a time but also act as monitor for abnormal heart conditions. These permutations are bridging what we conceptually think as 'irrational and weird' combinations.
Ideas are everywhere.
Systems collide and coalesce, depending on forces that impinged on or that works within. As I write this, many systems are failing us, and new systems have yet to be imagined and invented.
Where will you be in the post-pandemic world- what systems are you trying to resuscitate or have you thought of leaving the old one for a better alternative?
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When everything is urgent, nothing is urgent.
When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
Change efforts go by the wayside if there's not enough urgency within the organization
to ensure that it will be given an undivided attention and resources it needs. Moving the strategic priorities into implementation requires consistent and constant pressure from management that understands strategic management.
85% of strategic plans do not get implemented. When the rubber hits the road, the tendency is to focus on the day-t0-day mundane issues, relegating the higher objectives into the backburner. This stop-and-go scenario will delay your progress and unconsciously reward inventing obstacles.
Managers and leaders- stop treating all crisis as equal. You should know how to treat priorities as real priorities, or your employees will not believe another memo with an urgent stamp.
It's not what they hear, it's what they see in action that gets believed.
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Tell me that you know what to do next year?
Yes, 2021 is around the corner. Another lockdown is in the offing.
Who would have thought a year ago that we will have to endure and even thrive in this crisis?
One thing before you start planning is to CELEBRATE your achievements.
Do this in a contemplative state where even the minutest things in life are worth rejoicing about.
The second thing to do is THINK ABOUT WHAT WORKED as opposed to all the negative issues that arose out of the pandemic. There must be, think hard if you can't find, even a single thing that worked well in your business or organization as you adjusted, modified, and recalibrated your actions.
The third thing to do before planning is to FIND THE RIGHT INTERSECTION between your intention (Objectives), where the traction is (Business opportunities), and your passion.
This is difficult, especially at this point, where you might have to pivot in a slightly different way, ala curbside ordering or take-out for restaurants, phone-appointments for salons, phone consults instead of in-person, putting on lots of Zoom videos and online courses for academic and training businesses. etc.
Ask yourself, if the current business model is not working, how do you get to your objectives without putting monies down the drain? What opportunities exist during this crisis for leveraging? What new passions have surfaced in the course of your adaptation? Finding the right intersection may get you on the long but sure road to recovery and in a new place for your organization.
Do these three things and you'll have the right positive mental scape to begin anew.
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Yesterday, I spoke at Trico Changemakers Studio and it was a delight to have a very engaging discussion with the members present.
What I observed about the resilience narrative is that they are based on patterns and a sense of predictability that is not present right now in a climate of ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and volatility. I have made a Beyond Resilience paradigm to show what we are missing out on many important themes.
Insead of asking yourselves, are you ready to bring your kids to schools, ask about how education can be reimagined for the future generation.
Instead of asking how can we solve homelessness together, why don't reimagine how the vulnerable population can be part of us, not something to be considered separate, different, and wanting?
We asked the wrong questions therefore get the wrong answers.
We need bold imagination for a future that is not what we desire, but we can thrive and build stronger.
Let's start a conversation.
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We live in challenging times.
It can be more challenging now that there is a complex reopening process that any blueprint is academic.
The guidelines in re-open are cautious, preventative, and risk-averse. What it doesn't prohibit is up for many interpretations. Moreover, you are juggling countless things to get the business going again.
What you need right now is practical advice that quickly assesses your situation, gives you a couple of options to choose from so that you can rebound with more precision.
What you require are pragmatic, creative, and resourceful advice and guidelines.
Who do you turn to for that valuable resource?
Isolation is optional and so does suffering.
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My guru at home gave a new term for reconstruction.
"Wreck it and build it again."
The vast majority of the work that we do can be reconstructed, remodelled, rebuild.
While the tearing process can be painful and exceedingly laborious, it could also be a source of relief (cathartic to some) and release from the burden of perfectionism.
Our most prized goods, services, products, programs are held up high and with finality, judged as best. Where in fact, in other spaces, they wreck their best products so see if it can withstand several iterations for different purposes.
There is nothing wrong with valuing great assets, but if it becomes the 'sacred cow' that nobody wanted to touch for fear of reprisal, retribution, or negative impact, then there is the problem. Either it is perception issue or an accountability one.
The joy of rebuilding is 100x better than the stagnant trophy gathering dust in the library.
"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's the courage that counts" -Churchill said that.
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The earlier you embrace the new situation the better for your organization in the long run.
Whatever you can do right now with the resources and options that you have, do it rather than sit and wait until this is over.
We don't know when will this be over.
What we know is that we can control our responses and actions.
We can focus on what is at hand.
We can be patient about how much we can do.
We can rejoice with the blessings that we have.
We are grateful for the love and support we enjoy.
We need to be proactive and optimistic with the situation.
We cannot stop our lives from evolving.
We need to connect and reach out.
If you really think about it, there is no escape room.
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Sitting in front of a crumbled spaghetti-marshmallow tower was a fun play. We had an exercise as a group and we just tried whatever we can to do without circumventing the rules, which were not at lot of anyway.
One of the participants remarked that time constraints allowed them to be more creative and less methodical in their ways, that failure is just part of trying.
Organizations that have a built urgency mechanism do not just sit back and let other entities control how they play in the marketplace. They have their own product timelines, marketing timelines, customer response timelines, regular reviews, so on and so forth. But these can also become part of tradition and become more of a fixture rather than a springboard for inspiration, creativity, and mental renewal.
How do you inject the sort of fun play, creative spark, and enjoyment into timelines and deliverables?
There must be rewards that are not pegged in terms of outputs and outcomes but are meant to encourage and allow creativity as a category. Second, there are less rules and mechanics to play so that everyone in the organization can participate regardless of their positions and levels of influence. Third, celebrate accidental discoveries of better 'ways of doing it' across the board. People in the organizations that are continuously improving and acting like they are part owners are generally more motivated and high performing.
If you do not have the right team, there is no way there will be fun in normal times, more so in urgency.