While this video’s stark reminder of media’s poor portrayal of women is an obvious detractor… hey, think we’ve seen enough models! Why match a powerful message on the topic with images that don’t represent ‘us’? The message is strong, worthwhile, and empowering. Look inward to find yourself. Acknowledge the inner beauty. Realize the immense life giving and nurturing power you as a woman have. Free yourself of looking to the past to forge and actively influence the future that we respectfully are instrumental in creating.
For what are we but women first and foremost.
And yet we search for identities outside of ourselves.
We search in our work.
We search in our play
We search in our parents.
We search in our children.
We search in our men.
But we will never find ourselves outside of ourselves.
The self we yearn for
The self we long to be is within us and nowhere else.
And so it is with wide eyes and open hearts
That we must peruse ourselves and our place.
For who bears, feeds, and nurtures human kind?
The beauty and brutality in humanity is manifest in the world we both nurture and destroy.
For us to free ourselves from the violence of the past
each of us must celebrate the beauty we can find in the present.
If the past dictates the present it necessarily dictates the future.
But if we are bold enough each of us to find the splendor in ourselves in our present
Then we forge the civilizations we are forced to create.
For what are we but women, first and foremost.
Just when I thought this fortune cookie business was a hoax…
Coming off of a rather trying month having spread myself a bit too thin juggling multiple projects and skipping from meeting to meeting has left me, well, a bit exhausted. This blog and other ‘passion’ projects have been left behind in the dust, so I was quite excited to receive this blog post on ‘empowering quotes to get things done’. Just the boost needed to tie up some loose ends and push some deliverables out.
A personal favorite is #58, “Don’t look back and ask, “Why?” Look ahead and ask, “Why not?” When it comes to your dreams and goals, be too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.”
Hello again, dreams and lofty goals. And yes, you too dear blog!
Who isn’t drawn in by large, bright text and cartoonish images? ‘Graphic recording’, the process of translating complex concepts into hand drawn text and pictures in real time, is an exciting way to engage a team in strategic problem-solving. Rather than the all too common reaction to PowerPoint where our eyes glaze over text heavy monotonous slides jammed with information, graphic recording offers attention-grabbing visual notes that resonate with audiences. A natural evolution from outlining on flipcharts, this method works well for company sessions involving brainstorming, collaboration, strategic planning, company visioning, learning/training, and accelerated decision-making. ‘Graphic facilitation’ goes a step further as it entails two-way communication in which the facilitator actively guides the conversation while scribing.
Recently, I sat down with Andrew Federman, a graphic recorder, to better understand how the process works and grasp the benefits. “It unfolds in real time as the conversation is happening. They see something they say appear on the board, so they feel like it’s their mural, their drawing. Their discussion comes alive on the board. It gives the group a common visual to organize around,” he remarked.
Visual cues powerfully resonate with team members prompting both an emotional and action-oriented response. For instance, Andrew gave an example of drawing a vivid platform in flames (thus representing a ‘burning platform’) as a visual cue that a company crisis is imminent. Arguably a more striking call for action than what solely facts, figures, and timelines can stimulate.
So what are the other perks that are increasingly drawing start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to call on graphic facilitators?
· Heightens engagement. Provides an exciting experience that invites participation and keeps the audience on the same page.
· Fosters effective brainstorming. Urges teams to employ big picture problem solving skills, and sparks creativity and novel ways of approaching business concerns.
· Streamlines collaboration. Collaborative sessions can become heavy, chaotic lapses of time where divergent ideas slow ultimate decision-making processes. Scribing is a co-design process with the end in mind.
· Enhances learning. Research shows that people understand and retain information accompanied by a visual image far better than by spoken word alone. Furthermore, this method connects a variety of concepts in a non-linear fashion to show interrelatedness as well as cause and effect, thus enriching understand of key ideas.
· Creates a common language. Complex ideas can be transformed into a universal, jargon-free language that can be understood conceptually and easily attained by those new to a given subject.
· Diminishes cognitive fatigue. Presents dense information clearly and concisely through the use of images, metaphors, and overarching themes.
Curious to know what is needed to satisfy his role as a talented scriber, Andrew responds, “You don’t need to be an expert in the field as the graphic recorder’s role is to offer an approach to information or a discussion. The amount of knowledge that one is trying to pull from can be so vast and overwhelming that it is helpful to have someone in the room that can suggest ways of approaching data and information. This [process] distills the discussion down to something digestible and permanent.”
As a deliverable, the team has the collective wisdom from a discussion as a visual reference that can be photographed, then easily and rapidly shared across an organization.
A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams by Yael Zofi
Amazing experience being an integral part of Yael Zofi’s book, A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams. This is an essential resource for anyone who works across organizational, geographical, and time boundaries. Here are some highlights from the book launch party. Happy to finally celebrate the fruits of our labor. And that is me holding the book in the opening scene of the video!
Book Launch Party (by AIMStrategies)
Organizational storytelling is a powerful communication tool to influence, motivate, and ignite action and change. Through vivid words and an narrative approach, a compelling story weaves the fabric of a community by uniting employees around shared experiences, values, common goals, and aspirations.
In Keith Ferrazzi’s wildly successful book, Never Eat Alone, he suggests, “Think in terms of talking points. Pick the three most interesting points about your story and make them fast, make them colorful, and make them catchy.” This infographic developed by The Hoffman Agency is quite fitting for the subject!
Nano Tools for Leaders® showcased on the Wharton Leadership Program Blog are quite impressive! This series of tools created by industry leaders and academics offer a quick synopsis on a variety of leadership topics, real-world applications, easy action steps, and additional resources - all to solve relevant business challenges. Each pack a big punch in a small package. And can be breezed through and learned in a matter of 15 minutes.
I’m particularly interested in using ‘Leading “As One”: From Individual Action to Collective Power’ in my consulting work. Created by James Quigley, Senior Partner at Deloitte U.S., this exercise guides the selection of the best suited collective leadership style and practices for your organization (or team) to achieve highly collaborative results-oriented behavior. For instance, the archetype (or collective leadership style), Architect & Builders, serves best for a highly creative, innovative company where over-arching goals are ambiguous, yet ambitious. The creation of this style archetype is based on the development of the world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano.
Other topics to date include: Breakthrough Innovations Through Brilliant Mistakes, Global Leadership: Working Across Borders, Adaptive Experimentation, and Pull, Don’t Push: Designing Effective Feedback Systems.
“Nothing retains its own form; but Nature, the greater renewer, ever makes forms from forms. Be sure there’s nothing [that] perishes in the whole universe; it does but vary and renew its form.” - Ovid
Never missing a beat to celebrate, I’m very excited about today’s Spring Equinox which takes place the precise moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, thus when night and day are equal. In the Northern Hemisphere, we look forward to increasingly longer, warmer days and shorter nights.
Having several Persians to count amongst my close friends, today’s date also marks the exciting and symbolic day known as Nowruz, or Persian New Year. In association with the “rebirth” of spring, Persians traditionally spring clean to to rid of old clutter and make room for the new. Moreover, Chahārshanbe Suri, the Iranian Festival of Fire, which takes place the Wednesday prior, is a symbolic gesture to celebrate the light (good) overcoming the darkness (bad). Celebrants leap over fire exclaiming, “Zardi-ye man az (ane) to, sorkhi-ye to az (ane) man”, thus “My yellowness is yours, your redness is mine,” with the figurative message “My paleness (pain, sickness, fear) for you (the fire), your strength (health) for me.” Many consider and act on the removal of old habits and tendencies with the rebirth of themselves in mind.