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Month: February 2008

World wide telescope being launched in a few months

And it is a free download.

Why is this significant to you and me?  We’ll have fun with it for a start.  You can take an interactive tour of the universe and create your own tour.

The pre-launch at TED also promises to change our view of the universe.  Literally, of course.  Psychologically too. I’ll be interested in your reactions when it comes out.

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War for talent? Someone is squabbling over me!

Yesterday, I was down in London to attend the CIPD meeting on talent management. This is a hot issue.

“The war for talent”

With my recent experience teaching management to 900 predominantly Gen Y students in New Zealand, I wondered what they would make of that expression.

Would you like two employers to go to war to win you? Sounds good.

Are you a prize to be won? Mmmm . . .

There may be a war to be the best employer though, because Gen Y not only clutches a mobile, it is mobile.

Gen Y are often described as a feckless generation. They aren’t in my experience. Their mobile phones, metaphors of the age, deliver personal, relevant and timely information. They are more focused, more connected, more socially responsible and more time oriented than any generation that have gone before.

Are we going to keep up with them? Who will win the war for a Gen-Y-ready organization?

This reminds me of that famous saying. Whoops, there go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.

Someone asked the question from the floor. Is talent management always about slots that we want to fill? Or, are the ambitions and interests of our people, and how they develop when they work with each other, our real competitive edge?

Is Gen Y going to rewrite the employment contract? Will work become a place where we are agentic? Where there is room for initiative? Where we become purposeful and imaginative because our work brings out what is purposeful and imaginative?

Will people or talent become less of a commodity, and more of an essential alliance between stakeholders?


A coaching style of leadership . . .

is well explained in this Times on line article.

UPDATE:  The TimesOnline ran a series on various leadership styles modeled it seems on the Blake Mouton grid.  It illustrates the style with British iconic figures and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each style and how to work with such a leader.

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“Go get your things. Dreams mean work”

I discovered Paulo Coelho this year. I am amazed I spent this long on this earth without finding his books.

His stories have mystical settings. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is about a woman and her childhood sweetheart who meet up again in their twenties to make a hard decision: should they get together or should he follow his vocation into a Catholic seminary and a life as charismatic and healer?

All Coelho’s books (I think) have a happy ending, but not a silly ending.   After many trials, the protagonists resolve to take the high road: living in solidarity with this world. These may be mystical stories, but they are neither fantasies nor escapist.

And the trials faced by the characters are never gratuitous. Each in itself offers a perspective on relating to the world and, I think, the tension between commitment and uncertainty.

They are a remarkably “open” read too. He has a light style that draws you into the story. And then releases you from time to time to ponder what he or one of his characters has just said.

Wikipedia describes the book as “a week in the life of someone ordinary to whom something extraordinary happens”. Read it at the end of a long week to ponder extraordinary people who live ordinary lives.

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I’ve just found Curriculumillusione, a Dutch interface (pick the English top right).

Pick a user name, set your date of birth and the year you wish to die.  The programme prompts you to consider the most important thing you want to accomplish in life and corollary events.

And it won’t let you stay too long!  It sends you packing after a while and tells you to come back in 24 hours!

I look forward to your comments when you’ve had a chance to use it.

Hat tip to Everything 2.0.


UPDATE:  I’ve gone back a few times to CI.  It is tremendously difficult to do.  Few of us have really thought through the way the world is going and our place in it.

I think it is worth checking in once a quarter and asking ourselves ~ what do we need to know to fast forward the world.  And then doing some research.

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“Belonging” is the theme of our age

And we see the theme in contemporary poety: “The House of Belonging” from David Whyte ~ “calling you into the family of things” in Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.

Belonging is a hard concept to grasp

Michael Bauwens has drawn this picture showing different understandings of belonging:

  • me as part of a family
  • me as in let-me-be!
  • me as let-me-be(come)
  • And me as going part of the way on the journey with you.

The last is simple explanation of co-creation, the theme of Barbara Sliter’s blog, Co-creatorship, that I came across in the last week or so too.

Belonging in steps

In my own evolving grasp of the concept, I am thinking in THREE steps:

#1 Curiosity

Can I begin the day with curiosity? Which birds are singing? Who is already up-and-about? What will the day bring that is totally unexpected and surprising? No”to do” list for me! Just an early morning welcome to the unknown as it is evolving around me.

#2 Sureness

Can I begin the day with sureness? Can I be sure that my interest in the world will help shape it into a better place, alongside the interest of everyone else. The birds, the cat, the neighbor whose petrol mower is already going and shattering the peace, the motorway 20 miles away, the cup of coffee beckoning, the blogosphere which should be ignored this Saturday . . . That my interest is valued and creates safety for others.

#3  Wholeheartedness

Can I be wholehearted? Can I approach everything I do today with energy, enthusiasm and warmth? Can my wholeheartedness for some or even most of my tasks (it is Saturday!) bring me pleasure and create more energy, enthusiasm, warmth for others, people and tasks?

At the end of the day .  .  .

Can I look back on a day when we have been surprised at what we have accomplished together?

Is the end of my day about something other than the race that we have won or the people we have vanquished?

Can I be surprised at what we discovered together, and how we continue to surprise each other?

Do we go forward to another day, not dizzy with excitement, but astounded, that we have found hidden depths in ourselves with all our failings and limitations? The hidden depths of ourselves and others.

And do other people feel it too? Not necessarily with bear hugs and noisy applause.

Just gentle appreciation of how much their hopes and dreams, their wholeheartedness, brought warmth and enjoyment to the day for me.

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Poetry and essays on the Hero’s Journey

Sometimes during the working day, I arrive at a website.  I have no idea how I got there and I have no idea why I have never been there before.  But there I am, at the place I want to be.

A site with essays and poetry about the Hero’s Journey.

For people new to the Hero’s Journey, the HJ is a narrative form, the structure of a story, that seems to be a suitable way of organizing our stories about our own lives.  Who else is the hero of our journey but ourselves.

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The Sun, David Whyte

how I want to know
that sun,
and how I want to flower
and how I want to claim
my happiness
and how I want to walk
through life
amazed and inarticulate
with thanks.”

David Whyte in a collection about the Hero’s Journey.

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