Community, Huh?

Communities can take on numerous forms. Whether it is a community of athletes, a community of scientists, or even a community of geographic location, similar interests bring people together.  In fact, one individual can be a part of many communities at the same time.

From the Maya civilization to the British Empire and the foundations of the United States of America, community is a huge concept that everyone needs to be a participant of.

It is through the community that we find our friends and network with people that not only share ideas, but help us when we are down.  You see, the power of the community is infinite.  As I discussed in my post on collaboration, one person cannot succeed alone.  Many persons can build a monument and shape the country we live in.

Here are a few things that I think make communities so wonderful:

1) Support those around you the best you can.

2) Be there to enable to someone to find their dreams.

3) If someone needs a meal, spare a can of soup at the least.

4) Offer someone an ear and a shoulder to cry on… be human.

5) Everyday, make someone smile and share one idea.

I would like you to make a list of all of the communities that you are involved in.  If you feel like it, please leave a few in a comment.

Here are a few of my communities:
A) Triathlon B) Photography  C) Blogging D) Social Media E) Analytics

If you really are saying, “Community, Huh?”, you have work to do.

Posted this over at my wordpress blog. Enjoy!

How Do You Know It Is Time To Start Clean?

Life is one giant circle.  Seeing life as a linear graph just does not work for me.  Here is why:

1) The calendar is a revolving set of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months.

2) The sun comes up and the sun goes down, everyday.

3) Businesses operate on a quarter system, meaning every 3 months, the same planning processes are restarted.

4) The hands on an old school analog watch, go in circles.

5) The earth is round and you can circle for years and never see the whole thing.

Very much like watches, days, quarters, and the earth, our careers are circular.  With each new challenge, we face it head-on, conquer it, and then move on to the next one, building our networks, skills, and experience with each cycle.  

It is the end of a cycle that most intrigues me.  At this point, you start to realize that the next cycle does not tickle your fancy like it did previously.

For some, the constant need for new and bigger challenges often dictates their next step.  It is almost too human of a need to be challenged and when that does not happen, human feels bruised.  Granted there are circumstances beyond our control, but when the circumstances beyond our control supercede the challenge, the human needs to start clean again. 

Starting clean means new environments, new systems, new people, new seeds, and even new watches, but you can’t alienate the old. Afterall, we are building upon the old.

The very thought of knowing when to start clean can be a fascinating challenge in itself, proving that starting clean, is the right thing. Be human, it is okay to start clean.

How do YOU know when it is time to start clean?  Please leave a comment, I am very interested in everyone’s view on this subject.

 

Immersion, The Good, Bad and the Ugly!

Immersion is the concept of surrounding yourself with a given subject to concentrate on learning it.

The GOOD
The good is that immersion is a very efficient way of learning something. You can jam pack a lot of information in a very narrow window of time. Picking up the basics of a new language or skill is possible over a long weekend.

The BAD
Immersion usually occurs for a limited time. From a day to a few weeks, immersion is not something that you want to do for long. The learner risks burn-out as the human body needs to time break old habits and adjust to the new knowledge.

The UGLY
Immersion can overwhelm the learner. In such a short time, a lot of information gets thrown at you. While it is important to absorb as much information as possible, sometimes grasping the larger picture and concepts is all you can do.

My weekend at the Total Immersion swim clinic was definitely, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
1) It was good because I made huge improvements with my swim stroke.
2) It was bad because it was so short and I wish I had a little more than two days to grab all the information and absorb more detail.
3) It was ugly, by the end of the second day, my brain was so overwhelmed with information that it was almost exploded.

Have you ever tried immersion and experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Collaboration, Do You Have It?

Collaboration.  It is a powerful word.

Cities are built on Collaboration.

Business rely on Collaboration.

The future of your career depends on Collaboration.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, some of the most intelligent people go untapped because of their isolation.  It seems the truly successful outliers were well connected with those that helped them take the steps toward world success. They had collaboration.

Collaboration is what you need to use to do anything large successfully.  Afterall, two heads are better than one.

If you don’t use it, you will find yourself in very different circumstances.

I think I will make that phone call to a friend that had a great idea to help our community.

How about you?  How are you going to collaborate today?

Collaboration, Do You Have It?

Collaboration.  It is a powerful word. 

Cities are built on Collaboration.

Business rely on Collaboration.

The future of your career depends on Collaboration.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, some of the most intelligent people go untapped because of their isolation.  It seems the truly successful outliers were well connected with those that helped them take the steps toward world success. They had collaboration.

Collaboration is what you need to use to do anything large successfully.  Afterall, two heads are better than one.

If you don’t use it, you will find yourself in very different circumstances. 

I think I will make that phone call to a friend that had a great idea to help our community. 

How about you?  How are you going to collaborate today?

What Do You Know When You Don’t?

Knowing something is half the battle. Communicating that something is the other half, but that is the subject of another post.

Knowing how your customers use your product and how they want to interact with you is a great thing. Two major steps toward becoming customer oriented.

But then you realize that what you know, might not be what you know. You see signs that your data may be incomplete or inaccurately measured. What do you know now?

1) You need to stop and reevaluate what you know.
2) Depending on the issue, you might be realizing that what you know, might be valid to some degree.
3) On the other-hand, you might be realizing that an entire rebuild of the data warehouse is in order.
4) You start making a mind map of the situation to visualize the scope of the problem.
5) You start counting the knowns, the unknowns, the could-be’s and the what-if’s.
6) You then start to think that maybe if you ignore it, it might, with a one in a trillion change, actually fix itself.

Then you realize you just reconstructed the famous Donald Rumsfeld speech:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld (more Rumsfeld quotes)

In the end you may know much more than when you started. But the process of determining what you don’t know and what you do know is a great one! It is called validation.

Everyone should have a process of validation.

What Do You Know When You Don’t?

Knowing something is half the battle.  Communicating that something is the other half, but that is the subject of another post.

Knowing how your customers use your product and how they want to interact with you is a great thing.  Two major steps toward becoming customer oriented.

But then you realize that what you know, might not be what you know.  You see signs that your data may be incomplete or inaccurately measured.  What do you know now?

1) You need to stop and reevaluate what you know.
2) Depending on the issue, you might be realizing that what you know, might be valid to some degree.
3) On the other-hand, you might be realizing that an entire rebuild of the data warehouse is in order.
4) You start making a mind map of the situation to visualize the scope of the problem.
5) You start counting the knowns, the unknowns, the could-be’s and the what-if’s.
6) You then start to think that maybe if you ignore it, it might, with a one in a trillion chance, actually fix itself.

Then you realize you just reconstructed the famous Donald Rumsfeld speech:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld (more Rumsfeld quotes)

In the end you may know much more than when you started.  But the process of determining what you don’t know and what you do know is a great one!  It is called validation. 

Everyone should have a process of validation.

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