Category Archives: Change

What do you want to see in 2020?

In 1968, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke dreamed up the film and the book 2001: A Space Odyssey. George Orwell published his dystopian novel 1984 in 1949. It’s 2018. The next number with meaning is the year 2020. That is now about 100 weeks away. Numbers like these are tools to help us think bigger. What do you want to see 2020? What do you want to see clearly 100 weeks from now? The time to start on what you want is now. Today. There is no need to look back when you hit 2020 and wish you had worked on something else more important for the last two years. There is something in you, something about you that is unique to you. Some change you want to make and help the world with. What is it now? How will you be the change you want to see in the world when you can see clearly – 20/20?   Learn more: How to Lead Change -  Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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Strategic or Tactical?

There is a tension between thinking strategically and tactically. We tend to just live tactically. We humans don’t do well with tension and tend to just go to one side or the other. And the daily grind is where we usually go. It’s the path of least resistance. Carl Jung said the sign of a true adult is to be able to live in the tension of the two opposites. You have 100 weeks. What do you want to see 100 weeks now from now 2020? What’s your tension between now and then? Today is day one of not giving up. Today is the day to happily rest in the tension.

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What are your New Year’s Curiosities??

We’ve been making New Year’s resolutions all our lives. They usually don’t work out too well. 60% of those resolutions are toast by July. And they never end the way we wish they would. These intentions always end up differently. It’s hard to gather enthusiasm, isn’t it? Let’s try New Year’s curiosities instead. Curiosity recognizes that when we step forward, we step into the unknown. We don’t know the ending yet, we haven’t lived it. And curiosity keeps us in our frontal cortex, the smartest, wisest part of the brain. Here are some curiosities: What important projects will we finish this year? What projects won’t we finish? What will we begin? How much kindness will we give – to ourselves and anyone we meet along the way? How brave will we be with the hard, emotional work – the real work? How well and long will we sleep? What and who will inspire us? What and who will no longer inspire us? What change will we make in the world? How will we make things better? What is the path ahead like – 365 days of unknown – and where will we travel on it? What’s our quest this year?   What are your 2018 New Year’s curiosities?   Learn more:  40 Days to Change For Good - Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts.

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Quix Tip: Be generous and make it public.

  Everyone wants a change. Being part of a group that’s changing helps everyone reciprocally. You’re much more likely to persist in your change if you’ve told people. But the people you tell are helped even more. We do what those around us do. If everyone’s exercising, we think exercise is normal. If everyone around is on their phones, we think being on our phone is normal. If everyone around us is eating junk food, that’s the thing to do. We do what others do. It’d feel about as weird to have a beer in the workout room at the local Y as it would to do calisthenics in the local bar. If everyone’s working on positive change, of course you too are working on positive change. Be generous and help the people you care about by making your change public. List who might be on your support team to support you and help you stay accountable to your change. Reach out to all of them and tell them what you’re up to. Tell them your hopes, fears, triumphs, failures with the change. Thank them for helping you keep accountable, even if they don’t do anything. Ask them if there’s a change they want to make. If so, ask, “how can I help?” Support them. Feel gratitude for your change community you’re a part of. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s charity-based team building activities: 40 Days to Change For Good- Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts. Change Quest - Time for you and your team to evolve quickly, whether you’re driving the change or the rest of the world is. How to Lead Change-  Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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Books to Support Your 40 Days To Change For Good

Books to Support Your 40 Days To Change For Good Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward by James O. Prochaska, John Norcross, and Carlo DiClemente [Still the most useful and easily applicable book on personal change I’ve found yet. Highly recommended.] Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own And Other People’s Minds (Leadership for the Common Good) by Howard Gardner [Great research as to what makes people change their minds, and what doesn’t work. This work is one of the cornerstones of Quixote Consulting’s change and influencing work. Be forewarned: It’s very dry and dense]  Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth [A well-researched, readable look at the positive psychology of persistence.] Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey [Endlessly inspiring and entertaining, here are 161 famous creative artists’ rituals – from Mozart to Einstein] The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity At Work by Teresa Amabile, Steven Kramer [Completely in a work context. Repeated small successes combined with meaningful work lead to happiness. Small failures at meaningful work lead to unhappiness. Meaningless work is a straight path to unhappiness.] Gandhi An Autobiography – The Story of My Experiments with the Truth by Mahatma Gandhi [Surprisingly, it’s a page-turner. A fascinating and inspiring account of a man dedicated to personal change and through that his country and beyond] The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr [The ‘Taking Action: The Power of Positive Rituals’ chapter is a very nuts and bolts look at rituals and incremental change.] What You Can Change . . . and What You Can’t: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement by Martin E. Seligman [Especially recommended for those of you who like to know what the research has to say. There’s no self-help ‘Seven steps to lose those pounds, be loved by everyone and transform your life in just 20 seconds a day!” silliness here, just what science has found can be changed and what can’t.] The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller [Profoundly helpful and beautifully written, the title says it all. You’ll either know immediately it’s the book you need to read right now or you’re not ready for it…yet. Loss and sadness are either visiting you or they’re not. The chapter on ritual is from a spiritual/mythopoetic view.] The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg [Written from a journalistic viewpoint, it’s heavy on stories and light on actionable content. Three sections: individuals, organizations, societies] Leading Change by John P. Kotter [Exclusively aimed at change leaders in organizations, but the general principles are sound.] Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar [You’ll find a short section on rituals and negative (a ritual to NOT do something) rituals – which is an interesting concept]   Learn more about 40 Days to Change For Good here.

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Quix Tip: Here’s Your Change

Pick a change that you’d like to initiate this month. Ask yourself: What visible changes would you like to make in one month? What has been cold and dormant in you waiting for new energy? What dream would you like to make visible to the world by the end of the month? You can track your deadline by looking up into the sky at night and watching the moon’s progress to full at the end of the month. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s teams building and team development activities: How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts. Change Quest – Time for you and your team to evolve quickly, whether you’re driving the change or the rest of the world is. 40 Days to Change For Good – Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts.

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Leading Change: A New World Baked Fresh Every Day

On my early evening walk I came across the mountain laurel, pink-budded and ready to bloom. Beauty! And in the warm late sunlight I heard crickets for the first time this year. Noticing is like that – it’s easier when something’s new and fresh to your awareness. And every day brings something new. I once started – yet to be finished – a song called New World Baked Fresh Every Day. And it’s true! Every day we’re alive is baked fresh, whether we notice it or not. And change is like that. It’s always happening. We, myself included, can regard looming change with a mix of suspicion, reluctance, anxiety, and whatever other emotion the word ‘looming’ inspires. The unknown by definition can be pretty scary. But, the unknown by definition is also an adventure, a daily hero’s journey. This is the quest – a journey for something larger and better to benefit ourselves and everyone we touch and the greater world. To do that kind of work requires a great deal of change – both internal and external. This is the kind of work I explore in our change training sessions like Change Quest, 40 Days to Change For Good, and How to Lead Change. Spring into summer is a perfect time in nature and in life to encourage us to see how beautiful and welcoming change can be. Here’s to you connecting with all deep, benevolent forces all around you and them fueling your quest for fresh changes to bring what your heart truly desires.   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Change Quest – Time for you and your team to evolve quickly, whether you’re driving the change or the rest of the world is. 40 Days to Change For Good – Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts. How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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Less Screen Time = More Great Work Done

  Feliz año nuevo! I just returned from a trip to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Ten days blissfully screen free. The computer stayed home, the tablet stayed home, the phone was on airplane mode. The trip was amazing, helped immensely by saying no to those electronic tethers that are so good at pulling me out of the present moment. I noticed how much happier I was than at home, how much more present I was to what was happening around me, the people I was interacting with and how I was feeling. The New Year is a time when we traditionally reprioritize. We again bring to the forefront what’s most important to us, what we hope for in life and work for the coming year and resolve to bring them closer. We help teams do this in the 40 Days to Change for Good and How to Complete a Project team trainings. In order to do the most important work however, something has to give. Space must be made. Something else has to be said no to. We have to give something up to attain what we desire. That’s that hero’s journey. No hero emerges triumphant and unscathed. If you are looking to produce something of worth with your life this year, may I suggest dedicating some small (or large) time each day free of consuming something electronic? It’s not an easy path to take these days, but a deeply worthy one. Let’s walk it together for a little while and see what great works we do this year.

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Rewards – Celebrate Persistence On Your Project

Grim persistence won’t even get you halfway. Accomplishments need to be recognized and positive feelings fed and watered. Imagine your work on a project as your child. What would you say when they accomplish something you’re proud of? Examples: self-administered pats on the back (termed covert management in the book Changing For Good), self-contracting, shaping up (step-by-step approach with reinforcement after each small step). Go with intrinsic over extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards (I’ll pay you $10 to take out the garbage) aren’t as effective as intrinsic (finding the delight in the task itself) in the long run. Gold stars, smiley faces count. Make the rewards meaningful to you, no matter how odd or silly they might seem to someone else. Mark each time you gave it to yourself.   Here’s a link to a form you can use to help you with this part of your change project. Directions are on the first page and the form is on the second page.   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:  How To Complete a Project – Teams learn innovative tools to manage a project from start to finish. 40 Days to Change For Good – Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts. How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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Action Steps to Take To Complete A Project

Once you’ve listed and prioritized big picture tasks, take the first priority. Break it down into small action steps – things that need action taken in order for completion. Ideally these are actions that can be completed either in a matter of hours or days, definitely not longer than a week. This is another form that will be most effective if revisited often. Order: This column helps with making your actions linear. You can either mark down the exact order of all actions or just note which one’s next. This helps prevent overwhelm and disorganization. Action step: Is each step SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-Based? Date: Target date for action completion. Support needed: What do you need to get the action done? Done? : Mark when it’s done and move on.   My Example: Gather my computer files to write the revised home page text. (This is first priority for two reasons: I need to know what I’m working with, and it’s small enough to easily begin.) Revise the existing text to more accurately reflect the company’s current identity – who we are now. Read a short overview of current SEO strategy. Incorporate current strategy in that first page.   Here’s a link to a form you can use to help you with this part of your change project. Directions are on the first page and the form is on the second page.   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:  How To Complete a Project – Teams learn innovative tools to manage a project from start to finish. 40 Days to Change For Good – Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts. How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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