A blog about organizations, change, design, leadership, and general topics.

Happiness is now  

Like most people, I like to be happy. And like most people, I look for moments of happiness in my day. But what if looking for happiness is what leads us away from it. What if it only exists right here, right now, and only if we bring our full attention to the here and now.

Marshall Goldsmith, an executive coach who practices Zen, has a simple philosophy about happiness: be happy now. His point is this: happiness is not somewhere in the future or in the past. It is here in this moment, in the now. Read More

 Selling Yourself: Long or Short

Public relations is the art and science of influencing behavior, and I learned it from the best. These days I've moved on from that profession but the skills continue to stay with me like a best friend.

We could all use some of the wisdom of how to do this well because we spend a lot of our time each day influencing someone to do something, even if it is to do nothing. Doing nothing, by the way, is always one of at least three choices in decision-making.Read More

The world in a cup  

With all the busyness of life around us, it is easy to get lost in the trees and lose our ability to see and appreciate the forest, the bigger picture. This metaphor may not be the best one to use, because I love being in the trees. Go with me on this—substitute weeds for trees, just for this article. Sometimes we simply take things for granted, or lose our ability to recognize the miracles all around us.

For this juncture of life, I have a remedy. Let’s look at the miracle of a having a cup of coffee in the morning. What is required to make a cup of coffee in the morning? It turns out that your cup of coffee in the morning requires everything in our universe, everything from the stars to the soil.Read More


  The ultimate skill

After completing an undergrad degree in public relations, I worked at HP and gained experience in this field. Everything that followed in my career, including a masters in counseling psychology and a PhD in organizational psychology, benefited from my foundation in communications. If I was given a magical redo in life—not that I want one, the one thing I would not change is my education in communications. The ability to communicate is perhaps the most valuable human skill.Read More

Racism in America  

Racism has existed in America from the beginning. Racism in America is a systemic cultural issue. America has always had a strong racist current, from slavery—a belief that some humans, particularly humans with dark colored skin, are a lesser being and can be used as slaves for work—to the systemic inequality of our education system today that creates a disadvantaged population, again, mostly made up of people with darker skin color.

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  Organizations as Catalysts

At the heart of all work is this human structure we know as the organization, where work occurs mostly in small groups. When we think of change in the world, we must recognize that most of this work occurs in small groups working in organizations. Therefore, it makes sense that we focus on improving the intent and structure of our organizations if we want to improve our world, because organizations are, in many ways, the catalyst of change.

The dictionary defines a catalyst as—something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces; a person or thing that influences an event or change. Organizations can be forces that inspire and influence the world, if we design them better, as communities, for example. Read More