Sunday, 11 September 2011

Nothing is impossible

This picture defies logic and is a great example that anything is possible if we just take some time and patience to find the solution and explore the opportunities.

With thanks to Responsible fishing UK for Fantastic picture - more stunning photo's of balance can be found on their Facebook page and web site.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

When someone says "Chocolate" what do you think of?

I was reminded of an exercise I use with groups when in a session with internal stakeholders of a procurement team last week.

In the exercise I ask everyone to write the first eight words that come to mind when they hear the word “chocolate”. They then spend some time comparing their answers with others in the room. There is a whole range of possible answers, that could include:

Milk, dark, bitter, bake, dog, buttons, sweet, good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, bar, biscuits, strawberries, cocoa, Fairtrade, relaxation, fountain, Labrador, sugar, hot, fattening, present, gift, orange, yucky, yummy.

The one word that seems to come up most often is milk, shared by about three-quarters of the group. The second most common word is usually shared with less than half of the people participating in the exercise. Very soon we’re looking at just a small percentage of people sharing a word. Sometimes someone may not share a single word with anyone in the room. Generally most people will have three or four associated words that are unique to them.

It’s clear that even for a simple word such as chocolate there are different things going on in our minds when we hear it. It’s this meaning to us that will impact our actions, reactions, words and behaviours and yet we often use words assuming a common understanding.

In last week’s meeting I realised every internal stakeholder in the room had a different interpretation for “procurement”. When the stakeholder heard the phrase “best practice procurement” their interpretation of procurement meant they thought they were already doing it. Continuing to use the word wasn’t going to change that so we had to start using new words that expanded their understanding.

New words that enabled them to understand in much more detail what was involved in the Initiate Project, Research & Analyse, Develop Strategy, Implement Strategy and Implement Contract steps.

The next time you’re not getting the response you’re expecting, it might be that they consider what you’re talking about to be yucky, not yummy.

Also blogged on Supply Management. Image from Dogs & Puppies

Landscaping Your Life Principles

The following list is included on many posters and suggests its origins come from the native american culture and is often titled:

The Ten Indian Commandments

  • Treat the earth and all that dwell thereon with respect

  • Remain close to great spirit

  • Show great respect for your fellow beings

  • Work together for the benefit of all mankind

  • Give assistance and kindness wherever needed

  • Do what you know to be right

  • Look after the well being of mind & body

  • Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good

  • Be truthful and honest at all times

  • Take full responsibility for your actions

  • Irrespective of who really first said them, if we connected in this way with the landscape and others on this planet of ours, then I certainly think we'll find our connection within more easily. Do join me on my Landscaping Your Life facebook page where I share more on the process that uses landscapes as metaphors for life. Although I'm starting to think that perhaps landscapes are really a mirror for our lives not simply a metaphor.

    Image used from The History of Pachakamak