Monthly Archives: March 2015
The HALF TIME broadCAST™ is a project of EPIC Engage™. Each month, at “half time”, members of The CAST™ (Community Advancement Strategic Team) of EPIC Engage™ weigh in on a question for organizational development and leadership… engaging character, capacity and/or creativity. The CAST™ is a team of independent experts who will work, from time to time, with EPIC Engage™ to advance cultures of noble character, unique capacity and flourishing creativity. This month, three members of The CAST™ tackle a fundamental question. This first adventure centers around the question, “If you could recommend one thought that vitally impacts the health of an organization, what would that be?”
The health of an organization or a community is reflected in how well all of the various parts, pieces, and people work together to achieve goals. For this to happen, those within the community need to make it a priority to consciously understand each other first. As individuals, we often come into a situation with our own ideas, perspectives, beliefs and baggage. We make sense of events and take actions based on what we know and what we have experienced. But communities are made up of many individuals, all with their own unique perspectives and filters. For a community to grow in a healthy way, individuals need to put their egos on the side for a moment and take the time to listen to others, explore how they come to understand events, and appreciate their ideas and goals; only through this selfless act can the voices within the community begin to start working together. By seeking first to listen and understand, then act where and when most needed within the community, we create a situation of intentional harmonics in which the melody of a community can emerge.
William C. Murray, PhD; www.williamcmurray.ca
William is an educator who speaks and writes as an advocate for putting people first in business. He is particularly focused around two core areas of service: the hospitality and tourism industry, and student-focused education and skills for success. He advocates that businesses can flourish when they ‘humanize’, focusing on authentic connections, relationships, and engagement.
Creativity, Connection and Significance
One simple idea around advancing healthier organizations or communities would be to create new ways of developing connection and belonging within the organized structure. Creative projects that encourage individuality and participation, or social events that promote inclusivity and foster friendships are two examples that address our innate need/desire to feel significant and valued within larger communities. Productivity, creativity, and satisfaction in individual outcomes will only increase within such environments, advancing a healthier organization as a whole. Healthier individuals lead to healthier communities – it’s as simple as that. Emotional wellbeing is one area that can sometimes be overlooked, but when deeply considered and addressed, can actually create the strongest foundation for overall group wellness.
Sheena Grobb, Visionary Singer/Songwriter/Speaker, Founder; LivingCompassionProject.com
It is without a doubt a masterpiece of songwriting and soundscape. Really incredible, soulful music. She will definitely get a huge audience in time, trust me.” Alex Wharton, Abbey Road Studios. A songbird from the age of two, songwriter at ten, with 3 albums under her belt, a nomination for the Western Canadian Music Awards, and over 500 tour dates across Canada, the US, and the UK, Sheena Grobb (one of Canada’s best kept secrets) is spilling over. With the release of her newest album The Breakless Heart mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, and a life changing music video created by Lindsey Nelko (past choreographer with So You Think You Can Dance), Sheena is embarking on her most meaningful project yet – The Living Compassion Project – inviting others to “unlock their lives” through sharing their stories… as she begins to share hers.
If I were to be forced to name one reality that advances healthier organizations and communities, it would have to be alignment. The ultimate branding is the truthful identification of who we most want and intend to be. I often suggest that this starts with naming the character that you most want to manifest as an individual or organization. Who the hell are you? For what do you stand? THEN, I suggest that our actions must be in alignment with that character. Integrity ultimately connects deeds and words and intentions. It dramatically reduces cognitive dissonance and regret. When we are aligned in character, message and action, we become known for something. When we do that with a clear intention on who we most want to be as individual or organization, we can live with ourselves and have clear expectations of ourselves and others. Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtue, and truthfulness starts with alignment. It builds a level of trust and trustworthiness that has real value.
Barry Lewis Green, The Unity Guy™ and Strategic Leader, EPIC Engage™; www.epicengage.com
Barry Lewis Green is The Unity Guy™ and the engine of EPIC Engage™. He defines community as “the sum total of voices, wisdom and talent which can be harnessed to achieve uncommon results”. Barry and EPIC Engage™ help companies, campuses, conferences and all communities to get there; moving organizations forward together. Yes, Barry is The Unity Guy™ and the heart and soul of EPIC Engage™. He is a teacher; a college business educator. He is a speaker, facilitator, trainer, educator, coach and consultant, cartoonist, singer, dancer and more. With EPIC, he helps organizations advance together in thought, will and action.
I remember well the game of Risk. We played it for days and even weeks. It was strategic and creative and challenging. I am now re-discovering the power in wholehearted risk and the beauty of the mis-take.
Learning is not the exclusive realm of the young. Richard Bolles spoke to this in his book The Three Boxes of Life and How to Get Out of Them. Gijs van Wulfen speaks of it here. The work of vibrant organizations like Common Ground and Skills Canada NL delivers on it.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are not the bastion of the young. They are the realm of the courageous. They require daring, discernment and creativity, and that demands courage; the courage to risk and fail. That courage is not left to the young, but the young of heart and mind. In education, and in business, we need a culture that breeds this kind of courage. Sir Ken Robinson speaks to this. We need to dare, and advance a culture that encourages it.
Here are some starting thoughts on advancing that culture.
The virtues of creativity and courage are required; as are discernment and daring and determination. The cultivation of learning driven cultures, riddled with bold efforts, mistakes and advancements is crucial. The boundaries of defining success need to be advanced by effort first, outcome second. Innovation demands it. We must honor the spirit of the entepreneuer in the private, public and community sectors. We must walk with one another, in collaborative and courageous exploration of possibility.
It is what has driven all great change; exploration. Mistakes are part of that. It is after all, a mis-take. Take two and three and beyond cultivate advancement. This kind of learning demands that we are all in, risking regardless, wholehearted.
I am not sure if this makes sense, but it is my start. I will get better. 🙂
More to follow.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
DISCIPLINE: Among the definitions of discipline is an “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill”. We too often think of discipline as punishment, but punishment is but one vehicle to achieve purposeful discipline. From March 2 through to March 20, as a Baha’i, I annually embark on the Baha’i Fast of 19 days. People will often immediately react with either a quizzical look or some minor look of terror to think one Fasts for 19 days. Forget the fact that Lent was originally a 40 day Fast and Ramadan is 28 days… this kind of Fasting is ultimately about spiritual discipline and connection. Each year, I gain added strength through such discipline.
Discipline is a virtue. It is the virtue of what I call “sharpening the blades”. It is the practice; the consistent and purposeful practice of getting better at something… of working towards excellence.
For EPIC Engage™ these days, there is a discipline afoot. As we fine tune and better carve our focus of service on noble leadership and building wholehearted communities at work, school and beyond, the discipline is in staying true and focused on our passion, purpose and practice. It is about being increasingly clear on:
- who we are
- what we do best
- for whom do we do it best
- how we do it best, and
- with what spirit we do it best.
So as Nicole Fowler and I practice focus through discipline, these are our answers for the EPIC Engage™ Team.
- We are EPIC Engage™.
- We engage character, unite diversity and help you do the same by uniting diverse talent and wisdom for strong cultures of growth.
- We do it for campuses, companies, communities and conferences seeking to move forward together clear and excited about the same page.
- We do it through speaking, facilitating, training, educating, writing, cartooning, singing, dancing, creating and entertaining.
- We do it with nobility, wholeheartedness, love, honor, idealism, unity and zeal. We have fun doing it.
In the coming weeks, we are refocusing trajectory. The company was launched with clarity, but like a jet, launch only gets you in the air… then you practice navigation and propulsion and the constant correction of both to achieve target. So, in these coming weeks and months, look for even greater focus with our new monthly FREE THOUGHT SERIES™ of “live and in person video blogs” on thoughts around leadership in these times. On the 15th of each month, starting in March, look for our EPIC Half Time Report™… a cool collection of thoughts around a targeted question… from our CAST™. Look for an enhanced and advanced engagement, through focus and discipline.
Focus is discipline. Staying on focus is its practice.
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- For whom do you do it best?
- How do you do it?
- With what spirit do you do it?
Now, go practice that.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™