Your OAR in the Water
Effective this week, we will be publishing a weekly blog post with a core and specific focus around the Mount Pearl and Paradise business community. As a member of the Mount Pearl – Paradise Chamber of Commerce… and personally as residents of both municipalities, we are excited to commence such a journey, posting both here and on our own blog site at www.epicengage.com. The posts will be focused, with a thought or idea (or two) geared towards doing business in and outside of our communities. That being said, there should be something in it and applicable to many. God willing. 🙂
To start, and with the local economy and its current challenges and questions in mind, I suggest that we consider the power and impact of strong learning cultures in times of trial and triumph alike. As a business educator for over 20 years now, I would put forward that the greatest classrooms, staff rooms, floor rooms and board rooms go beyond words and cliché when building true learning cultures. Any type of culture is built through both deeds and words… and through stories, rituals and symbols; but through it all… it must be authentic.
Authentic learning cultures celebrate learning and they are built on 3 clear strengths of character. They are:
OPEN. Openness is a virtue; indeed a strength of character. It moves beyond the “open door” to an understanding that we should always be in receiver mode, with our antennae up and ready… our ears and eyes and senses always taking in our surroundings. Environmental assessment is not an event. It is part of any great hunt… including the hunt for success in lean times. Openness stands in the face of presumptions and group think. It is ready to learn, with both humility and confidence. It is the ultimate understanding of a true open system; taking in all that it needs to make its best choices and practices happen.
ADAPTIVE. Openness is powerful but must be accompanied by the capacity to make the necessary changes. Knowledge has only the potential for power. What we do with that knowledge harnesses it for constructive change. But, we still must be prepared to change. It is the virtue of purposeful flexibility.
RELENTLESS. Unstoppable and steadfast… they are both virtues; strengths of character of authentic learning cultures. Learning is not an event. It is a process and it should not stop. Being “done learning” is done, period. And I am not talking about weekly learning, or daily learning. I am talking continuous, relentless learning. It never stops. It is relentless.
My unofficial mentor, Joe Calloway, speaks to this in his books such as Be the Best at What Matters Most and Magnetic; that ability to consistently seek excellence. Excellence is born of and raised on learning… the kind of learning that is lifestyle and workstyle. It is not cliché. It is more than words. It is real. It is blood and guts real; authentic.
As we enter a time of both challenge and opportunity provincially and within Mt. Pearl and Paradise in particular, we should consider how we are building and advancing learning cultures within our individual enterprises and as a business community altogether. Are we encouraging openness, adaptation and relentless pursuit of learning? Are we applying these forces to the questions at hand? What are the questions at hand?
- What matters most now for our customers, in these times?
- What are we best at in terms of serving what matters most?
- How can we get better at that?
- For whom do we serve best on what matters most?
In times of trial and triumph alike, excellence has a power to it. It forces us to focus our energies. Deciding where our true excellence lies and mastering it can be powerful in the market place and for the morale of our teams. It is about getting back to our best knittin’. It is what great champions do… getting clear on their identity and then playing their game, their way, their best way; for who they serve best.
As our posts continue, we will explore targeted ways to build excellence and serve in times like these; whatever these are. We hope that you join us in this learning process… open, adaptive and relentless.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Check out a Video Version
Some Local Business Resources
- Mount Pearl – Paradise Chamber of Commerce
- Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
- The Genesis Centre
- Start Up NL
Resources at Epic Engage™