A Response To Change

We all feel swept up in a tide of change sometimes. I bumped into an interesting response in my reading last night. I'm looking at the life of Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian in the British colony of Massachusetts during the 18th century. In 1742 Edwards was part of a massive up-swell of religious fervor. Along with the rapid growth of spiritual enthusiasm came a drive to change … [Read more...]

A Old Question In A New Form: Computers And War

We've seen a lot in recent days about the alleged attack from North Korea on selected computer systems in South Korea. It appears that the banks and television stations in South Korea were the target of cyberwarfare from sources in North Korea. When will an attack on a nation's computer systems constitute an act of war? When will a cyberattack necessitate a severe retaliatory response on the … [Read more...]

Significant Decision

Today's announcement that the U.S. is transferring drones from the CIA to the U.S. military is significant. Apart from a wide-ranging effect on national security policy, I begin to wonder about the leadership implications of this issue. Think about a few for a moment. Maybe you've been in a situation similar to this. 1. An important new technology is shifted from one group's control to another … [Read more...]

Promises and Promising

Some leaders try to soften the effect of change by telling their followers that specific things may turn out for the better. They make these promises without any basis in fact or with very little of substance for projections. These are dangerous promises to make. You can't suggest or hint to someone that it's possible this or that particular thing may indeed turn out to be quite good. That's not … [Read more...]

Your Thumbprint And The Plans For Change

Intriguing real situation from my module on the Battle of Tippecanoe, leadership, and change. Tenskwatawa, one of the Indian leaders at Prophet's Town, indeed, the man after whom the community is named, is pushed by three of the most aggressive of his fellow leaders to fight the American forces led by William Henry Harrison. Tenskwatawa hesitated and wavered before agreeing to the use of … [Read more...]

Day Of Surprises

Today's inaugural session of leadership, change, and the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe was full of surprises. Good surprises. I felt as I prepared the material for my client that one thing after another struck me as rather startling. I knew it would get the same reaction from the 100+ participants. I was right. I won't divulge all of the surprises but I will offer out one to give you a flavor. Both … [Read more...]

A Peek At Tippecanoe

Tomorrow is the newest module, my exploration of the world of the Battle of Tippecanoe and its relationship to leadership and change. Two things that must be shared with you right now are: this piece of River is like diving off a cliff into change. My participants in tomorrow's session are going to see aspects of change that they haven't faced as starkly as they will in this module. Among … [Read more...]

Change, Leadership, And Tippecanoe

Next week I’m delving into change and leadership. I know—boring and old-hat, right? Wrong, at least wrong when you use an historical example and dig into the real-world guts of it. My topic will be the Battle of Tippecanoe of November 7, 1811 and the events surrounding it. I’m taking my attendees through the experience in a very unique manner. This historical River will show us these … [Read more...]

My New Word For The Day-Continuences

Continuences is my new word for the day. I made it up. I did so because I think we need it to reflect a very important part of change, one that we forget at our peril. Continuences are those things that continue, that remain in force or in play. They are perhaps not quite constants; I think of a constant as something that nearly never changes, like the rocks or, maybe, human behavior and human … [Read more...]

Change: Don’t Forget The Continuity

We're obsessed with change in our organizations. Change is fine with me. But I do think that we shoot ourselves in the foot by refusing to realize that change is connected to the past, to continuity. Not everything changes when change happens. It can't. And what doesn't change can either help or hurt the actual, meaningful change that does take place. You risk the success of the change you want … [Read more...]

Adaptation of Lincoln and the One-Armed Man

My client tomorrow for an installment of "Abraham Lincoln and the One-Armed Man" is undergoing extensive change. They are a medium-sized organization about to be merged into a substantially larger entity. Yes indeed, that's change. I re-read the Gettysburg Address in light of the overall issue of change. It's remarkable how germane the speech is to change. For one thing, Lincoln explains the … [Read more...]

The Action of Thought

See if any of this sounds like you or someone you know. I'm sharing this business story about myself because it might be helpful. One of the biggest things that's changed for my business is how my clients, actual or prospective, define the future. Prior to the Great Recession, I often had engagements scheduled eight, ten, or twelve months in advance. After the Great Recession, not so much. It's … [Read more...]

Older Folks

A friend of mine has a real-estate development designed for senior citizens, the older folks amongst us. It's a small, planned community for senior citizens. He expects to have a model home up for showing sometime this summer. Here's why I've mentioned it in my blog. He mentioned that the senior citizens he talks with are receptive to the idea but they want to see more than brochures, design … [Read more...]

A Catch Phrase That Set Me Off

I had the opportunity to witness a conference presenter while I waited for my turn and time on the conference agenda. What I heard in these few minutes left me sputtering in disbelief. The presenter was talking about change. You've heard it before--we've got to change, now is the time to change, here's how to change, blah, blah, blah. That wasn't what provoked me. The provocative statement was … [Read more...]

The Falsehood of Change

I think we approach change falsely. So many people tell us about the barriers to change, its difficulties and the various strategies to overcome them. I've seen people grouped into those who oppose change, those on the fence, and those who champion it. Maybe. But then again, maybe not. I told an audience recently about my River theme and method. I made a point that strikes me as highly relevant … [Read more...]

Revolution and Change

I've been tracking events in Egypt recently. They've gotten me to thinking about one of my favorite historical topics and personal specialties--revolution. Leadership confronts very unique conditions and situations in revolution. One of them is the relationship between revolution and change. Today, we're pounded with messages that every change is a revolution. Not true at all. Sometimes, often … [Read more...]

The River: A Nature of Change and Continuity

The river teaches you to know change and continuity. Currents change, depths change, banks and shores change, surfaces change, bottoms change, the directions change, the things floating or stuck in the water change, living creatures change, dead creatures change, seasons and weather change. On and on it goes. The change is so great that it feels constant and thus, can become difficult to separate … [Read more...]