S3 E36 — Placebo, Meaningful Coincidence or Just Feeling Lucky

Luck is a form of superstition. We already mentioned how Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity, which he described as “a meaningful coincidence”.  Some evidence supports the idea that belief in luck acts like a placebo, producing positive thinking and improving people’s responses to events.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): The first idea that comes to you may indeed be the best one, but come up with more anyway, if only for the accompanying thrill of heading into unexplored directions.” Aries

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 36 in Season 3 of  My Paradoxically Normal Year” on this 29th day of April in the spring of 2021 — which is a three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic year and then in the pandemic year, and now months after.

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Table of Contents

Previously from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E35This Ain’t No Zemblanity; S3 E34Why You’re Susceptible to Subliminal Suggestions Like …; S3 E33Do Meaningful Coincidences Really Exist?

Related from Season Two, The Pandemic Year

S2 E36Turning Lemons into Margaritas; S2 E35Was this Pandemic Year a 1-Off or New Way of Life?; S2 E34Why Is This Kicking Off the 4th Industrial Revolution?; S2 E33What Happens When Your Business Collapses?

Related from Season One, The Normal Year

S1 E36Day 36 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E35Day 35 of My 1-Year Experiment ; S1 E34Day 34 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E33Day 33 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

In the Report’s Conclusion Section of The One-Year Natural Experiment we’ve covered meaningful coincidences and synchronicity, now it’s about their second cousin,  serendipity or happy accidents as in unplanned, but fortunate discoveries. Diving deeper into Wikipedia I found luck. 

Isn’t that what we all hope for? Yeah, I thought so and that’s why this section of the natural experiment’s conclusions is:

Do I Feel Lucky?

Harry Callahan: You’ve Got To Ask Yourself One Question: ‘Do I Feel Lucky? ‘ Well, Do Ya, Punk?

There’s Dirty Harry and Harry Bosch.  While Michael Connelly’s  Detective Harry Bosch doesn’t believe in coincidences I just read a passage in “Black Box” where he drew energy after getting lucky — he knew reporters follow a story which leads to another and another or to a trusted source.

“But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold. 

Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later …

“So much for his luck holding… he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.”

We talk about luck in improbable, negative or positive terms as random or chance events beyond our control which occur all around us.

Luck is a form of superstition. We already mentioned how Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity, which he described as “a meaningful coincidence”. 

Some evidence supports the idea that belief in luck acts like a placebo, producing positive thinking and improving people’s responses to events.

Richard Wiseman did a ten-year scientific study… concluding, to a large extent, people make their own good and bad fortune.

His research revealed that, Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. 

They are skilled at: 

          • creating and noticing chance opportunities, 
          • making lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, 
          • creating self-fulfilling prophecies via positive expectations, and 
          • adopting a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

We’ve heard from two Harrys, a Michael, a Carl and a Richard.  What say we turn our attention to four of my favorite Steves?

Evidence

You know Zahnny, I have to disagree with your opening premise.  I could agree if you added “but there are certainly ideal tribes which I call Talent Cultures in organizations, and (this is a big and) if you know which of 16 Talent Profiles you can claim, then you can more easily select the best and worst organizations and growth stages to pursue. 

To your second Holiday Tau observation — yes, organizational change happens slowly and, thank you that fact alone provided years of consulting fees for me in mature companies heading towards decline, but desperately wanting to reinvent themselves.  

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There are no ideal groups, though it’s fun to imagine things being better. Organizational change tends to happen very slowly; changing yourself is relatively quick and doing so will affect the entire group.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Which way should I interpret your TauBit of Wisdom, Steve?  My first take more easily fit this passion project, especially as I write up my natural experiment’s report.  But now rereading it — probably influenced by Zahnny — I might reclassify it from practical, project and task orientation to how I went about my role as an external consultant and an intrapreneur in those declining organizations.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): Because you want to make your work the best it can be, you’re willing to entertain new ideas. You’ll banter, twist and play around with your resources. Changes and add-ons will take it to the next level.” Aries

WTF G&G?  How lucky am I?  All three of today’s Holiday Tau, yours included, describe what was foremost in how I approached my professional career and peeled away the onion layers to find the simplest answer to complicated challenges. Thanks, Steves.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:Complex problems may not require complex solutions. However, finding the solution that works may be a long and winding journey that seems complicated indeed! Regardless, stay in it for the long haul and the satisfying end.” Virgo

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @KnowLabs suite of digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8068 organically grown followers

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge” by E.O. Wilson, an entomologist who studied colonies of ants for their insights.  But didn’t stop there, according to The Wall Street Journal, “A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them.”
    • “True Believers,” the novel by Kurt Andersen (which seems to precede Fantasyland)? I like how he goes back and forth from now to the ‘60s in which the main character is writing a memoir, but needs “Okays” from her friends who had been hiding a secret for 40+ years that could ruin their careers?  Like, what’s my equivalent?
    • “Disappearing Through the Skylight” by O.B. Hardison, Jr. which proceeded “Consilience” by a decade.  Hardison’s been described as a polymathic renaissance man who wrote, “… Nature has slipped, perhaps finally beyond our field of vision.”  What does it mean for “… science, history, art and architecture, music, language, ultimately, for humanity”? This one provides missing chunks of understanding where we came from and where we’re going.
    • I enjoy any of the Harry Bosch detective books in the series authored by Michael Connelly.  “A Darkness More Than Night,” described “A strange constricting feeling filled his gut. He didn’t believe in coincidences… (It) was a coincidence that even a believer in coincidence would have a difficult time accepting.”So much for detectives, tying up loose ends, relying on their hunches and reordering data, information and witness first hand accounts. 
    • Or, in “Black Box,” Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch adventure he writes, “But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold.”  Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later … “So much for his luck holding… he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.”

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trips

S2 E73 — WorkFit: Chopping Off 12 Losers at the Intersection of Speed and Independence

So, what does mean when only one out of the list of 13 original worse fit organizations remained on the list of when independent identity intersected with a rapid pace as a dozen vanished?

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The day is marked by a resilient spirit of independence that has you preferring your own company, keeping your own council, deciding for yourself without worry or need of any outside reassurance.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 73 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 2nd day of July in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E7220 Niche-Specific Opportunities Found After Making Soul Crushing Mistakes; S2 E71 My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All TimeS2 E70Persistent Failure

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E73Do You Need a Little Leo da V Time Too?; S1 E72It’s Taken so Long, I Could be Wrong; S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

It all began with the future of talent development.  I facilitated a human resources task force that listed 19 trends out of 100 that they felt would impact the composition of employees in companies of the future.

They evaluated generation X, Y, and Z demographics together with baby boomer statistics. 

They considered the increase in free agent preferences and globalization with new technologies including alternative energy. 

They sorted each of the 19 written on post-its into four clusters on the conference room wall and then free associated about the unique story each cluster told. 

Finally, they drew a box for each scenario so they could better see boundaries differentiating one from another.

And it became easier to flesh out a vertical line in the middle and a horizontal line. 

Those lines intersected in the middle like a “+” where the internal smaller boxes touched each other.    

Pretty soon the team saw the two outer vertical borders of the four boxes representing higher degrees of one dimension and the same for outer horizontal borders.  

So stories emerged along the vertical axis “+” which corresponded to an identity ranging from independent on the top and affiliated at the bottom.

And, along the horizontal “-“ axis the pace or speed on the left hand-side and time-for-mastery on the right hand-side.

Are you thinking what I was thinking?  

Now back to me.  What if we combine the two sets together and sort the 20 better and 13 worse positions I already identified to figure out why? 

So we’d have a High Degree of Independence at the top and a Higher Degree of Affiliation at the bottom. 

And a Higher Degree of Speed at the left margin and a Higher Degree of Mastery at the right hand margin.   

Here’s the display of my 25 of my 33 positions resorted first by the combination of three dimensions: high degrees of independence, speed and mastery.

I keep the original number for each opportunity and identify whether they came from the original worse or better fit lists.

First I consider 7 of 25 combining high independence and speed.

High Independence & Speed High Independence & Mastery
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Worse Fit
23.  Organization Development — Technology: Better Fit
24.  Startup — Quantum Learning Systems: Better Fit
25.  Director Continuous Improvement: Better Fit
26.  Organization Development — Tech Company: Better Fit
30.  Venture Guidance: Better Fit
32. Consultant — Product Development Merger: Better Fit

To refresh your memory from the previous episodes, I include snapshots of situations I encountered for each.

High Independence and Speed 

Better or Worse Fit?

6.  Vocational Rehabilitation Services— Three private companies offering B2B services for insurance companies.  Didn’t like opposing sides.  Close micro-management. Clients had back injuries and required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification — Worse Fit

23. Organizational Development – Technology — Climate for Innovation, (A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracted the best of the best. Our motto was simply, “It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”) World Class Manufacturing, Skunk Works, Trends and What ifs to find value during high change, Mergers and Acquisitions — Complex, Disruptive, Accelerated Changes, Just-In-Time, Safari. two different immune systems develop equal and opposite anti-bodies over five years, but especially in the first 18 months of selling something that even we didn’t understand — Better Fit

24. Startup — Quantum Learning Systems — Safari, Organizational Learning to accommodate speed of disruptive innovation, anticipating new opportunities and rapid learning as a basic skill set for reinvention — Better Fit

25. Director Continuous Improvement — Spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions. Its corporate immune system and talent culture reflected their preferred seat of the pants high pace flavor of time-to-market product introduction. Product managers wanted to know with was more important, driving revenue or scheduling yet another series of non-productive meetings — Better Fit

26. Emerging Desktop Projector Company— 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. It provided the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. Introduced me to tools for capturing new knowledge creation for product development teams short staffed with critical talent — Better Fit

30. Venture Guidance —Prepped potential startup entrepreneurs to seek investments from a a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agree to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  In a deck of 10 slides after being coached by us individually, they’d have to stand and deliver to a group of us roll playing the sharks and throwing them curve balls and challenging their assumptions — Better Fit

32. Consultant — Product Development Merger — Advised two former competitors to define gated product development process with input from all stakeholders from innovative idea to manufacturing — Better Fit

Next time we’ll focus on my worse or better experiences in organizations whee I operated with higher degrees of independence and mastery.

Summary for High Independence and Speed  

So, what does mean when only one out of the list of 13 original worse fit organizations remained on the list of when independent identity intersected with a rapid pace as a dozen vanished? 

I rated Vocational Rehabilitation Services as a worse fit, because I had transitioned from more traditional professional psychology positions into a newly privatized services offering, largely spun out of insurance companies that had written workers compensation policies for employers in the State of California. 

My professional training downplayed the business development and sales emphasis that new companies require quickly to grow. 

It just wasn’t for me.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:With your attention pulled by recent developments, it may be hard for you to concentrate on work. Devote yourself to the repetitive, tedious and necessary parts. You’ll be most productive while mentally processing life.” Cancer

Boy, that’s true for me.  How about you?  But, we introverts don’t mind the isolation so much as do the extroverts who tend to socialize for their energy replacement.  Just give me some time to concentrate on this manuscript and I’ll be happy.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Don’t worry about starting things off on the right foot. Just lean forward and see which foot sticks out to prevent your fall. That’s what progress is — a precarious tilt; catch yourself; right yourself; repeat.” Virgo

Given that I’ve become more vertically challenged until I can get this damned left-knee replaced, I’m not too thrilled with this TauBit of Wisdom.  It hits too close to home.

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:Why do you like the hard challenges? They practically demand you grow stronger. You want to be a force of nature, not a victim, acted upon by other forces of nature.” Libra

Really?  I do?  The challenge needs to capture and sustain my attention or else I lose interest rapidly.  I do look for patterns so I can anticipate the direction of forces important to decisions in my life.  It’s just my nature.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: You have your choice of routes today. As a rule, the bendy roads are more exciting and more dangerous. It’s all about sightlines. None can see around the curve. How comfortable are you with uncertainty?” Sagittarius

This reminds me of a story Joel Barker told illustrating anticipation with open filtering.  Maybe on the bendy road snaking outside of Jerome, Arizona on the route to Sedona, a convertible screams around the curve obviously enjoying the freedom of the road. Driving a bit more cautiously, but heading in the opposite direction a local with his elbow hanging out the drivers window sees them approach.  As they barely squeeze past the convertible driver yells “Pig!”. To which the local yells back, “Go to Hell!” and watches the convertible in his rear view mirror, muttering to himself.  And just then he crashes into the pig crossing the road.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:There’s someone who gives you undivided attention and places the focus exactly where it matters most to you. A solid case could be made for the premise that this is the very definition of love.”Aquarius

How should I rate this TauBit of Wisdom?  Let’s see, how about a “5”?  She’s looking over my shoulder isn’t she?  Doesn’t matter, Emma the Baroness is the very definition of love.  Right dear?

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The day is marked by a resilient spirit of independence that has you preferring your own company, keeping your own council, deciding for yourself without worry or need of any outside reassurance.” Pisces

So, which day isn’t marked by this kind of spirit?  

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4073 to 4231.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E71 — My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All Time

Not everyone loves the work they do.  Not everyone can make a living doing what they love to do.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Aligning to the belief systems of those around you is a survival mechanism. Sometimes, the right answer is hard to see because everyone around is agreeing to the wrong answer. But don’t worry; things are shifting.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 71 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 27th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E70Persistent FailureS2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?; S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

Not everyone loves the work they do.  Not everyone can make a living doing what they love to do.  The trick is to find how to navigate through your career(s) using your most enjoyable skills and talents do something, working for yourself or someone else, which is in high demand and pays well. 

Here’s what I’ve only recently come to understand about “why” out of a total of 33 jobs I fell into or choices I made led to my best and worst fits. First the 13 worst fits … 

Worse Fits

Better Fits

1.   Manufacturing
2.   Gas Station Attendant
3.   US Army
4.   Auto Insurance Agent
5.   Retail Sales Big Ticket
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services
7.   Professional Training Company
8,   Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms
9.   Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company
10. University Extension Instructor
11. Consultant Leadership Academy
12, Director Electronics Distribution Company
13. Consultant Professional Services

For a more detailed description of why I felt each of these jobs landed on my “Worse Fits” list, check out my previous episodes.

Worse Fits

      1. Manufacturing — I felt brain dead. no intellectual stimulation. No affiliation with co-workers. No variety.
      2. Gas Station Attendant at a 24 hour Mobile — nothing in common with fellow workers, mind drifted, same routine
      3. US Army — not loyal, not much in common with lifers, got to know minorities better, but more challenging work in preventive medicine; hated standard operating procedures, “There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Army way.”
      4. Auto Insurance Agent — Learned about reoccurring income as a business model for professional services, just not into the amount of sales effort and prospecting for leads.
      5. Retail Sales Big Ticket — Hard on my feet, low amount of shoppers, didn’t feel like it was in their best interest to buy from this department store; more a consumer advocate.  Learned about tricks of the trade, bi-polar character.
      6. Vocational Rehabilitation Services — three private companies offering B2B services for insurance companies.  Didn’t like opposing sides.  Close micro-management. Clients had back injuries and required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification. 
      7. Professional Training Company — Focus on customizing suite of supervisory training programs.  Seemed old school, been that done that, couldn’t engage my attention and I didn’t sell new business, but it made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” sense or repurposing what you’ve done to grow revenue.  But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to turn out and deliver supervisory courses for clients like a university hospital, a transportation agency, or even to three technology companies. I lost interest in management training in slow moving mature organization types while craving the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging  talent I developed when the ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.
      8. Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms — I activated Plan B as an independent contractor delivering outplacement group training sessions and coaching at two firms. For the second I held down the fort while the founder underwent heart surgery.  He recognized my heart wasn’t in his business and his pressure to sell.  I was much more interested in conceptualizing which trends — demographic, social, technical, economic, political — through their interconnectedness would produce major opportunities for new products, services and careers.
      9. Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company — Can you interject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  It was a complex, complicated maneuver with tons of new knowledge and new ideas packaging.  But, I yearned for a return a more Paradoxy-Moron organization that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
      10. University Extension Instructor —teaching reengineering and continuous improvement as an idea packager thrilled and challenged me, but it represented a hell of a lot of work for low pay.
      11. Consultant Leadership Academy — Medical laboratory that didn’t present the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
      12. Director Electronics Distribution Company — regional distribution company tried first grow nationally and then internationally.  They ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place. Less about innovating and more about sales. The joke told internally was “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”
      13. Consultant Professional Services — Advised software startup who seemed to be the Swiss Army Knife of surveys with additional functions and features that could fit almost any requirement in the human resources development profession. Their niche was their ability to conduct a survey and generate findings almost immediately instead of weeks which increased the probability that leadership development could be initiated right away. 

Does this list make me a winer, instead of a winner?  Or does it show something else?  And just what is that something else?  Next we turn to the twenty jobs, organizations and projects I worked on that provided a better fit for me.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Aligning to the belief systems of those around you is a survival mechanism. Sometimes, the right answer is hard to see because everyone around is agreeing to the wrong answer. But don’t worry; things are shifting.” Scorpio

Is there a better way to describe what seems to be at the heart of those companies and clients that made the Top 13 Worse Fit list? The belief systems I encountered along the way struck me as a form of tribal warfare.  What is it about these 13 compared to the remaining list of Better Fit?  For me, that is.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “What drops into your life doesn’t need to be labeled ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ just yet. For now call it, ‘what’s happening’ and know that you’ll make more sense of it on a later day.” Aries

Isn’t this what I’m doing by writing the introduction to “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit”?  At the time of each of these 33 projects and employment opportunities I hadn’t considered that there may be different Organization Types which attracted me or repelled me yet.  

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: A million people could see the very same thing you see today and have a different view of it than you. Your unique point of view will allow you a discovery or invention.”  Taurus

This WorkFit project and manuscript originated with a small team of human resources experts — so not quite a million — but by harnessing the perspective of those professionals allowed me to develop my original research through further discovery.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Secrets tend to hide in plain view. They will be discovered readily by the people who most want to know. Many are too self-involved to understand the thrill of deciphering puzzles. Not you.” Leo

Give me a good fictional book of mystery or a complex and complicated challenge to work through and I’m a happy camper.  

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:The truth has power. It speaks to the gut and brings about emotional responses like laughter, tears and experiences of profundity. You’ll feel this today as you witness and tell the truth.” Libra

So, I’m a strong believer in the power of truth, but don’t you agree it has been drowned out by those who have alternative agendas and conspiracies to spread?

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Your opener may seem humble and unimpressive, but that’s because you’re still setting things up. You’re a strategist at heart and, like a chess master, you’re already working several moves ahead.” Aquarius

Yes, I am a strategist at heart.  While I may be working several moves ahead, I can easily get lost without finding my way back to the board.  Too many pieces in too many combinations in too many timeframes become too confusing.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): To take advantage of one opportunity, you have to leave all other experiences behind. You hardly ever think of what might have been, but today, a slight glimpse at an alternate path will intrigue you.” Pisces

Ok, you’ve got my attention.  Where is this intriguing alternate path about which you speak?

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

        • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

        • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E70 — Persistent Failure

I failed so many times at start-ups that I could pick apart most of their plans and presentations almost instantaneously.  But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t a sucker for ideas I felt would be sure hits.  Even after I left the SBA program I continued to meet and mentor some of my entrepreneurs.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Stay aware, head on a swivel, as you make your way to the crossroads. Transitions are always a little more dangerous. The intersections of life hold potential for much good and bad fortune.” Libra

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 70 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 26th day of June in the summer of 2020.

 

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?; S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers;  S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons from the school of hard knocks. And it’s an introduction to my second volume of books I described in the previous episode. I had already changed careers and switched industries by following the future brought to us by technology companies.

Key Executive Advisor

He asked me if I’d be interested in becoming their Key Executive Advisor.  I learned I’d be heading up the region’s outplacement services for C-suite executives paid for by their former companies.

Clearly this was a major stretch for me.  Fake it until you make it, right?

Rose colored glasses again?  You bet.  I immediately envisioned a 360 degree opportunity.

Here’s how I sized up what I could do: 

        1. Advise executives by surfacing their unique value propositions, circulate creative briefs describing them, pitch  their 90-day plans during the round of interviews and hit the ground running after the negotiations. 
        2. Once hired, then have them assess the organization’s current team they’ve inherited against the new direction — with our organizational consulting services. 
        3. Have them define the missing talent necessary to execute their plan, engage us to outplace executives and managers that who no longer fit. 
        4. Recruit from us executives they’ve likely already met and sized up, that matched their new talent requirements.    

Rinse and repeat.

Easy for me to see, but I had nobody local to pitch it too.  

The headquarters was on the East Coast where those kinds of decisions were considered, approved, but more probably rejected and denied. 

Their motto I came to believe was stick to your knitting and hit your numbers within your own functional silos. 

So I washed my hands of the whole proposition and dug in to accelerate my learning about how to deal with executives.  Up until then, like sales, not a strength of mine. 

My suite of offices were completely different than space devoted to the majority employees from lower paying companies, cubicles with workstations and a generic phone.  

It mirrored the “mahogany row” they were ejected from — with an executive assistant just for them, with offices offering privacy with doors that closed.  We were selling a normalized service.  Come spend the same hours as you would working, but this time devote them to your job search. 

I delivered individual and group facilitated services at offices throughout the Southern California Region from San Diego to Woodland Hills, Pasadena and West LA.  

It dawned on me that for executives, who you knew and who knew you,  made the most difference for people at this level, so I created an online community for information and insight sharing which became a source for trusted referrals.

Just as I was hitting my stride the parent company had been acquired and after about 18 months began consolidating services, cutting back on rental overhead and getting rid of us six figure advisors in favor of those high volume cubicle contracts at lower rates.

Shocked into Venture Guidance for SBA

Usually I see these things coming.  

Not this time, though.  

Maybe because between advisory sessions, group work and regional office visitations I had been experimenting with writing my first blog, The Journal of 2020 Foresight.  

Having been outplaced again, I worked out of a rival’s outplacement office ironically resurrecting my consulting practice  while I spent half my time coaching wannabe entrepreneurs who sought angel funding helping them on their presentation, in much the same way it’s done on shark tank.  

I’d meet each person with a great idea, hear them out, conduct a preliminary intake against the criteria for receiving our free services provided by a budget from The Small Business Association.  

Instead of qualifying for a business loan at a vetted SBA bank affiliate that they’d have to pay back, we were there to vet their idea against evolving criteria provided to us by Tech Coast Angels — a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agreed to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  

In a deck of 10 slides, after being coached by us individually, the wannabes had to stand and deliver to a group of us roleplaying the sharks and throwing at them curve balls challenging their assumptions.

I failed so many times at start-ups that I could pick apart most of their plans and presentations almost instantaneously.  But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t a sucker for ideas I felt would be sure hits. 

Even after I left the SBA program I continued to meet and mentor some of my entrepreneurs who failed to dazzle the Angels.

Defense Contractor to Disease Prevention Start Up

One of my former client reached out to be because he left the disk-drive company that built the corporate headquarters and experienced “Edifice Complex” curse.  He needed my help with his San Diego defense contractor client that struggled with a spin off.  

They tried to commercialize electron-beam sterilization of fruits and vegetables and hamburger meat to extend their shelf life — which definitely represented thinking out of the box, Jack-in-the-Box.  

Doctors had invested after a round of salmonella outbreak.  He had another client which was reinventing itself trying to both innovate and control their product development process. 

Too Many Product Innovations

I learned that the talent cultures that inhabit defense contractors are in no way the talent cultures that you need to commercialize a startup.  

And, instead of doing what I loved to do, facilitate more innovative ideas from all corners of an enterprise, too many ideas can be a bad thing.  

Especially if you don’t have a process in place to kill projects that go nowhere to free up resources — budget and talent — for higher probability minimum viable projects.

It was this last client who was located in the research park of the local university that required me to drive on campus for product meetings.  

One late Friday morning, after a Starbucks meeting near the John Wayne Airport,  I decided to take the afternoon off.  So I drove towards the heart of the campus, parked my silver gray 4 Runner in the town center and began aimlessly wandering. 

I strolled past outdoor restaurant tables filled with undergraduates and professors who like me were just enjoying another spring day in Southern California when a voice rang out, “Steve, is that you?” 

Synchronicity or Serendipity?

That simple question startled me and jerked me back from my daydreams to reality. I turned around, couldn’t zero in on the voice’s location and began believing I imagined it.

But haven’t I emphasized that particular moment when you realize all your hard work meets the probability that someone you’ve just met will recommend you for a position or client who has a need, but hasn’t yet crystalized the requirements until you walk in with a pitch? 

Yup, but for my ex-C-Suite clients I advised in the Key Executive program

But, this time it was for me.  

Another colleague wanted an update.  And, eventually asked if I wanted to work with her at the University in the Business School advising the Executive and Healthcare Executive students.  I aced the interviews with the team.

The Director approved a long-term retainer for conducting advisory services and for teaching seminars customized to Executive MBA students needs.  Basically, he wanted someone to create the program from the ground up.

The opportunity lasted for a decade which I view as a field test or a laboratory for the content in these second volume books.

I proposed a curriculum to the Director for him to review, “Why would anyone choose to come back to school for an executive MBA (and spend over $100,000 over two years) when you’ve got all they’d ever need in this curriculum?” he asked.  

We should probably keep this our own little secret, since the University is paying both of us he went on to say.

But enough about me. For today, haha.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “As the bees get nectar, they accidentally spread pollen. Do they know they are the reason the flowers bloom? Like the bees, you will unknowingly cause beauty just by doing what comes naturally.” Scorpio

So, we’re talking about an organic eco-system that’s interdependent, right?  So if for some reason bees die off then the flowers and vegetables don’t bloom and seeds don’t fall and — is this what we’ll be leaving for our grandchildren?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Of all the things you could wish for, an easy route won’t be one of them. It wouldn’t be wrong so much as just off-brand. You welcome the opportunity to get stronger and smarter through challenging work.”  Aries 

Haha, off-brand.  That’s a good one.  But I have to say I bore easily if my work hasn’t been complicated, complex or on the edge where the new knowledge you create and circulate, I check out.  But, every damn time? 

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: You’re not afraid to answer the call of duty and, in fact, the best things you’ve experienced have happened because you both answered and went above and beyond such a call.”  Taurus

Really?  Not today.  So far, anyway.  I answered my call to duty years ago as an Army veteran, but I’m loathe to remember anything good that came out of it.

.“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Let no one, not even you, offer a limiting idea of what you’re capable of. You don’t know what you can accomplish until you accomplish it. Your tenacity knows no bounds.” Cancer

Hopefully you find this inspirational, uplifting and relevant for you today.  It’s not for me.  But, then it’s not my “official” Holiday Tau either.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:You have paid your dues and done your time. You showed up how they wanted, so you know what that’s like. Now, you’re inclined to do it your own way, to show up how you see fit. It works.” Virgo

It dawned on me that making a living as an artist probably won’t age well when I’m old and gray.  So with family responsibilities I chose to write on the side — to exercise my creativity on things I wanted to do in smaller time slots — at night, before work and at lunch.  Now with work out of the way, I am truly indeed seeing how it fits and works doing it my own way.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Stay aware, head on a swivel, as you make your way to the crossroads. Transitions are always a little more dangerous. The intersections of life hold potential for much good and bad fortune.” Libra

Here’s the added caveat during a pandemic — who knows how long this transition to locked down mode will last and how desperate we may all become for a normal life once more, when none may available on the other side.

“3”  Steve Harvey, 62:You’ve already done the ‘dance like no one is watching’ thing and now you’re into the refinement of movement assumed by consummate professionals. Because if all goes well, someone will be watching.”  Capricorn

Over these initial chapters I’d conclude I became good at interviewing, because I assumed the view of an outside consultant.  And war stories they cared about flowed naturally from my lips.  But once the deal was signed or the offer extended I danced like everybody was watching as I faked it until I made it.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:The thing you didn’t think you had time for will now be taking up many hours of your day. But if it weren’t good for your personal development, you wouldn’t feel so compelled to manage it.”  Aquarius

Isn’t there such a sigh of relief when you finally land a new job, discover how the internal weather blows, and master those obstacles thrown your way in the normal course of your assignments?  Yup.  It’s the same feeling I felt tempted to follow allowing my networking and marketing activities slip slide away.  Hey, I just landed a long-term retainer!  And then out of blue the flow you began coasting on dries up.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E69 — How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?

A few years earlier they had won Company of the Year honors like my team did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ve known both introversion and extroversion and are currently an ‘ambivert,’ as some situations make you feel outgoing and others make you feel closed up.” Leo

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 69 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 25th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers;  S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You; S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons from the school of hard knocks and an introduction for the second volume of books I described in the previous episode.

I had already changed careers and switched industries following the future brought to us by technology companies.

Founder’s Curse

I think it’s called the founder’s curse.  You hit a milestone — mature growth phase — and you build a headquarters to house your sprawling groups of employees dispersed and distributed in the local commercial offices.  And, almost a year to the day from when you celebrate with the ribbon cutting dignitaries your market shifts away from you and you free fall into a decline. 

During which they either sell or lease their building to other companies on the rise and distribute their workforce to smaller footprint buildings.

They fell into a decline.  I fell into unemployment. But I activated “Plan B” — becoming a consumer of outplacement at the firm that fired its founder a year or two earlier who, by the way,  received heart stents to keep him going. 

Small world.

Long-Term Retainer

Knowing how to go about finding work, an employer or as a client, within weeks I scored a long-term retainer with a life insurance and mutual fund firm.  It was the kind of mature organization that employed maintenance workers just to polish its each brick in its elaborate entry way.  

A few years earlier they had won Company of the Year honors like my team did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.  

Their challenge was asking if you can interject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  

I figured, why not try. 

It was a complex, complicated maneuver requiring tons of new knowledge and new ideas packaged in a way they could swallow without triggering an immune system response.  

I was free to add more clients, so I did — teaching reengineering and continuous improvement through the local university and collaborating with the Vice President of Human Resources at a headquarters of a medical laboratory to build out a Leadership Academy.  

But, to be honest I yearned to return to a more Paradoxy-Moron organization, the kind that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. 

So much so, that I probably viewed the next opportunity through rose colored glasses.

Pursuit of a Paradoxy-Moron Organization

I didn’t mind the commute along the InFox coastline, which had grown in congestion but for a shorter distance to Sorrento Valley in San Diego.  

A smaller more manageable sized company of 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. Hot damn, that’s me.

It competed in the emerging multi-media projector business.  

A new CEO replaced the one who took over from the much beloved founder.  Most of the employees from day one believed they would always be in line for promotions. They wore so many hats in the beginning, surely they figured, when they hung up most of those caps in the closet they’d be entitled to freely move up the organizational chart and place their remaining hat on their office’s rack while claiming a position yet to be formulated.  

Instead, those positions at the top level went to people like me who had larger company experience, than they did. Nothing wrong with them,  but they had yet to experience by trial and error what would be required when the pace accelerated and risks grew exponentially.  We on the other hand could “parachute in” take a look around, size up the situation and move forward very quickly.

Still by Thursday evenings, the 1 hour and 15 minute commute wore on me and I didn’t look forward to the early Friday afternoon navigating the bumper to bumper traffic clogging the 5 freeway traveling north out of the city.  

De j’ vu, right?

Technology Distribution Company

Luckily one of the HR VPs who had received outplacement with me accepted a similar role at an Orange County technology distribution business, interviewed me and offered me a similar job but much closer to home.

Wow, it was great!  Except I failed to take off my rose colored glasses. Strike one.

And, strike two, I wished I hadn’t erased the voice mail message sent to all employees announcing the acquisition of our company while simultaneously assuring everyone that no-one would be laid off.  

Oh, and strike three, I wished I had asked just one more question in my initial interview with my VP buddy, instead of during subsequent working sessions with him as my boss.  

When it was too late during my orientation, I asked, “So what is the strategy to which I should tie my activities?” To which he responded, “I don’t know.”  The CEO kept those cards close to his vest.  

I did know the regional distribution company tried to first grow nationally and then internationally.  But, later they ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place which accommodated both different languages and currency types seamlessly.

Oops.

Strategy, Talent Branding, Knowledge Creation and Innovation

I left to join colleagues which I had hired to sync up the distributor’s “internal brand” with their” external brand” to attract more sales engineers.  The engineers they sought weren’t the “straight A” top-of -the-class candidates, which I learned never had considered a technology distribution company in their top 5 to pursue.  

If we were honest, those sought after engineers had no clue about our company, or if they heard of us, we never cracked their top 25 list.  

But, that’s OK.  My eventual colleagues discovered we shouldn’t be pursuing them either. Our targets were the fraternity rush chairmen who happened to take engineering and technology classes, but actually had a social personality.  

The joke told internally was, “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”

Once my time at the plate with the technology distribution company ended with a called third strike, I hooked up with the team I had hired.  We crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, advertising and marketing. 

From our studio in the corner of Laguna Canyon Road we continued internal and external branding with clients ranging from startups to the Fortune 100.  

I learned companies paid much more for branding campaigns than I was ever able to charge in the HR world.  

We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand from interviews using digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates.  

Unfortunately we expanded too quickly like many mom-and-pop restaurants do by anticipating an exploding  market that never grew and eventually dried up forcing the two founding partners to declare bankruptcy.

Dot Com Bankruptcy

Three of us continued on our own and tried to make a go of our pioneering efforts to capture the new knowledge being spun off so it wouldn’t fall through the cracks for Paradoxy-Moron organizations.  But the market didn’t support it and we had to go our separate ways.

One of my colleagues from the training and development association and the Orange County Development Round Table that grew out of it, needed to conduct survey work.  I had just been introduced to a software startup that seemed to be the “Swiss Army Knife of Surveys” with additional functions and features that could fit almost any requirement. 

Best of all it could generate findings almost immediately instead of weeks which increased the probability that leadership development could be initiated right away. 

Swiss Army Knife Software in Search of a Problem

I joined forces as the “translator” to human resource executives  and provided professional services consulting to define the scope of implementation projects.

The guy in charge of their sales and I hatched a marketing scheme to use their software as a pre-Glassdoor application. We approached companies for permission to survey their employees and from that produce a ranking of the best places to work, first in Orange County, and then branching out geographical region by region. 

We needed sponsors. I met the marketing person for a consulting firm offering organizational consulting and outplacement at a breakfast networking meeting.  

She wanted me to pitch the idea to the guy heading up their organizational consulting.  I could tell he wasn’t buying the value proposition.  He said they had their own propriety software and besides he didn’t have the budget authority anyway.  

Dejected and walking on my way out near the reception area I bumped into an old friend  almost literally as he exited his well appointed office and who happened to be the general manager. He asked me if I’d be interested in becoming their Key Executive Advisor.  I learned I’d be heading up the region’s outplacement services for C-suite executives paid for by their former companies.

Clearly this was a major stretch for me.  Fake it until you make it, right?

Rose colored glasses again?  You bet.  I immediately envisioned a 360 degree opportunity.  

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “In uncertain circumstances, it is only human to rely on assumptions. Be superhuman instead. Let go of what you know and reserve judgment as you try to absorb the truth in front of you.” Scorpio

Isn’t this the lesson I keep missing?  The trouble of seeing the patterns emerging just around the corner and then pursuing opportunities in line with those possibilities is the blinders I wear relying upon those assumptions.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ve known both introversion and extroversion and are currently an ‘ambivert,’ as some situations make you feel outgoing and others make you feel closed up.” Leo

So that’s fluid enough to satisfy the introvert in me, who chose public speaking in the form of facilitation, training and addressing membership audiences, as a path to my development.  

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:There is little in life more valuable than the unconditional support of a true friend. You’ll experience the pure love of an exchange that is without motive or expectation of reciprocity.” Libra

Wow, I’ll say.  Dr. J brings a smile to my child in me as we remember ancient conspiracies we hatched.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: For most people, if they know how to start, then they’ll dive right in. Not knowing where to start leads to procrastination. You’ll have the opportunity and privilege of leading the way.” Sagittarius

Are you saying that the one thing I share with Leo da V is not knowing where to start which leads to procrastination?  If not, I will and it’s not my genius move.  

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:Too many choices can be overwhelming, not enough is boring. You’ll find your own sweet spot of options, but don’t assume it’s the same for all. Some people can handle three, others 23.”  Capricorn

Boy you got that right.  I figure I have enough time to learn as much as I can for handling 23 options.  When you master the first twenty the remaining three leave me feeling bored.  

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Some thought patterns are like riptides. It’s easy to get carried away and fighting them head-on can be futile. Relax and be carried. Wait for the break — it’s coming — and then you can swim to the shore.” Aquarius 

So, this has been a mantra of mine.  If you’ve ever been body surfing in Newport Beach, California and one of those big waves bears down on you, you have no choice but to dive deeper under it, wait until it spins you like a washing machine until it passes and then you pop up, quickly scan for another.  If there isn’t another you can relax and float awhile until you find one that will propel you back to shore.  That’s what disruptive change feels like if you don’t anticipate it.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E68 — Take More Breakthrough Showers

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The people around you may be too busy executing the action to pause and consider why they are doing it or whether there might be a better way. That’s where you come in — the witness with an objective overview.”  Aries

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 68 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 21st day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You; S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit; S2 E65Pandemic Uncovered 11 Life-Changing Secrets You Shouldn’t Ignore

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?; S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy 

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons by graduating at the top of my class from the school of hard knocks and is an introduction for the second volume of books I described in the previous episode.  

Company of the Year to Start Up

Four of us left to start-up a business to business (B2B) company that bottled the magic we performed believing that all other companies requiring reinvention through highly rejuvenated leaders would be beating down our doors.  

Wrong.  

Even though one of us had left an advertising agency kinda like “Mad Men” in favor of pursuing a physics degree we couldn’t get enough traction fast enough in the marketplace.

The dreamed lived on, but the opportunities failed to materialize.  

Paradoxy-Moron Wannabe

In your area of expertise, you’re a forward-thinker.  Trend-chasing would put you behind.

But, wait. Let’s take a moment ask an important question. How do you become a forward thinker if you don’t do what I’ve done over the years? 

Maybe not chase trends, but anticipate their impact on industries, client organizations, employers, investment portfolios, business decisions, career trajectories and major decisions I’ve faced at critical junctures.  

I learned I was the conceptualizer and co-intuitor addicted to trends and innovation and the new knowledge that emerged through application.  

Again, not the closer. 

 “What you’re standing in looks a lot like the river from yesterday and can be maneuvered as such.

I’m pretty sure I’ve already stipulated that I’m a fan of Steve Jobs, mostly for his brand of disruptive innovation — creating new rules for an older industry.  

It’s his spirit that reminds me of a quote, I believe came from Joel Barker originally:

Mastering new rules is like trying to cross a white-water river. If you can anticipate the whirlpools and the changes in the current, if you can anticipate the landing on the other shore, you have a much better chance of getting across that river successfully.

And I felt a strong pull towards what I’ve come to name the “Paradoxy-Moron” organization type.  A talent culture that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.

Project yourself to the far future.  What you see there will help you create your best strategy.

I recently published “Knowing About New Possibilities Gives You More Choices. Check These Out” on my website, Know Laboratories: Thriving in an Age of Accelerating Uncertainty. 

The main point was:

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

But, I digress.

Learning Enterprise Initiatives

At the turn of the decade I transitioned from president-elect to president of the training and development association.  They were heady times for taking on the “Learning Enterprise Initiatives” forging alliances among corporate education, technical training schools, colleges and universities and community colleges.  

My focus as written in monthly columns for the association’s newsletter  had always been on the amazing future opportunities the new decade could bring.  And speculation about impending threats and opportunities for us in the “Learning Enterprise” and for the talent in our organizations.

I figured by “putting it out there” my next “Strategic Safari” opportunity would materialize.

But, instead for the next two or so years I joined a past-president and a former colleague in their training and development professional services firm so my family could eat and we could pay our mortgage.  

Avoid Supervisory Training Gigs

I learned the basic business model in the training business was all about you finding clients that need supervisory training, developing a customized curriculum from scratch but retaining the rights to what you developed for a previous client and then repackaging the offerings for your new client.  

That made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” sense of repurposing what you’ve done to grow revenue.  

But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to turn out and deliver supervisory courses for clients like a university hospital, a transportation agency, or even to three technology companies.  

I lost interest in management training  for slow moving mature organization types.  I craved the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. 

It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging talent I had developed when ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.

Going in I didn’t know that the talent culture should have gone on my list of worst fit, or at least worse fit.  Definitely not best fit.

Outplacement for Retreading Downsized Managers

When I left I activated Plan B as an independent contractor delivering outplacement group training sessions and coaching at two firms. 

For the second firm I held down the fort while the founder underwent heart surgery.  Even he recognized my heart wasn’t in his business and his pressure to sell more than to deliver his service helped me self-select out.  

Local Disk-drive Technology Company

I was much more interested in conceptualizing which trends — demographic, social, technical, economic, political — through their interconnectedness —would produce major opportunities for new products, services and careers. 

And threats for those asleep at the wheel.

Luckily I caught wind of a permanent opening at a local disk-drive technology company working for my former client who led their corporate university function. He was spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions.  

 “Give yourself a break; you’re solving a problem even if you’re not aware that you are.  This takes time.

It gave me the opportunity to repackage what I learned up to that point time from facilitating teams, mentoring “non” trainers and develop my “reinvention and new knowledge creation” war stories like:

“What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?” she asked.  

“Take showers,” he said.  “Huh?” was her reply not quite sure if he was making fun of her or not.  He then explained the major breakthrough he and his team of co-conspirators couldn’t quite find was driving him nuts and keeping him at his incubator on many late nights.  

But, his phone rang.  It was his wife reminding him in that scolding way that only the loves in our life can that he was late for their date. 

He dropped everything he was doing in a panic and peeled out of the incubator’s parking lot. While showering to freshen up, something clicked in his unconsciousness or something he said, and it was like the world changing solution popped out as soon as the water hit his face. 

He grabbed a pen and his notebook even before toweling off.  His team couldn’t believe it.  His wife enjoyed their date together.  And the rest was history.

So shower more ofter.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The people around you may be too busy executing the action to pause and consider why they are doing it or whether there might be a better way. That’s where you come in — the witness with an objective overview.”  Aries 

Once you reach his stage in life, living in Sarasota, Florida, my dad told me it’s like every day is Saturday to which I added, “And, every night is Friday night.”  So Emma the Baroness as Father’s Day hostess always says she missed out on conversations around our outdoor bar and barbecue as she brings out snacks from the kitchen.  She’s busy in a hostess way, within the pandemic constraints we all follow.

“4” Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: There’s a pang of longing for something different. You don’t have to be somewhere new to experience another place. You can create the effect with an alternate point of view.” Taurus 

Within our pandemic restrictions, you might enjoy what started out as a roadtrip from San Diego to the northern boarder of California and turned into regional stories of places to visit, places to live, and places where you invest.  It’s all there in just two of my 35 digital magazines — “California Tip to Tip” and “Western Skies and Island Currents”.

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: When traveling to a new place, it helps to know the customs there. Places and people are the same in this regard. Each person has a culture, and learning another person will keep you deeply involved today.” Gemini

And, if you work for an employer the customs and culture you encounter vary by Organization Type and the Stage of Growth (or decline) that organization grows into.  This manuscript explores the four basic types and stages which attract people like you.  Stay tuned.

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Your humanity and the kinship of humans will be a strong theme of the day. You’ll regard your fellow travelers as partners, whether they happen to be your family, friends, co-workers or strangers.” Cancer

COVID restrictions preclude face-to-face family at today’s Father’s Day celebration like last year.

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Watch, listen, study, contemplate… these are the directives for an interesting life. Your mental powers will be even brighter than usual to help you see deeply into simple things.” Leo

Sure, it’s what I do and it’s what led me to writing this manuscript.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E63 — Easier Than Finding His MacBook Air Password?

AJ tugged on it because it was stuck.  They both heard a thud.  She noticed a box full of something fell off the flat bottom and was able to reach in and pull it back on to the tray.“What’s in that box?” Shaggy wanted to know. “Oh, a bunch of Steno Notebooks — handwritten journals it looks like.”

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: You’re more aligned than ever. Your intention for these minutes reflects your goals for the next five years, and you’ll measure your every action against these aims.” Gemini

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 63 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 13th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E62 — “Shh. Did You Hear That?”; S2 E61Pink Behind the Reflections; S2 E60She Began to Weep…

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E63Day 63 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E62Next Reality?; S1 E61 — Investment of Time and Effort; S1 E60Overlapping Cycles of Life

Context

This week’s forced concentration, really with nowhere else to go during this lock down, provided the opportunity to return to my neglected manuscript I’ve been calling “Volume Three — a Legacy.”  

Here’s a continuation of the excerpt from the Chapter One draft.

“Any luck finding the password?”

“No, the top drawer is filled with boxes to organize stuff like his University Associate Director badges, a bunch of business cards — his and others — and old credit cards. The next one doesn’t contain much — empty boxes from iPhones, iPods, accessories, you name it — who knows why?”

“Ha ha, yeah but Darin and I have those too I’m sure.”

“What’s in that cabinet?”

“There’s two shelves with storage boxes stuffed in them and I’m pretty sure those are CD-ROMs and older diskettes or something, but I don’t think he’d have stuffed something with passwords on it.”

“You’re probably right, maybe in a folder.”

“I’m guessing in that bottom drawer, right? You check there and I’ll try the bottom one under the TV first and then the two next to you.”

Shaggy pulled out the drawer and felt the password might be there.  After all the last three years of tax returns beginning with the current folder of receipts up front greeted him. 

But, as he pulled it out further the drawer revealed a bunch of folders, not in any alphabet order, so it took him a little time to rule its contents out.  He turned to AJ and wanted to know if she found it.

“What’s in those three drawers?” he asked.

“Well, the top two have linens and the big one at the bottom has a lot of folders of printouts, but nothing labeled ‘Passwords’” she said.

The last two drawers turned out to be one drawer full of files — the top one — but they both canceled their password search because of the contents. 

They found a gold mine of memories in the bottom drawer …. which was once a slide out printer drawer for desktop publishing — no longer needed having been replaced by the printer upstairs in Shaggy’s former room which can be reached by iPhone or laptop over the wireless network from any other room.

AJ tugged on it because it was stuck.  They both heard a thud.  She noticed a box full of something fell off the flat bottom and was able to reach in and pull it back on to the tray.

“What’s in that box?” Shaggy wanted to know.

“Oh, a bunch of Steno Notebooks — handwritten journals it looks like.”

“What about that stuff between the box and the fake wooden drawer facing?”

“Wow”

“What?”

She showed him a folder of love letters and letters from her Indiana mother to her and Shaggy’s father about the separation, divorce and therapy session.

“That’s weird and TMI — not sure I want to read erotic letters and you probably don’t want to read letters about the divorce.”

“Maybe later”

“What’s in that tan covered notebook?”

“It looks like it was written when he celebrated his 40th birthday.  When was that?  Let’s see he was born in 1946, so that must have been 1986 when I was about ten-years-old.”

“What’s it about?”

“He wrote a bunch of stuff on the cover.”

“Like what, show me. ”

They both sat down on the brown futon with a black diamond pattern.  They both read descriptions like, 

“New Jersey to Finisterra”; 

9/86 to 2/87 Creative, Intuitive, Solitude, Conceptual; 

’85 —’90 ETP Profit CTR; 

Corona del Mar, Ocean, Dana Point Sailboat Synchronicity.  

“Look at this in the middle of the left hand column, what do you think it means?”

They read, 

“Novel Story Arc; 

061 Birthday Past/Future Back and Forth; 

Endings — New Begins; Real Story = Piles of Papers from CDM, Steve’s Self-Portrait

“So there’s a pile of papers ….” Shaggy thought to himself. “With Dad’s self-portrait, should be easier than finding the MacBook Air password.”

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday:  

Spiritual investigation and development will lead you to make some very practical improvements. In the next 10 weeks, your interests shift and friendship circle widens. The influence of new people will lead to lifestyle upgrades. The start of 2021 has a romantic feel. Big projects bring big money. 

Well, practical improvements are welcomed.  Maybe by the start of 2021 this pandemic will be beaten back.  So that’s good.  But, it’s better for you and not me.  This ain’t my birthday, hopefully it’s yours and you will enjoy more romance and financial improvements.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Though you have much to teach, you also possess an innate ability that came via your birthright and is nontransferable. You will now appreciate the value of this gift.”Aries 

Upon reflection and a rereading of this TauBit, I have to ask why did I select it?  And, then it seems so inscrutable that I have no clue as to understanding its meaning. 

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: You’re more aligned than ever. Your intention for these minutes reflects your goals for the next five years, and you’ll measure your every action against these aims.” Gemini

If there’s a theme for this week, it’s this TauBit of Wisdom.  

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:People want what they want, not what others think they should want. You’re tuned in, looking for clues about what’s really going on. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions.” Cancer

Too many should mask the clues about what is going on.  If you miss them, you won’t anticipate what’s at stake either.

“3” Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You try to consume nutritious foods, and it goes the same way with media. Seek that which feeds your mind and emotional self. Exposing yourself to the wrong things makes you feel icky.” Leo

Of course there’s a counter balance of sorts.  I you only avail yourself to emotionally satisfying media, you may feed filters that shouldn’t be fed.  The kind that screen out threats that require monitoring and action at the right time.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Anticipate your diversions and schedule them. If you can check your voicemail, email and social channels but once or twice a day, then the rest of your day will be much more productive.” Virgo

Yup.  This is one of the many lessons I learned years ago.  At work I practiced the this no interruptions rule, but adhered to a 24 hour response rule.  Oh, and this pandemic helps too. 

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:You’ll honor the tradition, follow the recipe, conform to the expectation — and then flip it on its ear. It’s that flourish and twist that captivates your crowd and keeps them coming back.” Libra

Holiday’s style of writing attracted me more than the lesson it conveyed.

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The culmination of your experience has brought you here, but this isn’t the pinnacle. You’ll keep learning and forming the attitudes that help you move forward.” Pisces

I liked the first sentence — almost a cliche really, but the punchline kind of disappointed me.  Certainly you can’t argue with the meaning, but it certainly didn’t deserve the “pinnacle rating”.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3634 to 3808.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E60 — She Began to Weep…

Curiosity drives discoveries in science and innovation.  It pushes knowledge forward.  But, predictability and certainty favor the status quo and our homeostasis because without them our mind grinds to a halt. So what can you do?

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:When the solution eludes you, tackle it backward, inside out or upside down — any other way than the usual. What’s needed is a fresh approach.” Cancer

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 60 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 7th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E59See What You’ve Been Missing; S2 E58Check Back in 18 Months; S2 E57Science and Medicine or Politically-Motivated Misinformation? 

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E60Overlapping Cycles of Life; S1 E59Where Did All the Dillon Millennials Go? Eureka!; S1 E58Judging a Stroll from the Hotel Santa Barbara to the Lobero Theater; S1 E57More or Less in the Know

Context

So, if you’re an introvert like me, then you understand how the forced solitude brought on by this Pandemic gives me the wonderful opportunity to work on my neglected manuscript I’ve been calling “Volume Three — a Legacy.”

Here’s an excerpt from the first draft or Chapter One .

AJ noticed him heading her way. “How’d you sleep?” she asked sitting in the kitchen as the sun rose in the East chasing the last moments of gray away.  Except for the gray she felt in her chest.

“OK, I guess, well no not really.  It’s just so weird sleeping in my old room.” Shaggy replied as he walked on the still shiny dark brown laminated wooden floor from the living room and past the long teak table in the dining room where all the family gatherings took place — Thanksgiving, especially Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — into the glaring California illuminated morning light.

“Coffee’s ready,” she said.

“Oh, OK, great.” Shaggy mumbled. He rubbed his tired eyes and turned left into the white u-shaped kitchen with white cabinets surrounding stainless steel dishwasher, stove, microwave and refrigerator.

Following his nose sniffing out the early morning fragrance just past the refrigerator on his right he mumbled something that AJ couldn’t hear as she sat in “his seat” with her back to the ever brightening morning streaming in through the sliding glass door.

“You wanna sit here?”

He opened the only unattached white cabinet on the opposite wall which hung above the light gray backsplash next to the white bay window behind the sink and next to the kitchen table.  He grabbed a dark blue mug, spun and headed back to the coffee maker.

“No, thanks.  I’m gonna just sit on the couch for a minute or two and sip this Folgers.”

Timing was off.

AJ landed at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California from her home with Darin in Winter Park, Florida in Orange County where it is normally three hours later on any day of the week, especially on this one.  

The one she hadn’t been looking forward to.

Which is why she was up first.  Why she had tossed and turned in the other guest bedroom at the top of the stairs. Why she laid awake with a deeply sad feeling beginning three hours earlier at 3:30 am PST.

Shaggy walked past the blonde oblong wooden kitchen table to AJ’s left to the first of two matching couches that separated the kitchen from the family room in one big room.  

He could see himself in the mirror display on the opposite wall as he padded the few steps deeper into the room and stopped turned left and found his spot on the first couch facing the second butted up to the light gray painted wall and the mirror displays.

The smaller mirrors distorted his image.  

And being 6’ 4” and under these circumstances this morning the distorted reflection mirrored his internal morning fog.

AJ rose from the kitchen table deciding to join him instead of talking to his back.  She slid down the small space between Shaggy’s couch and the fireplace next to the patio door walked 6 or 7 steps on gray tile hearth into the family room and maneuvered herself carefully around the round dark wood coffee table that now separated her and Shaggy.

Her view back into the kitchen would be the money shot if she and Shaggy decided to put the place on the market.  To her left the original white cabinet doors along the floor hid blankets for winter viewing of the big black screen TV from each couch when the California temperature dropped into the 50s.  Brrr. Except for anybody else not living in Florida or California.

They hid board games from childhood and all kinds of things that would eventually require sorting and boxing, not something she was prepared to entertain at this moment.

And the original bookshelves displayed pictures of the two blond brothers, Shaggy and Jazzy, AJ’s photoshoot near high school graduation.  And, books and plates and CDs, and a wine rack and more pictures and photo albums and ….

“Remember when Jazzy was a baby and you could hold him in the crook of your arm between you hand and elbow?” she asked out of the blue.

“No, not really. I was only four when he was born at Hoag Hospital, but I do remember you visiting every summer,” Shaggy said. 

To AJ’s right on the end table next to the wicker basket on the floor for collecting “The Los Angeles Times” newspaper Jazzy loved to use for starting a fire was a photo showing AJ in a white wedding gown smiling and a slice of a backdrop from the Outer Banks hotel where she and Darin tied the knot and Shaggy celebrated with a canoe filled with beer followed by his gigantic migraine dwarfing hangover the next morning — actually afternoon.

“I remember the back yard before they changed it.  It didn’t have the tan slope stone walls, but I think the black wrought iron railing stretched across the back from side to side.  And there used to be giant ficus trees in corners and a small round cement patio surrounded in grass,” she told Shaggy.

“Yeah,” he said.

That’s where they tossed a whiffle ball and played catch until probably Shaggy began hitting the ball with the big red plastic bat over the fence and down into the slope on purpose.  

“Somewhere there’s a picture of all of us in front of the tree on the grass around here I bet,” she said. “And probably that one where we four kids posed in front of the then white front door on the red brick entrance.”

“I remember when our parents threw that karaoke party when Jazzy graduated high school and I graduated college and you and Darin flew out for the Mexican foot catering affair.”

“That’s the one where Darin tipped over the container of margarita salt on the grass which killed it in no short order, right?  Dad never let him forget.  He once wrote on a birthday card that to commemorate the occasion they had a brass metal plate made up engraved with the date and his name and …” she began to weep.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday:  

You’ll be called on to do something you haven’t done before. You’ll be both inspired and inspirational. A group will form around your leadership as you apply past experience to figure things out. Results beyond your expectations will come at the start of the new year. Your family grows in March 2021.

OK, let’s check back in 9 months!

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “It only takes one connection to make your personal life go from being a stale routine to an inspired journey. You’ll make that connection today and a transformation will occur in the weeks to come.” Aries  

So you’re saying this connection is an antidote for pandemic cabin fever?  That transformation … will it come from a person kind of connection or from a answer that has eluded my pursuit?

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: You’ll be gifted with an emotion that is one click beyond passion and desire: rage. Rage doesn’t have to be angry or negative, but it’s always powerful, and best focused on what’s important to you.” Gemini

OK, this TauBit of Wisdom scares me and intrigues me.  How do you focus it without doing irreparable damage?

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:When the solution eludes you, tackle it backward, inside out or upside down — any other way than the usual. What’s needed is a fresh approach.” Cancer

Thanks for breaking the log jam.  I just couldn’t figure out how to start this manuscript.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Whomever you align yourself with, you grow to be more like. It isn’t necessary for you to have a personal relationship with your role models. You get to choose them from the whole wide world.” Leo

There’s such a long list, but one of the most influential is Toffler (see immediately below) and more recently Kurt Andersen who wrote “Fantasyland” which is both an update and a framework in which to view Future Shock.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Your famous adaptability will kick in. From the outside, your behavior may look illogical, but there’s definitely a method to your madness. When an unusual situation crops up, an unusual reaction is warranted.” Virgo

Should this be true about me, I feel the need to honor Alvin Toffler who alerted me to disruption and how to adapt or accommodate changes on the horizon.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: Passions build slowly. At first, you don’t even realize what you want. When leanings turn to yearnings and become undeniable in their message, it’s a blessing that doesn’t feel like one.” Sagittarius

Who can resist such a phrase, “learnings turn to yearnings”?  But the point of the message mystifies me, why doesn’t the blessing feel like one?  It’s still early in the day, so maybe it will be revealed in the evening or late afternoon.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Emotional skill and intelligence can be earned through both negative and positive experiences. Today will bring scenarios you will use as examples of what to do and what not to do.”  Aquarius

Well, of course I’d rate this TauBit of Wisdom a “5” given what it looks like we’re being trapped in for the foreseeable future. So take some time to review the Deloitte and Salesforce sponsored scenarios. 

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The possessions that you get the most value out of are the ones you use every week and maybe every day. As for the others, the more you can let go of, the lighter you’ll feel.” Pisces

So that would be describing the 500 pieces jigsaw puzzle sitting for days now on our dining room table?

Holiday Forecast for the Week Ahead:  

Curiosity is a slightly uncomfortable state of mind, as it relies on the tension between knowing and not knowing. The tension is resolved with an answer. So tenacious is our need for answers that our brains will just fill in the blanks with anything that enables us to push forward. 

The human brain craves certainty. 

Without it, we are paralyzed. Certainty facilitates action, commitment and movement. Where there is no certainty (and reality offers very little of it) humans do the next best thing; we make a good guess and come up with a theory that will allow us to go onward. If to assume is human, then not to assume is superhuman. Anyone can say, “I’m right,” and live to defend that. But it takes humility, higher thinking and a willingness to be uncomfortable inside the tension of curiosity to go to the next cognitive level — to question, wonder, revel in mystery and leave the loop open to possibility.

Whether or not today’s forecast gains currency over the next 7 days, I believe the insights ring true for me — curiosity drives discoveries in science and innovation.  It pushes knowledge forward.  But, predictability and certainty favor the status quo and our homeostasis because without them our mind grinds to a halt.  Without answers we jump to guesses and theories and conspiracy theories, unless you are the rare person who focuses the unresolved tension onto the next higher cognitive level.  

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3634 to 3806.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E59 — See What You’ve Been Missing

“You know the sensation you get when you look back on old photos? Be happy now. Cast worry aside. Trust time. It will handle so much for you.”

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: Eventually, you’ll be able to handle more and move faster. But this is still the early stages. You’re still learning, and you won’t regret taking the time to learn it right.” Sagittarius

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 59 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 6th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E58Check Back in 18 Months; S2 E57Science and Medicine or Politically-Motivated Misinformation?; S2 E56What Iffing 

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E59Where Did All the Dillon Millennials Go? Eureka!; S1 E58Judging a Stroll from the Hotel Santa Barbara to the Lobero Theater; S1 E57More or Less in the Know; S1 E56It’s Frickin’ Summer and So Are You

Context

When will we be able to travel?  When will we be safe?  Enjoy this week’s episode:

Feeling Frustrated and Exhausted? 39 New Photo-ready Memories for Summer

Aren’t we all yearning for those special summer moments? Beach vacations. Back country adventures. Family road trips. Fishing and floating trips.

Practice the art of anticipation.  Sometimes looking forward to fun and sun is almost as good as the experience itself.

Remember, while we’re getting closer to re-openings we here on the Atoll don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately.

The Tau: Week Ending 6/6/20

Tags: Beaches, Canyons, Climbing, Deserts, Festivals, Forests, Hiking, Islands, Lakes, Mountains, Parks, Regions, Resorts, Rivers, Road Trips, Seas, Trails

Instead we hope our articles inspire your bucket list ideas for future memories!

But, today there’s no reason not to join our growing group of 3783 followers …. 

See what you’ve been missing.

Check out this week’s headlines pulled from our daily “Top 30 Digest” delivered, “Fresh from the Labs. Literally bottled and set adrift from KnowWhere Atoll.

Where … ?

Mountains, Rivers and Lakes

          • The Natural Swimming Hole At Emerald Pools In Northern California Will Take You Back To The Good Ole Days
          • The Best Kayaks for Fishing and Floating
          • Back To The Great Outdoors: Climbing Tahoe’s Via Ferrata
          • The Best Things To Do In Mammoth Lakes During The Summer
          • Is South Lake Tahoe open for visitors? The city won’t fine you, but the state might
          • What A-Basin Looked Like on Day One of Its Reopening

Pristine Treks

          • ”These Bay Area parks and beaches just reopened their parking lots””
          • Parking lots at 144 California state parks reopen”
          • ”Backcountry Must-Do: Liberty Cap”
          • ”Quintessential Nearby Adventures”
          • ”The Redwood Canopy Trail At Trees Of Mystery Is Northern California’s Newest Aerial Adventure”
          • ”Bald eagles return to nest in Orange County neighborhood”
          • ”With fire season ahead, Eldorado National Forest enacts campfire restrictions”
          • ”The Grand Canyon will reopen this summer. Here’s how it will go”

Deserts, Slopes and Ranges

          • Echo at Rancho Mirage by Studio AR&D
          • Sanitas Brewing Co. Reopens This Weekend After Shutting Down Roving Beer Truck
          • George R.R. Martin Joins Investor Group To Buy & Restore Sante Fe Southern Railroad
          • Terrific Time Capsule! Designer Arthur Elrod’s ’60s Vision Still Pristine in Palm Springs
          • Where To Find Colorado Restaurants Open for Dine-In Service 

PCH Regions

          • Weigh In on Santa Barbara’s Wildfire Protection Plan
          • Magical Field of Light in Paso Robles
          • Rams employees help with cleanup effort in Santa Monica
          • Image of Santa Cruz police chief, mayor kneeling packs a punch
          • ”‘It is heartening’ Long Beach overwhelmed by volunteers helping clean up after looting
          • The Best Beaches in Southern California
          • Ventura County to extend stay-at-home order while continuing to ease restrictions
          • Coronavirus concerns: Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival canceled for 2020
          • Face Masks Are a Simple Gesture of Shared Respect
          • How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In Quaint Ojai, California
          • America, unmasked: The public health nightmare I witnessed on Santa Monica beaches this week

Islands and Currents

          • Sea, sand and social distancing: Caribbean reopens to tourism
          • Dogged pragmatism’ needed to save Ocean: UN Special Envoy
          • With Tourism Halted, Hawaii’s Housing Market Takes a Big Hit. Can It Bounce Back?
          • The Art Of Anticipation: Hawai’i Is Still Here For All Of Us
          • Hawaii is effectively closed to visitors, but here’s how to support it from afar
          • 10 Reasons Why Hawaii Offers A Safer Vacation In A Coronavirus World
          • Between two storms: Caribbean braces for hurricanes in coronavirus era
          • The Perfect Weekend Getaway: Catalina Island From Los Angeles
          • Caribbean flights: When can you fly to Caribbean? Rules for Jamaica, Barbados and more

The Tau 12 Months Ago 

If you don’t take the opportunities that come, you’ll regret it.  If you do take them, and they wind up being foolish, that’s still better than having no story to tell.

Holiday Mathis, Creators Syndicate Inc.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4” Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The urge to complain is a natural reaction to frustrating circumstances, though the mature response is to move past words and into solutions and action.” Aries

Let’s hope these quality-of-life destinations inspire you to plan, rather than add one more thing to how frustrating and angry you may feel during this extraordinary disruptive time.  Is the end in sight?

“3”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Mistakes are not only opportunities for growth and mastery; they are the best relationship glue there is. Nothing will go wrong without producing an obvious upside.” Virgo

Not feeling this one today, although who can argue with the sentiment if you are a glass half full person?

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:The requirements of the day are pretty awesome. You don’t have to solve problems or answer questions. You don’t even have to ‘just be you.’ All you have to do is relax.” Libra

Sure, it’s exactly what summers and Saturdays are for.  

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: Eventually, you’ll be able to handle more and move faster. But this is still the early stages. You’re still learning, and you won’t regret taking the time to learn it right.” Sagittarius

It’s all about the burden of the unexpected when normal expectations just aren’t met.

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:You’ll bring together the best of all worlds — a spiritual person with a practical point of view. Your open mind will lead you to test theories and run with what works.” Capricorn 

Who can fill those shoes?  I’d be flattered if someone thought it would be me.  But, overall if there is an underlying theme to Season Two and a reason for me to continue my natural experiment into a second year, it would be exactly that combination — wisdom and practicality.  Or what Benjamin Franklin supposedly pursued — practical knowledge.

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): To accept differences and tolerate others is only level one. The next level is a celebration of diversity. A world where we honor not only our own traditions but everyone’s could be heaven on earth.” Pisces

Who politicizes mask wearing as preventative medicine during a pandemic.  Which of the four scenarios we are tracking will describe our path forward?

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3188 to 3634.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E58 — Check Back in 18 Months

What if the COVID-19 pandemic is severe and unfolds inconsistently across the world? And, the ability of China, Taiwan, and South Korea to contain the outbreak through strong, centralized government response becomes the “gold standard?”

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Sometimes it seems that your idealistic imagination is at war with the reality of a situation. Not today, which brings a brilliant blend of the practical and the sublime.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 58 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 5th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E57Science and Medicine or Politically-Motivated Misinformation?; S2 E56What Iffing; S2 E55Dreaming of 30 Tempting Getaways

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E58Judging a Stroll from the Hotel Santa Barbara to the Lobero Theater; S1 E57More or Less in the Know; S1 E56It’s Frickin’ Summer and So Are You; S1 E55All Roads Lead to the Future

Context

How will our pandemic lives play out?  Back to our continuing series drawing upon the report from Deloitte and Salesforce’s “The world remade by COVID-19 Scenarios for resilient leaders | 3-5 years.”

Scenario 1: “Passing Storm” for which the scenario story tellers assume governments communicate the severity of the pandemic and gets us citizens to take the crisis seriously and go along with the quarantine program.  

Scenario 2: “The Good Company” embraces their corporate responsibility by focusing on their long-term enlightened self-interest with investments in their employees and in the communities where they life and work.

Scenario 3  Sunrise in the east

The COVID-19 pandemic is severe and unfolds inconsistently across the world. 

China and other East Asian countries manage the disease more effectively, whereas Western nations struggle with deep and lasting impacts—human, social, and economic—driven by slower and inconsistent responses. 

The global center of power shifts decisively east as China and other East Asian nations take the reins as primary powers on the world stage and lead global coordination of the health system and other multilateral institutions. 

The ability of China, Taiwan, and South Korea to contain the outbreak through strong, centralized government response becomes the “gold standard.”

This scenario turns out to be a golden moment for East Asian countries, because they emerge from the recovery period with less economic impact. 

As an example of a good global citizen, but with self-interest firmly in mind, China significantly ramps up foreign direct investment efforts, bolstering its global reputation. 

Because so much is at stake people accept greater surveillance mechanisms as part of the public good. And as a result, economic recovery begins late 2021, with notably quicker and more robust recovery in the East.

Evidence

“4” Steve Zahn, 51: “In addition to fun, your prospect has love, resources and inspiration to offer you. Would you believe this is only the start of it? There’s much more to be explored here.” Scorpio

This only makes sense given we’re still in our extended Anniversary celebration.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve Smith, 30: It’s a day of bright ideas. You will energize different areas of your life with vitalizing agents such as useful tools, surprisingly efficient methods, beauty, humor and creativity.” Gemini

I say not so much.  A better description might be I’m frustrated with tools and inefficient methods far outweighing my high energy, bright ideas.  Where can I find those useful tools and way more inefficient methods?

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:People will want to know about you. Though you see the value in keeping mystery alive. If knowledge is power, then you’ll be more powerful as you hold back some of the information.” Libra

Okay, now that energizes me.  Let’s hope knowledge is power, because ignorance is definitely not bliss during this second season.

“3”  Steve Aoki, 41: This is your day. You’ll hit the green lights, get in the right grocery store line, find the prime parking space. The little things that go right are signs that big things will go right, too.” Sagittarius

Sure, I get how this might brighten my day — given all of those little things have been upended.

“3”  Steve Nash, 45:There’s no end to a circle. To be included in one can feel wonderfully secure or like entrapment. With circles, you have to break in and break out.” Aquarius

And, doesn’t it seem like we’re choosing off on the basis of “us” vs. “them” circles?

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Sometimes it seems that your idealistic imagination is at war with the reality of a situation. Not today, which brings a brilliant blend of the practical and the sublime.” Pisces

Unless you shift the frame and follow those eight scenario steps which give you ample time to employ divergent and convergent thinking to prepare you to better anticipate uncertain futures.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3188 to 3698.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

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