Bring Your Best or Forfeit Your Country

In the January/February 1996 Harvard Business Review, 21 years ago, economist Paul Krugman ran out the ways countries are not businesses. The ways successful business people cannot automatically apply their skill sets to steering a nation and its economy. At the same time, he admitted that economists could not, without considerable extra expertise, run successful businesses. Krugman writes, “Let me begin with two examples of economic issues that I have found business executives… Read More

On Robots and Listening

  As ever, change is afoot. Autumn is heading for winter, for example. Starbucks is well into shifting its holiday paperware (the plain red paper cups a significant and publicized offense to a few “Christmas-only” types). Oceans are heating up, children are growing taller and Artificial Intelligence is animating robots to replace workers around the globe. There’s much more – and too much of it troubling. But you know that. So, this… Read More

Stories and Specialty

I just spent four days in the company of poets and writers.  Well-published storytellers like Naomi Shihab Nye, Luis Urrea, Kim Stafford, Teresa Jordan, Gary Ferguson — and hundreds more, published and not.  No matter the notoriety, each one wove images into stories — tales to entertain, to instruct, to push beyond whatever bounds any of us imagines. All week these stories echoed across the wide meadow in the northeastern corner of Oregon… Read More

“He knows everyone in business.”

Every word was about kindness, about humility, or generosity of the most precious kind:  of time and attention, of friendship and guidance, of wisdom.  Last Thursday night, a man well into his 80’s retired … again.  This time from a talent and career management firm called Right Management. I still don’t know enough about this man, Jack Stowell.  My friend, Terry OConnor said, “Come as my guest.  Jack wants to meet you.” … Read More

What are the Barriers to Social Justice?

On Friday I had the opportunity to speak briefly with a small group of friends and colleagues about social justice.  It was a time that qualifies for sure as a moment in the story of my life.  And the particular narrative of that time is transition – big transition – so big that I’m not yet prepared to write about it here.  Odd, since this is the place I write and write… Read More

Paying Attention to What’s Working

  The other day, I was at the Quest Integrative Health Center in Portland.  I was co-facilitating a discussion on the neurobiology of happiness based on the work of researcher and clinician, Rick Hanson.   I’ve written about Quest Center before in this blog (EX:C blogs November 26, 2012; December 10, 2012) and have to say it’s great to be volunteering my time as part of this monthly neuroscience series. The group gathered… Read More

Earth Day – a Week after Boston

Earth Day.  Two days after 4/20.  A week since the Boston Marathon Explosion.  Ten days since the Senate voted against background checks for gun purchases. Pedantic as it may sound, if it weren’t for the Earth, none of these other things would have a place to happen. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how it sounds – it’s simply so.  Without Earth, marijuana would not grow, humans would not… Read More

Unlikely Connection – Natural Kindness

On Wednesday of last week I heard a story.  It was a story of a little boy, a four-year-old skipping and playing and laughing because he had completed two chemo-therapy treatments and for the first time in almost as long as he could remember, he didn’t feel icky.  He felt great!  Despite his cancer, and almost as if he’d forgotten he had it, he wanted to jump and run and swing with… Read More

Post National Conventions – the Anniversary Celebration of a Brain Tumor

This morning a friend in Omaha told me about Sam, a friend of his who was off for ten days on a third anniversary trip to the particular beauty of the Colorado Rockies around Estes Park. My friend has spoken of Sam before, describing him as a notably successful businessman who’s built a thriving company that supplies materials for building or renovating homes.  Sam’s success, though, is lately not enough to bring… Read More

Building it.

Of late a good deal of national opposition has arisen around the words “build it.”  Some months ago, our president made a point in a public (and arguably campaign) speech about the labor that supports most, if not all of the social activity in this country, including business.  Some folks heard his comments as indicating they shouldn’t get credit for their work.  The media and campaign publicity machines got hold of the… Read More