January 27, 2022

There is a strange dichotomy in the human experience between looking toward an ending and being disappointed when it happens. I noticed this during recent conversations with friends and families about TV shows we are watching. The same is true in movies and books. On the one hand, we are in it to see what happens. We want to know “how it ends”. There is a final point the story is working toward and one of the main reasons we... Read more

January 25, 2022

One of the great difficulties of my adult life is reconciling the reality of success with the feeling of success. We are by no means a runaway success story, at least not in the ways I dreamed of being when I was in my teens. We are not millionaires. We are not famous. However, we are settled in a home we love, partnered together in a meaningful marriage, and doing a job we love. In all of the ways that... Read more

January 20, 2022

I have always been a bit of a loner. I hated group projects in school and thrived when I was given something I could take full ownership of. For me, when I hear the word “organization” or “institution”, a part of me winces.  As I continue to try to pursue a meaningful life, I am starting to understand just how vital it is to participate in organizations. I, like all humans, am not meant to go at it alone. For... Read more

January 18, 2022

I used to think the primary goal for my life was to be heard. To find people and places who would listen to me. Not an ignoble pursuit, within reason. All of us have something valuable to say, something to contribute to the world. And I think it is a healthy pursuit to try to find ways and means to be heard. But if you are anything like me, what is so often lost in the shuffle is the fight... Read more

January 13, 2022

I have seen a few social media posts recently that say, “No resolutions for me this year; it is the circumstances’ turn to change”. People are annoyed and frustrated with the state of the world. Some are downright furious. Still, it surprises me how brazenly people will just come out and say, “I am refusing to make my choices because I don’t like what is going on around me”. One side-effect of our increasingly global and technological world is that... Read more

January 11, 2022

We work with a lot of different organizations. No matter where they are in terms of health and dysfunction, we always start with a conversation about vision, purpose. The meaning the organization hopes to achieve. One of the things I often think about when I watch groups go through this process is about the nature of our purpose. Is it something we decide into, like picking a cereal out of myriad options from the shelf. Or is it something we... Read more

January 6, 2022

Statistics suggest that most New Year’s resolutions are already in trouble, just a week into the year. It is certainly complicated and challenging to make significant changes in one’s life. Letting go of our resolutions by February is a sort of joke in today’s society. So few actually see it through. Why is that? And what can be done to turn the tide? I love the idea of resolutions. For most of my life, New Year’s has been my favorite... Read more

January 3, 2022

When we talk about corrupt or broken “systems” in our world, we are often really talking about structures. A structure is how things are built. A system is just the process by which we reinforce the structure. A structure is a powerful thing. When we build structures, we create obstacles that block or inhibit certain behaviors, perceptions, or attitudes. As we do so, we are also creating pathways for people to follow. This is the power of structures. It is... Read more

December 30, 2021

You certainly are not going to read this in a lot of places, but I am wrapping up 2021 with gratitude. It is much more fashionable to make a joke about 2021 as a dumpster fire, the same jokes we made about 2020 (and 2019 before it).  But I am truly thankful for the year 2021. Being thankful is not about ignoring the trouble, pretending it isn’t there. This is not a zero sum game. It is a choice. Although... Read more

December 28, 2021

I think if it were possible to become some sort of entity external to myself and watch the way I have been living over the past year, I would see some strange mix of hope, confidence, and chaos. Which are really three very difficult threads to braid together. As the year comes to a close, and another year begins to introduce itself, I am discovering that this metaphor of a braid is really the best way to view it. I... Read more

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