17 posts categorized "April 2009"

April 30, 2009

If not your department, where?

Thanks to HR World for the traffic and welcome to all my kindred spirits in the world of human resources. 

Late last year, I wrote an article for Employee Relations Today (How HR Can Green Up Your Company) about how the HR department can go green and influence other departments to follow its lead.  The article contains tips that are useful to other groups as well including finance, marketing, legal, operations, facilities and sales. 

Download ERTarticleHRSanders

Remember, companies don't go green, people do. The great news is that my focus on green (reduce and reuse) is also a huge cost saver. I promote the idea of being a Greenskate -- a miser with a higher sense of purpose.  Pass it on. 

April 28, 2009

Wash your hands and go back to work

You don't prevent the Swine Flu in your life by reading about it. 

We are so worn down by bad news, we are likely on tender hooks. Recent news about Swine Flu can tip many of us into a tizzy -- even if we haven't been to Mexico recently or work around someone who has.  

How much time will we waste reading, talking and fearing about this?  Too much, likely.  The crack-cable news outlets are beating the drums now, calling for your precious time and attention. 

Simple advice: Wash your hands often.  When in close corners, and someone coughs or sneezes, hold your breath until you can get out of their proximity (if you are paranoid).  Stay tuned to CDC announcements and NOT typical news outlets.  

Let's stay focused on rebuilding, not rekindling fear. 

PS - Too much fear will kill your sleeping patterns, which will lower your immune system's power to ward off illness.  

April 24, 2009

Not going green is so 1999

I spent 1998-2003 evangelizing the internet.  

Some got it right away (Intel), other jumped in by the turn of the century (Victoria's Secret and Wal-Mart) and others joined very late and still dogpeddle in this area to this day.  

It should have been pretty obvious by 1999 that, if you have customers, you need an online presence.  Why?  The world was going online.  They valued its convenience and speed.  Put your head in your sand and suffer.  You remember, Kevin Kelly's classic?  Gary Hamel's tome

Today, I'm on the change-is-coming trail again. This time, instead of going online, your company needs to go green.  By going green, I mean that you grow everything that your company touches directly and indirectly.  Going green is about new values in the area of thoughtfulness, right/wrong and what quality means.  

I'm so proud of Village Green.  They are making the plunge into making eco-innovation a key part of their companywide culture of excellence.  It's not just in their name, it's in their founding philosophy. They have a chance to own the 'green' space in their industry and make a difference to all of us along the way.  Next week I'll post an audio interview with the founder's grand son.   

I cannot believe that companies think green is just a fad -- along with social responsibility.  Consumers are adopting these values at home and beginning to scrutinize companies to the do the same.  In other words, it is 1999 again.  

In Saving The World At Work, I talk about what happens to companies that fail to connect with a change in customer/consumer values:  They go extinct. 

Download Disruptive Excerpt

April 22, 2009

Don't just be an employee, be a Saver Soldier

In my continued nod to Earth Day/Week/Month, I'm posting an excerpt from my latest book, Saving The World At Work. 

In it, I talk about the people that take their values to work and seek to make a difference -- not just a dollar.  I call them Saver Soldiers.  They find purpose, generate value and help their companies succeed. 

Are you one?  

SDownload Saver Soldier Defined Excerpt

If you'd like to be one, sign up at SavingTheWorld.net, find others and be a part of this push to keep the planet healthy for human habitation. 

April 21, 2009

The Economics Of Going Green

I'm doing to post something every day for the rest of April in honor of Earth Day.  Aveda Corporation practices Earth Month in April -- so I'll do it too! 

Today's eco update refers to a very well written post by Greg Christian over at Saving The World (the Facebook for people that want to make a difference at work).  If you want your voice to be heard, and to network with other kindred spirits, join Saving The World today and start blogging! To learn how to use the site, check out the video on the home page.

The Economics Of Going Green by Greg Christian

PS - He's a business person, running a very successful consulting service, not a tree-hugger.  

April 20, 2009

Oprah as case study in media responsibility

Oprah gets it.  She's my media hero. 

She just cancelled her episode on the Columbine massacre because "it would focus too much on the killers."  Bravo!  I wish the cable nets and NBC were as responsible. 

Here's my point of view: It's irresponsible to turn killers into rock stars.

When we make killers rock stars by giving them airtime, we breed more killers. This is the conclusion of various media studies in Europe over the last few decades -- and explains why many media outlets there will not name a killer/terrorist or display pictures of them. 

Remember, many hate crimes or sprees are motivated by the need to be heard or the need to be famous. As much as I promote social responsibility in terms of sustainability, community development and safety, I urge media companies to practice content management with an eye on its impact on society. 

I find much of today's CNBC and Fox News coverage highly inflammatory with only one goal in mind: Ratings at any cost. Someday, hopefully soon, a brave network executive will launch The Good News Network and give us daily doses of inspiration that breeds positive behavior instead of crime, fear and hate.

April 19, 2009

Three picks from the edge of the music world

It's time for another update from my iPod.  

There are several great new records out that you need to know about.  My focus is mostly chillout/lounge and indie rock.  As usual, I've perused my favorite online haunts (Good Records, CMJ, Genius and AP) to find the best new music to recommend.  

My first pick is Bonnie "Prince" Billy's new record, Beware.  This is the alter ego project of legendary indie-country artist Will Oldham.  If you followed the recent South By Southwest music festival, you know he was the toast of the town this year.  In his latest release, he sizzles as a provocative story teller and soundscape creator.  The songs are haunting (think Hank mixed with Deathcab).  Check out the track "I Am Goodbye" to see why this will likely be on most critic's "Best of 2009" list. 

Next, I'd like to introduce you to Noah and the Whale.  This UK collective has the epic sound of Arcade Fire and sits nicely next to the folk/emo side of Bonnie "Prince" Billy.  Their late 2008 debut, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down offers a rich collection of harmony driven songs that will stick to the back of your mind.  Check out the track Shape Of My Mind to get a taste of this new group.  

Finally, with a nod to my taste for new-jazz and lounge, I'm recommending you rush out and get DJ Mark Furina's Mushroom Jazz, Volume 6.  Before their was chill out, downtempo and trip hop, there was mushroom jazz.  Volume 6 may be the funkiest, smoothest and most rewarding mix yet.  If you enjoyed the soundtrack to Ocean's 11 or can't get enough of the Buddha Lounge series, you'll dig this record too.  Put it on at a dinner party and you'll inject a dose of jazzy energy into your night. 

April 16, 2009

Ten minutes of gratefulness

That's all it takes.  

If you focus your thoughts on three grateful thoughts, you'll keep your outlook healthy and your temper fully under control.  I've been doing this 'exercise' daily as part of my Abundance mentality cultivation program.  

Every day, at 3:50pm, I stop what I'm doing and make my declarations of Abundance.  I try not to choose possessions, power or status -- as they perpetuate the feelings of scarcity.  Instead, I select people, capabilities, experiences and opportunities.  

I'm very specific, and whenever possible, write them down.  Later that night at dinner, I've recollected some of these grateful thoughts to someone else as a way of committing to my sunny view.  In this case, I'm going to tell you what I'm grateful for today: 

1.  Mitch Marine:  I reconnected with him a few years ago when I moved to LA.  We knew each other in Dallas for over a decade.  He played drums in Brave Combo and later Tripping Daisy.  Currently, he's Dwight Yoakam's drummer as well as producing several projects around town. 

He and I are working on a project now, a record by a band we call The MicroThrills.  Fun stuff, retro rock, west Texas flavored.  Over the last few years, I've penned a half dozen songs with my acoustic guitar that I'm really proud of.  They reflect my point of view musically. Mitch gets the songs, and is improving them greatly.  He even brought in Joshua Grange to play on the tracks.  

Today, I'm playing hooky in the recording studio, recording vocals for a track.

I'm grateful for Mitch, my ability to write and sing songs and the opportunity to record them before I'm so old that it's a silly idea. 

2.  Upcoming speaking gigs:  I'll give five talks in the next six days at conventions all over America. This is happening as meetings are being cancelled left and right and fellow speakers stare at empty schedules.  My message on overcoming Scarcity is keeping me relevant to associations and companies at this unique point in time.  I'm grateful for my team, my partners at the speaker bureaus and MPI for providing me a lot of exposure over the last year.  

3.  You, my reader.  Every day I get to blog about what's on my mind and share my advice with several thousand people via this blog.  That is very rewarding to me.  If I didn't have an audience for my ideas, I'd be talking to myself.  So, I'm grateful that you read and comment on this blog.  

It's now 4pm, and my ten minute gratefulness drill is up.  And I'm feeling really good right now, because I've given myself a pro-reality check.  

April 15, 2009

That Fish Stinks From The Head!

Today's thought is parsed from a recent talk I gave to a large group of hotel managers and owners.  The message is straightforward:  If the culture at work stinks, it is likely the leader's fault.  

That Fish Stinks From The Head (YouTube Clip) 

Bring me in to speak at your next event

April 14, 2009

Attitude is important, so pick a good one.

I once heard a small business owner tell his employees:  "Your attitude is important; so pick a good one!"  Wise words, indeed.

Three key findings come from it:  

1. You have an attitude.  It is unique to everyone else around you, although attitude is known to be highly contagious. 
2. Your attitude likely determines your performance, acceptance and overall effectiveness. 
3. You have the power to select an attitude.  If you don't choose one, your environment will choose one for you.  

A few weeks ago I had a consulting gig with a consumer products company.  I hadn't slept well the night before, the day was gloomy and I was almost rear-ended in bumper to bumper traffic in LA.  The three hour meeting was packed with action items, many of them requiring my analysis and comments. Driving home later that afternoon, I recounted the day's performance.  It wasn't the 9 or 10 that I commit myself to.  We came up with some great marketing solutions, but I wasn't happy with my motivational contribution to the meeting -- there was a lack of excitement in the room.  

When I recollected the meeting's events, I realized that I had the wrong attitude for the meeting.  By not consciously choosing one, I let a bad night's sleep and bad LA traffic choose it for me.  I vowed to be more emotionally intelligent in the future by selecting one of several attitudes prior to any client engagements:  Grateful, Inquisitive, Excited, Committed, etc. 

Last week, I gave a pro bono consultation to a non-profit.  My flight the night before got in very late and LA traffic was its typical congested self.  I listened to great music as I drove, contemplated which positive attitude I would choose and even had a short attitude-check in the car prior to walking into the client's office.  It worked!  The meeting was highly successful, addressing the agreed on issues plus leading to two breakthrough ideas for revenue generation.  Everyone walked out of the conference on air. 

Driving home I realized that there is an added benefit to having a great attitude, a positive feedback loop.  When you have a performance at work that exceeds expectations and generates human enthusiasm, your chemical flow follows, generating DHEA and endorphins.  You feel great, like you do when you have runner's high.  As I've always told people:  "If you are having a bad day, get in the car and go see a Customer -- and have a rocking good meeting!  That will solve the problem every time."  

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