mission statement – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: mission statement

Title: Maya Angelou | Photographer: Susan Mullaly Well | Source: Burns LIbrary | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Missions and Missionaries

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” —Maya Angelou On a recent biking trip on the Creeper Trail in Abington, VA with the Road Scholars, I learned that Barbara Kingsolver lived in the area and owned a restaurant there. Serendipitously, our group had dinner in her restaurant, and I was delighted to see all of her Read More

Title: New York City's daily carbon dioxide emissions as one-tonne spheres. | Author: Carbon Visuals | Source: carbonquilt | License: CC BY 2.0

The Constitution as Culture Audit

One of my favorite tasks as an organizational psychologist is to design, administer, and evaluate culture audits. The design process is the most important part because it entails asking the people in an organization to create norms and values of their own choosing. In focus groups, I ask people to share what they believe are the desired and required norms for their organizations, i.e. what kind of work environment would they find most exciting and Read More

Google Zurich’s offices | Author: Stefan Camenzind (Camenzind Evolution) | Source: Office Snapshots | Used with permission of Office Snapshots

No Dancing in These Halls

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” —Nietzsche On a big gig with big Pharma, I brought my older daughter to help with collecting data and gathering impressions. After a week of intensive focus groups and walking through the corporate headquarters, she dryly commented, “Hmmm, there’s no dancing in these halls!” By that time in my career, I had worked with hundreds of organizations around the world, Read More

Photos by Mike Wilson and Ky0n Cheng

Inspiration and Aspiration

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”  —Khalil Gibran, The Madman I once worked for a company that aspired to be a $10B corporation. I said to the executives at that time, “That may be a good goal but it surely isn’t a compelling vision, and it does nothing to inspire me.” I left the company after two years. Part Read More

line dancing

2020 World Culture Vision

The TV show “Downton Abbey” demonstrates as well as anything I have ever read or seen how an all-pervasive cultural code can produce strange and incomprehensible behaviors in people. People will do abnormal things to look “normal” by complying with the unwritten rules of the game.

Just as financial reports need to be audited, so also do the norms and values of the culture.

[ C ] Chuck Close - Dalai Lama (2005) | Credit: cea+

Helping or Hurting

It’s Day One after the election of 2016. I feel sick and scared. Who better to suggest a remedy for our spiritual malaise and existential crisis than the Dalai Lama? In a recent article in the New York Times (November 4, 2016), the Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks co-authored a column: “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.” It seems like an odd couple to me, but their message is profound. They point out Read More

"Pinwheel tesselation, version 2, backlit," by Eric Gjerde

Vision and Values

As an executive coach I often facilitate life-line and development planning workshops. The life-line exercise encourages people to share the significant events and important people in their life and how those people and events helped to shape their values. I challenge participants to be as open and transparent as they can be, and I ask them to risk sharing what may be outside their comfort zone. In spite of these guidelines, most people stay in Read More

Passion and Drive | Credit: Death to Stock Photo | License: CC0

Exploitation Masquerading as Engagement

Most companies measure employee engagement. It represents one critical way to determine the level of commitment and productivity of their human capital. An abundance of research suggests a high correlation between employee engagement and great performance. But how do we stop from crossing the line into exploitation?