5 Steps To Change The World

I have news for all the entrepreneurs, inventors, programmers, investors, millennials, and everyone else who has even a slight interest in ‘changing the world’. It seems many of those who change the world in positive ways are also known for their generosity. Their time, talent, money, ideas, and any other resources are given at high levels.

Changing the world is easy. It is in such a constant state of change that we literally don’t have do anything for it to change. In doing nothing however; we cannot claim any direct impact to making such change. For those who want to actively change the world, I have discovered 5 simple steps to help you along your journey.

1: Connect with someone.
More than merely meeting them, a connection implies a bit of emotional context to it. Invest some of your emotional intelligence and enjoy the thrill of another genuine human connection. Some connections are so powerful that both parties can feel it in a matter of moments. I am not one to buy into fate or destiny, but I know that many people have come into my life (personally and professionally) for a monumental reason. It is quite a journey to discover, then act on that reason.

2. Share ideas.
Connections are made by conversing and sharing ideas – the ideas dear to us as well as those that come to us in an instant. Some connections will agree with us completely, others will argue intensely, still others will be somewhere in the middle. We need all three in some sort of a balance.

By now, your world and the world of your connections is already changing! But there is no point stop to celebrate yet.

3. Discover a way to help your connection – the simpler, the better.
Some connections may need advice, or someone to listen, to know they are not alone, or just a chance to smile or laugh. Others might benefit from an introduction to your other connections – a job, advice, professional loan, client, vendor, partner, date, etc.

One of the most effective ways to do this is ask. “How can I help?”, “What can I do?”, “Where are you getting stuck?” are some of my favorite questions to ask.

3.5. Complete the task of helping. Generous people don’t ask for a favor in return because they know they already receive tremendous gain in helping someone else.

4. Evaluate how it went.
Use a simple scale of 1-10 with ten being the best and apply it to your feelings during the process of connecting, the conversations you had with them, ideas you shared, the task charged to help, and the result of it. Any action scoring over a 4.0 is worth keeping around and repeating for now. It is a good idea to keep some sort of journal or composition book to document how this new process is feeling.

5. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
This is a process, and processes are about repetition. The more we repeat this process, the more people we will help. It also increases the likelihood that you will connect with another generous person and receive similar types of help. As you reach your 25th cycle, start to scale up your efforts by a factor of at least 3. Connect more, share more, help more, and evaluate more. You’ll develop your own groove and find it increasingly easy to do at any sort of activity.

5.5. Invite others to join in your journey.
Changing the world is not a solo endeavor. In building your reputation as a generous person, people will want to join you. Offer them similar opportunities to add people to the cause. Just as some people will be stronger connections than others, some will eagerly welcome your invitation and take the charge with great passion.

 

The simple truth is that you don’t need bold, large-scale, ‘world-changing’ ideas to change the world. Impacting just one of the nearly 7 Billion citizens of the planet causes a ripple that extends across all of humanity. This is a simple system to help build those ripples into a tsunami of positive growth.

By following this process, you’ll find more ideas come to you and your connections than you could ever execute. Those ideas will also get ‘better’, more impactful, easier to build momentum, and likely much more exciting.

This is a lot like learning how to walk. We will get concerned about the time we spend stumbling, falling down, and struggling to maintain balance. But after a while, we will become so proficient that we will not even be able to remember details of those struggles we once had.

 

Are you ready to join me on my journey to change the world?

Change Is Constant

Change has been around for a long time. It is argued that if there was an actual start to the universe, it was the first change, and the instigator of all other changes to come.

Yet after all these years of successfully handling change, many of us still ‘struggle’ with it. This impacts us in business, volunteering, education, personal relationships, our bodies … EVERYTHING!

Here are a handful of thoughts that have helped me work with change.

  1. Accept that it is a necessary component for growth.
    I often talk about this topic in workshops and begin by listing some of the more popular synonyms for change – Adapt, adjust, growth, help, improve, maximize, polish, progress, refine, transform, tweak, update, and many more. One of the biggest challenges with change begins with our attitude towards it.

    As you read the rest of this article, substitute the word ‘change’ with any of your favorite of these synonyms. You’ll see that even this slight alteration will enhance your perception of the word change.

    Our thoughts and actions up to this point have brought us precisely to our current situation. If we want a different situation, we must change.

  1. Identify what needs changing (as well as what doesn’t).
    Everything starts with a dream. Temporarily escape the grips of logic, sensory input, and rational thinking to design an ideal version of what you would like. Like an architect, complete the design down to the finest details like the plates that cover light switches.

    Only once we have a clear concept of what we want can we begin to overlay it with current stipulations of time or other resource. From here it will be easy to decide what to eliminate and what needs to be added.

  2. Build connections to change through communication.
    Two reasons people struggle to buy into change: they either didn’t have enough input/influence; or they have not received enough (quantity or quality) information about the scope and impact the change.

    Communication is the best way to remedy or escape this challenge. Use it to build connections and champions for pending changes. Other members will take social cues from them whether they are on your side or not.

  3. Prepare a runway and flight plan.
    Before receiving permission to take off, pilots are required to file formal plans of when and where they anticipate landing as well as the path they intend to take. Take a tip from plots and provide your people with a change plan so they can see a larger scope of the changes, what is specifically up next, and where they fit in. This will help build trust and confidence.

    Be sure to fill the change plan with plenty spots to check in with crew and deliver positive reinforcement for progress being made.

  4. Systemize and Refresh.
    The job of the runway is to provide an ideal environment to build the speed that makes flight possible and stable. Systems go a long way in helping us build crucial momentum. But as we get more efficient at tasks, it can get easy to allow lazy errors to also become habit.

    Refreshing the plan is about adding new, small, and easy elements as we go along. The key is in the timing and balance. Keep the updates far enough apart that people can build momentum, yet not develop ruts and lethargy. Keep them small enough that progress isn’t stopped, yet large enough that progress can still be made.

 

Now that you have a few solid tools to handle change, you have 2 challenges.

The first is to implement them in your own life and situations to the point that they are a part of your everyday thoughts. I cannot claim full ownership of these ideas as they were shared with me by various mentors. Yet, after decades of living with and refining them, they are truly my own.

The second is to share them with others. One great way to share them is by being a living example. People will ask you how you handle it at some of the oddest of times and situations. Without sounding like a promoter, feel free to share, tweet, link, copy/paste, etc. to others. The fact exists that change will not stop. The better we are at handling it, the better we will grow.

 

Always looking forward


 

 

Gaining Momentum… Building A Better Workforce

One of the biggest challenges facing 21st Century Business is handling/managing/adjusting to the new ways we work.

The speed and availability of Internet is changing the shape and dynamic of ‘office’ environments. Even small companies are finding themselves recruiting and attracting talent on a global scale, contracting/outsourcing sensitive proprietary operations, and ‘hiring’ a variety of part-time and/or remote workers.

What sort of impact does this have on otherwise ‘traditional’ employees?

Molly Moseley, named by LinkedIn as one of its Top 10 Voices on Management and Corporate Culture published this article on 27 July about results of recent research by The Conference Board. While a rating of 50% workers disliking their jobs is a long-time low, it offers little excitement. She offers 6 simple tips to help create better environment.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/50-percent-workers-dislike-jobs-molly-moseley

 

On 28 July, Stephanie Vozza of FastCompany offers a couple solid suggestions for how small companies can attract and benefit from talent at tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook. It is an entirely different competitive marketplace that requires a different strategy. She suggests companies 1) stand firm on your mission, 2) put mission over money, 3) play up the right strengths, and 4) look in the right places.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3062135/how-small-companies-can-attract-talent-from-google-apple-and-facebook

 

Inc.com published a powerful article by Lou Adler on 28 July with the title, Why You Must Ban Skills And Experience To Hire Better People.

http://www.inc.com/lou-adler/why-you-must-ban-skills-and-experience-to-hire-better-people.html

 

Perhaps these articles indicate the urgency in which we should replace our current (obviously broken) hiring and managing systems.

The themes of strengths, culture, authentic leadership, collaboration, incorporating technology (especially mobile) are playing out in big ways for businesses from 1 – 300,000 employees – all around the world. We are amidst a bold new environment filled with opportunity, creativity and life. Let’s make the most of it for everyone!

Tools For Building Business

Like building a house requires basic tools of hammers, saws, screwdrivers, etc.; building a business requires basic tools as well. This article brings up some of my most-used tools in helping businesses grow; dream, vision, passion, and voice.

The dreams we have while we sleep seem to regularly defy logic, are as fleeting as the wind, and don’t last very long. Even the most vivid and recurring ones seem to provide a glimpse of the raw power of our imaginations. Unless we focus energy towards refining them, dreams alone are not a suitable foundation for building a business, a legacy, or a reputation.

Vision is a detailed depiction of where we intend to go. This ‘place is far off into the future’ and impossible to see with naked eye. Just like explorers might use telescopes, we too can use our imagination to peer into the world that does not yet exist and describe what we intend to create.

Visions inspire more people than dreams do because they provide enough context for people to understand and buy-in; yet leave enough openness for others to invest their emotions, ideas, and actions. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. may have used the word dream in his famous speech in DC; but he was truly talking about his vision for equality that his children could experience and enjoy. His simple words continue to inspire millions who make continuous strides towards their interpretation of his vision.

In the business world, few get a chance to develop such vision as we are under such pressure to produce ‘the old way’. When you do get the opportunity to develop and share your vision, the following tools will be quite handy.

Passion is a deep yearning or an omni-present urging to engage or pursue in an activity longer than most suggest is reasonable. The deep connection we have to certain things influences all of our decisions (some are blatant while others are very subtle). The simplest explanation I have is that we do it because it gives us incredible amounts of pleasure. I have yet to hear any evidence that suggests we have a maximum on the number of passions or a finite amount of energy that can be derived/invested into them.

When we talk about our passions with people who believe remotely similarly; we can assemble powerful crowds.

Our voice is how we speak. It can actually be the vibration of vocal cords that produces sounds and words, or it could be our actions that produce results and memories. I firmly believe that producing memories is one of the most powerful things we can do as individuals or collections of people.

For too many, growing their business is merely a dream – random glimpses of what could be scattered about like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle dumped from the box. Invest time into refining your imagination and you will begin to see a clearer vision and find it easier to not only invest your passions, but garner the diverse passions of others. As you prepare yourself for the ultimate challenge of communicating your vision, invest further time to developing your voice (words, presentation, and actions to support) as well as the voice of others.

These investments will provide substantial emotional, physical, and financial returns!

 

In case you were wondering; we work with clients of all sizes to help develop their dreams, visions, passions and voices as they truly are fundamental tools to business growth.

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david r frick is a business artist, strategist, and the founder of SuccessVentures where he helps businesses evolve operations, communications, and leadership into ways that better meet the needs of the 21st Century. Comment below, or send direct message with any questions or comments.

BBQ Marketing

As temperatures rise, we spend more time enjoying the outdoors – particularly hosting and attending casual gatherings where grilled foods and fermented beverages are served. The backyard BBQ is an ideal place for powerful marketing. This is NOT the place for advertising, public relations, or sales conversations. The casual nature makes it great for BBQ Marketing.

Here’s how it works. Know that the gathering will be attended by friends, family, neighbors, etc. who likely will ask a question very similar to; “What’s been going on with you lately?”.

Those who reply with something positive and business-relevant are taking good advantage of BBQ Marketing; those who take the opportunity to share how crappy their job/boss is are contributing to competitor’s BBQ Marketing; while those who merely socialize in kid’s sports, gossip, or political discussions are missing the opportunity.

The power of BBQ Marketing is in its conversational casualness and authenticity.

The two biggest factors that prevent this from happening by default are;

  1. Most people don’t like their jobs, managers, or environment. They feel more like replaceable cogs in a giant machine rather than respected contributors towards overall company goals.
  2. As customers, we are often abused, overlooked, underappreciated, and manipulated – or we simply receive lackluster service.

These two factors alone cause more problems than almost anything else, yet they never seem to be discussed in marketing meetings. These two factors drive up costs of operations, the size of media budgets, and the amount of effort to attract audiences. They cost next-to-nothing to overcome.

Here are two example conversations that might play out:

Me: Hey Fred, I haven’t seen you in months. How are things going at your new job?

Fred: Ok. I like the challenge of learning a new industry and meeting new people, but my manager has unrealistic expectations and doesn’t understand my skills. The project I took over was in shambles and they are counting on me to fix it, yet they are not willing to invest in the resources. I am starting to see how it got in such bad shape in the first place.”

 

Me: Hey Susan, I haven’t talked with you since you started the new job. How is it going?

Susan: It is going great! I enjoy getting to know my new associates and my concerns about making a lateral move are greatly diminished because of my manager. He pushes me to do my best but is not overbearing.

We had the coolest conversation the other week at my 3month review. He said that his role was to make sure everything was done on theme, spec, time, and budget. The best way he could to that was to hire a talented team and do his best to give them what they need. I am really glad I made the move!

The above responses are based on actual conversations I have had with friends at social gatherings. They are indications of both the company’s cultures, and give us social context about their products and services.

By focusing on building a strong culture, we create more opportunities to have genuine conversations about it. These casual conversations happen with every employee and strategic vendor – they are infinitely more effective than PR, and media advertising combined.

As business cultures improve, people will draw closer together as teams. They will likely invite each other over for backyard BBQ where they can brainstorm new solutions and products for the next generation.

When will you start harnessing the power of BBQ Marketing?