The Reinvention of the Business Community

When I look back at this past week, I am filled with a sense of wonder.

Barely three months ago, we started the New Year with a Ho‘ohana theme of community: do you remember? In part, this is what I’d written on January 3rd:

“Here at Talking Story, you’ll likely find I am eager to embrace new chapters: watch for the new to make itself known in the months to come. And expect that I will ask you to participate: I believe in embracing Ka la hiki ola as the community we have become.”

Back then, I wrote that on a feeling, an intuition that was unspecific yet very strong. I felt very confident writing those words even though I had no idea what the New Year would bring.

This past week, as our Ho‘ohana Online Community gave their mālama — their caring for, their stewardship — to Talking Story, I kept going back and reading about community again. This morning my own thoughts keep coming back to this: Perhaps it is in the evolution of the business community that we will achieve our greatest reinvention in the shortest amount of time.

It used to be, that business people competed with each other. They may have been friendly, but they didn’t network and pool resources.

It used to be, that business people trained and groomed their own. They didn’t mentor others outside the fold and openly share “proprietary” knowledge.

It used to be, that work was work and work was left at work. People didn’t write about it, and become citizen publishers calling for work reinvention on their own time.

That was then, this is now, and we’re not going back. We don’t want to.

We are reinventing competition by competing with ourselves first and foremost. We stretch and grow to make ourselves new, and what we compete against are our former selves.

We are reinventing assets and currency, by adding priceless intangibles that cannot be assessed dollar amounts; intangibles such intellectual currency, emotional engagement, permission and attention.

We are reinventing our very attitudes about work, banishing the 9-5 attitudes and entitlement mentality that can sink promising human enterprise. We are creating business partners within our own companies, and in global neighborhoods.

We are reinventing what it means to “get involved.” Community members challenge mediocrity, yet positively propose solutions and freely exchange ideas — whining, complaining and commiserating are not tolerated.

We are reinventing benchmarking and networking, by creating global relationships that cross industries and cultures. If you have an internet connection you are invited to participate. The choice is yours; there is no old boy’s network making the decision.

More from January’s Ho‘ohana:

Talking Story was born to be the discussion pages of Say Leadership Coaching, the company I started and dedicated to the ho‘ohana (passionate, intention-filled work) of those who manage, and the people they work with.

My hope was that it would evolve to be the collective voice of an entire community, and thus Ho‘ohana Community is the name that came to be for you, those who read these pages and choose to talk story with us, sharing our mana‘o (deeply held thoughts and beliefs) as an ‘Ohana in Business, a community of like-minded people.

What does “like-minded” mean for us? It means we are intent upon managing our work, ourselves, and our lives with aloha.”

Well this past week there was certainly an abundance of aloha.

It was only this past January that I invited a dozen other bloggers to begin the Ho‘ohana Online Community with me, and this past week’s forum of collective thought on reinvention is testimony to the incredible power that community can have. These generous Mea Ho‘okipa were so eager to add their voices to mine and they did so with such eloquence because you, dear readers, inspire us: You are our community of possibility, hope, and promise. My guest bloggers this week have relished the role of fire-starter: now the reinvention of business that is possible is up to you.

In the past week there were over 620 brand new, first-time readers visiting Talking Story for our forum on Reinvention (the total visitor count was much more): imagine the possibilities if every one simply started the business reinvention movement with their own circle of influence. You had some great inspiration this week, for Lisa, Yvonne, Anita, Chris, Todd and Wayne did way more than I asked them to do for me. Did you catch all of these related articles?

At The Alchemy of Soulful Work:
We’re all responsible for reinvention.

At Blog Business World:
Blogging series as traffic builders.

At Business Thoughts:
Reinvention … buzzword for laziness.

At Lip-Sticking:
Five Phantasmagoric Facts on the Women’s Market.

At Management Craft:
Spreading My Tentacles!

At Small Business Trends:
Reinventing a Business.

I encourage you to lead as these business leaders have done. Make the decision to be a catalyst today: don’t leave it for “the other guy” —Reinvention is something you can make happen. Get inspired. Be proactive and be optimistic. We are.

“When I reflect on the past few months, I see many indicators which lead me to fervently believe that this new time is indeed a time for our community, one that has come together invested in the core values of Ho‘ohana and Aloha.

I believe that 2005 will be about championing a much-needed reinvention of work, and this is task for a community: no matter their passion, mavericks and revolutionaries cannot do it alone. What we need to achieve is too far-reaching: our workforce is dwindling and aging, while simultaneously our needs for a dynamic, vibrant workforce are growing. In addition, we are more sophisticated than we ever have been before; people everywhere are looking for fulfillment and a deeper sense of satisfaction. We want meaningful, significant, legacy-building work for ourselves, and for all those we care about.

So what are the answers? I don’t have them all, but I do believe that Managing with Aloha is a work philosophy that can help us find them.

What am I proposing? That we find our answers as a strong and vibrant community of collective thought and inclusive learning.

We can be a community brave enough to challenge each other, and tenacious enough to draw out the best in each individual, empowering them.

We can be a community which is forthright and honest, yet kind and respectful, professional and self-governing in our respect for each other’s spirit and dignity.

We can be a community which is inquisitive, intuitive, innovative, and resilient, seeking the knowledge – and reaffirming camaraderie – that will propel us forward. We can leap toward initiative and enlarge our capacity.

We can be a community of aloha, freely sharing our spirit with each other, secure in the unconditional support we are certain we will receive. We can relish the abundance found in our connectivity.

Talking Story is here to be our forum, and it is my fervent wish that you will participate.”

That wish has not changed for me: however it has gotten stronger.

My mahalo and aloha to those of you who did visit, who read the collective wisdom shared by our guest bloggers, and who shared a comment of your own. We reinvent the very concept of a business community together, kākou. I applaud your initiative, and we all celebrate your participation.

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Comments

  1. says

    Rosa, Rosa, Rosa!!!
    To read your posts is to be energized and “lit up”! You are a fire starter and a wonderful connector of people, ideas and information.
    Thank you for inviting me to participate. I will begin this week with your words in my head!
    Todd

  2. says

    Rosa, thank you for providing such a wonderful series on business reinvention. You and your Talking Story blog are the very definition of sharing and helping others to succeed in all areas of life.

  3. says

    Rosa, what more can I say? Todd and Wayne have said it most concisely: you are creating clarity out of the fog of work, and pointing the way to communal bliss! Thank you!!!
    May I add some spices to your wonderful brew?
    In the research I’ve done with hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, most of our workforce finds it difficult (if not near-impossible) to connect wonderful conversations like this one and those community-based conversations in their workplace to their workload. I have found two challenges to be fairly universal:
    * What really matters? How do I choose among everything that is important?
    * How do I get everything that matters done?
    I’ve spent my first three books (Simplicity, Work 2.0, Simplicity Survival Handbook) focused on the latter question — making it easier to get stuff done.
    My next book, “What Is Your Life’s Work?”, which comes out May 1, is my beginning attempt to address the What Really Matters question in a way that’s different from past attempts — I’ve asked mothers and fathers to share with their sons and daughters how they figured out what really matters. Revealing the conversations that all of us have, but usually keep private.
    It’s a start. Just a start…
    Hopefully a start that will add even more spices to your already wonderful brew!
    Onward!

  4. says

    A Whole Lotta Reinvention Goin’ On

    I’m deeply spiritual, but absolutely non-religious. Still, I have been, at points in time, fascinated with various aspects of world religions. For instance, when I was the VA to Lama Surya Das (also a terrific blogger!), I really took the

  5. says

    Leis for Community, Learning for all of us

    My monthly Ho‘ohana „¢ was started back in August of 2003 when I left corporate life and decided to start my own business. It started as little more than an on-going personal update, for after years building up a professional network

  6. says

    Reinventions at Work and in Business: a Ho‘ohana Community Forum

    Are you ready to get inspired by a brand new world of work? Are you up for the challenge of shaking business people out of their comfort zones in the status quo? Are you one to be involved, engaged, and