Ka la hiki ola: It’s a brand new day for Managing with Aloha

Aloha friends, I have an exciting announcement to share with you!

We’ve been working on a brand new site platform for ManagingWithAloha.com and you are invited to join us there! Click in to take a look, and select your new subscription preference: RSS or Email, for all my new articles will be posted there.

Why the change?

There are a couple of reasons. Some are due to technology: In recent years ManagingWithAloha.com was primarily used as a purchase page for the book, and as private portal for clients I was working with directly, and Talking Story became the beneficiary of my publicly published writing. Our m.o. at Ho‘ohana Publishing was to spin off my other projects onto separate, dedicated sites of their own (you may recall time we’ve shared on Joyful Jubilant Learning and Teaching with Aloha.)

Platform advances, and progress in my own learning about them (‘Ike loa in action!) enable me to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time now: Consolidate my online efforts into the one place it’s always radiated from, and always will — Managing with Aloha as our philosophical rootstock and fertile ground; our Mālamalama.

The biggest reason I’ve wanted to consolidate AT Managing with Aloha is that it’s my full-time “sensibility” and most passionate work: It’s my Ho‘ohana, that sweet spot I will constantly encourage you to grab for yourself too. When I practice Nānā i ke kumu, and “look to [my] source” I always find MWA there to guide me. Talking Story is there too, but within the much larger whole, for Talking Story is essentially our “Language of We.”

My strategic planning had to catch up with my learning, and I feel it has, thus my excitement! Upcoming plans for ManagingWithAloha.com include bringing back our Value of the Month program (a brand new version!) and Ruzuku Coaching for The Daily 5 Minutes (and other Say Leadership Coaching programs) before the year is over.

Remember An Aloha Business for 2012?

All of this has to do with mine, and my own workplace ‘Ohana in Business:

  • STEP 1: Allow your people to design their own work schedules, both where and when, and how much.
  • STEP 2: Value-align your Customer Service with a value-mapping 12×12.
  • STEP 3: Realign your own Ho‘ohana as an Alaka‘i Manager.

I never ask you to do anything I am not doing myself.

Please update your subscription

Please take a moment to subscribe to Managing with Aloha now; I would be so honored by your decision to remain an active participant of MWA’s Ho‘ohana Community — that’s who you have always been to me here on Talking Story. Managing with Aloha will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2014, and we have already made plans for something momentous to celebrate — all of this is part of the work we’re doing to prepare well and imua; move forward with renewed energies and a compelling vision.

Here are the direct links again: Your choices are RSS (for your preferred Reader) and/or Email (my suggestion for Alaka‘i Managers who print or forward, to share my articles in their ‘Ohana in Business huddles).

You know me, I love the interwebs. However I can very confidently say that this will be the last home-base subscription bounce I ask you to make. ManagingWithAloha.com will be the parent to my business entities, and even to RosaSay.com.

I have much more work to do in populating ManagingWithAloha.com as the single-site Community Resource it will now be, but I’m confident you’ll agree we’ve made a great start in getting our primary Resource Pages in far, far better shape for you there!   The work there is my mission, however YOU are my reason: Your ‘Imi ola (best possible life within Aloha) is our shared vision.

The New Here? page I’ve included would be my first-visit recommendation: It offers defined reading pathways to help familiarize you with my sitemap design.

This site, TalkingStory.org will remain online for an indefinite time so you can find your old favorites should you wish to refer to them. I say “indefinite” because it will eventually be retired as edits of fresher relevance appear at Managing with Aloha going forward.

Mahalo nui loa

Thank you so very much for all the wonderful time we’ve shared here at Talking Story. See you at Managing with Aloha!

Ka lā hiki ola: It’s the dawning of a brand new day.

We ho‘ohana kākou: We work with Aloha together.

With my Aloha,
~ Rosa Say

An update which may interest you as well:

Talking Story is Thriving. It’s What We Do.

Managing with Aloha

What’s the meant in Management?

When I look around me I notice: Management is everywhere.

It’s in a President deciding if he should go on vacation as scheduled, or keep working.
It’s in a European country deciding if it can handle bailing out another country.
It’s in a father and mother thinking about becoming car-less and walking more, moving their family where jobs may pay more (or be found at all).
It’s in a shopper wanting to celebrate the holidays with gift-giving, yet hesitating with the realization that ever-deepening debt is the real price paid… She’ll try to make something instead, using her own two hands.
And it’s in a high-school graduate who wonders how society can declare he is now an ‘adult’ when he should know better than anyone else if that’s true or not.

Management is something we all do, for we all need to.
We get drawn to it in spite of ourselves.
Sometimes we’ll plunge into it, sometimes we’ll fall into it, but we always find ourselves there, a place where we ask ourselves, “Now what?”

We manage by thinking, by weighing our options, and by making a myriad of daily decisions, big and small.
We manage by looking outside, by feeling inside, and then mixing the two, whether they mix like oil and water, like red blood cells and white ones, or in layers — like paint and primer.

Curbside Paint

The whole process can get fairly messy, but the time will come where we decide, and we do something (or we don’t, a “nope” word which isn’t really a “stop” word, for it has its own results as well).

Funny word, ‘management’ in the starchy formality of it.
You’d think we’d personalize it more than we do, as steeped into it as we are, and as pervasive as it is.
We talk about a whole plethora of what we manage: Work, budgets, resources, causes, values, ideas, and yes, others, when fact is, all those things are grouped under one umbrella — the one we know as our own life. All that other stuff make up a life and its moving parts.
It’s a case where the smaller moving parts constantly seem bigger than the whole because they are seen as more tangible. Weird.

Which is why we have to find (or figure out) those last four letters of management, the ‘ment’ part, somehow getting them to stop dangling there as an after thought, and get in front for a change.

I think, the ‘ment’ part has to do with intention — with our why, and the journey we each take to discover it, or to magnify it.
Our why is the part which ultimately, will make everything else (what, where, how and who) make sense, make worth, make good, make right.

Our why is what makes us feel everything else matters. When we feel our why is good and right for us, plugged into our spirit, we feel like decent human beings.
Our humanity is something we need.

Far as everyone else is concerned, they believe our why makes us more trustworthy: They want our why to get trumpeted louder, for they like when it’s clear — shiny and more transparent.

So I have a small fix to help: It can help in a big way.

Forget management in the old starchy formality of it, and begin to think of it as managemeant; managing meant that something connected to your why.

Give all those decisions you’ll be making your white magic.
Make managing meaning-full, and get self-managing to be self-managing meant something personally wonderful.
You can even plug managemeant into the auto-correct of your word processing, and have today’s digital wizardry help you, keeping you on track.

Turning management into managemeant will help you keep your managing intentional.

We’ll always just do the manage part, whether deliberately or instinctively.
We kinda have to, in the way we keep going with life.
However, it’s the meant part which will keep us human, and make us happier.

Plumbago skyward

If you feel you’re ready to do even more, tackle this with me.

Makawalu: Counting our Thinking

The Hawaiian concept of makawalu came back to mind for me this morning, in capturing a re-blog+commentary I added to my Tumblr, Ho‘ohana Aloha:

From Bobulate: An eightfold path of Sylvianess
It’s a post mostly about Ho‘omau, the Hawaiian value meaning to perpetuate, and a question:

How do we keep the good work people do for us, and sustain it even after they have left us?

Imagine it, if you had a wall in your conference room, or lunch room, or intranet digital portfolio, where you had a Ho‘omau Makawalu – a memory of eight things for each person to Ho‘omau and Ho‘ohanohano with (chapter 13 in Managing with Aloha, the value coaching us to “Cultivate respectfulness. Honor the dignity of others by conducting yourself with distinction”). Your titles might be “Charlieness” “Ashleyness” “Dannyness” and “Leilaniness”” they’d be wonderful, and such a celebration of Ho‘ohana – those special ways that people mark their signature to work.

The work we do each day requires so much from us. Value it. Do more than remember it; keep it in play.

My commentary complete there (in regard to Ho‘omau) I shifted my thoughts back to how eight-ness has become so natural to me given my sense of place: Simply by merit of growing up in Hawai‘i, I have always known that multiples of four and eight are highly regarded in our culture, but why?

I went digging in my own library of reference books, and this is what I discovered.

Kauna, Ka‘au, Lau” Counting Fish and Taro

“Numbers is the special language of mathematics and Hawaiians had developed a numbers system of their own long before the arrival of Captain Cook” Hawaiians had adopted a base unit of four in addition to a hybridized base ten numerical system” The Hawaiians’ base four units were called kauna, or four; ka‘au, or forty; lau, or four hundred; mano, or four thousand; kini, or forty thousand; and lehu, or four hundred thousand.

According to J.H. Kānepu‘u, a Hawaiian author of a letter to the editor of the Hawaiian newspaper Ke Au ‘Oko‘a, dated January 21, 1867, the number four was used for a very practical reason: a fisherman could hold four fish by their tails between the five fingers of each hand, or a farmer could hold four taro plants in the same way. Incidentally, fisherman and fishmongers in Hawai‘i today still count fish, particularly ‘ōpelu, according to the old method, in units of four, forty, and so on.”

—from KÅ« Kanaka, A Search for Hawaiian Values by George Hu‘eu Sanford Kanahele

I have seen small reef fish counted this way, and it’s just been one of those things I figured as a fisherman’s habit. Handy, simple, practical” hands, fish and food together; very Hawaiian.

Hungry Koi

Makawalu: Counting our Thinking

Makawalu is the concept of abundance in thinking, giving in to all the possibilities of the physical and the spiritual world. Maka is the word for eyes, and walu is eight, thus makawalu literally means to look for eight ways or facets of thinking connected to and extended from wherever you may start.

If you begin to use a tool, think of eight ways you might be able to use it.

If you plot a garden, think of eight sections that will rotate your earth in season.

If you consider a friendship, think of eight ways you will be able to share it.

If you write a song, think of eight voices who will help you sing it.

And then for each of those eight ways, think of eight more. Within your spirit, all is entirely possible.

Makawalu stems from a belief that our intelligence is infinite: For each of the eight perspectives one might come up with, another eight will be possible (making 64), and on (to 512), and on (to 4,096), and on to infinite possibility. It is the expectation of abundance over scarcity— always.

Thus in Hawaiian, makawalu is also the word we use for numerous, many, much, in great quantities, and sometimes, it is “used with implication of chiefly mana [divine power].” —Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert in the Hawaiian Dictionary

Quite cool, isn’t it.

We count on numbers to count, to enumerate for us, and place all variety of things in orderly sets and collections. Sometimes we want them to contain – to be our limits, keeping things reasonable and manageable.

But then there’s Palena ‘ole, that 9th key concept we adopt in Managing with Aloha so we will grow in an exceptionally unrestrained way:

9. Palena ‘ole (Unlimited Capacity):

This is your exponential growth stage, and about seeing your bigger and better leadership dreams come to fruition. Think “Legacy.” Create abundance by honoring capacity; physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Seek inclusive, full engagement and optimal productivity, and scarcity will be banished.

Talking Story Category Page: Key 9—Unlimited Capacity

To have all of this kaona (hidden meaning), mana‘o (learning connected to the spirit’s divinity) and Language of Intention in one word, Makawalu” it helps you know that anything is possible, if only you can imagine it to be so, and then commit to making it happen.

Purchase Managing with Aloha at Amazon.com in hardcover, or in the Kindle Store.

When Managers Say the Right Things

Choosing the right thing to say isn’t that difficult, when it flows from the right intent. And what great results we can achieve!

When managers say the right things in a workplace, release happens — self-imposed floodgates open wide in the people who surround those managers, and their greatest possibility comes out to play. Work of different stripe, pattern, color and intensity happens, because now, people feel it can. They feel their work is wholly welcomed. Their work. People can add a personal signature to what they do — they can weave in their Ho‘ohana, and go for ‘Imi ola. They can experiment, take creative liberty, stretch, dabble and explore — these are all the good things which happen when “Nalu it” is part of the work culture.

“Nalu it” surges ahead. It jumps from meaning “go with the flow” to becoming, “go for it!”
“Nalu it” was important: It relaxes people, and gets them to drop their guard a bit more so they can go with the flow to start with. But so much more is usually possible, and when their managers say the right things in encouragement and support, people can really “go” in a big way.

Canoe Surfing at KÅ«ki‘o PointReference points: If you’re just joining us, learn about “Nalu it” here. The Hawaiian values which guide us are listed and defined for you on the right sidebar of the blog.
Besides being a pretty cool metaphor, the Language of Intention and water flow imagery of “nalu it” (to go with the flow) helps us see the work we do, and the momentum we achieve with that work, through the lens of natural physics. The strength and perpetual power of wave action is pretty obvious, yet consider this: People are a force of nature too!

Nalu from what’s expected, to what’s possible

People know they are in a workplace to work. What managers must often do for them however, is strip away anything that holds them back. What makes a difference in a workplace culture, and in the quality of what that workplace produces or delivers, is the freedom of self expression that defines that work and channels its best energies, as opposed to the structural impositions of job description and process expectations — yes, you read that correctly: Job descriptions and and process expectations are structural impositions which function very much like shackles do, keeping more liberating work in check. The best work happens without them.

Just ask your customers, and listen closely. They’ll tell you that they don’t really want your staff to follow your rules per se, they want them to own the work (‘service’ or a ‘great product’ to a customer) with a personal touch, and with that owner’s intensity that conveys “this work is part of me, it’s important to me that it’s good, and I’m so happy I can share it with you as my customer and guest.” When your staff has “owner’s intensity” they never say, “let me get my manager” because they don’t need to; they make stuff happen (they Ho‘o), and customers thrill to their sense of urgency. Customers admire what they perceive as initiative and passion, skillful ability and uncompromising competence.

As a manager, you want your customer and guest to see those things in your people, and experience them in the service they receive. All of it is a reflection of you and what you do — what you support and enable — as a great manager.

So what are those ‘right things’ that all managers can be saying?

The different phrases are abundant, and you can make them personal, saying them in your own words, but they will all be rooted in two kinds of intention: Giving permission and sharing appreciation (the value of Mahalo).

Sharing appreciation has to do with that excellent and timeless supervisory advice: Catch people doing something right. Great managers aren’t cagey or subtle about it either: They speak up (saying the right thing, at precisely the right time) to let people know they’ve caught them, for the glorious affirmation of the aha! moment which just happened, and so they have a chance to say thank you in a genuinely sincere way. In a workplace, the best “thank you” of all is said when a manager catches their people wallowing in their strengths and talents; they’ve lost all sense of time, and their work is truly in flow. Because of the investments already done in basic competency and in value alignment, people are confident, and their work seems to sing. Managers are able to say, “thank you for doing what you do, and for doing it so well” because KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u — the value of excellence has been in play.

Before we get to that sweet spot however, the right things said by a manager will largely be about giving permission, in whatever the form and frequency that permission is needed.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.” The people who say it (and usually quite proudly) are those who hate being held back in any red tape or within the more plodding, cautious work of others. They want to go for it; they’re the “nalu it” surfers and waterwomen who paddle out where there aren’t any lifeguard towers. “Better to ask forgiveness than permission” sounds cocky and arrogant, but often it’s simply confident. They feel their odds are more in favor of success than failure — odds are that asking forgiveness isn’t going to happen, so why waste time on the permission? Just get it done, and prove the point. Everything will be fine — how bad could it be?

“The cool thing about reckless abandon is that there is always time to be sensible later.”
~ Seth Godin in Insubordinate

Again, more confidence than arrogance is in play here, for they also have a much bigger viewpoint of what success is: They’re quite sure there will be a discovery of some kind that isn’t necessarily a bona fide accomplishment yet. Heck, that discovery might even be a brand new mistake they never made before, because it’s the first time they were able to paddle out that far. That’s a good thing! Mistakes are cool. Whoever would expect they need to be forgiven for that?

The very best workplace wave people can ride? When they get permission as a gift without having to ask for it first. They get, “Nalu it!”

Let’s get back to those “right things” that a manager will say. I’m a fan of the “Nalu it” Language of Intention because it’s such a good reminder of these statements as a “give good permission” intention category. Examples are;

“Just go for it — you know what to do, and you’re the best at it.”
“Sounds to me like you have a handle on this, so just call if you feel you need something; I’ll be happy to help.”
“I’m sensing you have another idea about this; tell me about it.”
“The energy you’ve been devoting to this is fantastic; thanks so much.”
“We’ll have the luxury of more time with this project; would you like to try a different approach?”

Or simply, “What say we try something new, you game?”
And as often as possible, “What do you think?”

To be an Alaka‘i Manager, work on this deliberately: Speak with those two critical intentions of giving permission and sharing your appreciation. Add it to your list of dailies, with The Daily 5 Minutes and as a Best Communicator. The magnificent day will come, when one of your people looks at you and says, “I feel strong when I talk to you.”

A suggestion for Managing with Aloha readers: Review Chapter 4 on Ho‘omau, the value of perseverance and persistence. The connections to this discussion abound, and those Ho‘omau connections are often why we managers want to release others within their good work in the first place; they’ll have several “Nalu it” waves to ride over time.