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

We see what we want to see

“We do not see with our eyes. We see with our brains” What we see is only what our brain tells us we see, and it’s not 100 percent accurate.”
— John Medina, Brain Rules
— and my Dad, a coupla decades earlier: Can you see with your ears?

And we feel what we’re meant to feel

“For too long, people have disparaged the emotional brain, blaming our feelings for all of our mistakes. The truth is far more interesting. If it weren’t for our emotions, reason wouldn’t exist at all” When we are cut off from our feelings, the most banal decisions became impossible. A brain that can’t feel can’t make up its mind.”
— Jonah Lehrer, How We Decide

Initially, vision can trump all other senses

Most people flying into our Keahole Kona airport here, on the west side of the Big Island, are surprised in a rather unsettling way. They hope they haven’t made a mistake.

The approach to the coast is fairly barren, and the airport runway is surrounded by the stark nothingness of black lava fields and ugly invasive fountain grass. The lava plain is fairly new in geographical measurement (1801); greenery hasn’t seeded and rooted in any triumphant way yet.

If you’re a returning resident, it’s secretly fun to watch the faces of first time visitors peering out the windows. You can see them thinking, “But this is Hawai‘i! Where are the coconut trees? Where are the flowers? Isn’t this the tropics?”

It’s secretly fun because you know what will happen: We who live here are happy for them, and for the experiences we know they’ll soon have.

I always want to tell them, “You’ll see, just be patient.”

And I want to coach them: “Once we land, be a courageous explorer. Go off the beaten track, and get lost in the feelings here. Converse with the locals, and ask them to share their aloha with you. Talk story. Share yours too.”

Swirling turbulence

To us, this landscape is beautiful. It’s not barren at all. As the maxim goes, “Looks are deceiving.”

The Big Island is the kind of place you have to explore further, so you can learn about it more fully. Once you do, feelings tug pretty quickly, and quite deeply. You fall in love, and you fall in love hard. To do otherwise doesn’t seem possible.

But that’s okay, for you no longer want it to be otherwise. Feeling deeply is wonderful.

It’s the same thing as when you feel the Calling of Alaka‘i Managemeant.

You’ve got to explore that calling, digging deeper, and allowing it to get personal.
You’ve got to make connections with the people who surround you — especially with those you work with, and doubly, triply so with those you are supposed to ‘manage.’

If you can open up, and allow yourself to get a little vulnerable, you discover all kinds of things in the partnerships you create.

Thank you for reading Talking Story. If this sounds good to you, you’re in the right place. Start digging for the calling of Alaka‘i here, and for managemeant here. You need not go too far back.

You might like this one too: The instinctive, natural selection of wanting

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

Learning and Weaving: The absorption benefit of your Personal Philosophy

Absorption

You see, hear, and read a lot each day.
You discover goodness, and learn all sorts of things.
And if that’s not enough, you share in what I write about here, or find and clip on Ho‘ohana Aloha.
How do you apply what’s most useful to you and retain it?

I’ll ask the question in another way: What is the Personal Philosophy you weave it into?

Weaving

As a Talking Story reader, you know that my weave is Managing with Aloha, the value-verbing philosophy I’ve based on 19 values and 9 key concepts. Managing with Aloha has been an extraordinary gift in my life, serving me in several ways. I don’t pretend nor profess it to be the ‘be-all and end-all‘ — in fact, it’s somewhat the opposite: What it does for me, is absorb additional learning so I can quickly use it and retain it.

Here is an example of how I did this yesterday, as my commentary on The Five Universal Themes of Business as compiled by Todd Sattersten:

1. Clarity of Purpose:
MWA Key 3 – Value Alignment, and
Key 8 – Sense of Place

2. Wisdom in Decision Making:
MWA ӬKey 3 РValue Alignment, and
Key 9 – Palena ‘ole (Growing within your full capacity)

3. Bias for Action:
MWA Key 2 – Ho‘ohana (worthwhile, intentional work), and
Key 7 – Strengths Management

4. Openness to Change:
MWA Key 4 – Role of the Manager, reconstructed, and
Key 6 – ‘Ohana in Business (strategic form/function)

5. Giving and Getting Feedback:
MWA ӬKey 1 РAloha (as the foundational rootstock it is), and
Key 5 – Language of Intention (our communication key)

Creating a culture is creative, romantic, dreamy. But then you’ve got to give it teeth, and get it to actually happen. Third, you have to Ho‘omau, and persist in stewarding that culture so it will sustain itself and live beyond you or any single manager.

You can use MWA in this way too if you wish, or you could use another philosophy: Before Managing with Aloha came together for me, I used Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for nearly a decade, a philosophy which I would discover he’d based on the timeless principle called the Law of the Harvest:

We tend to reap what we sow.   “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes.

Scout Orchid

Usefulness is about Fit

When you learn something new, and you want to keep it close, and make it optimally useful to you, ask yourself, “Where does this fit in my personal philosophy?”

Ask, “How could this grow me?”

Push your thinking toward the value alignment (or concept alignment) that is evolving into what you truly believe, and increasingly will stand for.

Focus on your Deliberate Inputs. Don’t be too quick to move on and gather more. Dwell on what you just learned, and take more time to savor it. Think on it more deeply, and question it. Discard the clutter, and weave in the keepers. Take action in some way to satisfy your sense of urgency. (This is a good suggestion: Recreate whatever inspires you.)

One glorious day you’ll have Ka lā hiki ola, that ‘dawning of a new day’ where you realize you have your very own version of Living, Working, Managing, and Leading with Aloha. It’s your brand and your Personal Philosophy. It’s become your weave, for you’ll never stop learning, and that’s a good thing.

Palena ‘ole

You have way more capacity than you’re aware of at this moment, whether physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. Weave it into tangible being.

Learning (the value of ‘Ike loa) is a fabulous thing; weave in your ‘loose ends’ and see what you can create.

Tab it and mark it up!

Aloha! Just joining us?

Talking Story is the blog home of those who are learning to be Alaka‘i Managers — those committed to managing and leading with Aloha. Read a preview of the book which inspired this movement, and visit our About Page. Purchase Managing with Aloha at Amazon.com in hardcover, or in the Kindle Store.

Talking Story with Rosa Say

On Other Days: Creative Structure

If you’ve read Talking Story for any longer-than-recently length of time, you know that I’m a big fan of creative structure. I like to test new habits and shift my routines, to explore and experiment with variation, but I also do so with the hope that I’ll nalu it, and fall into a cool, unexpected, and pleasing rhythm of some new sort.

Structure is comforting, and I like structure. But nobody said it had to be stagnant, stodgy and boring. So I willingly devote whole weekends to designing trusted systems. I especially love values-based structure (no surprise there, huh), for it serves as a kind of good-habit filtering of all that life can throw at you.

However I like change too. That is, I like it the way most people will discover they actually like it: When they’ve been the ones to choose the change, being more proactive about it versus being swept away in the tide because someone else decided to “make waves” and rock the boat.

If you can become a person who chooses change, you begin to dabble, and play with it. You reveal creativity you hadn’t thought you had, but do! What others choose to do doesn’t bother you as much, because you’re too busy with your own thing. The boat might be rocking, but you’re standing in the best place — next to the life preservers — and you already have a plan.

Frank Merriwell's Discovery Yale Story
Vintage poster courtesy of The Happy Rower on Flickr

Time is finite. Content isn’t.

We all get 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. What we choose to fill those time frames with, represents an abundance of choice — sky’s the limit. The question I have for you is this: Do you make all the choices you get to make?

Note the distinction: Not choices you have to make, but choices you get to make.

One consequence of the conventional 40-hour work week, is that most of us have created our ‘weekday’ and ‘weekend’ paradigms, even if our schedules dictate when the weekend will actually be (mine will happen this coming Tuesday and Wednesday this particular week).

Well, what if you got more than that?

If you are successful at designing a 20-hour work week for yourself like we talked about last time, a supremely wonderful get-to moment the world is paying serious attention to now, this is what you’ll get:

  • Work days
  • Weekends
  • Other days

The creative structure of your ‘Other Days’ is completely up to you. How would you design them?

Making life different, and doing it on purpose.

For instance, my Work Days typically go like this:
Wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, fit in my run or workout as possible. Shower, dress the part in store for the day, have a light breakfast. Go to work in the way I’d planned to ‘hit the ground running’ the night before, and by merit of my Weekly Review (told ya, I like structure: Deliberate Inputs).

In comparison, my Other Days go like this:
Wake up at 5am. Brush and floss my teeth, as I make faces at myself in the mirror and read whatever affirmations I stuck up there on post-its. Capture whatever they make me think about in the Voice Memos app on my phone. Get dressed in the most comfortable, clean clothes I have in reach; no match, no matter (to be truthful, I usually go for more color, and the purposely unprofessional). Start the fixings of a good breakfast, including firing up my Krups cappuccino maker and grinding some good Kona beans. Sit on our porch with my coffee, and find something to take at least one photo of as the sun comes up. Decide how to use the photo as I finish my breakfast. Read whatever is on my Kindle for at least an hour, and for as long as I want to. Write something, and see if I can illustrate it (I want to learn to draw in some distinctive-to-me way). Use the rest of the day being unencumbered, and however my spirit moves me.

In the values-speak of Managing with Aloha:
…Work Days are for Ho‘ohana, Kuleana and KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u
…Weekends are for ‘Ohana, Mālama and Mahalo
…Other Days are for ‘Imi ola, ‘Ike loa and Nānā i ke kumu

Kindling with my morning coffee
I never check my email on Other Days, and I force myself to ignore my computer’s Work Day bookmarks. If I open my laptop I’ll go straight to my G-Reader and follow links for the 5,6, or 7 degrees of separation my inspiring stable of blogging accomplices and instigators send me toward, and I merrily wander away the time, stopping occasionally to curate my Commonplace Book in Evernote. I seek to remember the good by dipping into the older archives of Ho‘ohana Aloha (my Tumblr) so I can Ho‘omau with it (stretch it out, and make it last). I read a lot on Other Days; deep reading, resisting all urges to scan or skim.

Other Days are for discovering how much of a weather-wise person you are (different from weather-lucky). I get outside as much as possible and take a lot of walks on my Other Days, and I call people just to talk story on the phone for a while, or I write letters and thank you notes. Sometimes I simply stay inside the entire day long, and savor the spots of refuge and rejuvenation of my home – absolutely heavenly when it rains! (Home is different on the weekends, for then I share it with family …I’m cleaning and catching up with chores.)

I’m an obsessive planner with my Work Days, necessary by merit of the travel and island-hopping I do, yet I am very diligent about fitting in my Daily 5 Minutes and having other conversations. On Other Days I plan nothing but creative pursuits I want to try (handwork, crafty things mostly), and just fall into the environmental structure I have described. My Other Days aren’t exactly hobby days though, for my goal is more variety. More random life-immersion. More other-ness.

I write a a lot, for that’s how I tend to think, and reason things out. As you might guess, most of what I publish on Talking Story got written on my Other Days, at least in draft form.

Here’s something I just read on my Kindle that was pretty reaffirming:

“What kind of environment creates good ideas? The simplest way to answer it is this: innovative environments are better at helping their inhabitants explore the adjacent possible (defined in this post’s footnote), because they expose a wide and diverse sample of spare parts—mechanical or conceptual—and they encourage novel ways of recombining those parts. Environments that block or limit those new combinations—by punishing experimentation, by obscuring certain branches of possibility, by making the current state so satisfying that no one bothers to explore the edges—will, on average, generate and circulate fewer innovations than environments that encourage exploration.”
— Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

These days, managers are pretty good at thinking about the environmental creativity fostered in the workplace. But what about in those places where everything else happens?

I propose that you can have Other Days right now, even if you start with just one day a week, and no matter what the rest of the world is doing in battling or keeping with their existing conventions.

Try it.
Your dentist will be very happy about the flossing thing.

Just in case you missed these:

  1. Value Verbing: Theme 2012 with your Aloha Spirit
  2. An Aloha Business for 2012
  3. On the 20-hour work week: All in favor?