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?

An Aloha Business for 2012

Last post, we talked about an approach for the January overwhelm that can appear this time of year, and our talk story about it slanted toward the personal. Let’s talk about your workplace today.

If you are a business owner, or an Alaka‘i Manager — one with Kuleana (a sense of personal responsibility, and personal accountability) within your circle of influence, whatever its scope, AND you have the Ho‘ohana intention to manage with Aloha — this post is for you.

An Aloha Business for 2012

What will the Aloha business look like and feel like? Why will it be the best kind of business to tackle the coming year’s challenges with the greatest prospects of success? What will it take, so it truly thrives and prospers?

Here are my suggestions for you.

STEP 1: Allow your people to design their own work schedules, both where and when, and how much.

If you’re a manager who maintains control of a schedule, it’s time to let it go. To be frank, you should’ve let it go a long, long time ago. If you have a group who works to obey their assigned time on the clock versus the demands and mission of the business, you still have a ‘staff’ and not a ‘tribe’ who will rally around a common cause with the vibrant energy an Aloha-valued business thrives on.

Even businesses with operating hours can successfully put their work schedules in the hands of their people, and should do so. You replace the schedule the manager has controlled (and refereed, yuck) with an agreement: Allow your emerging tribe to self-organize around necessary coverage first, and then self-direct, filling in the blanks with the rest of the work. Those ‘blanks’ are the opportunities to go above and beyond mere coverage, illustrating for you the work they choose to do because it is most important, either to them, or to your customer, and aren’t those the two groups of people who count most in the workplace equation to begin with?

You’ll be in for a might-be-rocky adjustment at first, but I promise you, the self-sorting, self-directing, tribe-loving work of your people will begin to reveal its treasures. They will surprise you, delight you, and fill you with pride.

If you’re arguing with me in your head with this, insisting that, “well fine, it doesn’t have to be me, but I’ll probably need a lead,” that lead will emerge — your people will elect their most trusted peer. Let it happen and stay out of it, for you have other things to do (read on!)

A related read in the archives, about giving permission: When Managers Say the Right Things. To be an Alaka‘i Manager, work on this deliberately: Speak with those two critical intentions of giving permission and sharing your appreciation.

STEP 2: Value-align your Customer Service with a value-mapping 12×12.

Imagine what it will do for your business — your profits, your cause, your reputation, your standing in the community — if you improve your customer service x12 in 2012! This is how you get there:

Begin a value of the month program which will focus on work-aligning the answers to just one crucial question month after month, a two-fold one: a) What does this value mean to us, and b) How do we share this value with our customer?

Sometimes the answers will have to do with changing what you allow a customer to do or not do: The answers which emerge as the month goes by won’t only be about you and your tribe. That’s good: Get rid of your sacred cows, reinvent and innovate, move forward and get better.

Start with the values which are most important to you, and work your program with the 12th of each month as day 1: Keep that x12 number in mind every way you can, and have this program take you through next year’s holidays to January 11th, 2013. For instance:

January 12-February 11: Ho‘okipa, the value of service in generosity.
February 12-March 11: Mālama, the value of caring, compassion, and stewardship.
March 12-April 11: Kākou, the value of communication, and inclusivity.
April 12-May 11: Lōkahi, the value of teamwork, cooperation and collaboration.
And so on.

What you will begin to discover — and it will surprise you how quickly this happens — is that your self-directed tribe will apply this value alignment to everything else too: That’s the magic of value immersion. You, as Alaka‘i Manager, take the lead with inspiring the charge for the customer, because they won’t always speak for themselves with the same “me too!” urgency that your tribe will. In fact, think about bringing favorite repeat customers into the program as well: Ask them to be your mentor of the month!

STEP 3: Realign your own Ho‘ohana as an Alaka‘i Manager.

If you tackle my first two suggestions with full commitment, you will be able to redesign your own day-to-day work as a manager — and as an emerging leader — because of the natural replacement of tasks that happens for you.

It won’t all be peaches and cream at first, for you have to get through the crucible of change that leads to the good stuff. For instance, you may discover that some people leave the tribe (or are forced out) because their comfort zones erode and they can’t evade the radar any longer — ultimately a good thing. Taking care of your tribe will always be Job One of the Alaka‘i Manager, but you are progressing magnificently, and growing as your people grow in their own self-direction. Keep your eye on the prize!

Eventually, there will be two game changers you can concentrate on from now on, because you have brought them into the realm of your “adjacent possible” (see footnote):

  1. The development of your people: How can you mentor their growth? Start here: Are you doing the Daily Five Minutes yet? then review this: Annual Appraisals, and then key in to ‘Ike loa, the value of lifelong learning (Review chapter 11 in Managing with Aloha.)
  2. Your business model: Re-sort out the financial common sense and innovative sense of your business model — compensation, profit-sharing, reinvestment, community philanthropy, all of it. Become the leader you haven’t had the time to become up to now, for that time is here.

I know you can do this, for you are an Alaka‘i Manager.

I won’t be posting again until January 12th or later, so you have the time to plan this, have your group meetings necessary, invite customer mentors and get started. Do write me if you have a question, or encounter a speed bump and we’ll talk story about it.

We ho‘ohana kākou, and always with Aloha!
Rosa

… if you ache for something fresh to read between now and my next posting, remember that you can always click over to my Tumblr, Ho‘ohana Aloha, and see what finds are getting added there.

Footnote: “Adjacent possible” is an environmental condition I learned about in Steven Johnson’s book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. “The phrase captures both the limits and the creative potential of change and innovation… the adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself” — if you, as manager, are willing to take that leap into a better future, bringing your workplace with you.

Irresistible

Are you just catching up with our Ho‘ohana Community now? Here are links for our most recent talk stories this week:
January 1: What do you know to be sure? Hō‘imi ola.

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou — Happy New Year!
I sincerely hope that 2011 ended with ma‘alahi joy for you (contentment), as it did for me. I am flush with the lush generosity of Mahalo (an elemental gratitude) as I sit and write this for you. Good endings help us create good beginnings…

January 2: Value Verbing: Theme 2012 with your Aloha Spirit

In my Makahiki letter, I’d said that I love this time of year because it is Ka lā hiki ola (the dawning of a new day) at its most pervasive moment: We human beings collaborate in self-care, and in our Ho‘ohana intentions. The whole world seems to be in sync, as we collectively look back to assess what we’ve come to know. We corral our confidences and our strengths, and then we look forward, expectantly, and with hopeful optimism knowing those confidences and strengths are packable and adjustable: They’ll remain with us, and they’ll remain useful.
What’s not to love? In a word, the overwhelm.

Written for January of 2010, and a good read to review: The ALOHA Point of View

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

Does Social Media Qualify as a Deliberate Input?

Yes and no. You, as the user of social media, have to make it high quality, so it becomes a ‘yes.’ If not, as a social media ‘reader’ you are being influenced however a particular platform organically happens, and you’re leaving its inherent ‘wisdom of the crowd’ to chance.

(If you don’t use or care about social media, feel free to skip the rest of this post.)

If you are a social media user, you may have noticed that it was missing from my list of Deliberate Inputs shared two days ago. That too, was deliberate on my part, for I’m currently re-thinking my own time given to using social media, and I’m in the process of tweaking the accounts I do use. One by one, I’m slowly questioning and reviewing all of them, starting with the ones you see linked for you up in my Talking Story header (LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter). It’s turning out to be a longer process than I’d anticipated, however it’s good to discard auto-pilot regularly, question your habits, and think these things through.

You remember that bit about habits don’t you? (The Riddle.) You are your habits, so make them good!

At the bare minimum, ‘tweaking usage’ in social media means two things to me: How I listen at a platform, and how I speak up (updates).

You may recall this starting for me back in July, when I removed the Managing with Aloha group from LinkedIn, and took a digital holiday (I’ve actually been taking several of those holidays!) As of this writing, LinkedIn is simply an online business card I’m keeping current for others who might look for me there, and nothing else; I’m not actively using it in any meaningful way. I do continue to update Tumblr, Twitter, and Flickr.

Blackberries

And then there’s social media’s newest darling, Google+: A good amount of cheering can be heard from its growing legion of fans. VC Fred Wilson for one, has written “Why I’m Rooting For Google+”. The whole Circles thing is intriguing to me as opposed to ‘friending’ (more on that momentarily), and to those of you who have sent me invites, mahalo — please know they are on hold for me, for I don’t want to jump into a new ballgame until I’ve done the sorting out of my old ones as I’m about to explain. While I’m on the subject of account choices, I still don’t use Facebook, and I’m not planning to.

Social Media requires deliberate intention

First of all, we users have to understand that free social media platforms aren’t actually free: We may not pay for them with currency, but we do pay with our clicks and updates. Here’s a short post by Marco Arment commenting on Twitter, where he explains that users shape developer ad targets: We aren’t a platform’s customer. We’re their research team.

Adding ‘apps’ to the mix, is another way we might use a platform with someone else’s influence added onto it as another layer” However, as Patrick Rhone asks here: Isn’t the web enough? In my own usage I’ve discarded the apps I’d tried out before (an example would be Hootsuite for Twitter), and gone back to a web-only/platform-pure practice, using my smartphone apps only when I travel (or for other reasons that aren’t connected to social media: Killer Apps).

The arguments can be made: “But I like the social conversations, and the online stretch across geographic boundaries.” And, “Isn’t the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ timely, and thus something I should pay attention to?” Social for social sake is very valid: I wonder about those things too, not wanting to levy my judgments too quickly, particularly in regard to crowd-sourcing (for as you know, I prefer face-to-face or voice-to-voice conversations, and talking story here on the blog). Twitter in particular, handily beats most news media in alerting me of events as they happen. And I readily admit there’s an element of pure play with social media, which is certainly not a bad thing. Stowe Boyd once said, “Twitter is about hope and love, although the casual observer might miss that completely.”

So, let’s get that hope and love, and the deliberate optimism of positive expectancy. We, as users, can tweak our usage enough to make it truly useful and relevant to our more fervent interests: We can program social media to be deliberate versus distracting (or distressing). There is no doubt that social media can be incendiary: So what kind of fire does it start for you, and are you okay with the burn of that fire?

For instance, one way I believe social media ‘programming’ to be broken, and horribly so, is with ‘friending’ and ‘following.’ In my opinion, both words have been tarnished within the framing of social media, for they’ve become quite the numbers game, and are more about marketing, broadcasting, and a dysfunctional attempt at branding visibility (i.e. manufacturing popularity perceptions.) So within my current tweaking, I’ve largely discarded the ‘friending’ association of following in favor of better curation instead, so my social media streaming will influence me in the best possible way when I am reading those streams, and listening in. As Maria Popova (aka the brain picker) explains:

Twitter is quickly evolving into a superb way to discover fascinating content you normally wouldn’t have, by following interesting people who tweet with great editorial curation. The key, of course, is exercising your own curatory judgment in identifying said interesting people.

I feel the same way about Tumblr (listening), and continue to love using Ho‘ohana Aloha for my finds (speaking up) when Twitter’s 140 characters just won’t do.

So to wrap this up, if you think of yourself as one of my friends — in what the word is supposed to actually mean — and I’m not following you, please don’t be offended, for I’m no longer associating my friendships with social media, but with interesting curation, following (and un-following) in a way which may seem random to you: Don’t read anything into it, for even I can’t adequately explain the roads I travel when my value of ‘Ike loa kicks into high gear! I just slip-slide into that slick rabbit hole of joyful learning and enjoy the journey.

Play is Serious Business

I’m trying to speak up in a more interesting way of ‘editorial curation’ for others too, and tweet or tumble what I think will be interesting to anyone following me. If you follow me, and I haven’t followed back, it’s because I just can’t keep up with the numbers game on social media, nor do I want to. You’ll have to get my attention in another way (and that usually happens with great conversation.) I demand the same from myself, and do not expect followership from you simply as reciprocity, for at its best, following is not a passive activity, is it. I love playing around with numerology and measurement, but social media is not a factor in that study, not for me.

Any more thoughts on this?
Let’s talk story… I was thinking the weekend was the best time, if any.

We talked about learning curation last summer too, quite the delicious concept… I wonder what it is about these 3rd quarter months that triggers it.

And as a postscript… might there be such a thing as an unlearning curation? This gem was on my Tumblr dashboard this morning (hattip Tanmay Vora):

“Creating a ‘learning organization’ is only half the solution. Just as important is creating an ‘unlearning organization’. To create the future, a company must unlearn at least some of its past. We’re all familiar with ‘learning curve’, but what about the ‘forgetting curve’ ”“ the rate at which a company can unlearn those habits that hinder future success?”
~ Dr. C. K. Prahalad

Good Morning Austin
Good Morning Austin by Thomas Hawk, on Flickr

Why I blog, circa 2011 (and about ‘real books’)

Fellow blogger Becky Robinson writes, “Clicking the publish button on a new post always requires me to muster both faith and courage.” She also shares, “Here’s another confession: apart from the fun of blogging, I am not clear about why I am doing it.”

I’m with Becky; writing a blog is fun. And I can relate to doing something because you sense it’s good for you, without being completely clear on how or why, and having trust in the process — even when it takes faith and courage.

However Becky got to me wonder if it’s time that I share more of my present day reasons with you as well, especially since I never hesitate to encourage others to blog too. Case in point: Write your story of leadership. I haven’t done a meta-blogging article like this for quite a while (a post about blogging), feeling I’ve adequately covered it in the past — there’s a bunch of them in the archives, from the earlier years of Talking Story. But I suppose that’s a little naive. Things change. The world changes, and with it the ecosystem on the internet changes, as does my purpose, and yours.

This isn’t what all the “how to blog” coaches out there are likely to agree with, for their common teaching is that a blog should be written for the reader, and not for the writer. But that’s them, this is me, I’m not looking to monetize my blog, and though I took a lot of their advice early on, this is my truth about blogging today — it’s the pono background you deserve as my generous readers, gifting me with your attention as you do.

My blog is for me, my books are for you

Though it hasn’t always been like this, and you may get a different feeling when you dig into the archives, my blogging now is for me, even in welcoming conversation with you as it does, so that my books can be for you. I went through a number of years blogging, here at Talking Story and elsewhere as guest and columnist, with Managing with Aloha all the book I felt I needed, because I worked with it so actively in my coaching business (and still do). But I’ve continued to learn more as the years go by, as we all do, and now that Managing with Aloha is seven years published for me personally, I feel it’s time for me to get back to book writing.

Book publishing has changed dramatically, and in the past year I’ve stuck with ebook publishing as my learning process about what that entails, however I plan to do both with the manuscript I’m working on now, releasing it in both ebook and printed book form. For me, as a publisher of managerial business writing, there is a good, better, best continuum that goes like this:
Blog posts ~ good. Ebooks ~ better. Books ~ best.

And not just for me as a publisher, but as a reader too. That’s why you’ve seen me get back to sharing more book reviews here with you lately, with as-they-happen updates shared on Goodreads. I’m working at improving the inputs I take in with reading, feeling that:

Blog posts (and most ‘online journalism’ today) ~ good reading, good sharing.
Ebooks ~ better reading, better exploring.
Print Books ~ best of all for true learning.

Tab it and mark it up!

A ‘real book’ is more substantial. It’s something we want printed, because it represents this very tangible filing cabinet of learning which started out as the author’s learning, but became ours too. Both author and reader will invest substantially more energy in a book, and that investment pays off with far greater rewards.

Managing with Aloha represents over three decades of work experience for me, back to the first job I ever had. The book I am working on now, will cover some specific workplace experiences I have had between 1989 and today.

Work should be relevant and useful for you

Even the ‘work’ it takes for you to read, or write. Mine certainly is. It’s all part of Ho‘ohana (chapter 2 in Managing with Aloha: here’s the free book excerpt).

As my blog, Talking Story circa 2011 is a combination of current commentary on our world of work, what I read and learn about, and a drafting of the way I write to make sense of it all. Said another way, it’s a book germinating laboratory for me today. I blog to draft publicly because I enjoy inviting you into the early part of the process, so your feedback, our conversations, can be incorporated into my thoughts too; it’s a kind of rudimentary collaboration. But I know that my blogging will not give most blog-reading managers the complete “how-to” they might be looking for help with, and that’s why I want to write more books.

I feel there is a void out there for managers today, especially in an economic climate where good professional training has been cut from business budgets, and unfortunately, is still considered a luxury, as short-sighted and naive as that is. Books can help as an affordable option; they certainly help me learn! Substantial books as I’ve described them, books that are more relevant, practical and useful, aren’t easy to find for the Alaka‘i manager, and I want to help in the best way I’m able to.

Offering book reviews, of books I have read and can recommend, is one way. Writing books myself is another.

You know how I feel: In my view, there is no good leadership without great management, at least not in today’s prevalent organizational business models (though that can change in our future, a change I’d welcome). Management is a profound responsibility, and it’s not for everyone. It’s a calling when done in the with Aloha way, not a place-holder on an org chart designed for business efficiency over and above talent development. I’m honest and vocal about telling people who manage for reasons of career climbing to get out of management as their temporary occupation as soon as they can, because they’re probably creating too many casualties along the way, instead of developing other people like managers are supposed to.

It all gets back to Kuleana, the personal responsibility we accept

I feel pretty blessed in knowing where my stronger activities lie as a writer, with ‘managing with aloha’ now more than book, and the threading theme coursing through the various business topics I’ll write about. It’s the heart of everything. I know how writing connects to my thinking, and my accomplishments, with the values-based philosophy of MWA grounding me as my Nānā i ke kumu (spirit source, wellspring, and sense of place).

I never get writer’s block, and more than anything else, my literary life is a constant search for more time to simply sit and write, versus coaching and speaking for hire, and the rest of day-to-day living. I’m rarely looking for blog topics to share with you, in fact, what usually happens is that I hold myself back or add finds to my Tumblr, fearing that I’m flooding your sensibilities with way too much early thinking on my part. I often feel I need to be more selective about when I hit that publish button here on the blog. Along the way, there is stuff that drops out of the queue, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I stop thinking about it, and it may come back in a book when its time has arrived.

Talking Story is now 7 years old, amazing really, and I’ve gotten past the newbie blogger’s anxiousness to hit publish too quickly. I do sleep on posts, queue them up in better order, revising and editing several times along the way, however I eventually let it go as a blog post, knowing full well it’s a draft of thought in process. Hopefully, you accept my invitation, and step into the laboratory because it’s enough to get you thinking about a comment you can share at times too, allowing me to be Mea Ho‘okipa in hosting this conversation platform for you.

I resist publishing blog posts until they feel ‘good’ to me in that continuum I mentioned. I want my book manuscripts to move through better and onto best. I have a much higher expectation with them, and I’m sure you do too.

The more you read, the greater the context

Read back over the last few paragraphs in the previous section, and it’s fairly obvious — I this, I that. I, I, I, and my Ho‘ohana responsibility in a blog post written about me in this blogging purpose. However please know I am very sincere about writing my books for you.

I had some hesitation in writing this post at all, for I hope you’ll stick around, and stay with me through this part of the collaborative process too. But I know that my books are better written, and better for you when reading time is at a premium, as it is for us all. This expectation has actually been a change for me over the course of my blog years too; I love when you read Talking Story and participate here, but I no longer expect it as unreasonably as I once did.

I shared a draft of this post with someone who I know reads Talking Story faithfully, and she disagreed with me completely as to the absence of more how-to’s here. However, I suspect she disagreed with me because she has already read my ebooks, and actively uses MWA with her workplace team in the value mapping process. For that’s when your blog reading changes here: You have the context of more backstory, more learning curation you’ve already journeyed through. You’ve connected reading to personally experimenting, and to gaining your experience through chosen action. As one of my haumana (students), you can easily get more of the how-to that actually is here, how-to that other people will miss.

Reading choices, with more help in the choosing

So I’ll end this post with an honest pitch for the 1 book and 3 ebooks I have written so far. 3 need to be purchased, and 1 is free, but free is subjective, isn’t it… the how-to within it is extensive, and you have to do the work it proposes to get the most out of it.

My intention with ebooks going forward, is that they fall into the $4.99 or less price point, to package one concept at a time — just as Value Your Month to Value Your Life did for the MWA m.o. of value alignment, with value-mapping the how-to. I’m quite proud of Business Thinking with Aloha, and had released it as a more robust ebook to get the distribution started in expanding the collaborative laboratory possible in exploring it more fully, suspecting it could be ‘real book’ one day in the league of MWA. It’s somewhat of an ebook experiment unto itself for now, for the big advantage to ebooks as essays, are that they can be so easily revised and updated as their ideas are further developed.

So on to the suggested reading… Those were my intentions, and what follows is what I published them as for YOU. (see all the dust jackets on my book page. I keep the link up in the blog banner.)

  • Then, if MWA resonates, and you share these beliefs, deciding to answer your calling for managing others well, download Become an Alaka‘i Manager in 5 Weeks from Smashwords. It’s the free one, and I wrote it for people who opt for self-coaching; hiring me for personal coaching and attending my workshops are not options for them. Thus reading annotation to learn and retain is a key part of that self-coaching process (as you are starting to see me do more visibly here on the blog with my own book reviews for others).
  • If you’re looking for a more immediate start with your MWA practice, buy Value Your Month to Value Your Life. The how-to within it is value-mapping within the workplace, and it will help you see more how-to relevance in the rest of the OIB business model as it is discussed both within MWA and here on the blog. If blog posts are all you have read from me so far, this is also your shortest ebook choice. I think it’s a very good companion to the 5-week program too, helping you create an atmosphere conducive to your Ho‘ohana. Choose from Smashwords or Kindle.
  • The Become an Alaka‘i Manager in 5 Weeks program is an in depth study. If you decide it’s a bit much for you, consider warming up with Business Thinking with Aloha, for I wrote that ebook visualizing college graduates and other early job seekers as my audience, as a ‘business of life Thought Kit’ they can consider framing their job experience with, as they learn on the job. The framing how-to within it is based on the 9 Key Concepts (linked below). Choose from Smashwords or Kindle.

BTWA features the 9 Key Learning Concepts of MWA.
Blog page: Learning Managing with Aloha: 9 Key Concepts

The next book

So that book I mentioned writing right now” I hope to have it out soon, very soon. My first draft of the full manuscript is complete, and I’m in edit process, hoping to make it shorter and not longer. I’ve been writing it since January, having started it the day after I published Value Your Month to Value Your Life, and in my Ha‘aha‘a humble yet Aloha biased view, it will be the ultimate how-to for managing people in an extremely generous way — even if the manager who reads it decides that the full workplace bench press of the Managing with Aloha OIB (‘Ohana in Business model) isn’t for them.

The book will also launch a new coaching program I hope to have in place this summer with Ruzuku.

Stay tuned, and know that as a Talking Story reader, you’ve already been an important part of it, a very important part. Thank you.