Category Archives: Learning

Where is offense?


Like most of us I have been following the tempest succeeding the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the wave of anti-terrorist rhetoric, the rendering of Mohammed as a kind of ‘we’ll-show-you’ counter-punch, the counter-counter punch of Muslims being offended by the rendering, and on it goes. Everyone seems offended by something.

I spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to observe the phenomena that are being referred to in ordinary conversation — when we are speaking and listening.

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Why do we procrastinate?


It’s a bit more than a week into the new year and I am already behind on all the things I was going to get done during the post-holiday lull. I am procrastinating. As with many of my less agreeable habits, I decided to do a workshop on the subject for a European client late last year. The overarching question of why we procrastinate was framed a bit more specifically as “Why don’t we do the things we KNOW we need to do to accomplish what we SAY we want to accomplish?” The correlation

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Love is…..

EI 1007

By Jim Selman | Bio

Love is, I think, the most universal and central aspect to our experience as human beings. In much of our music, literature, popular culture and day-to-day life there is no other topic that even comes close. Yet, love for most of us remains a mystery — something that we all about without any consensus as to what love really is.

Not long ago, I was facilitating a meeting of top executives in a food company in the Ukraine. They were working on the question of ‘why’

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How Are You Listening?

By Ana Lepri

There is a humorous 1-1/2 minute video called Masi, Me Tiro which is winning awards around the world. It has inspired me to reflect on how we listen to others. The characters demonstrate that our listening is often filtered through our personal judgments and preconceptions of others. This filtering limits our ability to listen. We find ourselves reacting to what’s being said and to who we think they are

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Why Don’t We Ever Learn?

By Jim Selman | Bio

As we watch the devastation in Haiti on television, the world recoils at the horror and the suffering, mobilizes its resources and tries to clean up the mess and help the survivors. The media forages, looking for who to blame (usually corrupt or incompetent politicians). We’ve witnessed this scene following earthquakes countless times: in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake 2008 when 69,000 died in China; in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake when 230,000 died in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand; in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake where 86,000 died in Pakistan; in the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake when 142,800 died in Japan; and even in 1908’s Messina earthquake when 100,000 died in Italy. If we think about the hurricanes, volcanoes, fires, tsunamis and famine, it seems the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” are doing a fabulous business these days. The fact is that natural (and some unnatural) disasters happen all the time.  But if you look at the impact of these events in developed countries and compare them to the impact in underdeveloped countries, the contrast is shocking.

The reason for this has been clear for a long time. The extent of damage in any earthquake depends on many variables, including the magnitude of the quake and the aftershocks, what type of soil buildings are on and the distance of population centers from the epicenter. Underdeveloped or developing nations face particular challenges—especially when dealing with high population density areas—because they lack the necessary infrastructure to respond. In addition to this factor,

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The Medium is the Message

By Jim Selman | Bio

Forty-five years ago Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”. I wonder what he would have made of today’s media-on-steroids. Someone sent me a fascinating YouTube piece called “Social Media in Plain English” , which was followed up with a dramatic piece on the extraordinary impact of all that is going on in the Social Media Revolution. It includes a new term I had never seen before: socialnomics. It’s getting easier and easier to feel ignorant and out of touch.

The general consensus is that the phenomenon of social networking/social media is as potentially revolutionary as the Industrial Revolution. Whether this is hyperbole or turns out to be fact will remain a question for history. What is a fact is that the medium is changing faster and in more dramatic ways than many of us can keep up with. I was just getting comfortable with email, blogging and my own websites. And now, almost overnight it seems, I am confronted with Twitter,

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Goodbye Mimi

By Jim Selman | Bio

This has been a sad week. My partner’s mother died at the
age of 94. Even when the end is expected (and perhaps even welcomed after a
long period of decline), it nonetheless has a powerful impact on those who
cared. All of the clichés aside, there just isn’t much to say to the bereaved
other than “I am sorry for your loss.” As we get older, death and dying becomes
a larger part of our day-to-day reality as we lose friends and loved ones.

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Focus and Time

By Shae Hadden | Bio

What we do with our time seems to be an ongoing topic of interest for many. Popular belief says we need to balance time for ‘work’ and ‘life’. Innumerable authors and experts have invented tools and techniques for us to ‘manage’ our time. Common sense says that procrastination occurs when we ‘waste’ time doing nothing or doing things other than what we say we’re going to do. More experts have written about how we can get

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Not Easy: Just Clear

By Jim Selman | Bio

Yesterday I was coaching a friend of mine. I was sharing a bit of how important it is to ‘come from’ your vision for your life. Our future is always a product of our actions, and our actions are always a correlate of how we relate to the future. When we act as if the future has already happened, then it is only a matter of time before that future is realized or we learn what we need to learn to achieve it. Her response was, “Well, you make it sound so simple, but it is too abstract and I need to know ‘how’ to have what I want in the future.” This was my response. "I understand. Everything is abstract until we learn it.

don’t think learning a new way of being or a different way of observing
the world is simple. I think it is clear when we can set aside our
conventional wisdom and ‘try on’ a different mindset. Not easy, but

If you are 100% focused on ‘how’ and ‘doing’, then it is impossible to learn a different way of being.

normally try to BE different (or become resigned that we can’t change
the way we are) by trying to change what

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Learning from Experience

By Rick Fullerton | Bio

Over the past few months I have been an absentee blogger, a consequence of having accepted a full-time work assignment that I expected to last two years or more. I was enticed by a personal request for my services to lead a strategic initiative that would call on my experience and skills. So after nearly 10 years as a freelance consultant, I returned to work inside an organization at age 62.

Any major decision like this comes with many implications. Besides the desire to

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