Week 9, A. 9.1 Blogs w/ Flip Manifesto

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 

I really enjoyed the short and funny read from Daniel Pink "The Flip Manifesto" that looks at the perspectives of individuals and organizations who chose to "go out on a whim" and do things completely opposite from the norm for a change, resulting in ideas that really do make a lot of sense. The reading section on "Establishing a Department of Why" tied well to Neil Croft's blog on "The Opposition of Obedience and the Source of Safety and Success". Pink humerously goes to explain the necessity of Why and how many companies get involved in the Who, What, Where, When and How (the 4 W's instead of 5 and a H). Why get's caught up in the answer, "for the stockholders" which Croft also mirrors. In the Holos article, Croft points out that "identifying and speciifying the 'something' is important". This "something" is the reflection of the why. Croft goes on to say that obedience kills thinking and empowerment, moving further away from achieving anything or enabling people to collaborate. Croft's Why language are found in the vocabulary "Cause", the combination of vision, mission and purpose, which leads to "Code", the combination of values, behaviors and habits that will articulate the "Cause". Like Pink mentoions, these "whys"-- purpose, mission and vision drive people to understand why they do what they do, and push them to do there best knowing that it is contributing to the greater whole. Pink also points out that clarity on the "Why" is really important for the individual and the company culture. Croft supports that statement by saying that organizations without a clear "Cause" are relying most on obedience and structure in marketing plaster rather thatn intentional cultural design. It is a true reminder to let the last W question shine!

For John Thackara's blog post "A Whole New Cloth: Politics and the Fashion System", he goes into reflection on the meeting he attended in Sweden that held 200 sustainability managers. He was mentioning this famous home furnishing company giant in Sweden that is making thousands of tested improvements towards sustainability, but was shocked on the manager's reply that "Growth is needed to finance the sustainability improvements we all want to make". Thackara makes a great point in his summary of this experience by questioning the company's decision of not asking the most important "Why" question. Why should the company grow? Growth would mean an increase of 650 million customer visitings to 1.5 billion a year. Is this sustainable? Why would growth support the value of sustainability in this situation? The value and clarity needed, stated in both Pink and Croft's readings, are missing from this example. Thackara goes on to say that the meaning of "sustainability" needs to be defined for the company, not just as a measurement of doing "less bad". This company could maybe benefit from Pink's manifesto in "Establish a Department of Why" and "Pass Your Problem Off to Someone Else". 

In a Do Blog post called "Generosity" by Denise Cornell, she writes about open generosity and testing an experiment with herself where she played with the idea of practicing generosity in her words and feedback, first starting out with voicing the positive things she say in her business environment. Then she moved further by speaking her heart to a colleague in "human language" with honesty, frightened of the results. Responses were gracious. Her mantra to instill the courage of her actions were, "If you've been given the ability to see something and your intentions are pure, you're obligated to share. Anything less is selfish". I really enjoyed this personal story of jumping out of a comfort zone and like Pink suggests, "Do the Reverse of Whatever You're Doing Now". Denise sure did with really great results that has transformed her way of communicating with others, trusting herself and her intentions to help others. This also ties to Pink's great manifesto section on "For Godsakes, Talk Like a Human Being". Speaking to others in the business realm just as you would honestly in a personal setting, makes it honest and believable. I agree this is the way to go, to be human, and not remove your human-ness from the way you communicate.