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Whirling Chief

Contributor

Sesil Pir

Sesil Pir

Structural Change Is An Easy Way Out: Why We Need To Own Our Corporate Cultures

For years, we have described culture as something separate from us. “It is just a toxic environment,” we say. “The competition is going to crush us,” “The management is so bad!,” “Why is it so hard to be nice to one another?”

We have used the iceberg model for years now to make the argument that the parts of our cultures that can be seen above the water are a reflection of isolated behaviors and outliers. We have made the case that the submerged part – the invisible continues to shape our experiences and we are unsure how to get in front of “those” behaviors.

Continue reading original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 18 September 2019
Whirling Chief

Leadership & Team Development

Nº 234

The Path To Mastery In Leadership: What It Is And How To Develop It

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Do you ever wonder why leaders have such a varying level of accomplishment and followership over time?

I did for years and thought I had the perfect answer, too. I thought it was a matter of hard work. My thinking was, “If only I work harder, deepen my skills and run faster than everyone else, with the combination of my cognitive capacity and work ethic, I can reach a level of mastery that offers success and influence in no time.” I believed in that and acted towards it for years until one morning I woke up and discovered I no longer wanted to walk, let alone to run…

Continue reading original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 5 September 2019
Whirling Chief

Organizational Development

Nº 233

Open-Heart Surgery For Fairness: Why We Need Compassion In The Future Of Work

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Over the course of my lifetime, I have come to know a lot of pain and suffering.

Being a byproduct of multi-cultural, multi-religious parents, who were suffering from an identity crisis, I have come very early to learn about the struggle for one’s belonging. Growing up in poverty, having to share what one has and not having any luxury to hold new curiosities, I have come to understand the struggle for one’s security. When I lost one of my parents in an unexpected traffic accident as a teenager and fell into a deep state of confusion, I have come to experience the struggle for one’s search for meaning. As a young woman, when doctors diagnosed me with a serious illness the first time, I came to acknowledge the struggle for one’s longing for healing. Later, traveling the world for business, learning about work conditions and heart-breaking life circumstances of equal human beings, I have come to witness the struggle for one’s joy.

Continue reading original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 24 July 2019
Whirling Chief

Organizational Development

Nº 232

Morality In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence: Why Do We Need Wisdom To Lead In The Future?

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Have you ever come across someone who possesses an impressive quality of inner cohesion? The kind that made you want to be around them for longer than you had intended to. Their crawling energy and the healing impact on your soul made you wonder who is this person, what do they do, how do I become more like them?

These are the kind of wise hearts that give many close and far the breath of life every day. These are the kind of wise hearts I aspire my heart to become a future leader…

Wisdom is the sixth quality of eight core human attributes found in research with Stanford University’s CCARE that 21st century leaders should possess on their path to developing resilience and leading organizations of adaptability.

Continue reading original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 17 July 2019
Whirling Chief

Organizational Development

Nº 231

Wonder In The Workplace: How Curiosity Can Prepare Us For The Future Of Work

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I keep a number of quotes in my work office wall for a routine reading throughout my days.

One of them is by 92 years’ young Benedictine monk David Steindl Rast.

It says, “Today is a wonderful new day, I have never seen it before.”

We live in a sea of complex and contradictory messages concerning the nature of our value and standards in this day of age. There are constant tensions we are being asked to manage between the agendas of the individual and the collective, the organization and the constituents, the government and the society, etc. Whether we are a “global senior director of research and innovation” at a multi-national corporation or a “veterinarian” in a small local clinic, we are each stretched for our ability to live consciously and beyond our developed capacities. Even though as human species, our survival, well-being and skillful adaptation to a given context are highly shaped by the quality of our awareness and choices, we have literally become limited in our ability to think, to feel, to be. This is largely dominated by environmental factors and certainly by some chosen habits.

Continue reading original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 3 July 2019
Whirling Chief

HR Management

Nº 230

Challenge is Different than Stress…

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During a genuine conversation reviewing an organization’s philosophy to talent management last week, one leader asked the difference between “having healthy tension” and “toxic tension” in the environment.

That’s a brilliant question I thought may benefit many of us…

As human beings, we do require and thrive on some healthy tension. Specifically, our performance can improve in snip bits when challenged with a specific end in mind. In that scenario, stress is our friend. It is an innate protective mechanism that intends to serve us – for our safety and wellbeing. When used at the right time with the right amount, stress can temporarily increase our awareness and improves physical performance (Van Duyne, 2003).

Having said that, there is a difference between transient and prolonged stress. You can think of transient stress as one experienced for a defined and a short period of time and prolonged stress as expanded in time.

Imagine there is a spectrum to the amount of stress. In that spectrum, humans can experience positive, tolerable or toxic stress and the impacts are vastly different (see below).

Positive stress is considered ‘normal’ and an essential part of human development. It is often experienced in brief increases in heart rate, mild elevations in hormone levels causing things like sweating. This is where we mostly want to be when offering someone a challenge. Tolerable stress actually activates the body’s alert systems. It is a warning saying, “watch out”. Toxic stress, on the other hand, is about experiencing strong and frequent elevations in response system as a way of handling long-lasting alerting.

This kind of prolonged activation of the stress response can actually disrupt brain architecture and create damage to other organ systems –, especially digestive ones. There is a common misperception that brain development only occurs during childhood years – this is incorrect. Though neural connection formation is more active during the early years, we do continue to develop new pathways into adulthood and excessive stress actually impairs a lot of our executive function abilities necessary to be successful in achieving our tasks.

Toxic stress is often described as the following behaviors in the workplace:

  • Fear of being penalized for doing something ‘wrong’,
  • Fear of being laid off,
  • Overtime or overwork due to resource reductions,
  • The pressure to perform more,
  • Lack of control over day to day,
  • A difficult relationship with manager or colleagues,
  • Consistent change.

So, leaders, when you think you are being supportive (and perhaps challenging someone), please consider:

  • How are you responding to a mistake? Are you supporting the learning and offering a discovery path to the root cause or are you pointing fingers?
  • How are you communicating and implementing structural changes? Are you ripping off the band-aid or removing scar tissue bit by bit while making other scars?
  • How are you handling resource shifts? Are you re-prioritizing and saying ‘no’ to new requests or are you redistributing and forgetting about the replacement(s)?
  • How are you motivating people to performance? Are you nurturing per one’s unique gifts, capabilities, capacity, and interest or are you holding everyone to one standard?
  • How are you delegating and empowering?
  • How are you connecting?
  • How are you driving change?

You get the point…

In the workplace context, it is okay and encouraged to have some challenges for people. The key is to recognize having a challenge requires one to have enough resources to cope with the situation/ task/ responsibility presented.

Please be informed toxic stress is very closely related to one’s ability to lose focus, creativity, and learning and it is reversely related to resilience development.

In that, always consider the outcome you are looking to drive and the potential impact on another.

Let me also share with you some disheartening facts…

Today, it is reported one out of ten people suffer from major depression and almost one out of five persons has suffered from this disorder during his (or her) lifetime (one-year prevalence is 10% and lifetime prevalence 17%) (Kessler et al 1994). By 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of world disability (WHO, 2001) and by 2030; it is expected to be the largest contributor to disease burden (WHO, 2008).

The US reports losing over $500B per annum from stress. That number is up from ~300 in the last few years. A few eye-opening statistics below those stats (references from different sources):

– 83% of us report work climate as a top source of stress,

– 33% of us suffer from insomnia,

– 91% of work injuries happen due to human error (related to tiredness or loss of focus),

– 64% of employees report feeling their employers not providing sufficient resources to manage stress.

A poorly controlled response to stress can be damaging to health and well-being if activated too often or for too long. Our job as leaders – guides to others and organizations – nurturers of groups is to provide the right conditions for one to flourish.

If we take the time necessary to think hard and long about the why and the how of what we are trying to achieve and not let that focus go, I am confident we can support people through all kinds of experiences.

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Date

  • 26 June 2019
Whirling Chief

Organizational Development

Nº 229

Developing A Sense Of Responsibility: Why Emotional Insight Is Critical For The Future Of Work

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The aim of future organizations is to cultivate an environment, where the majority of its constituents (if not all) can thrive through unleashing of potential and the aim of leadership is to grow independent artists that can effectively participate in the process of recreation.

There is one major roadblock to the acclaimed mission – the condition of our human spirits.

Majority of us start our adult working lives on a condition of dependency. Similar to an experience in childhood, we have a need to gain new knowledge, to develop skills through application and to grow a sense of intuitive intelligence on our way to mastery. The difference is that by the time we reach the age for joining the workforce, we have already grown a deep sense of personal identity and often, a deeper sense of separateness, neither of which we had as children. The kind of interruptions and mental models we may have encountered during our developmental phase(s) up until we show up in the workplace combined with unattainable goals and aggravated expectations mandated onto us end up manifesting itself then as various behaviors of fragmentation, alienation, emotional stickiness or mental exhaustion.

Continue reading the original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 5 June 2019
Whirling Chief

Organizational Development

Nº 228

The Importance Of Foresight: Why Intuition And Imagination Will Be Critical In The Future Of Work

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In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman refers to the parts of our brain, where he suggests there are two competing intelligence at play.

He specifies one area affiliated to “system 1” which is known to be an area relying on speed in decision making and on emotion in information perceiving. System 1 is based largely on our instinct and intuition unconsciously stored by past experiences that are often rapidly available to memory. The second area is affiliated to “system 2” which is known to be an area for slow and deliberate decision making and more rational in information perceiving. This area takes in information based on our conscious appraisal of current events, and our stored episodic long-term memories, which are slowly available to memory. Why do we care?

Please read original article here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 3 June 2019
Whirling Chief

Leadership & Team Development

Nº 227

Conquering Institutional Fear: Standing Up For Ourselves And Others

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Someone filing their nails in a public place. Someone walking rather quickly behind us on a dark night. Watching an act of violence on TV. We all have events we can picture those trigger physiological reactions in us and make the hair on the back of our neck stand up!

Human feelings and thoughts – though they originate in the brain – have a strong connection to our bodies. Philosophers have argued this for years and more recently neuroscience has shown that emotions and thoughts infuse both the mind and the body. While thinking negative thoughts or feeling negative emotions can often raise our blood pressure, thinking positive thoughts and feeling positive emotions can often strengthen our immune systems. In other words, whether we remain conscious of this fact or not, our minds and emotions are “embodied” and have an impact on how we show up.

This is one of the primary reasons why today’s leaders are really struggling to bring forward their best in the workplace.

Read on the original article published on Forbes here.

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Date

  • 29 May 2019
Whirling Chief

Organizational Development

Nº 226

Everyday Abundance: Why We Must Invest In Finding Purpose

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Do you recall that time when you asked yourself why you were here on earth and what you were living for? Or the time you stood in your office wondering why you had taken on your current responsibility? Or the time you had made a choice and stepped into faith to feel like you have lost your way?

I do… Throughout my life and career, I have found myself checking in on my purpose time and time again. Take this one time as an example: It was a crisp fall evening I left my executive office admiring the art on the walls, trying hard not to breathe as to I wouldn’t break down and cry… We had announced restructuring one of our business’ heartlines four days ago. It had gone exceptionally well. The majority of our workforce was excited for the future, realizing product possibilities ahead. We had built a rock-solid leadership team for the group. I had personally prepared promotional arguments and worked on compensation packages of several well-seasoned, high performing, highly-deserving team members. There was an element of thoughtfulness and care in the process. That morning, I had received a phone call from the ex-chairman of the company announcing we’d dissolve the new structure as he “had a better idea for rebuilding our capacity.” After spending a whole day on calls and meetings, I had walked out of the campus, feeling the warm tears falling through my cheeks against the fresh air. I asked myself, “Why, why am I even here?”

Please continue reading the original article published here on Forbes.

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Date

  • 27 May 2019