I've made a surprising discover lately regarding narrative practice and the business world. I've read two business books over the last couple of months and it seems to me that narrative ideas are beginning to bleed into corporate America in a surprising way. Now how is it that capitalist's are more accommodating to narrative ideas then our own mental health practitioners? Not sure, but a little of what I have found follows:
I would argue that you could find several of those headings or similar, in many books about narrative practice. This book still suffers from the discourse of competition and ideas about winning in business, but it was surprising all the same.
Exhibit B: REWORK by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. We all know how narrative practitioners love to put RE in front of everything, Re-author, Re-story, Re-whatever, its become code for narrative practiced here. Well now there's Re-work. The authors, not narrative folk by any means, have done a very nice job of building quit a counter story to many of the dominant discourses that have floated around business for quite some time, unexamined. Some of their headings include;
Don't Be a Hero
Reasons To Quit
Throw Less at The Problem
Make Tiny Decisions
Go To Sleep
Yes, they do still fall into several dominant ideas out there in the business world but for the most part, they work to build an effective counter story for much of the discourse that still commands corporate America.
So I'm on the look out for that next book that moves these ideas further into the business world. Maybe it could be mine. I mean, I do have some material I could start pulling together...
I have another post up at the OC Metro where I take on the myth of the rugged individual. Please take a look and share:
Yesterday I was with a client who is a budding entrepreneur and the subject of networking came up. She was about to leave a job where she was in the company of many people, and where opportunities to travel and expand her network were plentiful. She was going to leave all of this to begin her start-up in her apartment and was becoming aware of, and concerned about, the isolation she might face...Read More HERE
Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to get together for lunch with my friend Suzanne Broughton. Because of our schedules, it seems that Suz and I can only get together once every six months. For those that don't know, Suz has been the biggest influence on me with all the online/social media stuff that I do. Suz was the one that bullied me into starting Dharmabum, getting on Twitter, and hooking me up with the OC Metro writing gig. At some point yesterday our conversation turned to the influence of Twitter. Suz is a big proponent of the power of Twitter and its potential reach. I wont bore you with all of that, but she did suggest that I get a little more detailed with my Twitter profile. There's not much you can do in a 160 characters, but surprisingly it did cause me to pause and think about who I am these days. In a nutshell this is what I came up with:
Narrative Therapy/Inquiry Practitioner. Blogger for @OCMetro Magazine, Social Entrepreneur, Community Worker, Art & Poetry Enthusiast. Test Pilot & Raconteur
Now that might not seem like such a big deal to anybody, but two pieces hit me in a enlightening way.
Social Entrepreneur: Yes, I have a long entrepreneurial background, and have even spoke about social entrepreneurship at a conference, but I never identified as a social entrepreneur. Until now. It struck me that what Anne and I are doing with the Narrative Project of Orange County is establishing a social enterprise. A low/no cost community counseling clinic that will serve our community in need. I have to say, it felt good to try on this new identity.
Community Worker: But I think it felt even better to discover that I am at a place, where at times I wasn't so sure I wanted to be, working in the community giving back. As I look back now it all makes sense, all the schooling and training, the amazing people that have influenced me and my world view, the theory, the practice, the hard times, all of it has brought me to this place where I can call myself, a community worker. I'm right where I've always wanted to be.
So who knew a conversation about Twitter would lead me here, but that's what happens when you have lunch with Suz. I suppose I should also apologize to all my friends in advance, now Suz wants to me to get on Foursquare. Sorry.
After a little hiatus that took place for no other reason then getting distracted, I have a new post up at the OC Metro. I really appreciate the opportunity to bring narrative ideas to the larger public, especially the local business/entrepreneurial community. So please take a look and if you like what you read please share it with a friend.
Orange County is a center of high achievement, entrepreneurial accomplishment, and all the trappings that come with material success. So it should come as no surprise that a piece of my practice includes working with clients who are struggling with the problem of perfection, and the bad effects it brings into lives...Read More Here.
It's been a crazy week. In the midst of all the teaching stuff there has been some great news to report on the Narrative Project of OC front. Yesterday Anne and I went to UCI to meet with the crew at the Economic and Community Development Law Clinic to begin setting up the structure of the NPOC as we move toward non-profit status. I feel very fortunate that they took on the Project, and are working hard to make it happen. As it progresses I'll continue to update.
I would also like to introduce the Project's legal eagles, Christina, Susan and Katie. Thanks guys!
I have a new post up over at the OC Metro. Go have a look please. It seems to have hit a chord.
I am currently watching CNBC and the DOW is down another 300 points. The riots in London continue unabated, and all this after the debt ceiling fiasco in Washington that lowered government approval ratings to all time lows. Will the bad news ever end?...Read More Here
I have a new post up over at OC Metro magazine. Please take a look if you have a moment.
Recently I found myself in an airport bookstore looking for something to read as I was about to board a plane for a five hour trip to the east coast. Typically I avoid the rotating volumes of business advice that are part and parcel of all airport bookstores, but this day my attention was captured by a row of a recently released publication professing the “hidden power of story.”As someone with a counseling and consulting practice centered on narrative and narrative inquiry, I bought the book....Read More Here
I have a new post up over at the OC Metro where I take on fear and how to get out from under it. I even quote Stephen Madigan in this one. Narrative practice in corporate America. I think there's a book here somewhere...
In my counseling practice I am currently working with two budding entrepreneurs. Both of these new business builders are starting companies in similar fields, and both of these talented individuals have often found themselves struggling with the F-word.
I have a new post up over at the OC Metro where I show how experience near questioning can lead to innovation in teams, non-profits, or organizations. Please take a look.
Asking the right questions in your organization, non-profit, or team can change everything. The traditional questions that tend to be asked in organizations are diagnostic questions. These types of questions are deficit based and lead to a problem based, problem focused culture. The alternative to this type of focus is questions that are strength based and lead to engagement and positive energy...Read More Here
I have a new Postmodern Executive post up over at the OC Metro. Please take a look..
As someone who spent a large portion of my professional career starting and growing a successful business, I am often asked for advice by aspiring entrepreneurs. In the past I was always ready with a standard set of recommendations that I would dispense, but over time my thinking about how best to support new business builders has begun to change. I have noticed over the years that the overriding theme that seems to get in the way of budding entrepreneurs is the powerful idea of personal failure and all the discourse that swirls around failure..Read More HERE
I'm pretty excited to be the first featured blogger over at the OC Metro. Please click through this link to take a look. I wasn't sure how my approach and writing skills were going to be received, but it seems to be working out pretty great so far. Suz and the OC Metro have been very supportive. Many Thanks!!
I also have a new column up:
As someone who uses the narrative approach to conflict resolution, I try and follow a few basic principles when working with parties that are involved in a dispute....Read More Here
If your company was to tell a story, what kind of story would it be? Would it be a thriller, where escape seems impossible? A mystery, where everybody is puzzled and no solution seems imminent? A tragedy, where your organization may be experiencing a reversal in fortune? Or worse yet, a slapstick comedy?..Read More Here
Fast Company is calling the next decade the Learning Decade. The author of the recent article, Sam Herring, co-founder and executive VP of Intrepid Learning Solutions and the chair of ASTD's board of directors says the main drivers of this move to learning investment by organizations include: top line innovations, disruptive technology, competitive pressures, increasing speed, virtuous circle, emerging markets, industry change, industry consolidation, brain drain, failing grade, return to growth, future jobs, knowledge workers, leadership vacuum, culture change, and unanticipated conditions...Read More Here
My new article, Intervention to Innovation is up over at the OC Metro.
Last week I attended a webinar put on by David Cooperrider who is the co-creator of Appreciative Inquiry and faculty at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. One of the pieces that really caught my attention was his particular take on the 80/20 data set. He pointed out that most organizations will put 80% of their focus on weaknesses. This wide view on what is wrong with organizations, inevitably leads to a problem solving culture that can begin a cycle of: Read More
Join me in conversation as I begin to unpack the values and practices of the postmodern executive. My hope is that this blog will provide readers with a map to a new way of organizing careers and organizations, and in the process provide inspiration and resources to what is now known as appreciative organizing.
So if you're interested in approaching your work and career in new and exciting ways, bookmark my blog and come back often. Thanks!
I wanted to let everybody know that beginning shortly I will be one on OCMetro.com's bloggers. I am very excited about this new project and will let you know more as it gets going.
The goal of my OCMetro.com blog will be to provide a social constructionist perspective to help leaders, managers and teams create preferred outcomes in their organizations, careers, and lives. The challenges and opportunities Orange County executives and organizations face in a rapidly changing environment requires new and innovative approaches to change. I will draw on my strong background in both entrepreneurship and postmodern theory as the foundation for my writing and research that will be presented on the blog.
I hope you will join me in discussion there when we get started.
I'm sitting at home in the rain, watching CNBC. It's been a while.
I have a long history in the corporate world. I have a long entrepreneurial history. Both have been successful. I was a former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award finalist in 2005 and was recognized for Excellence in Entrepreneurship a couple of times by the Orange County Business Journal. I helped grow a successful business and was responsible for a couple hundred employees. I successfully exited that business earlier this year. It was a wonderful ride.
When I went back to school to become a therapist, I thought I would be leaving that piece of me behind. But over the last couple of years, I realized those skills I possessed would be of value to me in multiple ways, and that somehow, I would enter back into the business world in a fulfilling and interesting way.
Well it looks like those possibilities are approaching.
Six months ago I proposed to a large business/lifestyle magazine headquartered here in OC that I become their executive/organizational therapist and coaching blogger. Well I heard back last week and it looks like it's all going to come together early next year. I couldn't be more excited. This could open opportunities for the Narrative Project to enter into organization development, mediation, and executive development work, which I think would be great fun to take on. More on this as it becomes official.
And today I sent off my proposal to speak at the AAMFT student conference taking place in LA next February. I hope to speak about The MFT and Social Entrepreneurship. We all know young MFT's can all use a little entrepreneurial fine tuning, and an introduction to other career paths outside of govt work or private practice.