Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Who Am I Kidding?

Some leader. Today all I want to do is crawl under a desk and disappear forever.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Centaur Consciousness

I reread Chapter 10 of The Handbook of Action Researchthis morning. In this chapter, John Rowan writes about a Humanistic Approach to Action Research. Building on the concept of Centaur consciousness, and the integrated consciousness model proposed by Ken Wilber, he makes a strong case for understanding and fully acknowledging the role of the self in research.


It occurred to me in a flash this morning. . .the mindspace for meditation feels very much like the mindspace for deep listening. Do others sense this sameness?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Creative Tension

I've been reading The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. Late last night and early this morning I stumbled on the sections regarding personal mastery and creative tension. Now I have more words to talk about what is happening to me. Studying best self and developing a personal vision are intended to induce creative tension, and it's working.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Deep Listening

This week was full of remarkable conversations. For the most part, I was quiet! This kind of conversation is incredibly hard work.
  • Monday - JC and I spent over an hour conversing. It was the first time I felt heard in nine months, and probably the first time I truly heard him.
  • Tuesday - The group mentoring event was a 3-hour exercise in holding open conversational space.
  • Wednesday - JC's status meeting took the form of a dialogue. Did the meeting morph as a result of Monday's conversation with JC?
  • Thursday - JP and I had lunch together. While he coached me, new insight emerged for him, as well. He acted on that insight - how cool is that?
  • Friday - PD and I co-explored the possiblity that we might work together. It was a job interview unlike any other I've experienced.

I am exhausted, but excited about further developing this new skill!

10 Years After

Ten years ago today I officially became a mom. Max is my shining star - brilliant and beautiful, distant and deep.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

My Brilliant Career

I love the idea of being a change specialist - it's the reality I hate.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Brookes Bows Out

Today was Brookes' last day. He was a decent, generous mentor, even if only for a few months. I've written before (not here) that sometimes I think I've been put on Earth to learn how to lose people. I've felt that way many times. Brookes is one of those I'll have to learn to lose.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I think I held the space open today. It was interesting to see the group dynamics emerge and evolve. There was some frustration when I didn't fill the void as expected. Many were looking for leadership - when it didn't come from me, they came to terms with it in their own ways.

How odd that the company sponsors this disguised version of a T-group! They even refer to Tuckman's model in the kickoff manual. The facilitator described many concepts of leadership and group dynamics familiar to me through my recent studies. I'm sure the program was designed by an OD consultant!


Today we begin our group mentoring. I am full of hope and fear. My hope is that I will be a good mentor and facilitator. My fear is that I will not be able to live up to the role.

I anticipate that mentoring will be a practice in mindfulness for me.

I commit to inquiring appreciatively, listening, and holding an open space.

Doing & Being

I think the difference between managing and leading is the difference between doing all the right things and being all the right things.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Cross One Off the List?

Sam's work is being displayed in the Founders' Day Art Show today. He is beside himself with excitement, but worried we won't be able to find his piece amid the sea of Kindergartners' work. Rest assured, Sam, we won't rest until we find it!

Sam has been "going to be an artist" since he was 3 years old - half his life now. He doesn't realize he is already an artist. His art is perfectly Sam.

Attending Sam's first opening is on my list of things that I want to do before I leave the planet. When I made the list a few months ago, I thought experiencing or accomplishing these things would be satisfying. But somehow, crossing it off the list feels a little sad instead.

Maybe I am perceiving it as an ending, rather than a beginning. Or perhaps I need to shift the focus from myself to Sam. If I reframe it as the first step in Sam's career, instead of seeing it as an "event" to cross off my own lifelist, it opens up a world of possibilities.

It would be a good exercise to revisit that list. I'm sure it would change, given this emerging self knowledge and insight.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Miss Piggy is Dead

Disney has killed Miss Piggy. I don't care how slimming it is . . . she wouldn't be caught dead wearing black.

Kermit is next - Quentin Tarentino will make sure of that. It isn't easy being green.


I have been surprised by the continuing reaction I am receiving to surfacing the business issue (see "Surfacing the Issue" 04/27/2005). JP reminded me of it again yesterday, and referred to it as surprising and positive. Everett mentioned it again this week as well. Go figure!

When Worlds Collide

Yesterday I reviewed the 360 degree feedback more carefully. I'm starting to see themes emerging from the qualitative data. For example, there are comments from many sources that urge me to speak up and contribute more often. My internal experience is that I'm uncomfortably vociferous and opinionated, but this data seems to contradict that. How do I reconcile this explicitly stated external reality with my internal experience?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pulling an A Out of My ss

Miggy says I can rework my personal vision for personal gain. I have until May 30 to try.

Facing the Facts

I'm a pretty good writer. At least, I like to think I am. However, reading this blog makes me seriously doubt my abilities. Yet, I know damn well I can write when I'm manipulating other peoples' thoughts and ideas. So why do my own thoughts come out so awkward? Maybe this is what separates the great writers from the good writers.

Tug o' War

How honest--strike that--frank is it safe to be on a blog? Although I've taken care to anonymize, it is a billboard, after all. Disclosure makes for interest, but at what risk?

Dr. Edgar Schein Explains It All For You

What am I studying again? Oh, yeah, process. For everyone who has asked me what Organization Development (OD) is, I refer you to Ed Schein's explanation of process.

Glazed Over

I'm listening to a replay of the company virtual town hall. Everyone sounds so reassuring and smooth; I'm nodding off as I listen. Is it the delivery or the content?

Bath or Belgium?

  • Systems Thinking or Group Dynamics?
  • English or Flemish/Danish?
  • Ron or Danielle?
If my personal vision were more clear, it would be easier to make a strategic choice between the international residencies. Back to the personal vision paper?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Wild Accusations

I'm tired of them.

Welcome Back Kotter

I started reading The Heart of ChangeSunday. It addresses the human side of change dynamics. It's an easy read with some good thoughts. The format is interesting, with illustrative stories inserted into light, consumer-oriented theory and instruction. An editor with heart could have pumped it up, though.

Monday, May 16, 2005


It's back to work today. I made so many new neural connections last week...I'll be processing and debriefing for a long time. Yesterday I crashed...slept off and on all day. I'm starting to feel a little more normal today, but I wish I had hours and hours more of "alone time" to reflect. Next residency I will take much better care of myself physically...heavy food, alcohol, and lack of sleep do not make for a healthy and stable mindset.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"You Can't Just Tell Them!"

What if your salient stakeholders design a unexpected system?

Conversational Dynamics

This morning we heard about several models for analyzing conversations. Interesting tools to employ, if I can remember the troublesome conversations word-for-word!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Long Day in the Coal Mine

Angel Face

My baby boy is home sick. I always feel conflicted when I am away, but when one of them is ill the stakes seem so much higher.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


We're looking forward to Harlow. He seems like such a nice, regular guy. Refreshing!

720 Degrees

It's so difficult to focus on the positive responses from the 36o-Degree Emotional Competency Assessments. Instead, I'm obsessing about the one comment that touched my deepest vulnerability. My assignment today is to commit to memory the most beautiful qualitative comment I received.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Light at the End of the Tunnel


Are there only 3 philosophical orientations, as Boyatzis purports?
  • Pragmatic
  • Intellectual
  • Humanistic

Or are these arbitrary reductionist handles?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

ORBH 439A & B

We have 30 minutes to brainstorm our individual field projects. Why are people talking so loudly? I cannot think when there is this much noise. I would like my project to have something to do with teaching gifted kids more about themselves, group dynamics, and leadership effectiveness. Maybe a project with Max's 5th grade class, or the identified 5th graders.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Never Enough

I read and I read and I read and I write and I write and I write but the work is never done!

Powerful Magyk

Angie Sage has written a wonderful book about Septimus Heap! I can hardly wait for the next installment!

New Feature

Well, those cars never seem to stop coming.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Spring Fever Saves the Day

But when I got home, I found that Ed had posted some beautiful images. Viewing his work is such a pleasure.

Disappointment & Triple Threat

I jumped through every hoop! And they still didn't come through for me. I was incredibly angry and disappointed. I took solace in chocolate, sugar, and fat - M&M cookies from the cafeteria.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


I find myself editing my thoughts and questioning whether they are blog-worthy.


I commit to finishing the Note on Stable Work Groups before I go home tonight. I further commit to reading one of the two cases for Eric's class.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming

Every May 4 I remember the Kent State Massacre. Back then, I was just a kid. I was waking up to the world, and it was a rude awakening. Ten years later, when I was in college, the Betas wore black armbands on May 4. Thirty-five years later, I still don't understand what happened or why.

Where were you on May 4, 1970?

Social Networking Quiz

Rich invited me to join him and Pam for drinks after work. I made a connection with an internal hiring manager (Mike) in the technology center. He said he would be in touch about a BA position he has opening up.

I don't think I want a BA position in the technology center, but I didn't say that to Mike. Why didn't I? (Choose the best answer below.)
  • I don't want to close any doors prematurely.
  • I have so many other things I'd like to try.
  • I have a future.

Mike didn't realize that I had a conflict of interest with Rich at this event. He kept talking about recruiting me when Rich was trying to sell him on someone else. It was a little awkward.

It was great to see Pam, though. We talked about old times. Her little one is 2 years old today!

Exploring a Pattern

Have I given up on getting prepped for next week's residency? I have more to do, but I've completely neglected the work for the last two days. I keep telling myself I have time, but I keep filling the time with other things. Am I kidding myself? If I am not going to do any more preparation, would it be less painful to admit that and accept the consequences than it would be to keep telling myself I'm going to do the work and then admit it isn't going to happen on Saturday night? My usual MO is to put it off until the last minute and then acknowledge that there isn't enough time to get it done. What if I just face the music right now...is that acceptable? Can I live with that, or will it force me to produce the work? Would that be so terrible?

Bless You, Fast Freddie

Fred just graced my blog with a comment. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I desperately needed that shot of encouragement to continue with this project.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Pam is in Virginia on assignment this week. I miss my study-buddy!

Broken Links

I was searching for local resources on sustainable business practices, and I landed on a site sponsored by the Ohio EPA. I was thrilled to see a heading on the page titled, "Important Sustainability Links." Aha! I thought. Now we're getting somewhere!

Clicking the first link, Corporate Sustainability, took me to an error page on the federal EPA site. The page read, "The requested item was not found on the EPA's Web Server."

Clicking the link titled President's Council on Sustainable Development yielded the following message: "Please note: many files associated with the previous administration have been removed from this server."


Monday, May 02, 2005

Too Intimate?

Ed says that no one will understand my blog. Niko says it's laconic - that seems appropriate.
Word History: The study of the classics allows one to understand the history of the term laconic, which comes to us via Latin from Greek Laknikos. The English word is first recorded in 1583 with the sense โ€œof or relating to Laconia or its inhabitants.โ€ Laknikos is derived from Lakn, โ€œa Laconian, a person from Lacedaemon,โ€ the name for the region of Greece of which Sparta was the capital. The Spartans, noted for being warlike and disciplined, were also known for the brevity of their speech, and it is this quality that English writers still denote by the use of the adjective laconic, which is first found in this sense in 1589.
I say it's an intimate exploration of my internal state.

Obligatory Post

I feel compelled to post something now that I've made this commitment to a blog. Things on today's agenda include:
  • Get Quality Center up and running (Help Desk Ticket #3488864)
  • Continue ER205 testing training with Christy (ouch)
  • Walk with Jennifer (Yay! Brought my sneakers!)
  • Once Quality Center is installed, load all ER205 test objectives on the Requirements tab and link them to test cases ("It's a GAD requirement.")
  • Attend staff meeting (sigh)

Maybe my ship will come in today...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mom's Day Out

We're taking a little jaunt to Dawes Arboretum today. I hope the Red Buckeye is blooming.

Late for the Sky

I dreamed I was late for the residency. Dazed and confused, I was escorted out of the program.