Are We There Yet?

I’m pretty sure I was awake for almost every hour of the first 6 weeks of our oldest daughter’s life. As a brand new parent entering the uncertain and sleep-deprived world of caring for a newborn, I still recall the distinct and visceral feeling of what we call the Neutral Zone. This change plunged us into a transition – the ending of one stage of life and the beginning of another. In between the Ending and the Beginning is the Neutral Zone: a place where one is not quite acclimated and thriving in the new normal and is definitely no longer in the role of the past. Honestly, the Neutral Zone can really stink. But it doesn’t have to.

Letting Go

I had a lot invested emotionally in the name Catalyst OC. The name of the company I founded had become part of my identity over the past 9 years. Even though I am now excited about being Kairos, a few months ago I wasn’t. Initially I rejected the name Kairos. In fact, I rejected the idea of changing the name at all.

Hollaback

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman has attracted a lot of attention. The 2-minute video shows a woman walking down the street (minding her own business) in Manhattan, and how strangers treat her.

A grassroots initiative called Hollaback! partnered with Rob Bliss Creative to capture 10 hours of video of Shoshana Roberts. The footage was edited down to the 2 minutes we see. The video does a good job creating emotional impact; we can empathize with Shoshana as she walks the gauntlet of less-than-courteous men. The video has been viewed 35 million times (as of Nov 10, 2014). Clearly it has struck a chord.

But is Hollaback’s approach going to result in sustainable transformation?

Acknowledging Pain

According to reports I’m hearing, my experience applying for a policy on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace has been pretty typical – I’ve spent many hours navigating the site and trying to get help from well-intentioned customer service reps with no more power or knowledge than me.

Polarizing

At CPAC 2013, Sen. Mitch McConnell rolled out a 7-foot, 3-inch stack of paper wrapped in a red ribbon. This stack purports to contain the 20,000 pages of regulations created to flesh out the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“Obamacare”). Regardless of your politics, you have to admit the Red Tape Tower makes an impression.

A Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich

This past Tuesday, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, voted in favor of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the “debt deal”), but he wasn’t happy about it. He described it as a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”

He’s not the only one eating a big helping of nastiness; frontline workers in many organizations are gagging on their own Satan sandwiches.

Pablum – The Silent Killer

“Pablum,” he said.

I’m fairly proud of my vocabulary, but I was embarrassed to admit I didn’t know what that word meant. “It means ‘mush’,” he said, “like there’s nothing there to chew on.”

I was at Guidant Corporation, and we were being acquired. He was a VP in charge of integrating the two companies’ sales forces, and he was describing the messages we were producing to educate our employees.

Uncomfortable

I run regularly. Since my knees are deteriorating, I’m experimenting with new ways to reduce the shock to my joints. I’ve learned that barefoot (flat-footed) running actually produces less impact than standard heel-toe running in athletic shoes. But this new style is incredibly uncomfortable, and I’m tempted to abandon it.

Story Time

Recently I helped a client’s executives craft key messages about a disruptive change they were implementing. It struck me that the change was complex, the messaging was complex, and that the organization’s employees were going to be lost and confused.

So I drew a picture on the white board and told a story…

Buried Deep

Paula Haffley is a Physician’s Assistant at Clarian Bariatrics. She writes about patients who come to her after their bariatric surgery to complain about hard masses showing up on their bodies that didn’t used to be there. They typically are very worried about their health. Cancer? Deformity?

Paula then explains to them that what they are feeling is a clavicle, or a sternum, or a patella. The patients have lived for so long with these anatomical landmarks covered in layers of flesh that they forgot about them.