I recently worked with a team in the midst of a major change. Their company was acquired. Everything is in flux. Questions like “Who will be redundant and let go? and “What will the ‘new normal’ look like?” were frequently posed. In the midst of this uncertainty and chaos, it was Kairos’ role was to help them have a healthy conversation to air their fears and determine a path forward despite the disruption and uncertainty.
Through all of the fears that come with transitions, however, I witnessed a few universal themes play out.
As the New Year begins, many of us are filled with hope and excitement about what this next year will bring. That is definitely the case for all of us at Kairos. Last year included quite a bit of change which helped us prepare for where we are today. Seeing as change is one of the core services we provide, it was quite fascinating to watch how we reacted to the changes we went through. Helping organizations respond, adjust & thrive in change is something we do all the time, so you’d assume it would be easier for us, right?
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.
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.
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?
In the last post (When Accountability Backfires) I asked,
Why do I still turn off my office lights religiously, while I have not continued with DuoLingo?
Thank you for your insightful comments to that post. I love this tribe of savvy and sharp thinkers. You are an amazing community, and I’m grateful.
Here is my summary of the theories you all have offered…
I used to forget to turn off the lights in my office. When my wife Kim noticed, she turned them off for me.
One day she got tired of this routine and stuck a post-it note on the light switch to remind me to flip it off when leaving. It started off as a joke, including a tally of how many times she had to deliver her “lights off service.” It was very effective, until I ripped it off the wall in frustration.
Thanks to my good friend Kris Taylor from K. Taylor & Associates for hosting me as a guest on her site. You can read my post on The XYZ Sandwich there.
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.
One of the ways U.S. intelligence forces found Osama Bin Laden was the absence of an electronic signature around his Abbottabad compound. In a noisy and wired world, the building without signals and wires stood out.