Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Turtle Meme - Finally Getting Around To It

Well, they don't call it a Turtle Meme for nothing! Bob Glaza over at One Reader At A Time has tagged me in what must be the slowest moving meme yet. In fact, it's called the Turtle Meme, which makes me feel really good because there's no pressure to act quickly! I figured since I finally got a round tuit, it was time to act! (Click here if you, too, need to get a round tuit!)

This meme gives us a playful way to look at goal setting, achievements, vocations and life roles. It asks us to revisit those life goals that just didn't quite make the cut - those goals that are slightly "out there" and would have given us a completely different life had we pursued them. For example, Bob's unfulfilled life goals/vocations were 1) Team Mascot, 2) Cowboy, 3) Clown, 4) Sled Racer, and 5) Bike Racer. (You really need to read Bob's post - it's a hoot!)

I noticed that Kirsten Harrell has played along, even though she hasn't been tagged, and I think she's done a great job with her list, although it's a little less playful and more realistic, which is great, too.

So, here's my take on my long-lost goal list, sprinkling in a bit of whimsy with some real aspirations.

1) An Olympic gold-medal winning basketball player: this would fulfill my wish to be a person who loves to work out (which, although I was an All-American basketball player in college, I've always hated to work out) and would also give me that thrill of seeing the flag raised and the national anthem played for me!

2) A guest on the Oprah show: I'm committed to this one somehow. I'm not sure what it looks like or how it happens, but I'm not focusing on the details.

3) A world traveler: I love to travel and long to see parts of the world I've not yet seen. I traveled throughout Europe when I was in college, but haven't been back since. I took a step toward this when I got my passport updated (I got the new one in the mail last week, so it's real!).

4) An international speaker: This is part of my actual career aspiration and one that is taking shape. My company will be expanding and we're unveiling our new look at the Best of O.D. Summit in Chicago in May - if you're there, please stop by Booth 140 and see me! I haven't yet spoken internationally, but have done several national conferences. I'll be in Orlando in June for the TWI Summit and, of course, we're holding the Bigger Small Talk Summit in Fargo (If Greg comes from Canada, we will be international!)

5) Owner of a business that makes a positive difference in the lives of people and lives far beyond me: I'm in the process, with my business partner, of creating this right now. We at Bock's Office Transformational Consulting are committed to our clients' business success stories and personal and professional transformation. Our process involves DISCOVERING organizational and individual genius (thanks to Dick Richards) and strengths; co-DESIGNING the learning and growing toward a future orientation; and constant DIALOGUE whereby the status quo is challenged and new outcomes are realized.

So, next to be tagged in this Turtle Meme are:

Troy Parkinson
Phil Gerbyshak
Debbie Call
Jane Greer
Pam Thomas

Folks already tagged (and I'm sure there are more) are: Cord Robyn Cam Sandy Ben David Liz David Matthew Robert Tully Karin Bob Bob Hruzek Anna Farmery GL Hoffman Cody Mckibben Ellen Weber

Here's the rules* - make your post and refer back to this one. Tag one, two, three, five, ten - number doesn't matter - members of your community. You need to tell them they are tagged. Then copy the list of those already tagged to the end of your post. I have no idea how it will work but lets see if turtles move :)


Thursday, March 29, 2007

THINK about it ...

I'm inspired to write today about THINKING as the first step to action. It's no surprise that thinking should be a hot topic - after all, that's the basic premise of The Secret and all the documents that inspired that movie/book/movement. Say what you will about The Secret (and there's plenty of buzz going around about it), it has definitely created a new topic of conversation around the water cooler.

I watched Bob Proctor on Nightline last week, and frankly, was a little disappointed. I have a very good friend who is coaching with Bob Proctor and she told me that there was much more to the interview than ended up on the show. So I did a little sleuthing, and came up with the actual 107-page transcript of that interview.

Here's just a tidbit of what DIDN'T make the cut on Nightline:

Bob Proctor: "The average person doesn't think. If most people said what they were thinking, they would be speechless. Listen to the conversations. It's obvious they're not thinking or they would never say what they're saying. Or stand back and watch what they're doing. They would never do what they're doing if they were thinking. Mental activity does not constitute thinking. We have to be taught to think. It's a subject that we can learn, like mathematics or reading or history. But we don't teach it."

Why did this get cut? I realize that a 107-page transcript is WAY too long for a 15-minute segment on Nightline. But what I found fascinating when reading through the entire thing is how focused on the negative Cynthia McFadden was. She had talked to all kinds of people - medical people, the president of the American Cancer Society, a physicist - all trying to disprove what Bob Proctor knows, and what The Secret has created in conversations around the globe. So the journalist in Cynthia McFadden had to concentrate on the parts of Bob's information that would "support" her take on the story she was reporting.

It's simply the Law of Attraction at work. What you think about you bring about. What you are looking for, you will find.

We really AREN'T trained to think like this, are we? I know I was trained - in school, at work, in my life - to follow the rules, to do what someone else told me to do. I was trained NOT to think, when you really "think" about it. I'm not blaming anyone - I'm just noticing what I notice.

So what I'm committed to in the world is Bigger Small TALK, which starts with Bigger Small THINK. But it can't end there. If we are only bigger thinkers and bigger talkers, we will be just that: BIG TALKERS. We have to put action to those thoughts and those words. And, what I know from reading Steve Farber's books, especially The Radical Edge, is that we should never, EVER try to do this alone.

So I'm creating the Summit for Bigger Small Talk in Fargo in June to connect those of us who are committed to this idea. As we meet in person, we are taking those action steps. We've got people coming to Fargo this summer without even knowing exactly what the Summit will entail because they are committed to action around bigger small talk.

Do you want to play BIG? Put your mouth where your heart is and join us in Fargo June 27-28. We'll be creating this event each week until then, so come play with us! Let us know what you would like to see and be and feel and know and then we'll create - and allow - that together.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Big Thoughts for Today

OK, I've got a lot of BIG thoughts running around in my head today - I'll try to summarize.

The Summit for Bigger Small Talk is in place! I'll be asking some big questions here to get your feedback and input as we put more details in place, so be thinking about what would draw you to Fargo in June to connect with other Big Thinkers!

The questions we will be asking ourselves as we prepare for the event will be questions like "Who are you?" and "What do you want?" instead of "What do you do?" and "Is it cold enough for you?"

I had the pleasure of hearing James Ray last night in Minneapolis - now there's a guy who's dedicated to Bigger Small Talk! I learned about Harmonic Wealth - where the five areas of your life: 1) Financial; 2) Relational; 3) Intellectual (both mental & emotional); 4) Physical (both body & tangible "stuff"); and 5) Spiritual are in harmony (NOT in balance).

Here's a great quote James shared with us last night, from Corleone (I'm assuming it's from a Godfather movie, but I'm not sure):

"When an unconscious issue is not made conscious, it shows up outside of us as fate."

Another big thought which will lead to bigger small talk.

Lots more to follow as we work toward the Bigger Small Talk Summit in Fargo June 27-28. What would compel you to come to Fargo (other than meeting me and lots of other cool bloggers and big thinkers (and bigger small talk))? What would you like to see at this event? Let's create a BIG BUZZ around this event!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bigger Small Talk takes on a life of its own!

The Summit for Bigger Small Talk is really taking shape! I've got the domain name reserved and we're planning a conference call for 10:30 a.m. central time tomorrow (Tuesday) to start talking about the details. If you have not received an e-mail about the call (details to follow later today) but would like to join us, please leave a comment here and I'll make sure you get the call-in number before 9:30 central tomorrow (so leave your e-mail address in the comments).

To fill you in a little bit on what's been happening on this end, in a post here March 8 I threw out the idea of coming to Fargo to play big regarding small talk and I challenged people with the question: "How FAR would you GO for bigger small talk? Come to Fargo in June." And with that statement, the summit was born.

I've added the tagline: "Put your mouth where your heart is" and people are taking the challenge!

As of right now we've got Dick Richards, Mike Sansone, Jane Greer and Liz Strauss confirmed; Pam Thomas and Phil Gerbyshak pretty sure, David Zinger here if he doesn't have to teach a class that week, and several others outside the blogging world set to be here. In addition, I've been e-mailing with Suzanne Whang, host of HGTV's House Hunters, who will be in Virginia the week of our summit, but who wants to be included in the conversation as well. I've also invited Lisa Nichols of The Secret and after Tuesday's call, I'm guessing there will be many others invited.

The dates are June 26-28 in beautiful downtown Fargo, North Dakota. If you're like my buddy Dave, one reason to come to Fargo is to check North Dakota off your list of states to visit before you die. That's why Dave initially came to Fargo from his home in Lexington, Kentucky as a trainer back in 2002 and we became good friends because of that meeting (he's been back several times).

Are you committed to bigger small talk in your life? Want to connect with others who share that commitment? Then put your mouth where your heart is (and your feet where your mouth is) and meet us in Fargo June 26-28! Watch this blog for more details as they develop.

How FAR would you GO? Come to FARGO!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

JUNE 27-28: Save the Date!

Well, I don't know yet what it's going to look like, exactly, but the Summit for Bigger Small Talk is happening in Fargo in June!

What I do know is that Dick Richards has Wednesday, June 27 on his calendar and we are going to create a day-long Genius Workshop as part of our summit. Thursday, June 28 will be the day for our event, which is still in development. I'll be talking with Pam Thomas on Friday about some ideas and I've already heard from Mike Sansone and David Zinger about their plans to be here. Liz Strauss has also shown interest and I'm hoping Phil Gerbyshak will be able to make the trip. I've also heard from Nick Smith, but we both agreed that maybe it is a bit far to travel from England! I'm guessing we will have some conversations before then that will add to our planning.

Are you committed to bigger small talk in your work life and outside of work life? Do you have some ideas for sharing your ideas and learning from others committed to that same outcome? Mark the date on your calendar and watch for more details to follow.

Let's spread the word about this project. If you can't be here in person, drop me a line or leave a comment here and let's share some bigger small talk in preparation for the June event!

If you've got ideas for the event, send them my way, too. So far we're talking about an Open Space-type day, with plenty of time to create dialogue and network with other like-minded people. How FAR would you GO to create - and allow - bigger small talk in your life? Come to FARGO June 27 & 28!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Everything is Data.

Have you ever wondered why things are the way they are? Any question that begins with "Why" has been with me since I first learned how to formulate words (and probably before I could even articulate them).

I've always been obsessed with finding answers. As I've gotten older (and wiser) I think I'm much more interested in the questions than in the answers, so my questions have gotten a bit deeper; however, many of them still start with that three-letter word "why."

So this morning some new questions were dancing around my head as I thought about two of my friends who have cancer. Instead of thinking "why them?" my question this morning began as "why did cancer pick you?" That got me thinking about why our life situations - from death to birth to disease to anything we might consider eventful - picked us.

I believe that everything is data, as Dick Richards taught me in his Genius workshop. If we can see absolutely everything that seems to happen to us as simply data, what might we create from that? Why did death pick one of my friends who lost both of her parents way too young? And why did life pick the same friend as she and her husband are now expecting a baby after years of infertility? Why did cancer pick the people it has picked? What is the data we can accumulate?

An even more interesting question, I think, might be "why did I pick cancer?" or "why did I pick my parents?" or "why did I pick whatever situation I find myself in?" How might that shift the focus of our lives?

Everything is Data.

How does that shift the focus in our workplaces? I learned, over the many years of my career, that I didn't have mean bosses - they were simply giving me data about myself. Had I had enough courage to invite dialogue WITH them instead of ABOUT them, I may have found myself in an entirely different place within those careers. But why didn't I understand that earlier? If everything is data, I can see now through more objective eyes, that had I not gone through what my 20/20 hindsight shows me, I would never have been in the place I now am, growing a business dedicated to supporting others in getting this understanding sooner in their careers, and transforming their work situations into joyful and abundant centers of happiness and prosperity (I'm just now looking at Alexander Kjerulf's book Happy Hour is 9 to 5, which I plan to dig into this week). Alex is living proof that this is possible.

So, how might each of us examine the data our lives are providing us and see what lessons are there for us? Where do you find yourself frustrated or upset? Where might your strengths, gifts, and genius be stifled? I learned several years ago that there are only three reasons we become upset: 1) Our intentions are thwarted; 2) Our expectations are unfulfilled; 3) We are stopped in our communication (we don't say something we want to say). The only thing those three reasons has in common is ME. So what might I do with that data?

Remember the quote from Gil Bailie? "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. The world needs people who come alive."

What makes you happy? Do more of that. What makes you sad? Do less of that. Open a dialogue to find out more. Use these three magic words: "Help me understand."

You already know this stuff. You really do. Don't sell yourself short. Do more of what's working and less of what isn't. It really is that simple.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What's So Funny?

I've been doing quite a few keynotes recently centered on my book The 100% Factor: Living Your Capacity. The audiences have really related to almost everything we talk about but there is one part that almost always puzzles me.

Just about every time I show this photo, it is greeted with snickers and even outright guffaws. What is so funny about this photo? Is it because the heading I put with it is "Moments of Ecstatic Engagement"?

This photo is from a 2-page Microsoft ad I scanned from Fast Company magazine a couple of years ago. Is it always so funny that we could possibly talk about "ecstatic engagement" and "work" in the same sentence?

I'd love to add your comments to my presentations - what are you seeing? What are you experiencing? Is it funny to think about feeling this way at work? Do you feel ecstatic when you're at work? If not, what's missing? If so, what's present? Is it possible to LOVE your job? If so, how? If not, why not? Inquiring minds want to know!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Inspiration is US!

Yet again, Nick Smith has put together a thought-provoking and amazingly insightful post called "Inspired by You." Here is a segment:

Our judgments of each other are our primary means of maintaining our illusion of disconnectedness, and so our choice to welcome the experience of our connection is our way Home. We already have the means to do this. When we allow our attention rest in openness to experiencing what Is, holding no idea of what 'Is' is, we create a space for reality to shine through into our shared consciousness.

Know this, O man, sole root of sin in thee
Is not knowing thine own divinity!"
.... James Rhoades

But even this innocent intent to join can be hijacked by the mind that would prefer to be right than happy, to be little rather than lose control. Gandhi's invitation to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ is a helpful reminder here. In our motivation to want to help someone we usually think of what we can say or do to help, but isn't it ‘who we are’ that speaks far louder and more clearly that either our words or deeds? Allowing this Love that comes from within to recognise itself in another is the thing.

Nick's post reminds me of the distinction between motivation and inspiration. From the dictionary we learn that motivate means: to provide a motive; to induce, incite, impel. Inspiration, on the other hand, means: to encourage by filling with confidence, enthusiasm. So motivation is something we "DO" to someone (or ourselves) while inspiration doesn't get others to do things - it is a way of "BEING."

As we tap into our own inspiration, we invite others in - and we see that we are much more alike than we are different. As Nick says at the end of this post:

There is no pain and no problem that we cannot resolve when we come together like this, when I allow myself to be inspired by You. You and I together is the Answer.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Turning On The Light

'There are two ways of spreading light...
To be the candle,
or the mirror that reflects it.' ~Edith Wharton

Although I don't do a lot of set training anymore - by that I mean training that follows a specific curriculum - there is one program I do conduct on a somewhat regular basis. This Job Relations training is part of the Training Within Industry program that was developed by the U.S. government during WWII to keep production up when the workers went to war and we had to train new workers quickly. Consequently, it's not new training by any stretch of the imagination, but it's new (again) to us in the U.S. because we exported it to Japan as part of the war recovery effort, and then essentially forgot about it until the past 4 or 5 years. (If you'd like more information about JR, I'll be speaking about it at the TWI Summit in Orlando June 5-6.)

So, although this training is set to follow a script, I've noticed in the past 6 months or so of delivering it, that the people in my classes have been ready for a deeper conversation. The training gives supervisors a 4-step method for solving problems with people they supervise. But as we focus on the problems, we keep bringing the problems up. The training also includes another focus called Foundations for Good Relations, which sometimes gets overlooked as we try to solve the problems. The people in the classes recently have been much more open to talking candidly and openly about the coaching aspects of their supervisory responsibilities and thus are much more open to sharing ideas.

One thing I have begun doing in this class is to turn off the lights in the classroom so we could talk about what could possibly be happening in the dark. Our minds can really imagine lots of fearful ideas - reminding us of when we were kids and worried about the monsters under our beds. But as soon as the light is turned back on, we are able to see our surroundings, and our fears are no longer real.

I think this is true in our outside-of-work lives as well. I'm currently reading Debbie Ford's Dark Side of the Light Chasers, and I'm learning a lot about the shadow side of our personalities - that part we don't want to identify with because it seems "bad" or "wrong." Yet in keeping those dark sides of ourselves hidden, we keep ourselves stuck in negative behavior patterns or in situations which keep us from living our capacity.

Where might you be playing it safe at the expense of your genius? Where might you be ripping the world off by denying your family, your friends, your co-workers, the opportunity to see you at 100%? Let's build the dialogue and start playing big with our small talk!

And plan to come to Fargo in June for our Bigger Small Talk Summit (watch for details to follow in upcoming posts).

Friday, March 09, 2007

Speaking of Playing Big ...

I realized today that I have been remiss in sharing another collaboration I'm a part of.

Andrew Young, a business and marketing coach from the Land Down Under, has created a wonderful website called Big Words for Small Business as a resource for small business owners. I am one of the contributors and I know you'll find lots of great information from the 10 participants here.

Here's the overview from the site:

The simplicity of a single word is much more than what immediately appears.

Big Words for Small Business removes the clutter and presents to you each month, one letter of the Alphabet around which a group of thinkers each write an article beginning with a word beginning with that that letter.

By reading about these single words, you are able to come to a new understanding about various concepts, ideas and influences that can be made, to the way you operate and manage your business, how you see yourself and the things you say and do.

We're currently on the Letter A, with B ready to be posted, so you haven't missed much yet. Be sure to keep this site in your bookmarked list!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

How FAR would you GO to Play Big?

I thought today about a tattered note from TUT I have on my bulletin board that says:

"The difference between baby steps and playing small is one prepares you for success, the other for a fall."

And it occurred to me that I might just be playing a little bit too small.

Playing small might be compared to playing it safe, staying in the comfort zone, not rocking the boat. Listening to those voices in our heads that tell us "Don't stand out. Don't draw attention to yourself. Go along to get along."

Many of us have been raised to play by the rules. I remember several occasions in my life where I was compelled to ask a question or to challenge the status quo even though it went against my upbringing which said "play by the rules." I couldn't help it. It's just who I am. It felt much better to me to ask the questions than to suppress them and go along with the crowd.

My very BEING asks questions. Wants to know why we do things the way we do them. How we can do them better. What is working - what isn't working - so I can do more of what does work and less of what doesn't work, and support my clients in the same ways.

The purpose is not to stir things up just to stir them up. My dream is that whenever I ask the question "How is it working?" the answer will always be "It's working perfectly" because that means we've discovered what works - and then can move on to areas that aren't working as well as we'd like. Eventually we see that everything is working - and all is well in the world.

I Know (I capitalize that because it comes from someplace deep inside of me that is beyond what I know from reading about it) that who I am is someone who asks questions - who invites dialogue - and I don't think I've tapped into that genius in a way that will change the world (how's that for playing big?).

So I'm wondering if there are others here who might be interested in supporting each other in elevating the playing field so we can all have a greater impact by tapping into our individual and collective genius. How might we impact our businesses, governments, churches and schools in asking more and better questions so we can discover the answers we already Know but just forgot?

How about creating a Summit for Bigger Small Talk here in Fargo? How FAR would you GO to create bigger small talk? What could you take back to your organization and your life to change your world? Fargo is beautiful in the summer - just ask Lisa Haneberg when she gets back from her motorcycle tour! Let me know if you'd like to be on a planning committee for this event. How fun to collaborate with my blog family!

Let's create some bigger small talk - and bigger results!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bock's Office at Linkage OD Summit

Well, Bock's Office is on its way to the big playing field - we're one of the sponsors/exhibitors at the Best of OD Summit in Chicago sponsored by Linkage, Inc. in May!

This promises to be a great event - so if you're in Chicago for the SOB conference, stick around for the OD Summit May 14-17 and stop by our booth!

I'm also going to be a presenter at the TWI Summit in Orlando in June. That conference will bring together lots of great resources for the people in the following areas:

  • Lean implementation professionals
  • Workplace learning and performance professionals
  • Supervisors and managers of teams
  • Human resource professionals
  • Corporate trainers and consultants
  • Any company facing a highly skilled but retiring workforce
  • Any company seeking to train workers quickly and consistently
If you're interested in attending the TWI Summit, put my name (bock) in the promo code for a $50 discount.

Stay tuned for more updates on the big Bock's Office re-launch! I'm also going to be working on a couple of new books in the next few months, so there will be lots to report!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Wouldn't it be nice ..."

As my business partner and I talk more about the upcoming plans for the new Bock's Office, we find ourselves really engaged in our vision - and when we're engaged, it becomes easier and easier to describe our vision to potential clients and affiliates.

But one comment my partner heard recently brings us back to what Jim Collins calls the "Brutal Facts of Reality" when we're brainstorming and dreaming about the possibilities. When my partner recently told someone about our plans for creating strategic plans for people development within organizations, the comment he got was "oh, wouldn't that be nice." It seems resignation and cynicism are still alive and well in the workplace.

How much time do we allow ourselves to dream of the possibilities of bringing our whole selves to work - or getting our employees to want to bring themselves to work and what that might look like? So often our inner critics get the better of us with that old familiar "but they would never let us do that," or "we can't afford that," or "that will never work," or "we tried that before."

What I notice for myself is that when the "yeah but"comment pops into my head, it's usually because I have a need to be right, and that perfectionist squashes any chance of hearing something new. I'm deciding for myself that that isn't working for me anymore, so I'm having a much easier time being open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.

I'm realizing that my job with my clients and potential clients is to help them dream and vision and brainstorm the world their companies and organizations could create in a land of "wouldn't it be nice" by allowing them some safe space to create solutions and possibilities. There's nothing stopping any of us from achieving whatever we want to achieve if we just get out of our own way. As we step into our individual and our collective geniuses (thanks to Dick Richards for that term), we allow others to do the same.

I worked with a client this morning on a half-day leadership retreat called "Building Your Leadership Capacity" and the results we created and allowed were pretty amazing. Our capacity really is unlimited when we set our minds to new pathways.

How might you be holding yourself back from stepping into your own personal POWER (Purpose, Open-Mindedness, Wisdom, Energy, Responsibility)? What might shift in your life - both at work and at home - if you take a baby step in a new direction, and commit to that new direction for more than a couple of days?

Lisa Haneberg's new book just came out - it's called "Two Weeks to a Breakthrough: How to Zoom Toward Your Goal in 14 Days or Less" and it really is a must-read if you want to jumpstart yourself or your team in a new direction. I'm honored to be hosting Lisa here in Fargo on her motorcycle tour in June - and I plan to have a story to tell about how I used her ideas to catalyze a breakthrough for my business.

Think about an area of your life that you've thought "wouldn't it be nice ...." What's stopping you? Lisa's ideas will give you the kick in the pants you need to allow it to happen - and within 14 days!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Beauty Abounds!

I'm spending the week on vacation in Arizona and it is turning out to be an amazing trip. I spent the past two days with two of my very best friends in Sedona - what an amazing place! We shopped and hiked (with a tour guide - the BEST way to experience Sedona) and each of us had a psychic reading. If you don't believe in psychics, you might have to take the leap and try it in Sedona. The experience was amazing for all of us.

Today we're going on to visit some other friends and relatives before spending our last full day here on Friday reading and relaxing by the pool. I'm blessed and grateful for the wonderful friends I have and the opportunities to be with them here in this beautiful place.

It reminds me that beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but if we're not seeing beauty everywhere in every single part of our universe at any given time, we're just not paying attention. I know when I get back to the many inches of snow we've gotten back home while I've been gone, I'll appreciate the whiteness and purity more because I've had a chance to see the red rocks of Sedona, the huge blue sky of Phoenix and the arid patches of desert between the two.

What might you be able to see differently if you look at it through the eyes of gratitude instead of mediocrity? What are you not seeing that's been there forever? It's possible to get a new outlook wherever you are - just change your mind!