Bridging Lives Notes: January 2016

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Happy New Year! Together with you, I wish this for us all.
But wait. ...
Other than the number, what will actually be new?

New suggests change, maybe even transformation.

What new will you learn, create and experience this year?
Why will it be by design?

Change. The difference between December 31 and January 1 is in the meaning we give the threshold. Something stops and another thing starts. We’re marking time. It’s merely situational unless we make more of it.

What makes your fresh start real? What will be new about you?

Transformation. What distinguishes transformation from change? Bigger? More of it? No. Transformation is a fundamental change of state, a passage from one way of being to another. Maybe transformation happens as a quantum leap. More likely, it is the result of a deliberate transition.

Pause for a moment here. Is that how you're used to thinking about transformation? It's all about you and your state of being in a changed situation. Hmmm. How does that happen?

Transition. You reorient yourself psychologically and emotionally to function and find meaning in a changed situation. Transition necessary for transformation is an internal process, a developmental one. From a growth mindset, the transition itself is a source of renewal, learning and opportunity. Something new emerges in how you function and find meaning where you now find yourself and for where you're going.
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What transitions do you find yourself in now?

According to William Bridges (author of Transitions and Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change), unless transition occurs, change will not work. "There can be any number of changes, but unless there are transitions, nothing will be different when the dust clears." The focus of change is a new outcome. The starting point of transition is "not the outcome but the ending that you will have to make to leave the old situation behind."

The transition process consists of three parts, in this order:
1) Endings – including completion, loss and letting go -
2) Wilderness – a neutral zone of the unknown with high creative and chaotic potential
3) New Beginningsnew becomes real here! New patterns emerge from chaos.

It’s in the wilderness that we especially need new perspective. This is the place and time when old habits that are no longer adaptive to a situation are extinguished and new, better-adapted patterns of habit may begin to take shape. We can feel stuck, disoriented and confused. Kind of like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. The transition is goopy. But no goop, no butterfly.
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We're all survivors of yesterday's change. More is definitely coming.

The compounded impact of mismanaged or unmanaged change can be messy and costly. Five real and measurable costs of not managing transition effectively are GRASS (and it's greenest right where we are):
G - guilt
R - resentment
A - anxiety
S - self-absorption
S - stress

There are well-tested, effective ways to avoid these difficulties and create more of what you want. Happy new year, indeed!
Growth By Design™
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Your challenge as a leader is to catalyze and guide what I call Growth by Design™.

Design. What’s the first essential step for design thinking? Here's a hint: It’s something that gives you new perspective in the wilderness. It’s a way of being. ...

Of the five critical steps for design thinking, empathy is the first. Surprised? This essential first step directs you to feel into another’s experience and inquire about the needs that arise there. Empathy is a secret key to empower choice for creating the new!

What could happen if your change conversations were better attuned for empathy?

Jon Kolko - Design Thinking Comes of Age (HBR, September 2015) - says it like this:
"An organizational focus on design offers unique opportunities for humanizing technology and for developing emotionally resonant products and services. Adopting this perspective isn’t easy. But doing so helps create a workplace where people want to be, one that responds quickly to changing business dynamics and empowers individual contributors. And because design is empathetic, it implicitly drives a more thoughtful, human approach to business."

Humanizing. Emotionally resonant. Where people want to be. Responds quickly. Empowers individual contributors. Empathetic. Thoughtful, human approach to business. …
Do those words touch on what you’re up against, what you’re in for, what you’re going through?

What could you be better at and why would it matter?

In support of the new you are creating as we begin 2016, here are two questions to ponder:

What do you need to embrace this year – now – as a new or renewed core competence?
This is a question of what you will take on that stretches you beyond the “cage” of your comfort zone and that catalyzes the kind of growth you’ll love to celebrate a year from now.
What difference will it make when you do?

My wish for all of us in 2016 is renewed capacity and commitment to grow by design. May your transitions - from endings through wilderness and into new beginnings - be humanizing, emotionally resonant and empowering in the ways you most need them.
My Invitation: LEAD IN TRUST - enrolling NOW
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The new you are creating this year will thrive in conversations and interactions that build and restore trust.

Trust is the "soft" foundation for everything "hard" we care about and measure in leadership and business.

This is one competency we can always be better at - for ourselves and with others.

Join me with a small group of business leaders refreshing and upgrading their capacity to make a difference, leading in trust. What you transform will energize and empower you!

We meet by phone and video skype so you can participate from anywhere in the world.
Program starts March 1, 2016.

Learn more and take flight... HERE
You Are the Bridge to “better”
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For the work that's yours to do, you are the bridge to "better." Thank you for the important work you do and the leader you're becoming while you do it. I'm here as your ally, partnering with you to thrive.

Be in touch...and stay tuned!
Lead. Collaborate. Grow. ... to Thrive!
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