Leadership Qualities: More Homegrown Solutions…

Christmas Movies -Christmas Movies for Kids- Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Effective leaders know that holidays can be one of the most stressful times for families.  So, providing the tools for them to create fun experiences is a sure win.   

Imagine a little girl dashing about excitedly as the family’s guests arrive to share holiday dinner and gifts with them.  It’s a delightful treat for a beloved friend who is granted access to their inner sanctum only to be met with an enormous collection of Disney’s fabulous female – Minnie Mouse!  From blankets, shoes and clothes to stuffed dolls and other Minnie Mouse paraphernalia, one cannot miss the enchanting world of childhood fantasy that was birthed from the imagination of Walt Disney.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy gathering with my family at Christmas amidst all the competeing schedules and watching Christmas movies.  And, I confess that we have already begun!  There is just something so magical in the season of goodwill and cheer as you remember how and why people celebrated Christmas down through the years.  From the nativity dramas and children’s Christmas plays, to the Christmas trees and the gifts (store bought ones, but more heartwarming are the soulful gifts of a child returning home, a parent rediscovering purpose, a boss discovering afresh the joy of giving, and more).

And, today we share another homegrown solution that has become a global phenomenon – Walt Disney.  What began as an interest in drawing with crayons and painting with water colours on their family farm, blossomed into something more as Walt assisted his father in his newpaper business when they moved to Kansas City, Missouri.  The list of Christmas movie favourites include many Disney movies like – A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas, Santa Clause, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Frozen, and much more (Lunders & O’Sullivan, 2019; https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/g5060/best-disney-christmas-movies/?slide=6).

Although rejected from other movie studios, and told that his dreams of producing animated films was a dead end street, Disney was the first to use the combination of sound and color to produce Steamboat Willie (1928).  And, it featured Mickey Mouse, the forerunner to my little niece’s beloved Minnie Mouse.  Since that first production, the list of Disney characters is endless including Donald Duck, Goofy, Snow White, and Mary Poppins (Crowther in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019; https://www.britannica.com/biography/Walt-Disney).  

So, don’t let the negative reaction of others arrest your dreams.  Keep living and experience the Courage to be Free and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

Leadership Qualities: Homegrown Solutions…

Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash

Effective leaders know that the most sustainable way of growing their business is by meeting the needs of their customers, even moreso by using homegrown solutions that celebrate their community.   

It’s closing in on the holiday season, so I will be devoting these blogs to topics that are reminiscent of this special time of the year.  As we approach the American Thanksgiving, we can probably all find a memory associated with it via family members or friends who have shared this special time with us.  One of my favourite memories of this holiday is welcoming a newborn into the family.  Born in this cold season, and bundled up in warm winter apparel, the message could not be clearer to us to be thankful for life and all the unending miracles that it holds.  

Another, thought that comes to mind is how to select clothing that is attractive, practical, durable and comfortable for child(ren)?  Of the many brands that exist in children’s apparel, one of my all time favourite brands is OshKosh B’gosh.  That being said, you have to ask how on earth did a company that started by manufacturing overalls for farmers and railroad workers become one of the most notable brands in children’s clothing (Carter’s, 2019)?

Branding is:

“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

(Business Dictionary, 2019; http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/branding.html).  

So, what’s OshKosh B’gosh’s story?  How did they become this household name for high quality, durable and adorable children’s clothing?  Well, history tells us that the company was founded in 1895 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin specializing in

“hickory-striped denim bib overalls for railroad workers and farmers. It was the brilliant idea of designing a pint-size version for the children of these customers that gave OshKosh B’gosh its true meaning and purpose. …The World’s Best Overalls embody the hopes, dreams and pride of every parent for their kids.”

(Carter’s, 2019; https://www.oshkosh.com/oshkosh/okbg-story.html?id=oshkosh).

So, knowing their roots and celebrating the familial bond in dressing children like their parents has been the hallmark of OshKosh’s success.  As they adverstized the children’s version of the overall, sales grew first by mail order and eventually through department stores, overtaking the sales of their adult work clothing line.  By 1979 children’s clothing contributed to 15% of the company’s sales.  However, by 1993 sales from the children’s clothing line dominated 95% of all sales.   

Today, 117 years old, OshKosh B’gosh has remained true to its roots. By partnering with the Carter’s family of brands in 2005, they only strengthened their commitment and expanded their reach. Today, they are still two of the oldest, largest and most-recognized brands of baby and children’s apparel in the world, forging generations of family ties with customers and memories of timeless quality (Carter’s, 2019).

So, as we celebrate life and all the endless possibilities in it, what are some of your favorite timeless memories of this season?  OshKosh B’gosh knows that their success is built on a strong emotional bond between the generations which gives them an enduring legacy.  What legacies can you make this holiday?

Check out For a Teacher’s Heart which commemorated another holiday season, as well as more offerings at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

Leadership Qualities: Promote What Works.

How To Give Product Demos That Sell Using These 5 Tips

Effective leaders know that a good product may have a flaw, but they only promote the features that work.

Imagine a young wife shopping for her family.  One day she stumbles upon a local manufacturer of handmade herbal soaps.  She listens to the benefits of using herbs not just for cleansing the skin, but nourishing it and supporting optimal skin health.  Then she asks the question that she has been holding.  “Do you have anything for liver spots?  My husband has a really hard time and we have spent so much money trying all kinds of products.”  The manufacturer smiles and says, “No.  But, I could make something.  Give me 3 weeks and I will get back to you.”  

Fast forward.  The product is made and offerred to the suffering husband for testing. Now on the 4th bar of handmade herbal soap, the pleased wife smiles upon greeting the manufacturer who has just handed her a couple fresh bars of soap.  Then she says, “It really works you know.  I should let you see my husband.”  Not only does the manufacturer have a committed repeat customer, this loyal customer is now networking to ensure that the product will get into the hands of many more who need it.  It’s a win-win for all!

Psychologists define persuasion as, “… the process by which a person’s attitudes or behaviour are, without duress, influenced by communications from other people.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019; https://www.britannica.com/science/persuasion-psychology).

Persons in marketing and sales departments have applied this understanding to close the deal and generate large revenue streams for their organizations.  In fact, research conducted at the University of Chicago explored the impact of extensive persuasuive communication on consumers, voters, donors and investors ( DellaVigna & Gentzkow, 2010; (https://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/ARE_Review.pdf).  The results are mixed, but here are some salient highlights:

Simester et al. (2007) saw an increase in clothing purchases just by varying the number of catalogs individuals received by mail from a women’s clothing retailer. In an 8-month period, catalogues were increased from 12 to 17. Purchases during the test period increased by 5 percent for customers who had purchased frequently in the past, and by 14 percent for those who had purchased relatively infrequently (p. 7).  Compare this with a negligible difference between more than 1 million Yahoo users who were exposed to an online buying campaign and those who were not (approximately 3%).  

A door-to-door fund-raising campaign at East Carolina University was studied by Landry et al. (2006). … 36.3 percent of households open the door and 10.8 percent of all households contacted (including the ones that do not open the door) donate, for an implied persuasion rate of f = 29.7 (p. 12).

When it comes to buying stocks, the media can be a significant source for action to buy or sell a stock.  “Engelberg and Parsons (2009) … use individual trading records for a brokerage house to study the way local investors respond to coverage of earnings announcements in local newspapers. … a company whose earnings news are covered in the newspaper experiences significantly higher local trading in the 3 days around the announcement. The low persuasion rate (f = .01) reflects the fact that individual investors trade relatively infrequently” (p. 13).

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But, what about the skeptical consumer who sees the promotion as gimmickery or whitewashing?  How do you win them over?

Offer them an incentive.  I know that providing a trial size, with a money back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied is an effective technique.  When skeptics see that you are willing to put your money where your mouth is then all (certainly most) debate ceases.  And, it is highly unlikely that your neighbour will promote a product that they have not tested.  

So, listen carefully the next time that you are offered a solution to your problem. Financiers sell investment options because they know the value of huge capital investments.  Teachers sell education because they know the power of a disciplined and developed mind.  Doctors sell prescriptions because they know how debilitating it is to be critically ill. Fashion designers sell beauty because they know that a good outfit can make the wearer feel like a million bucks!

Whatever product or service you have to offer, promote the best features.  Acknowledge the flaw if asked, but always promote the best features so that your client will make an informed choice about what works.

For more innovations in work check out https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/46932764/1.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DThe_Caribbean_Psyche_in_Work_Wealth_and.pdf&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A%2F20191104%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20191104T163554Z&X-Amz-Expires=3600&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=981c89f9398ea2b4c1d2e13d11d936a8bd4430eb6ea9e4494e9ec8c6fc57376e and more encouraging solutions are also available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Leadership Qualities: Esteem the Honourable.

Barack Obama speaks at Elijah Cummings’ funeral

Effective leaders understand that to esteem honourable acts is to challenge their team to strive for a higher standard – in performance, in productivity, in quality, and also in morality.

Imagine a mother raising her young sons and wrestling with the strong and persistent popular culture.  I remember one case where a young mother was at her wits end with her son who seemed to fight her at every turn, trying to assert his individuality.  In this instant he wanted to wear a Mohawk.  And, he came to me and told me that when he came home with it after a trip to the barber, she promptly took him back to have it removed.  After listening to his rant, I explained to him that his mother was someone who held authority and was esteemed by others.  Consequently, she and her family were also called to display the same high standard that she required of her team members.  So, some unconventional styles, albeit cool, were not the wisest choice for her son.  He heard.  He pondered.  And, he received it.  Years later, he has grown into a responsible young man following in his mother’s shoes, already bearing responsibility in unversity, work and community activities.  

Honorable, according to the Cambridge Dictionary means “honest and fair, or deserving praise and respect.”  It is also “a title used before the name of some government officials, and in the UK before the names of some people of high social rank” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/honourable).  

So, when an honored elder in the community speaks we tend to ponder carefully what they have to say.  At the celebration service for the life of the Honorable Elijah Cummings, former President Barack Obama revealed his heartfelt response to the tribute given by the daughters of the beloved congressman.  He also shared insights from a father’s heart on advice given to his own daughters.

“I tell my daughters … being a strong man includes being kind, that there’s nothing weak about kindness and compassion.   There’s nothing weak about looking out for others.  There’s nothing weak about being honourable.  You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.”

(Obama, 2019; 8:25:-9:35 mins.)

In a time when women’s rights to choose are celebrated around the world, hardly anyone would frown upon an elderly woman becoming pregnant and choosing to terminate the pregnancy for the obvious health risks posed to her and the baby.  However, older mothers are choosing to do the honorable thing when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant.

 In a surprising case in China, a 67-year-old woman became the country’s oldest new mother after giving birth to a baby girl on Friday (Zhang, 2019).  This woman had already raised her family and was set to take life easy.  Both she and her husband were pensioners, and enjoying their retirement when she suddenly found herself pregnant.  There was strong opposition to her having another baby, even from the would-be siblings, and the youngest grandchild who is 18 years old and in college.  But, they chose to have their baby, deciding to name her Tianci, cherishing her as “given by God” (Zhang, 2019; http://www.msn.com/en-xl/asia/asia-top-stories/woman-67-becomes-chinas-oldest-new-mother-as-baby-girl-is-given-by-god-reports-say/ar-AAJsLuw?MSCC=1572273532&ocid=spartandhp#image=BBOZfUQ|29).  

No one knows what is in the potential of a person or a new beginning.  No one knew that at their earliest stages Apple, Samsung, Amazon, or Ikea would grow from an idea to become the global brands that they are today (Money Morning Paper, 2019; https://moneymorningpaper.com/first-products-famous-brands/10/).  But, the honorable among us will choose to acknowledge the effort and celebrate the journey.

So, never despise the day of small beginnings. You never know what lies ahead for you or for the one just starting out on the path.  Instead, be a source of encouragement and be prepared for anything!  Check out a book of the same title and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

Leadership Qualities: Celebrate the Circle of Life.

Morgan State University Graduate 2019 – Elijah Cummings

Effective leaders understand that the keys to success are found in celebrating the circle of life.  

So, when a leader is called to encourage his or her community when they face a crossroad, every word spoken is carefully weighed to direct the future. Such was Rep. Elijah Cummings’ opening remarks as he spoke to the 2019 graduating class of Morgan State University in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. The words encapsulated the circle of life.

“We seldom achieve anything meaningful in life by our own efforts alone.”

(Cummings, 2019, 9:22-11:04 mins.).

The circle of life is commonly described as,

“Nature’s way of taking and giving back life to earth. It symbolizes the universe being sacred and divine. It represents the infinite nature of energy, meaning if something dies it gives new life to another.”

(Collins Dictionary, 2019; https://www.collinsdictionary.com/submission/6884/Circle+of+life).

Successful leaders know how to transition their teams through the circle of life, especially through seasons of grief by pointing to future joys.  Oftentimes we look to the sages among us to find answers to the adversities that we face.  Why?  Because we consider them experts in facing adversity.  

Research by psychologist Anders Ericsson suggests that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in your field (Bradley, 2012; https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20121114-gladwells-10000-hour-rule-myth).  So, given that there are 365 days in a year, let’s say that we battle adversity for one hour every day.  At that rate, it would take us approximately 27.4 years to become experts.  If we spend only 15 minutes each day, a quarter of the hour, then it would take about 110 years to become an expert.  Conversely, if we spend 4 hours per day fighting adversity then we would only need 7 years to become a young sage.  

So, there is great wisdom in a leader who builds on the accummulated expertise of his or her team as they navigate the circle of life together, especially when facing adversity.

Life is a series of celebrations and sorrows.  But, especially this week, as we celebrate the lives and the accomplishments of loved ones that we have lost, especially the ones that we consider to be national heroes (like Elijah Cummings; and, Jamaican heroes Marcus Garvey, Alexander Bustamante and Nanny), let us not forget that their past successes serve to inspire us to future victories, personal and also professional ones.  

Harrison Ford demonstrates this well at the homegoing celebration of his lifelong friend, Whitney Houston.  After he shares memories that have solidified to temper the burden of his grief, he turns his community’s attention to the future and the dreams of other little girls like Whitney, reconnecting the community to the circle of life (15:32-16:18 mins.).

Kevin Costner’s emotional speech in full at Whitney Houston’s funeral

So, assess your situation well.  Recognize that sorrow is a part of the circle of life, then use it to position you for the next mountain to be scaled.  Wonderful lessons can be learned from athletes who lose one race and go on to win the next championship at http://www.indusedu.org/pdfs/IJRESS/IJRESS_876_93216.pdf and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

And, no matter where you are and what you face, never forget the power of music to comfort the weary soul and anchor you to the circle of life.

Whitney Houston and Michele Lamar Richards – Jesus Loves Me (from The Bodyguard).

Leadership Qualities: Attitude is Everything.

The Link Between Attitudes and Behavior

Effective leaders know that their response to adversity can be the deciding factor in advancing their enterprise.

Successful leaders deposit their wisdom into those team members that they trust. The attitude of the recipient determines how much will be deposited.

Consider the following case of a newly hired CEO,

Brought in to run a $65 million, family-owned business.  He is the first president from outside the family so he was carefully evaluated.

… during the interview he was asked why he had to leave his previous job.  His response was that he had been fired because he had failed to confront subordinates and hold them responsible for their poor performance.

It was still an emotional trigger for him because he began he showed signs of stress.  He got red and flushed.  He started waving his hands.  He was clearly agitated. He also reported that his NEW boss (the OWNER of the company) had criticized him for the same thing that morning. He also went on and on about how hard it was for him to confront low-performing employees, especially those who had been with the company a long time.  The researcher noted that, “While he was so upset his ability to handle cognitve complexity – to reason – plummeted.”

(Goleman, 1998, p. 22).

Attitudes describe our “overall evaluations of people, groups, and objects in our social world” (Haddock & Maio, 2004)).  Attitudes reveal our decisions about liking versus disliking or favoring versus disfavoring an attitude object. They are important because they affect the way that we perceive the world and how we behave (https://psychology.iresearchnet.com/social-psychology/attitudes/).

In contrast to the mature CEO above, imagine a teenager who has been given an unexpected gift.  Grateful and excited, they smile and extend a hand for receipt.  But, in the handing over, something falls and a small dent is made in what would have otherwise been a perfect item.  But, instead of grumbling, frowning or ranting, the teen picks it up, brushes it off and says, “It’s O.K.  I can fix this part.  I’ll just decorate it with something that I have.”

Wow!  A breath of fresh air to anyone working with teenagers who are known to be moody as they navigate what has been dubbed the “storm and stress” of adolescence (Hall, 1904).  For more on this topic see a video at https://study.com/academy/lesson/g-stanley-hall-storm-stress-in-adolescence.html.

So, the next time that you are tempted to go off the rails because things did not go seamlessly along, put on a smile instead of a frown!  For more on the power of attitudes see lessons from sports at http://www.indusedu.org/pdfs/IJRESS/IJRESS_876_93216.pdf and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

If you have a little more time and you are interested in the power of attitudes to overcome adversity, listen to Nancy Shore Howard’s interview after her husband’s failed plot to kill her at https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-44521209 .

Leadership Qualities: Acknowledge the Power of Faith.

Dina Asher-Smith dominates 200m final | World Athletics Championships 2019 | Doha Moments

Effective leaders are not ashamed to acknowledge that complete trust in a comprehensive system of enduring principles (faith) drives their success.

Imagine a little girl sitting at home watching one of the best female athletes in history compete at the Olympics.  Then imagine a decade later, that little girl competing alongside her at the phenomenally engaging World Championships in Doha just completed.  Such is the story of the young British athlete, Dina Asher-Smith.

During an interview after completing a very fast 100m she shared how she would prepare and stay focused for the 200m the following day (mins. 2:00-2:32).

2019.10.2 Dina Asher-Smith Post Race Interview

Why? Because she has faith that if she does these things then the goal that she is working towards wills be realized.  Faith is “great trust or confidence in something or someone” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/faith). However, this does not preclude that there will not be challenges along the way that must be overcome (For more see Mitchell, 2017; http://www.lulu.com/shop/keisha-a-mitchell/the-courage-to-be-free-become-who-you-were-meant-to-be/ebook/product-23433955.html).  Faith in her abilities and her confidence in her coach allowed her to persevere in training and competitions year after year to finally make it to Doha 2019.  

Also, faith would allow Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce to return to competition after childbirth to once again dominate in her sprinting events.  Thus, making her a worthy opponent of her young admirer.  And, at every event, both women performed outstandingly well.  Their success, and the success of many others were celebrated with great applause, signing the cross, falling and kissing the track, and many platitudes thanking God for health and for success after each event.

But, athletes are not the only ones who acknowledge their faith.  Other celebrities who are making their faith known include screen stars: Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and many more (Stars Insider, 2019; http://www.msn.com/en-xl/lifestyle/celebs/celebrities-who-follow-their-faith-religiously/ss-AAIlLS1?MSCC=1570455274&ocid=spartandhp).

Celebrated neurologist and psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, advised individuals on how to find success.  He said,

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself” (Frankl, 1946; 2006).  

As I close today, I heartily congratulate every coach and every athlete who competed at Doha.  I also celebrate all the families that journeyed through every season with the athletes.  May your example of enduring faith in your ability and your discipline to the goal be a source of encouragement to us all.

And, don’t ever forget that the accomplishment of one goal is the beginning of another.  For more see http://www.indusedu.org/pdfs/IJRESS/IJRESS_876_93216.pdf and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

Maybe you will be fortunate to thank your mentor with a tribute, but if not let Koffee say it for you.

Koffee sings “Legend” to Usain Bolt

Leadership Qualities: Celebrate the Big and the Small Wins.

Highlights | World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 | Day 3

Effective leaders celebrate the big and the small wins knowing that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“Resilience simply means the ability to rebound; to experience defeat, absorb it, assess the loss and after assessing the possibilities, setting the experience of loss aside to make an amazing comeback that stuns self, as well as observers.  According to Solomon (2013), in relation to sports, resilience is the ability to remain composed, confident, and consistent in the face of errors. A resilient athlete is one who can let go of errors and return to the present; s/he uses the error as an opportunity to learn and improve.”

(Mitchell, 2016, p.22).
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 100m World Champion | World Athletics Championships 2019 | Doha Moments

“Jamaica may attend international events to compete against other nations multiple times her size.  However, the truth is that she only competes against the previous performance of the black, green, and gold flag bearers.  No other nation of her size has produced what she has produced with the resources that she has been given.”

(Mitchell, 2016, p.24).
Gayle’s Giant Leap | World Athletics Championships 2019 | Doha Moments

It’s been said a million times that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”  Make the first step to the future that you want to create today.  Let Jamaica’s historic journey to gold inspire you at http://www.indusedu.org/pdfs/IJRESS/IJRESS_876_93216.pdf .

And never forget that someone, somewhere, is observing your success and dreaming again.  So, take someone along with you. These ladies at the Global Citizen Festival 2019 show you how to do it gracefully.

Alicia Keys performs Dream On with H.E.R. | Global Citizen Festival NYC 2019
Carole King performs Where You Lead with Kelly Clarkson | Global Citizen Festival NYC 2019

Leadership Qualities: Change Management through Shifting the Burden of Change…

Greta Thunberg full speech at UN Climate Change COP24 Conference (2018).

Effective leaders know that even a good quality product or service can be improved with a few tweaks here and there.

Imagine a bride-to-be preparing for her wedding day.  A lot of effort goes into planning the perfect day with all the perfect accessories.  But, even more importantly, the bride wants to look and feel her best so, much is invested in presenting her best self.  With the aid of enthusiastic family and friends, she begins  a process of enhancing what her husband-to-be already finds beautiful.

Or, imagine a couple that has been together for over 40 years.  The business of life, business, children and grandchildren keep them busy.  But, through the hustle of activities, the husband complements his wife on the newly emerging health and glow of her skin.  She is pleasantly surprised.  And, whispers to him, “It’s the new soaps and moisturizer that I started using.”

Oftentimes we complain about a thing instead of doing something about it. But, YOU can manage change. Change management is “Minimizing resistance to organizational change through involvement of key players and stakeholders.”  

(http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/change-management.html)  

Whether it is dealing with a new relationship or an old one, effective leaders know that desiring change from the other party (or parties) is easier said than done.  The sage leader knows that if change is to take place then it must begin within.  So, they model the new behaviour that they want to see.

The disarming case to act right now on climate change | Greta Thunberg (2018)

Let’s face it, people are often quick to oppose change, and to eliminate what they do not understand.  But, if team leaders begin by acting their way into change, and creating a new level of success, team members will begin to follow or risk being left behind.  And, no body wants to be a relic. So, organizations can take advantage of this adaptable trait by creating a new structure — complete with new processes, workflows, and values — and gradually transfer employees from the old one.

In a world of technology, one way to effectively do this is by maximizing team members’ use of it, efficiently generating feedback .

For example,

IBM recognized the need for such an approach in 2003, when rolling out a new initiative on culture. The leadership team had met intensively to develop clear definitions of the cultural traits the organization would require going forward. They then declared a “values jam,” a website set up for a 72-hour period, where anyone in the company could post comments, responses, suggestions, and concerns. Leaders then made key changes based on the feedback they received and communicated clearly how the input they’d received was being incorporated.

(Atlas Corps, 2019; https://atlascorps.org/change-management-principle-1-involve-every-layer/).

Your interest for change begin anywhere.  Then once you are hooked, do something! Consider how the management of Jamaica’s freshwater resources can inspire you at https://www.dropbox.com/s/civ6jnmfx6lsmdm/Jamaica_CC%26Water2.docx?dl=0 or explore more offerings at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .

Greta Thunberg – Inspiring Others to Take a Stand Against Climate Change | The Daily Show (2019)

Leadership Qualities: Change Management through Redefining Cultural Values.

Sweet Video Of Toddlers Hugging Goes Viral | NBC Nightly News

Effective leaders effectively use the power of redefining cultural values in order to achieve the future that they desire.

Imagine a busy organization striving to achieve corporate as well as individual performance targets.  However, the CEO suffers a tragic accident and dies.  Everyone is left wondering what the future holds because they were a keen visionary and a source of forceful energy.  But, in the midst of the grief and the activity involved in scrambling for a way forward, one of the young team leaders is glowing with the new life that she is carrying.  The future has presented itself!  

Change management requires that leaders understand the historical cultural values of an organization, as well as perceive critical moments where paradigm shifts can be made. According to Schein (2010), organizational culture is

“a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think,  and feel in relation to those problems”

(Tharp, ?; https://www.thercfgroup.com/files/resources/Defining-Culture-and-Organizationa-Culture_5.pdf). 

This includes invisible elements like values, attitudes and beliefs; as well as visible artifacts (e.g., signage, employee dress and product line) and behaviors (e.g., financial reporting, hiring/firing practices and training). For more on organizational culture see the video below.

What is Organizational Culture?

When organizational culture values are redefined to incorporate employee goals, the result is greater buy-in.  Why?  Because people, as social beings, want to “fit in” and “go along” with cultural norms and values.

For example, establishing a culture of continuous improvement will cause employees to embrace new ways of working, or at the very least consider new ways of thinking about workin an evolving global environment.

Redefining cultural values can make team members more optimistic and celebrate symbolic events.  For example, the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Germantown hospital experienced joy in the midst of sorrow as they welcomed a Memphis-area baby girl who was born at 9:11 p.m. on 9/11 and weighed 9 pounds and 11 ounces. Her proud parents are Justin and Cametrione Brown (Oliveira, 2019).

“Her mother told the station she was in eighth grade during the 2001 terrorist attacks.

“We had emotions and we felt it,” she said. “On that day, 9/11, you know, you find triumph, you find a piece of joy from a day that’s so drastic and still hurts.” 

 (Oliveira
, 2019; http://www.msn.com/en-xl/northamerica/northamerica-top-stories/a-tennessee-baby-was-born-at-911-pm-on-9-11-—-weighing-9-pounds-11-ounces/ar-AAHgzbT?MSCC=1568570941&ocid=spartandhp#image=AAH7Yda|17).

One thing to remember is that successful change management intiatives start at the top – be it with parents, teachers, supervisors, or CEOs.  But, to be sustained, it is important to engage team members at every level early on.  

As you work on redefining organizational values, consider the great value placed on one of nature’s best gifts to us at https://www.dropbox.com/s/civ6jnmfx6lsmdm/Jamaica_CC%26Water2.docx?dl=0 or explore more offerings at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .