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  • Brigit Law 5:49 pm on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Change Management, , , Julia Roberts, leadership, Mona Lisa,   

    Change comes … naturally. 

    Just like the equestrian world is talking about natural horsemanship, the managerial world should start talking (more) about natural change management.

    I just watched the film Mona Lisa smile on TV, a film set in 1953 with Julia Roberts as the art teacher Ms Watson who tries to inspire conservative young women in the 1950s to reach beyond their role as housewife, go to university and become leaders in society. Ms Watson, who used art to help her students to think out of the box, was desperate to make a change, but almost failed because of driving it too hard.

    I did not know the film, nor that it would be on TV tonight. So, it felt a real treat that I bumped onto this great movie among the tons of stuff I don’t like on TV.

    The beauty of this film comes at the end. The film follows the great classic storytelling technique with a clear moral and message for society where people (women) can relate to for years to come. People’s ‘wanting’ was trying to overshadow people’s ‘being’ and the ‘conscious & controlled behavior’ tried to win from the ‘subconscious & natural behavior’.

    Fortunately, the latter won. As the film says at the end:

    Don’t try to hard too make a change. Just be true to yourself and change will come …, naturally.

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  • Brigit Law 5:48 pm on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EquiCoaching, leadership, Stap 1-2-3   

    Step 1-2-3 

    A Dutch friend of mine started her own business in EquiCoaching called ‘Step 1-2-3’. 

    This sounds like a great name to me. It reminds me of the three part-view of a story, a journey, a program or a project: The Beginning, The Middle and The End. A creative adventure to lead change …

    (More …)

     
    • Ruth Tearle 6:26 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Bridget, I like your fresh idea of using a “beginning, middle and end story” with change management.

      It resonates with the whole Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey – which is in the following blog.

      http://www.changedesigns.net/_blog/Change_Designs_Blog/post/Creating_heroes_The_story_behind_cultural_change_management/

      • Brigit Law 5:27 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Ruth, Thanks for your reference to Joseph Campbell’s hero story. He is right when he says: “When we ask our employees to ‘change’ we are asking them to forsake the world they know, and to commit to going on a journey…” A journey that does not bring people back to the home they know as most people on a holiday do, but to a new and fresher home based on new personal achievements and insights as real travellers (story hero’s) do. A new home that may be situated in the same old brick walls.

  • Brigit Law 11:20 pm on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , leadership, leiderschap, neurologie, sportmanship   

    New Leadership is a Sense that stimulates the Mind 

    I guess no one can write, talk or think about leadeship without making synergies with sportmanship from time to time. Especially when you live in the USA.

    This evening I read this poem to my eight year old daughter which reminded me of the real status of leadership: that of a human Sense that stimulates our State Of The Mind. A sense that can be developed just like a sense for sportmanship. Just listen to this pro’s advice…

    PRO’S ADVICE
    If you want to play tennis, I’ll give you a tip:
    You must practice your stroke,
    You must tighten your grip,
    You must straighten your shoulders
    And swivel your hip
    And develop your sense of sportmanship.
    (Poem by Shel Silverstein in Every Thing On It)

    It is the status of the mind. Like sportmanship, leadership is not the end or the beginning of something. It is the State of the Mind that steers our behavior to getting something done.

     
  • Brigit Law 3:16 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gender Balance, leadership, Muna Abu Sluyman   

    Balancing Out The Corporate World With Quotas 

    Last week a post from the Economic World Form showed up on my Facebook with Muna Abu Sluyman from Saudi Arabia sharing her ideas about gender and equality at the work floor.

    In her blog ‘Balancing Out The Corporate World’ she explains why mandatory quotas are needed to ensure that women join the decision makers in this world. I couldn’t agree more with her.

    Indeed, quotas are a crucial step to female empowerment in business with the end goal to achieve a better balance in decision making and, hence, finding solutions to the needs of a community or society at different levels of emotion. The latter – the goal – is often forgotten in the debate about this instrument, what a quota merely is. That is why we all, men and women, need to force ourselves to look beyond the instrument and understand better the goal we want to reach. This important worldwide debate should not be belittled or slowed down by some of the less flattering details of the instrument.

    In many instances, quotas are not very popular and stir up a lot of emotions. You only have to look as far as the Dairy and Fishing industry to see how quotas give people the creeps. But is that a reason not to use them?

    Don’t get me wrong, working with quotas is not a concept that I favor in principal and like to think we don’t need them. Regularly, my husband – a decision maker in industry – and I have tough discussions about it. On the other hand, why is it so difficult to accept that quotas help? Many woman – and I am one of them – just need that extra push get a sound and respectful female leadership community to look up to. Why? Because there is an urgent need for people and profiles we as women can more easily:

    • identify with,
    • admire, and
    • get inspired by.

    The key emotional ingredients for moving up and forwards in business, wouldn’t you say?

    I know, quotas feel like putting an elephant in a china shop. However, it is not unusual in business to put an elephant in a china shop in order to get things moving and shaking and more importantly, to get people to change their believes that are hidden far back in their mind and steer their unconscious behavior. So, quotas could be the hammer on a fragile nail that refuses to go in. Now, the challenge is to use the hammer in a subtle way.

    Back to the challenge of inspiration and perception. When I searched for images to go with this article I noticed how difficult it is to find images that portray the essence of this subject . If you Google on let’s say ‘Board Woman’, you get girls in bikini. Online magazines like Spiegel Online lack imagination with an awful image of a lake and mountains when covering the Norway Case in their article ‘Norway’s Experience Shows Compulsory Quotas Work’

    And another very sad image of a woman alone in a meeting room was shown alongside the article Norway’s New Quota: Corporate Board 40% Women Or Else!

    And what do you think about this awful image alongside another article from Spiegel Online ‘Gender Equality’.  The Dominatrix looks like a nicer person to work with than this woman …!

    And perhaps wort of all are magazines and blogs that do not even have an image with their articles on gender equality, such as Ignore the doubters. Norway’s quota on women in the boardroom is working

    Sadly it looks to me that the media wants us to believe that we have a long, muddy and indefinite path to go. Of course, it is nothing like that at all. It are all man who wrote these articles.

    What we need is a tsunami of contemporary images of women in this world doing their leadership job on a daily base. Women like the Principal of my kid’s elementary public school, Scotland Elementary School (PA), who steered the school into the top three ranking of public schools in the area.

    Windows of opportunities are opening for women, but for how long will they stay open? I am sure that this era of social practices and emotions will be followed up by a new one where men will claim their positions in leadership back, whether in a traditional or new format. The changing of the wheel goes fast. Change in business and society lays around the corner, all the time.

    And THAT, my dearest reader, is WHY we need QUOTAS as a mean to enhance Female Leadership.

     
    • gromykl 4:00 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t agree more! 🙂 Just wrote a similar blogpost a little while ago. Found this blog through twitter searching on expat, just started off as a expat spouse myself with a small child and are trying to find my way

    • Mike 1:38 pm on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Your first error is think that for start much people support female empowerment like something good for our society. Your second error is think that the end justifies the means, and it turns worse when you understand that the last objetive is not shared for most of the people. If you dare to break one of the few principles that is really accepted for most of the people like valid, like is formal equality, to be able to favour women ¿how would you defend yourself if appeared a new social-engineer ideology that conclude that its better for the society, men and women, return to the traditional sketch, and that the state must break the formal equality in order to get that?

      • Brigit Law 4:54 pm on August 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Mike, female empowerment, – or a women’s gateway to equal participation in working life as I prefer to call it – is not something one supports but merely confirms. It is like potty training a toddler: you need to give the toddler a potty to succeed. For woman’s equal participation you need to give her a quota to succeed.

  • Brigit Law 12:25 am on February 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Herald Mail, leadership, Shippensburg, Spike Lee, ,   

    An Evening With Spike Lee 

    I am marking another American experience tonight: my evening with Spike Lee!

    Spike Lee is an American film director, producer, writer and actor. With his production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, he has been producing films since 1983. Lee is famous for the way he evolutionized the role of Black talent in cinema. Lee also directed commercials for Nike, Converse, Jaguar, Taco Bell and Ben & Jerry’s.

    Our meeting was not quite up close and personal, but with seat number J-109 in an almost sold out hall of the Luhrs Performing Arts Center in Schippensburg (PA) where he lectured about “The Cultural Diversity in America”, it was as good as it could get.

    As my friends know, everything that has to do with diversity has my attention. Since I left my home village in The Netherlands, I have been different myself. First and foremost as a country girl in a big city, but also as a Dutch girl living in other people’s countries and as a Dutch wife to a Scottish husband. Diversity is part of my daily life since I left home at 18 and it will be for children for whole their lives.

    Lee’s performance in Shippensburg tonight was great.  He is a wonderful and motivational speaker who tackles serious issues – the life of African-Americans – with a good sense of humor. He urged students to follow passion, not pay. To this end, Lee was happy to share his own personal experiences and challenges in life with his public, in particular his vision that you should choose a study and do a job you enjoy doing no matter what others (parents) say. “If you are driven in wanting to do something, do it!” was his advice to the public.

    However, his view on the stagnation of Afro-Americans can be disputed. Lee sees a stagnation in the life of African-Americans since the 40s when Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in her role as a maid in ‘Gone with the Wind’ and today, annu 2012, when African-Americans win again Academy Awards through actors Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer who played … maids again. To me this seems more a sign of stagnation in the life of women who are in a sleepy state of mind since the time of the suffragettes. At lease the African-Americans got their American President, the female society not (yet).

    I was also a bit disappointed about his answer to a young African-American guy in the public who explained his difficulties to make films due to lack of finance and closed doors in Hollywood. His answer was to persevere and to keep on believing in yourself and your drive (dream). My answer would be a question: where are the African-American businesses that should support African-American culture? It is not up to the ‘old’ Hollywood and its white face history to write and direct the screen plays that bring diversity in America to life. A drive is based on an emotional need, an urge and a passion. This can only be told through stories with with award winning roles of leaders in society played, written and produced by African-Americans themselves.

    In fact, it is all about empowering yourself to succeed with a group of people through ‘shared values’. A concept that focuses on the connections between societal and economic progress.

     
  • Brigit Law 1:21 am on October 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , leadership, Narsissism   

    When something is real good, … 

    When something is real good, it is also real bad #facebook #designthinking #publicprofile

    With this Twitter update I refer to the inevitable downsides of amazingly good inventions such as Facebook. (More …)

     
  • Brigit Law 2:31 am on October 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , leadership,   

    Wikipedia’s Horsemanship Shows Essence of Social Media 

    Wikipedia’s explanation of horsemanship shows the essence of corporate communication and leadeship through social media: …

    (More …)

     
  • Brigit Law 2:30 am on September 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dave Snowden, leadership, Therapeutic Horsemanship   

    Leadership is more than business alone 

    My move to America means new challenges for me professionally but mostly personally. It puts a mirror in my face telling me that leadership is more than business alone.

    (More …)

     
  • Brigit Law 11:20 am on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , engagement, leadership   

    When stakeholders cannot be found in your story 

    If you are a business professional reading my blog, I am sure that Social Media advocates have told already that one of the main reason to use Social Media in your corporate communications is that: ‘because if you don’t …, people won’t find you’.

    Let me do the same for Storytelling, explaining why you should use storytelling patterns in your communications by showing your the alternative – the contrary – scenario: What happens if you don’t use Storytelling communication patters in modern day communications? Well, your story doesn’t get heard effectively. Here is the example.

    Just before Christmas my husband came home from a business trip to the UK and brought with him the Daily Express. ‘Honey’, he said, ‘there is an interesting article for you to read’, and he showed me the article ‘Families shrink as women put careers before children.’ Funny, I thought, should it not be ‘Families shrink as parents (!) put careers before children’? Surely, it cannot be that in the  work-society-family discussion the European woman is solemnly held responsible for a decline in birth rate? I am afraid that nature has decided that man play a role in this story too, a big one! However, in this article, one of the key players in this social complexity – the man – is not found.

    So, the morale of my blog today is that it is key to any piece of information that everyone who is involved in the issue or complexity at stake, your target audience, has a role to play. Because, the ones who are not present in your ‘play’, cannot be found and will – therefore – not get your message and follow your lead. 

    At most, they may pass on the information and help your brand awareness, which is ok if you are satisfied with the second best “Honey, this is for you”-scenario for your corporate communications. But I think you could do better as a leader and communicator, don’t you?

     
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