Monthly Archives: January 2010

What is Unity?

A Follow up to  True Unity

What is unity?

Wikipedia describes unity as the following “Unity can denote a combining of all the parts, elements and individuals into an effective whole.”

Unity is not…
A warm feeling
Always seeing eye to eye
Doing the same thing the same way
An absence of different opinions

True unity can only work in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. It retains, utilizes, and respects the individuality of all the parts that make up the whole. In true unity differences are embraced even celebrated.

People can confuse “unity” with “unison” but there is a big and important difference.

Imagine an orchestra which is made up of many different instruments, for them to perform a symphony they must be in unity. If they were in unison they would all just play the same note at the same time. A symphony is made up of many melodies, harmonies, rhythms and sounds, each combining their own section as part of the whole.

For there to be unity there must be a recognition of the importance of the individual.

I believe that unity, true unity, requires the following environment to survive and thrive.

  1. Trust
  2. Mutual respect
  3. Acceptance of the importance of the individual
  4. Recognition that differences are embraced even celebrated
  5. Honest and open discussion (dialogue)
  6. investigation of all opposing views
  7. not ego lead (ego will destroy unity)
  8. Needs strong clearly stated vision

Just because two people are walking together in the same direction doesn’t mean they are in unity. They could just be walking in the same direction. Unity is a combining of purpose. Unity does not come from oneness of action but oneness of purpose.

True unity cannot be coerced, forced, or demanded. It must be mutual, where the other is more valued and that the vision is clear.

Paul S Allen

I’m Not Productive Today

– 5 Tips to Make the Best of a Low Day : Insights by Career Counselors Blog

via I’m Not Productive Today – 5 Tips to Make the Best of a Low Day : Insights by Career Counselors Blog.

Social Networking the Next Stage

For about a year or so, every time you watch the news you hear something about the effect that twitter is having on the world or how facebook is being used to break stories. This is great but what will happen next?

Already I have heard of people getting tired and bored with social networking.

This is how it should be, through history new inventions, ways of communication, and technologies have come and seemingly disappeared. Much of it, however, still exists, but because it is entrenched in every day familiarity we fail to notice it.

How many of us still marvel at the copper wire technology that carries our voice to a another person using a simple telephone? Yet how would we survive without this truly remarkable innovation. We take it for granted.

The next stage for social networking is normalization and integration into everyday lives and situations, whether at work, home, or wherever.

No longer will it be an organisation having a single twitter or facebook account (or whatever the next incarnation is). When years ago, organisations used to have a single telephone in the building  and now have at least one on every desk (I have three on my desk at work plus my personal mobile phone); so, I believe, the next step will be each member of staff should be using these networks as communication tools just the same as the copper wire telephone we now have.

Should it be mundane?… Yes

Invisable and unremarkable?… Yes

Even routine?… Again YES absolutely.

It is only when innovation, including social networking, becomes so routine and integrated in our business systems so we don’t notice we are using it that it will be of full benefit.

Never stop innovating, but don’t just gloat in the glory of the newest “shiny thing” work to make it part of ordinary everyday lives where we will say “how did we ever live without it?”.

The moment an innovative product becomes so routine it is not noticed or acknowledged is the moment it is truly successful.

Paul S Allen

Vision and Leadership

Can you state your vision in 5 words or less? Clearly stated vision is easier to follow.

For vision to be achieved it must have commitment by the leader, organization and followers over a long period of time. A vision that changes every year, every few months or even a poorly stated vision will bring confusion, disappointment and disillusionment.

If a vision is established well it will last beyond the leader/s who started it.

It is essential that if a leader cannot commit to the vision they have set, they should look at moving aside so that the vision can be realized by the people who can. This is not to say that this should be seen as negative, sometimes a person is a visionary entrepreneur, that is a person who finds it easy to see need and to establish a plan to solve it. When this plan is established they should immediately find someone to take it over, then relinquish all control and authority to them (no strings attached) and move on to a new venture.

An overly controlling leader will destroy the creativity and the leadership capacity of those within their organisation.

A clearly stated vision also avoids confusion, and division. It helps with developing job descriptions for leaders, managers and staff.

So what is your organizations vision?

Paul S Allen

Have a Holiday Every Day

Holidays are a state of mind.

What is it about being on holiday that we find restorative and refreshing?

The lack of work, the extra sleep, and the books we read (or don’t read)?

Is it the fishing, walking, swimming, the new places we see?

The answer is yes to all, but perhaps the greatest part of being on holiday is that we take off the masks we wear, or allow the expectations we have of ourselves to be relaxed. Many of these things can be incorporated into our daily lives.

Holidays are not about gathering your thoughts, but rather clearing them. This can certainly be done daily.

No matter how busy we get through the year all of us can & should experience a “holiday” moment every day. Although I think it’s a learning curve for all of us we should be determined to take even a few moments each day to enjoy just “being”.

Daily holiday hints

  • Walk around the building at lunchtime in the fresh air
  • Read a book for pleasure
  • Stare out the window for five minutes.
  • Go off-line for a while
  • Have an early night
  • Spend quality time with your family and friends
  • Exercise
  • Allow your eyes to “glaze-over” and daydream
  • Add your own holiday hints.

Reduce stress in your life by taking time out everyday just to be you. Being an authentic “you” will help you in your work, family, social life and community life. Just “being” should always come before “doing”

Have a holiday every day

Paul S Allen

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