September 30, 2014

Our Big Brain

It’s often said that we use a small percentage of the potential of our brain. There are things we can overcome, do, create, and accomplish, if we access additional information and abilities within it and ourselves. Teamwork, trust, and collaboration are becoming even more important in the workplace. Competencies are important, abilities are critical, but where companies find success is when the connections between us strengthen.

Tom Wujec is an information designer who explains in his TEDTalk three areas of our brain that help us understand words, images, feelings, and connections and how to better help us understand bigger ideas and possibilities.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

Tom Wujec | TED

September 27, 2014

We Can...

We can learn. We can teach. We can hear. We can stop. We can know.
We can act. We can drive. We can grow. We can cry. We can do.

We can switch. We can help. We can call. We can bend. We can try.
We can play. We can like. We can think. We can stretch. We can live.

We can gift. We can swerve. We can go. We can dream. We can touch.

We can move. We can thank. We can shape. We can win. We can fall.
We can lend. We can run. We can draw. We can reach. We can love.

The key may not be whether we can but whether we will.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 24, 2014

The Past Has Passed

The phase seems easy enough to grasp. No matter how much effort we exert, money we possess, or expertise we apply, there is nothing we can change that has already happened. Yet many of us get stuck on events or behavior from the past.

What should have been? What could I have done?

It’s all irrelevant now, but for some reason we spend far too much of our consciousness on what happened and what may happen.

Individual Teamwork

You see this in organizations as well. It’s the way we do things around here, we can’t do that at this company, and all the while, we create memes that drive us or worse, stall us. We put up walls because of things in the past, false barriers to stop us from moving forward and progressing.

If you look at an organization, there is a chart mapping all departments and functions. Within those subsections, subject matter experts focus on their areas of proficiency. The sales department create new client relationships, the design team perfect the new line of products, the management team ensure the strategic plan is adhered, etc.

Learn and Move

But how much of our time is spent creating today through our beliefs from yesterday? How often do we break out of the comfort zone – which often doesn't feel very comfortable – and take a leap?

The past can teach us not make the same mistakes twice. But often if we focus on those mistakes, the very behavior we are trying to avoid repeats itself.

I'm often reminded by friends and colleagues that the past simply doesn't matter. The only thing that counts is what we do right now, this minute. Our next one is not guaranteed and our last one is gone.

If we lose the past we can begin to grow.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

david macdonald

September 18, 2014


At an early age, we’re told to be brave. Don’t whine or I’ll give you something to cry about. We are not born with fear, but it rears its ugly head early on, sometimes through innocuous events. A bit here, a smidge there, and suddenly we are thrust into the world where others are told to be brave and not cry and not show their insecurities.

We climb the ladder, finish the project, attend the meeting, rush to the event, answer that email, respond to that request, get on that conference call, make that flight, make eye contact, smile brightly, and we keep running.

Splash in the face

We get caught in our own race and suddenly run into an old friend and find out what’s going with them. An event, a loss, a choice, and suddenly our challenges don’t seem so unique. Multiple that by the employees of an entire company and suddenly you can see how creating a collaborative culture can be elusive.

Some say we live this life alone – I disagree. We live this life together. It doesn’t mean we can carry each other’s burden but we can certainly lighten each other’s load when we can. A mentor once said we must remember our team members are not cogs in some wheel, they are people with feelings and challenges and dreams and goals.

The human element

We must remember that in order to create a collaborative culture, we can’t forget the element which is far more important than any product or service, and that is each other.

I recently reached out to some colleagues for perspective on a project and the response was absolutely astounding. I had no idea how many people wanted to help.

You may want to try it yourself and gain new perspective.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 15, 2014

The Best Place to Start

I was sifting through old notes and saw two quotes that were well timed. Karen Lamb said a year from now you will wish you had started today while Jim Rohn said if you really want to do something, you'll find a way, if you don't, you'll find an excuse.

We all have ideas we don’t act on. We may be waiting for the best time, more money, or permission. We may be out of excuses and left with one option.

The best time is right now.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 12, 2014

A Connected World Less Connected

Anytime you walk into a business, it can be an interesting look into human behavior. There are people in meetings, typing on laptops, discussing a new project in the hall, drinking coffee, and maybe even having a laugh or two. It’s a peek into a subsection of society we call work. They say we spent a third of our lives in this space. It appears it's rapidly becoming more. We may not be "at work" but we seem to be spending a larger amount of time working, thinking about work, worrying about work, discussing work.

Our workspace is expanding physically as technology spreads it into homes and airports and has created an almost 24/7 culture where we are checking messages on smartphones at all hours to ensure we don’t miss anything. Instant responses are commonplace and our ability to always stay connected has become the topic of debate.

Need it Now

One hundred years ago, there weren't all these ways to stay in touch yet business was built, careers thrived, and relationships flourished. Media penetration has created the ability for us to connect with someone on the other side of the planet we may not have previously known. The explosion of social tools and electronic collaborative spaces have shrunk the earth to allow us to find like-minded people with the push of a thumb.

168 hours

As we create the appearance of a more connected world, we may be slowly losing the connection to ourselves and soon to each other. Snippets of half conversations, misspelled texts between meetings, skimmed over details of an upcoming project, all in the quest to do more and more and more.

More for less, more meetings, more email, more information, more activity. More everything. The week is the same length it was 200 years ago yet we are inundated with data constantly. This doesn’t mean it’s useful or valuable but it’s more to sift through. And while we try and do more, we may be losing our human connections.

In our quest to collaborate, we may be losing the plot.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 4, 2014

Let's Get Clear

I went through an exercise recently with a colleague and friend. We have worked together and been friends for years. We were talking about a bunch of things; life, work, family, goals, dreams, strengths, what we want to do with the rest of our lives. It was a great conversation.

Then he asked; “Are you clear what you want?” I thought he was asking a career question but it was deeper than that. He has two small children and his priorities have shifted. He no longer wants to spend the wee hours of the night behind his desk. He wants to spend time with his kids while his desire to do meaningful work is stronger than ever. But meaningful doesn't mean grinding in the trenches to climb a factious ladder.

False evidence appearing real

Last week, I had a similar conversation with someone I’ve known for years and we ended up talking about the same thing but in the context of our own lives and those around us. He said people are scared. They are scared to make mistakes, take chances, be bold, and truly be innovative.

We admire those who seem crystal clear on their calling, their goals, and their passions. Most of us perhaps just think we are clear. But it can be tough when mortgages and car payments and our myriad responsibilities can crush our day. Corporations often compensate people for being agreeable and not making a fuss.

Does it have to be that way?

To get clear, I think we need to stop thinking the answer is one crisp well crafted sentence. We can get clear by deciding what we don't want to do, who we may want to avoid, who could be a good fit, and how we want to spend the rest of our lives.

So reach out to two people tomorrow who will help you and tell you the truth and have that open conversation. Share that big idea you have, get some feedback, and ask them for one idea that may push it forward. Saying no is easy, finding out how is where the work resides.

Let’s get clear. Let’s ask for help. Let’s be open for answers.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

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