March 24, 2020

What Can We Do?

When I launched this website 12 years ago, it was called One Mann’s Opinion. And since then, I’ve published 1500 posts which have all been my opinion.

As we all grapple with a deadly foe, no matter religion, country, wealth, status, gender, or age, there are a lot of opinions flying around. And yes, this piece is my opinion, so feel free to carry on or read on.

Media v Message

Through information, misinformation, and noise, there is one current opinion of the scientific community that seems to have significant weight – we don’t know how this is going to go and the only current way to stop it is through a yet-to-be formulated vaccine.

A vaccine takes years to formulate, test, develop, and distribute, but the scientific community has been given the all-points bulletin to accelerate that while countries’ licensing boards have opened the doors. Several dozen companies have identified a vaccine candidate, and some have begun human testing.

When a valid vaccine is developed, it will take 12-18 months to produce a global supply, so let’s let the brightest minds of science work on that for all of us while we do our part.

In the Meantime…

In short, we need to stay home and when we are out, keep our distance, work together, show profound kindness toward each other, and understand no one is immune. No one.

None of us can guarantee we won’t be laid off. None of us can guarantee this will be a short wait. The only thing we can do is avoid physical contact with each other to flatten the curve. It has been proven in small cases around the world already. It won’t eradicate the virus, but it could slow its scourge.

There is no Spin

Some have reminded us of historic events like this, but it would be difficult to find one this far-reaching. There is no room for ill-advised or ill-informed opinions, especially from world leaders, but that hasn’t stopped a certain “leader of the free world” to continue to spin his opinion which will continue to endanger lives.

Leaders need to lead, and currently, we all need to be leaders. There is no room for hoarding or selfishness; but there is plenty of room for caring and carefulness. Many have opined this will forever change human existence. Some of us feel it has already.

Be safe. Be careful. Be kind. Be human. Namaste.
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March 3, 2020

Company Culture | Seven Step Program

As much as it’s cool to have exposed brick, a foosball table, catered meals, and lattes at 3pm, those won’t ensure your company has engaged employees who will do passionate work. Culture is much deeper. It’s a feeling and an instinct that can’t be forced or faked. And it requires daily upkeep from everyone.

Here are seven considerations to make your company a great place to work;

Give – No matter the survey, compensation always makes it into one of the top reasons people stay or leave a company. But if money is the number one concern of employees, you have a serious issue. Pay people properly.

Define – What makes people want to bring their best every day and feel appreciated? If you can’t explain it in a sentence or two, dig deeper.

Value – What does your company stand for and what won’t it do? Two significant questions that seem easy enough to answer yet most struggle with them. We want to be a part of something that aligns with our values.

Open – Not all decisions can be made by committee. In fact most people want leadership to guide the way, but keep communication open enough for people to feel you genuinely want their input and ideas.

Stretch – Departments are created for a reason. Sales focuses on revenue while product design improves the offering. But don’t box people in so they can’t offer input to areas where they might not be subject matter experts.

Lead – From small companies with a handful of employees to the Fortune 50, the relationship people have with their direct report and the people closest to them in their day-to-day work experience, will be the single biggest reason they stay or leave. Model the behavior you want from others.

Together – Teamwork and collaboration are a core elements to great culture. We want to belong and contribute so afford everyone the chance to do both.

Like trust, respect is earned not mandated by an org chart. So if you want great company culture, create an atmosphere of authentic respect and trust.

Then watch what happens.
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February 20, 2020

Risky Business

Manage risk, financial risk, reputation risk, market share risk, relationship risk, shareholder risk, the risks of risks, the risk of focusing on risks, the discussion of risks, the endless what if's that stall our journey risk.

Perhaps we perceive it will be difficult or worse, not successful. We often fear our own abilities and guts to take that ride. One of the worst emotions I think we can possess is regret. The idea we didn't act on can often be the one that stops the flow. The safety of inaction becomes our comfort zone.

Risk often focuses on what will, would, or could go wrong. It's a preemptive strike, a proactive measure, to protect the outcome. The biggest risk is when we use it to endorse inaction. I know of what I write only too well. Maybe you can relate.

The biggest risk is the bet we fail to make on ourselves.
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February 15, 2020

Doing Nothing

We live busy lives often being busy doing busy things with others getting busy on busy tasks. But how often do we take time for think time or better yet, do nothing?

Andy Puddicombe is the co-founder of Headspace, a project that aims to demystify meditation and make it applicable to everyday life. He is a Clinical Meditation Consultant and former Buddhist monk.

For more than a decade, Andy’s meditation training took him all over the world. He became a fully ordained monk at a Tibetan Monastery in the Indian Himalayas. In his TEDTalk, Puddicombe explains the importance of making time to do nothing.


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February 4, 2020

HR | Letters and Keywords

The Human Resources' role can be a tricky one. You have an opening. The job description is created. The websites and channels are populated. And the flood of applicants come in. I've been on both sides of this cycle and it's not fun.

One trend that is almost universal is twofold; the long list of experience required and a minimum educational level. It seems more and more openings require a BA or MBA and the ability to work in a face-paced environment handing tight deadlines without sweating whilst smiling brightly. It appears the world is in search of a lot of jugglers.

Time for a new approach?

You worked hard, you earned the degree, well done! I don't have an MBA but I have consulted clients who require one to work full-time at their company. I'm not suggesting you lower any bar but keep in mind if you're a hiring agent that most aren't great at writing resumes and matching your keywords.

Perhaps if you're in HR, you've seen a candidate that would be perfect - if their resume even gets to you - yet they have to be eliminated. It's a shame. Perhaps you're looking for work, have plenty of experience, hired a resume writing expert, and are still having trouble knocking down the keyword software interface. My two cents, we are all missing out on some remarkable opportunities.

Technology is excellent but let's not forget the human in our resources.
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January 30, 2020

Advice for Leaders

Flexibility will garner better results. You don’t need to make every decision.
Show grace under pressure. If people call you sensitive, thank them.

It's better than being insensitive.

Turn your wounds into wisdom.
Oprah Winfrey

Don't let job titles get in your way. Trust your gut.
Don't play favorites.

Resist the temptation to take all the credit.
Fall seven times, stand up eight. (Proverb)

A short no is often preferred over a long maybe.
Bury the past. Laugh at least once a day.

We acquire the strength we have overcome.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t hesitate this time. Be honest about your efforts.
No is a perfectly acceptable response.

Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.
Richard Branson

Balance confidence with competence.
Self-doubt serves no one. Own your decisions.

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
Dalai Lama

Imagine. Create. Share. Lead.
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January 25, 2020

Why?

If you have kids, you have experienced the why game. A four year old won't just accept "because" or "it just is" or "just do it, I'm your mother" and let it go. But we slowly let that inquisitive process slip away as we get older.

Then we may stop asking why. 

Change is not easy but status quo can appear safe. Our inner four year old needs to show up more often so we can discover why do we do what we do.

Tony Robbins shares his thoughts.


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January 21, 2020

Guests in Your House

This was written by poet and theologian Rūmī six hundred years ago and the message is as valid today.

We all have struggles and stress; issues and challenges, and it's tough to see clearly at times but that is where we grow. It's been a challenging year for many I know, me included, on various fronts. The words of Rumi are worth reviewing.

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably,
he may be clearing you out for some new delight

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
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January 13, 2020

Spaghetti and Marshmallows

If you have worked a day in your life, it is fairly safe to say you have worked alongside others. In some cases, those experiences have been enjoyable while others have not. You may have had to endure an arrogant selfish boss while other situations have been filled with giving collaborative coworkers.

We seem to enjoy looking at things “on paper” but they get all wobbly when we add the human element and often it’s because we are unclear about the mandate. Often there is a struggle among conflicting agendas or someone comes in and plays the “I’m the boss” card. None of these scenarios are effective, productive, or long lasting business success models. However, sadly they are far too common.

But what happens when you ask a group of people to build a structure out of spaghetti, string, and a marshmallows?


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© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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