Author: LindaLee

Morning Feature: Change, Part III: How much, how fast?

The one cent coin, which we commonly call the penny costs 1.7 cents to make.  Is this change we can believe in or is it a subsidy to zinc mining? Or are we just a foolish, sentimental people? But really, politically speaking, how much change can happen and how fast can it happen? Keep the penny in mind. (More) The traditional wisdom: The traditional wisdom about organizational change came from Bell Labs. They studied all sorts of small and large scale organizational/cultural change in the 60s and before. This was before the advent of computers and communication technology advances. This is when Bell Labs was one of the thought leaders in organizational development. They found two things to be true. 1. Most large social changes were conceived by individuals. The individuals found each other and became the core 5% of a movement. They went out and sold their idea(s) to others. If they achieved 20%, it was in essence a done deal. They studied women’s suffrage, prohibition and its repeal and other social changes.  The lesson, should this still hold true…get busy finding three more progressives to join every one of us and we’ll be almost home. Sometimes this phenomenon is referred to as the trim tab factor after that little part on the rudder of an ocean liner that allows it to turn. “Buckminster Fuller referred to the...

Read More

Morning Feature: Change, Part II – Vision, Empowerment and Creativity

Are you one of the 3 percent? I am talking about a very special group of adults here. (More) Vision, Empowerment and Creativity: Oddly enough when you were 4 or 5 years old 97% of you were in this group but by the time you were 20 only 3% of you remained. What is the group and what happened? The group is people who tested as highly creative, not artistic necessarily but people who can see problems from many angles, who can ask ‘why’ persistently enough to see a new way and say ‘why not’.  Creative thinkers are not bound by “the way we’ve always done things” or “what will people think.”  Kids are natural explorers with a sense of both wonder and curiosity.  Then we educate them and civilize them and somehow, perhaps as an unintended consequence we have adults who are rather conventional. Why is this important on a political blog? As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” I am waiting for the wisdom of this statement to dawn on those who continue to think giving tax cuts to the wealthy will solve our budget deficit problems and create good jobs for the rest of us. We cannot seem to collectively imagine that the way we’ve always done things using coal, oil and gas could be...

Read More

Morning Feature: Change, Part I – Vision and Change

I can’t advocate for change without a vision of what kind of change I want to see happen. For me the idea of vision and the notion of change are inextricably linked. If you don’t know where you’re going, anyplace will do. (More) I spent my working life in human resources and as an organizational development consultant. Along the way I picked up and/or created models to help people think about both vision and change. A model is a way to take a complicated subject and give people a picture or a framework to help them think through issues. A good model is intuitively obvious. Both vision and change have personal implications as well as organizational and societal dimensions. My examples will flip between the individual and the group. Vision: The first model puts vision at the center of rings of concentric circles. By vision I mean what is our dream for where we want to be. In Progressive terms I might say that my vision for America is country that works equally well for all of her people while respecting the planet. If we were the group charged with formalizing our vision, I expect we’d wordsmith it and perhaps talk about how to add words that speak to America’s role in the world. I often worked with an illustrator who would create a picture of the elements of...

Read More

Morning Feature: On Injustice and Action

Each of us confronts injustice. Sometimes it hits a hot button and we act with great persistence to fight it. Other times we don’t fight back because it’s more trouble to fight than to just let it go. Each of us has had both reactions. I have two stories to share. (More) The first involves my good friends, a Puerto Rican man and his son. Their house had been robbed while they were visiting relatives in Florida. The Dad gave his son some cash to go shopping after school to replace some of his clothes that had been stolen in the robbery. For some reason, the high school found out that the son had quite a bit of cash on him and they called the police assuming that the son must be dealing drugs. The same evening I heard the story and said, “You’re not taking this are you?” Both father and son gave me the look that said I really didn’t understand what happened to brown people. I had seen the look before and it didn’t stop me for a moment. I listened and asked questions. I took notes. Then as the dad fixed dinner I went off to my computer and wrote a letter to the principal, the school board and the police. I laid out the facts and the actions taken. I asked the principal if...

Read More

Midday Matinee – Political Withdrawal Syndrome

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster since the election. Sometimes I think it is a withdrawal from intense volunteering and other times I think it is my desire to withdraw from the craziness that is consuming post-election politics. In either case I was in dire need of a productive non-political activity as an antidote to my PWS. I picked knitting. I have been knitting since I was six years old and our next-door neighbor taught her daughter and me how to knit. We made slippers. In a spectacular example of poor teaching method, whenever we made a mistake she’d just rip it out and tell us to start over. I quickly taught myself how to fix my mistakes before she noticed them. When I teach people to knit I show them how to pick up the dropped stitch or recover from whatever went wrong. I also tell them about the Amish quilters. These women are capable of making a perfect quilt. Their skills are amazing. Towards the end of each quilt they intentionally make a mistake because “only God is perfect.” Mistakes are good things – learning opportunities even. Knitting is full of life lessons. If I am knitting from a pattern, I always check my gauge to...

Read More