[Advice] No More Looking…Just Leap…

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Culture, Education, Leadership, New Posts, Opinions, Problem Solving, Relationships, Strategies, Strategy, The Future & The Singularity, Virtue

Looking before you leap is the message of the world.

We tell our children to “be careful.” We reprimand and lecture people on “their tone.” And we subtly and nonverbally sanction those who get out of line, get off the train, or go in a different direction.

This tendency to caution people before they act on a different choice, shows the power of social proofing—we do what other people do because they do it—and it reinforces the negative tendency of bystander behavior—standing around when something goes wrong—and being unable to innovate when external factors demand a change. Stagnation, bystander behavior, and social proofing work in all organizations, whether they are small (four or fewer people) or large (nation-states).

Look before you leap.

The question on Leap Day is not: “What happens if I do leap?”

The question isn’t even: “What happens if I don’t leap?”

The question is: “Do I have the courage to leap?”

Having the courage to make a change, take an action, do something generous, collaborative, or outrageous, and to do in spite of the dominant culture of your organization is the essence of Leap Day. This courage has nothing to do with looking (you’ve already spent an inordinate amount of time looking already) and has everything to do with stepping out and saying: “I made this.”

There are always two objections to leaping:

What will happen if I am rejected? The answer to that question is: “So what.” Rejection—emotionally, psychologically, socially, or even materially—hurts, and human beings go out of their way to avoid it. Rejection comes in the form of refusing to acknowledge the difficulty of the action, criticizing the process and the outcome, and reacting rather than responding. The power in taking a “so what” stance, comes from knowing that the leap is the correct thing to do, and then doing it while saying to the people who reject the leap: “It’s ok. It’s not for you.”

What will happen if I am accepted? The answer to that question is: “Leap again.” Acceptance—emotionally, psychologically, socially, or even materially—feels safe, and human beings are driven to seek and establish safety at all costs. Safety comes in the form of acceptance, relief that the response to the process, or choice, wasn’t “that bad,” and with a feeling of calm. The power in “leaping again” comes from looking ahead, rather than resting, and in agitating to go deeper into relationship, rather than reaction.

This Leap Day, you’ve hid long enough, looking for a way past, a way over, or a way out.

Leap.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] The Future of the MBA

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Consulting, Leadership, New Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Platform Building, Strategies, Strategy, The Future & The Singularity, Workplace, Workplace Development, Workshop

Most MBA program curriculums educate students in the parts of managing, analyzing, and operating an organization that organizations have deemed important: accounting, finance, managerial economics, operations, strategy, and information technology.

All of these are great areas of focus, as well as areas of specialization, but with 4,000 programs at 454 institutions, graduating 157,000 students per year, you would think that all of the MBA programs (or at least a majority) would feature some sort of conflict resolution/conflict management concentration as part of their curriculums.

You’d be wrong.

The average cost of and MBA program is $7,400 per year. The job titles many MBA graduates end up with, vary from Senior Financial Analyst to Vice President of Operations to Marketing Director. But no matter if the average salary upon graduation is $89,000 per year or $150,000 per year, each job title is really focused on dealing with people, to get job tasks accomplished, and move organizational goals forward.

But the vast majority of MBA programs don’t feature negotiation, conflict management, conflict resolution, dispute resolution, peace studies, or any other type of alternative dispute resolution training for dealing with people in organizations. Even more striking, of the top 50 business schools in the United States, only around 5 to 10 of those institutions feature MS or MA programs in negotiation, conflict management, conflict resolution, dispute resolution, or peace studies in other areas, such as the social sciences or the law.

Which means that if you are an enterprising and energetic MBA student, and you are counseled appropriately that emotional labor and “soft” skills will matter more in that senior VP position you are seeking after graduation, than the spreadsheets you will be tasked with developing, you might head over to the social sciences department of your institution and sign on to another master’s program.

But, that’s doubtful.

The future MBA in America should begin featuring courses, specializations, and concentrations, for students in the areas of negotiation, conflict management, conflict resolution, dispute resolution, or peace studies.

The reasons for this assertion are endless, but the top three are:

The prestige of the MBA degree (in spite of its growing ubiquity among business students) has held up, unlike a law degree. Over time that prestige may fade (and that may already be starting), and the way to ensure that it doesn’t is to get the graduates of those programs focused on doing the only work that matters for the long-term sustainability of organizations of all sizes—emotional labor.

The Fortune 1,000 companies (from Google to Ingram Micro) that are fiefdoms and kingdoms the size of small countries, will need more competent and skilled negotiators, conflict professionals, and more alternatives to litigation if they are to survive, grow, and thrive for the remainder of this century. I know that the shareholders, VP’s, Presidents, CEOs, and CFOs, of those organizations don’t believe it now (or quarterly), but the coterie of lawyers they regularly employ to lobby governments and to write regulations, will fade in importance over the next 100 years. MBA graduates in high positions who understand and value a future of business, profit, and peace will guide them to success more often than the 40 to 100 corporate lawyers on retainer.

The MBA graduates are the ones who can save the business world. Arguments for engaging with conflict in healthy ways can be made from outside the walls of institutions (I make them all the time on this blog), influencers can go to fancy conferences and do TED talks that “go viral,” about the power of treating employees like adults rather than children, and books and articles can be penned about how to negotiate and communicate better (or about how to manipulate employees in savvier ways).  But at the end of the day, the MBA graduate with a focus in engaging with conflict effectively, hired into a Senior VP position, will do more to advance the cause of peace and prosperity than all of those resources combined. And that leader will do it ethically, on a daily basis, while moving the organization forward and saving the world at the same time.

The unenviable task of academic peacebuilders in the 8,400 professional programs in this country that focus on negotiation, conflict management, conflict resolution, dispute resolution, or peace studies, is to do the hard work of convincing their academic colleagues in the business schools to unite with them to create sustainable, economic futures for their graduates.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] The Self-Deception Game

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, New Posts, Opinions, Problem Solving, Strategies, Strategy, The Future & The Singularity

There will always be the option to drink your own Kool-Aid.

There will always be the option to continue believing that “everything will just ‘work out’ somehow.”

There will always be the option to avoid doing the hard work of being uncomfortable while learning a new competency (consciously unskilled) and to just continue reacting to conflicts in ways that have always worked for you.

There will always be the option to continue to be self-deceived into believing that when disagreements, disputes, and fights arise that the best way to react is the way that you’ve always reacted.

There will always be the option to continue to be surprised, follow directions, avoid responsibility, never challenge the status quo, and to continue to avoid absorbing new information.

There will always be the option to disengage, or even worse, to engage selectively with people, situations, and messages that you “like” and that are comfortable for you to understand, accept, and integrate into your worldview—because they already confirm your worldview.

The systems of communication, and the economies of scale growing inside of them, that we are building and the new ways of connecting, are not going to grant outsized rewards to worldviews that are willing to choose among the above options.

In fact, the worldviews that those options represent will continually be exposed to the antiseptic sunlight of other views, shining through the new communication systems that we are constructing.

My grandmother used to say “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” But there will always be the option to construct your own truth—no matter your worldview—in the face of challenging conflict—and hope that it all works out.

Somehow…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Relational Resonance

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Entrepreneurship, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts, Opinions, Peacemaker, Platform Building, Problem Solving, Resolution, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy

Resonance is a term from physics that describes what happens when an object’s natural vibration frequency responds to an external stimulus of the same frequency.

Resonance occurs in nature when an object vibrates without you even touching it. Resonance happens when people fall in love with each other; and, resonance shifts when people fall into conflict with each other.

The reason that litigation is such a poor method for resolving disputes is because most—if not all—disagreements, fights, and “differences of opinion,” are about relationships, built on reciprocation and maintained through common resonance. When the frequency gets disrupted by an external change, the resonance goes away and the struggle to resolution really a hero’s journey back to resonance. Litigation changes the frequency of the relationship between individuals and between individuals and organizations, from one of commonality and vibrating at the same frequency, to one of vibrating at different frequencies.

What does all of this have to do with the conflict resolution professional?

  1. Creating stories that resonate with audiences and clients who are seeking to get back into relationships with resonance, is one of the most important skills that peace builders must grasp in order to design, market, and promote products, services, and processes that will get them revenues.
  2. Creating resonances is about getting to the same frequency—at the same time—that audiences and clients are no matter when and where they are in conflict. Thus, peace builders must consider whether advocating for early-stage interventions (rather that primarily trying to promote late-stage resolution products and services) is a better way to proceed long-term.
  3. Creating the conditions for conflict resolution professionals and audiences to speak the same language—and thus be on the same frequency, will require conflict resolution professionals at all levels to abandon the higher language of “conflict as an opportunity for growth” and move toward the audience language of “conflict as a roadblock to be avoided, accommodated, or attacked.”

The first two are easy. The last is hard.

Peace building is about doing the hard things, doing them well, and doing them consistently—and in a committed way—and building a field and a brand over time that audiences will flock too, that clients will gladly pay money for, and that peace builders can hand down to the next generation of professionals.

Relational resonance must move from the table between clients and the peace builder to the platforms between peace builders and the world.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] Bad Ideas

By | Advice, Blog, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts, Opinions, Persuasion, Relationships, Strategies, Strategy

The equation is simple: Talents + Knowledge + Skills + Effort = Strengths

Talents are non-teachable. They are naturally recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that can be productively applied in a person’s life. Effort is also non-teachable. Effort is based on intrinsic motivation, as well as extrinsic influencers.

Knowledge is teachable. In the context of understanding what you’re good at, knowledge is simply “what you are aware of.” Knowledge is a combination of life experiences, plus academic knowledge, plus gut intuition. Skills are teachable. Skills are the capacity (not necessarily competency) to perform the fundamental steps of an activity—whether at work, at school, or at home.

That’s the academic part. Here’s the lived piece.

My strengths are in being contextual and looking backwards to the past in order to look forward to the future, gathering disparate information together from various resources, walking through life deliberately and carefully, analyze and solve problems, and think about how to find the shortest, best route to success for people.

In a list, they look like this

  • Context
  • Input
  • Deliberative
  • Restorative
  • Strategic

What this really means in practice is that I have a lot of bad ideas. A lot. With these five strengths, a combination of talents, knowledge, skills, and effort, I have been rewarded (not necessarily financially rewarded) in the space of many places. Without knowing where, and what, your strengths are—what you’re good at—you will have no idea what to do with all of your bad ideas.

The things is, in developing conflict engagement processes, services, and products, knowing your strengths and where your bad ideas come from, is critical for the market success of the savvy peace builder.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Projects for the Peace Builder I

By | Advice, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Google, Marketing for Peace Builders, Media, Networking, New Posts, Opinions, Persuasion, Platform Building, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Storytelling, Twitter

It’s not easy to do what I do, if you’re a peace builder—a negotiator, a lawyer, a social worker, an educator, or an executive director.

It’s not easy to manage social profiles, blog regularly, connect with clients, fans, audience members, and event participants in ways that can grow your brand.

It’s not easy to keep up with changes in marketing, digital content creation, traditional marketing, and the worlds pf publishing, podcasting, privacy, and security.

It’s really not easy if you’re a peace builder that is struggling between the poles of “I just want my business to work” and “I just need my clients to pay me.”

Well, I’ve got some projects that are upcoming that might be of help for the peace builder:

The book, Marketing For Peace Builders: How to Market Your Value to a World in Conflict is coming out in March. I am taking pre-orders for the book right now and will send people on the list a pre-order copy if you send me your email address at jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com

As a follow-up to the book, I am designing a series of workshops that will cover the material in the book, and provide updates, interactions, and engagement opportunities for peace builders. I have not decided how this series of workshops will be facilitated—in-person, online, etc.—but if there is enough interest, it’ll happen.

As another follow-up to the book, I am redesigning the HSCT website to reflect the importance of the book and it’s materials. I am launching another podcast the Marketing For Peace Builders Show, in late 2016. This will be a podcast featuring interviews from marketers, business development experts, and others who have taken their peace building brands and businesses to the place of connection and engagement.

Finally, I will be launching a LinkedIn Group—Marketing For Peace Builders—that will be a place for peace builders, marketers, and others to connect, engage, ask and answer questions, and to promote services, products, and processes that will plug-in to the peace building community in a positive way.

And that’s just the start.

I don’t believe that peace making and money making should be mutually exclusive.

I don’t believe that academic programs in the fields of dispute and conflict resolution can continue to churn out graduates who can’t pay down their student loan debts.

I don’t believe that the fields of peace building can continue to be a rump, human resource process—considered only after litigation, but almost never before—in organizations and societies in the Western world, even as disputes, disagreements, and fights continue to escalate.

I believe that the fields of building peace are at a zeitgeist moment right now, at the intersection of marketing, content creation, relationship building, and the only way forward to our future as a field is to grab the marketing moment, right now.

Would you like to join me in this moment?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

HIT Piece 2.09.2016

By | Blog, HIT Pieces, New Posts, The Future & The Singularity, Truth

There used to be a time when it used to be ok to be…just…well…OK….

That time has passed.

We are now in an era where being “the best in the world” is not an unattainable goal. “The best in the world” doesn’t mean the best in the whole global world, with a name, a product, a process, or a service on every lip, or at the top of every mind. “The best in the world” means the best in YOUR world.

YOUR world of 2000 daily blog readers.

YOUR world of 1500 unique downloaders per month of your podcast.

YOUR world of 10000 views on your YouTube Channel every time you post a video.

YOUR world of 500 buyers of your book that you self-published.

…drip…

…drip…

…drip…

All that effort–that “drip,” “drip”–is where mediocre, average, and just “ok” wind up dying. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the work is the thing that matters. And if the work to gain an audience of under 15,000 people who will pay for what I do is the same as the work to gain 10 times that number, what do I have to gain by being just “ok.”?

The real rub is for those people for whom ok—or even average—is maybe the tip of their talent, drive, or engagement level.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Contributor] Convenient Culture

By | Blog, Contributors, Guest Blogger, Guest Bloggers, New Posts, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Truth
Alexander Gault_Contributor_Photo

Contributor – Alexander Gault
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

Is convenience going to be the downfall of self-sufficiency?

Perhaps this question is getting a little old, but it warrants a great deal of conversation.

The loudest dialogue in pop culture that I clearly remember, that touched on what is most likely to happen, was around the time of the release of the Pixar film, Wall-E. Despite touching on environmental issues and the dangers of unlimited consumerism, Wall-E touched on the topic of technology overtaking humanities ability to do things for itself. Some might say that The Matrix was an earlier example of this in popular film culture, but while in The Matrix, humanity was enslaved against their will, in Wall-E, humanity accepted their condition, and actively entrenched themselves in it.

The future of convenience is starting now, with innovations like the Amazon Prime button and services that will deliver food from non-delivery restaurants for a nominal fee, and those are just what has made it into the market so far. Before 2010, Toyota Motors began developing a “transforming all-electric vehicle”, called the i-Real. The concept was similar to an electric wheelchair, but the device could transform into a high-speed, possibly street-legal vehicle with the press of a button. If that doesn’t remind you of Wall-E then you should probably watch the movie again.i-Real Concept Vehicle

With the possibility of a chair that can go from the grocery store to the living room without you ever getting out of it, the possibilities for human laziness compound astronomically. While it indisputably would be a great boon to those of us who cannot physically walk, that wouldn’t be the only group of consumers.

While its unlikely something like the i-Real will reach shelves or show-rooms in the near-future, there are products that are out there already: The Amazon Prime button, food delivery services for rib-eye steaks, streaming services. All these services and devices, while convenient, have definitely served to make humans lazier. Now, when you run out of dish detergent or toilet paper, you simply press a button, rather than drive to the store. When you want to watch the latest movie, rather than going to the Blockbuster as you would have in the past, you open your laptop, or even more simply, tap a few points on your phone to stream it to your wide-screen television.

Not only is leisure getting lazier, work is to. Most office workers today can work, for at least a portion of their job, from home. And that trend is only going to increase. Wired suggested in 2013 that 43% of the US workforce would be working out of the office by this year. As the Internet simplifies how humans engage, from human interaction to commerce, the overarching result will be that more people will be spending time in their homes, instead of in the public sphere.


Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his schools newspapers and maintained a blog for his previous school.

In the future, he hopes to write for a new-media news company.

You can follow Alexander on Twitter here https://twitter.com/AlexanderBGault.


 

HIT Piece 2.2.2016

By | Blog, Entrepreneurship, HIT Pieces, New Posts, Truth

Changes are natural. As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to roll with them and adapt to them without losing your mind, your equanimity, or your focus on the end goal.

That’s hard, because with each change, the end goal shifts from being a long-term goal, to being a short-term need.

With each change, the entrepreneur’s perspective changes and shifts as well, and sometimes, the weight of those changes can force the entrepreneur into a mental, emotional, and even financial, dip.

Powering through the dip—and making it to the other side—without losing your equanimity, your mind, or your focus on the end goal, is the only work of the entrepreneur that matters.

The reason many investors, money men, banks, and governments, tend to ignore or overlook the lifestyle entrepreneurs (such as consultants, trainers, and others) is that yes, they don’t create scalable models, but, those entrepreneurs tend to quit in the middle of dip leaving behind debt.

I’m not quitting. And hopefully, neither are you…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/