[Strategy] Peace Building is not a Commodity

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

There are commodities, massive amounts of resources, products, and even ideas, that consumers use and discard at mass.  Commodities can also be traded for money and generate outsized revenues because they are so valuable to consumers and can be differentiated across so many secondary and tertiary products in the market.

An obvious commodity is oil.

Another obvious one is meat, such as hogs or cattle.

And yet another obvious commodity is metal, such as steel, copper, or gold.

The price of a commodity fluctuates over time, as the amount of it either decreases or increases. So when new oil deposits are accessed through new technologies (e.g. the hydraulic fracking process) the cost of that commodity decreases as the available amount for consumers to use increases.

There are non-obvious commodities as well. We see this in the job market when too many people trained, or graduated, from one academic area to the working world, and then they ‘flood’ the market. Currently, the legal field is seeing a classic increase in the commodity of educated graduates, followed by the commensurate decrease in the salaries that they are able to command.

Another non-obvious commodity is information. We see this on the Internet, where the search giant Google has made the ease of accessing all the world’s collected knowledge (not wisdom mind you) a cornerstone of their business model.  When access to information becomes cheap (the commodity increases) then the revenues provided to people who used to guard access to that knowledge (e.g. journalists, writers, commentators, academics, social authorities, etc.) decreases.

Until the revenues generated from the exploitation of non-obvious commodities hits zero.

The reason why this phenomenon doesn’t happen with obvious commodities is because obvious commodities have a limited shelf life (meat rots if not processed), they will eventually run out (anybody heard about peak oil lately), and they become less valuable as new ways to do old things are discovered (cutting down trees for paper versus recycling old paper).

The trouble with selling peacemaking in light of this unconscious thinking and valuing in the market of obvious and nonobvious commodities is three-fold:

  1. People in conflict value trust (a non-obvious commodity) at a higher level than process (another non-obvious commodity) and thus will ‘pay’ more to the peace builder—in terms of attention—who works on trust first rather than process.
  2. People in conflict view disagreements, disputes, fights, ‘differences of opinion,’ and other interactions with other people as an obvious commodity. For many people conflict is something to be avoided, and they have worked out sophisticated processes in their own brains to justify, avoid, delay, or surrender, to the conflicts in their lives. The approach that many peace builders take of trying to ‘sell’ resolution as a transformative, evaluative, or even facilitative process, does not strike a chord with such people.
  3. People in conflict don’t view making peace as a commodity. Instead, litigation, escalation, negative confrontation, revenge, ‘getting what I’m owed,’ or even ‘getting a reckoning’ are viewed as rare commodities (even though they aren’t) worth paying a premium for in time, money, attention, and emotional labor. When peacemaking as a process and a goal is not viewed as a commodity worth pursuing by people who see themselves as powerless, rather than powerful, peacemaking will not be valued by the open market as highly as all those other processes.

Understanding how peacemaking as a process is viewed and valued by an open market, can go a long way toward encouraging the development of realistic goals, timelines, and plans for the academic training, professional development, and business development of peace builders from all backgrounds and stripes in 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/

[Advice] Packaging Your Workshop

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Neuroscience, New Posts, Opinions, Persuasion, Presentations, Selling for Peace Builders, Seminars, Speaking, Strategies, Strategy, Training, Workshop

Think for a moment about product packaging:

Everything that we buy, from dish soap to artesian water, comes in some type of package. Being the rational consumers that we are, we often tell ourselves that the shape of the container, the way that the container is delivered to us, or even the design and colors on the outside of the package doesn’t influence our decision to purchase.

The more honest, irrational consumer, however, will admit that all those factors influenced their purchasing decision, but they won’t admit it in a way that can be quantified, researched and measured in a way that will produce repeatable results.

Instead, they’ll just say “I liked the bottle.” Or even “The wine tastes different in this glass versus that glass.”

In the fields of marketing, advertising, and sales, the psychology of influence has been used for years to design packaging that has sold millions of units of products over decades. Proctor and Gamble doesn’t just exist because of fancy investments.

The peace builder who wants to sell a workshop, seminar, or coaching, should examine closely the impact of influence in three areas, if they want to have a successful sales career selling solutions to conflicts to a conflict comfortable, and peace process skeptical, public:

When selling an intangible product (peace, health, stress relief) or service (legal help, social work, therapy) it’s important to remember that rationality ceases to be a driver of the decision making process to buy: Potential clients may claim that rationality drove their decision to pursue peacemaking as a process, but typically what drove their decison making was the rise of their emotions around their conflict, that encouraged them toward your workshop, seminar, or coaching offer.

The same emotional content that drives conflict escalation (and encourages de-escalation) drives product (peace, health, stress relief) or service (legal help, social work, therapy) purchases: This fact makes it hard for the peace builder to sell, which is why their marketing efforts must be robust, always on, and always human.

No one remembers what you told them, but potential clients will remember how you made them feel: This statement sometimes reads as facile, but the fact of the matter is, potential clients are searching for a feeling—of trust, professionalism, confidence, security, competency, etc.—before they even see your marketing materials or hear your sales pitch online. This is why the rise of video (and live streaming) for the peace builder is such a critical tool for driving and converting sales. All of the emotional content comes through in a personal appeal via video.

Packaging a product (peace, health, stress relief) or service (legal help, social work, therapy) is more a matter of determining the “emotional tone” a peace builder would like to strike with the market, and then championing that tone to close sales.

And all without being unethical.

-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/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #5 – Anne Sawyer

By | Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Google, Marketing for Peace Builders, Media, Networking, New Posts, Platform Building, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Selling for Peace Builders, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Twitter, Website

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #5 – Anne Sawyer, Executive Director-Southern California Mediation Association,

Passionate Mediator, and Entrepreneur

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #5 – Anne Sawyer

The real trouble with mediation is capitalism. But our guest today has a way around that by using collaboration, mentorship, and an animated adherence to the core principles of mediation.

Peace builders of all stripes need larger fulcrums to move a conflict ridden world. Championing peace at the earliest stages is the hard work. The hard work comes because Peace builders must persuade, convince, and sell to a skeptical, conflict comfortable public.

Marketing and business development, mentoring and networking, and training beyond just the academy, will grow the filed organically over the next few years.

But there’s one area that mediators—and all peace builders— struggle with (and sometimes mightily) and that’s in getting the “ask.”

All sales are relational in nature, but, in order to “sell” peacebuilding, the peace builder must become a champion of peace. This requires a changing in the thinking of the peace builder around the sales process. The second step after marketing then becomes, not the “ask,” but the process of building a fulcrum to demonstrate value, and then leveraging that value to grow the revenues of relationship, trust, and money.

The only way for the peace builder to sell ethically is to build a fulcrum (from Seth Godin and his book Free Prize Inside) and to become a champion for peace. Through such a process, the peacebuilder becomes the “free prize” inside the value they add to the client.

The practical steps in building a sales fulcrum involve:

  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder thinks the work of building peace is worth doing.
  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder thinks that you are the person to build that peace.
  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder believes that the outcomes of work of building peace are actually an added benefit to them, their organization, or their lives.

By definition, all of these practical steps are hard for the peace builder to answer, because they are based in assumptions, ideas, and a worldview that is unproveable, unknowable, and unquantifiable, until after the work of building peace is already in progress—or already completed.

But Anne has a plan for all of this. And she’ll talk about laying the first steps toward building a fulcrum with the help of the Southern California Mediation Association in the podcast today.

Check out all the ways below to connect with Anne, and the Southern California Mediation Association, today:

Anne’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annesawyer1
Anne on Twitter: https://twitter.com/annesawyer
Anne’s Website: http://mediate2resolve.com/
SCMA’s Website: https://www.scmediation.org/
SCMA’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scmediationassn/
SCMA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SCMediationAssn

[Strategy] Selling for the Peace Builder I

By | Advice, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Marketing for Peace Builders, Networking, New Posts, Opinions, Persuasion, Platform Building, Selling for Peace Builders, Strategies, Strategy

The sales process for a peace builder in the open market is wrapped up with impressions, ideas, concepts, and intuition that the peacebuilder has in their head about every sales film, sales call, and selling situation they’ve ever been involved with.

But, in order to be successful in the open market, where noise and multiple messages reign, the peacebuilder must become comfortable with establishing their value in the market early—which is the first step in starting the sales process. The struggle for the savvy peace builder is how to find clients who will pay (marketing) and then how to “close” them ethically (sales). The only way for the peace builder to sell ethically is to build a fulcrum (from Seth Godin and his 2006 book Free Prize Inside) and to become a champion for peace. Through such a process, the peacebuilder becomes the “free prize” inside the value they add to the client.

All sales are relational in nature, but, in order to “sell” and “close” on the promise of peacebuilding for clients in conflict, the peace builder must become a champion of peace. This requires a changing in the thinking of the peace builder around the sales process.

The second step after marketing then becomes, not the “ask,” but the process of building a fulcrum to demonstrate value and become a champion, and then leveraging that value and championing to grow the revenues of relationship, trust, and money.

The practical steps in building a sales fulcrum involve:

  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder thinks the work of building peace is worth doing.
  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder thinks that you are the person to build that peace.
  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder believes that the outcomes of work of building peace are actually an added benefit to them, their organization, or their lives.
[Strategy] Selling for the Peace Builder I

Illustration from Seth Godin’s book Free Prize Inside pg. 69, available on Amazon.com. All Rights Reserved to Seth.

By definition, all of these practical steps are hard for the peace builder to answer, because they are based in assumptions, ideas, and a worldview that is unproveable, unknowable, and unquantifiable, until after the work of building peace is already in progress—or already completed.

This is why building the fulcrum should be front and center of any peace builder’s sales process. Too many peace builders get caught up in the easy part (creating the product (i.e. early, mid, or late stage intervention) that the client in conflict can use); or get focused on talking about the unpleasant part (entering structures (i.e. families, companies, schools) from the outside w/no leverage or trust to build a fulcrum); while avoiding the hard part entirely (building a fulcrum in spite of rejection, hopelessness, or the inability of clients to close).

All of peace building, from negotiation to mediation and every intervention at every stage in between, is built on needing other people to act.

When you need other people, you must leverage them.

What they think matters.

What they think about you matters.

What they think about peace and peace building matters.

-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] The Things That Are Unpleasant

By | Active Listening, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Dysfunction, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts, Organizational Development, Problem Solving, Relationships, Stress, Workplace Development

There are things that are hard, things that are easy, and things that are unpleasant.

This is similar to the differences between events that are difficulties, events that are confrontational, and events that are conflicts.

The things that are easy are the ones that don’t require a whole lot of hard work, that we enjoy, that make us feel good, and that make other people feel good. The things that are hard are the exact opposite: these are the things that require a lot of hard work, that we don’t enjoy, that don’t make us feel good, and that usually make other people feel “not good” as well.

The things that are unpleasant are things that might be difficult, but are often necessary to do, in order for another, easy thing, to happen. The things that are unpleasant generally involve difficulty, confrontation, and sometimes conflicts with other people. The things that are unpleasant are often unpredictable (you don’t know what the other person is going to do) and we often avoid the unpleasant things, in favor of doing the things that get us the dopamine hit.

The things that are unpleasant are often confused with things that are hard: Engaging with a new conflict engagement skill, applying new knowledge, and even establishing a healthy exercise routine may be unpleasant; but too often, we use the term “hard” to describe breaking a pattern that was pleasant for us in the past, but is untenable now in the face of current events.

The things that are unpleasant and the things that are hard, should be front-loaded in any situation, before focusing on the things that are easy, or else we run the risk of never doing those things at all.

-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 3.15.2016

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

There are two kinds of motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is driven by what you feel on the inside. Much of intrinsic motivation comes from emotions and reasoning. Motivation to accomplish tasks that touches on emotions and reasoning comes in the form of feedback, in a 360 degree fashion. The impact of that feedback creates intrinsic motivation, or it erodes intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is driven by a carrot and stick approach from the outside. Much of extrinsic motivation comes from other people attempting to provide feedback, provide coaching, and to provide encouragement and recognition. Extrinsic motivation is about the impact that other people can have on you and your internal motivation.

Both kinds of motivations are about outcomes, feedback, and meaning and mattering. Both kinds of motivation have motivation behind them and the psychology of motivation is extensive and deep.

For me, however, I’m all in for the intrinsic motivation. Don’t get me wrong: I like pats on the back, “good job” statements, thank yous, and other forms of intrinsic recognition. I’m also all in for the extrinsic motivation. Don’t get me wrong: Money helps pay the bills and move the project along. I like getting swag as much as the next person.

But at the end of the day, my internal motor runs on fuel from Within, rather than on fuel from the World.

Every entrepreneur has to decide what fuel they are running on.

-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: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] New Triggers

By | Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Culture, Dysfunction, Education, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Neuroscience, New Posts, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Relationships, Social Media, Stress, The Future & The Singularity

Emotions then judgment then language.

The old advice no longer holds in addressing the language of conflict. The new advice can best be articulated as “Sticks and stones may break my bones, and words will really hurt me.”

We often focus on the language of conflict, to avoid addressing the structures of emotions that actually drive the language.

Focusing on the language allows us to hide effectively and to avoid doing the courageous work of addressing conflicts at their root.

Focusing on the language allows us to anchor people to positions, using the language of principles, without ever addressing people’s expressed needs.

Focusing on language allows us to continue to rest comfortably on our assumptions, prejudices, biases, and pre-conceived notions about the other party (or parties) without ever doing the hard work of addressing the impact of their needs on us.

Focusing on language allows us to render quick judgment, maintain the shorthand of conflict, and to continue to allow our own emotions to go unexamined, without self-awareness or change.

Make no mistake, words have meanings, they tell stories, set the table for conflict, and can be used as weapons to create problems.

But if we’re going to be successful in a future less and less defined by equanimity and peace, then we’d better get really good at overcoming our thin-slicing, our first impressions, and our reactions to language—and the words ensconced within them.

Otherwise, we face a conflict fueled future of escalation around eggshell sensitivities and trigger warnings.

-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 Part of Belief We Don’t Talk About

By | Advice, Blog, Entrepreneurship, New Posts, Opinions, Reconciliation, Relationships, Strategies, Truth

Belief—insane, determined, focused, irrational belief—is sometimes the difference between a successful entrepreneur and a failed entrepreneur.

Having such belief in the accomplishing of “big, hairy” ideas, is often lauded as the only way forward in order to build projects, scale them, employ people in them, and then sell them to the highest bidder and go off to make trouble elsewhere.

Having such belief is the benchmark of successful professional entrepreneurs who consistently develop “crazy” schemes and seem to have the Midas touch when it comes to developing business ideas in spaces that other people, without such belief, dismiss out of hand.

But belief is a tricky proposition.

It can come from the entrepreneur, or project builder; from their internal drive to impose their vision on the world through personal force of will.

It can come from the world, reinforcing that the imposed vision is indeed a well-accepted one and that it is profitable as well.

Both of these visions of belief are human focused, and when successful, are lauded as being “lucky” both by people who supported the entrepreneur in their vision, and by people who detracted from that vision. Both perspectives on the power of belief can lead to developing myopia on one hand and hubris on the other.

Faith is almost never addressed in the entrepreneurial community, except when it is noted in passing. If insane, irrational, determined, and focused belief is the difference between success and failure for the entrepreneur, then faith—in a power greater than themselves that’s moving through this world and their lives—must be a huge part of that difference.

Faith is too often wrapped up with religious practice, which blinds rational people to the power of relational interactions, the impact of serendipity, the importance of preparation, and the limits of personal, individual power.

Faith is the thing that brings genuine humility to the project builder, because it opens their mind to the reality that while their belief may be the most powerful force they have ever wielded, it is not nearly the most powerful force in the world, operating on their behalf.

More talk about faith as a deep driver for entrepreneurial success—not wrapped in religious language, imagery, and symbolism—would go a long way toward deflating the arrogance, hubris, and endless calls for “hustle” that surround many entrepreneurship conversations, happening in the world today.

-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] The Use of Time

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

Contributor – Alexander Gault
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexanderBGault

Time in this age is considered a resource, like money or water.

Whether that’s an accurate description of time is unimportant, because that’s how it’s treated. To that end, just as we develop water-saving technologies, we have also been developing time-saving technologies, or so they have been marketed.

Does the technology of today actually save us time, overall?

It isn’t a question that can be answered with a simple yes or no, unfortunately.

It may seem that now, it’s so much faster to get a message to someone than 50 years ago, so much faster to get information, products, entertainment. But on the opposite side of that, we make up for these expedited services by using more of them. For example, when the television was first sold on the market, people claimed that it wouldn’t take off because nobody had the time to sit and stare at a screen. Lo and behold, the television was the most used method of entertainment in the western world for much of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st.

Technology, as it innovates and provides us with more services, prompts us to use those services. That’s to be expected.

But what most people don’t expect is that just as those services offer themselves for our use, we in a way offer ourselves for their use. Instead of allowing the expedited systems to save us time, and applying that extra time to other ventures, we instead use the time those services saved us for more of that service.

This can clearly be seen in services like Netflix.

It was fairly uncommon in earlier days to television entertainment to sit and watch a full day of a series. If you did watch multiples of a series, it was on days when a marathon was being aired, and even then you likely didn’t stay for the full marathon. Now, it’s very common to “binge-watch” a television series on Netflix, watching many episodes with minimal breaks in between them. This, because Netflix is on demand, can go on for days at a time, whenever the viewer wishes to watch something. In this way, innovation has caused us to devote more time to the service that’s been innovated.

This can be seen in many aspects of modern life.

In the workplace, people tend to bring their work home more often than before, as it’s as simple as bringing a laptop, or even more simply, a flash drive, with them. Instead of doing more work at work with these technologies, and keeping it all there, people do a lot in the workplace and a lot at home. In the earlier days of computing, it was almost impossible to bring work home, as most computerized industries were worked by people without computers at home, and even if they did it was unlikely they had the ability to bring their documents and programs with them. This meant that, for the most part, when someone came home from work, they didn’t spend any time on it that they normally would have spent with their families.

Its irrefutable that technology has come a long way from the punch-card computers and cathode-ray televisions of the early to mid 20th century. Much of these technologies are now advertised as time saving, and in a certain way they are. However, how we use them hasn’t changed how much time we spend on the things they streamline, but rather how much of that action we do in the same amount of time. This has definitely made the workforce more effective, but is it healthy for them?


Alexander Gault-Plate is an aspiring journalist and writer, currently in the 12th grade. He has worked with his school’s 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

[Advice] The Life Long Learning Myth…Busted

By | Advice, Blog, Consulting, Culture, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Seminars, Strategies, Strategy, Training, Truth, Workplace, Workplace Development, Workshop

Implementation, coaching, mentoring, and supporting through experiences matters more to adult learning in a corporate setting, than sitting in a room for four hours listening to a facilitator.

The drop-off in retention after such an experience is 50% after participants leave the room, and without immediate changes, immediate implementation of the learning outcomes, coaching along the path of uncomfortability, and supervisory mentoring through the tough times, the retention drop-off is 75%.

So why do many organizations still offer corporate training opportunities in all kinds of topical areas, within a formalized “sit down, and absorb” learning structure, syllabi, certificates, and experienced trainers and facilitators who drone on and on for—at most—half a day?

There are three reasons:

Most organizations—whether corporations, training organizations, or higher education institutions—are unwilling (and many times unable) to do the hard work of challenging, breaking, and remaking the foundation of learning established through the last 150 years of K-12 schooling. Schooling which was designed in conjunction with corporate leaders and influencers, and codified with the support of intellectuals and educators, to produce compliant workers, who would sit (or stand) all day and do widget based, industrial work, while leaving the thinking and innovating to others up the chain. The kind of work that was hollowed out by those same individuals starting 40 years ago and now no longer matters much in America.

Many supervisors, managers, bosses, CEO’s, COO’s, and others in the hierarchical structure of many organizations, have come from a background of schooling that they either internally rejected because it was too rigid, or found comforting and conformed too. Such engrained mindsets around the value of learning (and education) do not advance and innovate organizations. Instead, they continue to produce leaders who believe that training (and life-long learning) is either a “nice to have” (rejection mindset) or a “necessary evil” (acceptance mindset). Either way, the mentality shaped through that rejection or acceptance, is reflected in buying, internally developing, or advocating for models of learning for employees based in an Industrial Revolution K-12 schooling model.

Trainers, facilitators, consultants, and others in the wide and deep field of corporate training (myself included) aren’t doing enough of the hard work, often enough, of breaking our own mindsets of how information, experiences, and content is delivered to audiences (online, F2F, etc.). We also aren’t engaging with the hard work of breaking institutional, corporate mindsets from the outside by creating offerings and client deliverables that will transcend the dying model of K-12 education. This means having the courage to stick to our principles around peer-to-peer learning, advocating to organizations that we serve for mentoring and coaching for our learners, encouraging accountability, and at the furthest end, treating adult learners like adults in the training room, rather than continuing to train them (i.e. treat them) in the K-12 learning mold they’re familiar with.

The feedback I always get when I write (or talk) in these three areas typically focuses around the inability of organizations to change, the unwillingness of employees to actually be motivated to do the hard work of working on things that are hard (i.e. engaging with emotional labor) and the inability of trainers, consultants, and others to feed their families based on selling what the market is not progressive enough to demand.

These are all legitimate concerns, but the facts of the 21st century are clear for anyone with two eyes to see:

The workplace, jobs, labor, and other tasks that people need to be organized into groups to accomplish, must still be done, or else there will be chaos in the world. Hard work—manufacturing work, “blue collar” work, etc.—will still be done in the world, but increasingly due to automation and algorithms, that work will be either outsourced or done by machines. And when it’s not, the people who will do it, will charge an even higher premium for it, to support their continued learning to become better artisans.

An acknowledgement that work matters, that tasks should be meaningful, rather than meaningless, and that employees should be treated like adults rather than like children in the workplace, is growing rather than going away. Calls from researchers, thought leaders, influencers, advocates, and others for more pay transparency, flexible family leave policies, and “flat” hierarchical structures, are only the tip of the iceberg.

The rewards to organizations in terms of prestige (Top 10 Best Places to Work), revenues (The World’s First $2 Billion Company), and public goodwill (Anyone See What Apple Made Today) in America, are drivers for success (or determinants of failure in a transparent media market) more now than ever. And these drivers become outsized to organizations that are willing to take risks, to supervisors that are willing to challenge the status quo, and to vendors who are willing to sell with courage.

Unrest will continue among employees who believe that they are not getting paid what they are worth, are increasingly mobile, and are calling the bluff of the industrialist mindset that has dominated every sector of life for over a century now. This unrest will grow in continued calls for a basic income, the cries against income inequality, and the accusations of a new “Gilded Age” of wealth and prosperity for some.

Wihout meaningful changes the conflicts that will arise if life-long, continuing, robust education is not increasingly, innovatively, and creatively integrated into the work lives of employees in all organizations in all sectors (from small businesses to the Fortune 1,000 companies), will be massive and unmanageable.

And bosses, managers, supervisors, shareholders, CEO’s, CFO’s, communities, civic leaders, politicians, business owners, corporate training organizations, and others will have to explain in plain terms to their constituencies, employees, followers, and others, the reasons (and their mindsets) for why they rejected or ignored the golden opportunity to implement, coach, mentor, and support in order to transform corporate learning into something meaningful and valuable, in the early 21st century.

-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/