Monthly Archives: March 2011

Time for a bit of courage and commitment

It was very timely to receive and read Joy Cushman’s blog tonight.  Speaking of activism, she tells us that the campaign plan is the engine but without the fuel of courage and commitment we don’t get any forward momentum.

It’s appropriate as I consider a morning at home on Saturday or a quick trip to support the Get Up Climate Change rally at Belmore Park.  Time to show my commitment to sustainability.

Collaborative consumption – making sharing cool

I love Rachel Botsman’s TED talk on Collaborative Consumption and her mission to support us to move from owning more stuff to getting the benefit of the experience.

Check out if you have something you don’t need and want to swap it for something you do need.  I’ll swap any book I own for a copy of Botsman’s new book on Collaborative Consumption using

Or for those products with “high idling capacity” like our kayak which sits in the back yard 50 weekends out of 52, I can now offer it for someone else to use on and still reserve the pleasure of kayaking two weekends a year.

As is often said, we don’t have a scarcity of stuff, we have a distribution issue.  With collaborative consumption the leading edge entrepreneurs are creating new business models to allow low cost redistribution of unwanted stuff – about time I say.

Too much or too little praise spoils the relationship

One of the cheapest ways to increase employee motivation and retention is through increasing the positive feedback that employees receive.  What that is required of managers is to pay attention to employees – “catch them doing things right” – and then tell the employee what they have done right and thank them for the consequent benefits to the team, the manager and the organisation.

But can there be too much of a good thing?

Researchers John Gottman and Barbara Fredrickson, authors of the book Positivity, have found that the optimal ratio of positive to negative is about 5 to 1.  Lower than that, workplaces become toxic, and individuals suffer from depression or leave.

But if the ratio gets too high (more than 13 to 1), says Fredrickson, it indicates that the manager is “ignoring negativity and weakness.” To be beneficial, positivity “must be grounded in reality.”

What are you now capable of doing?

Thanks to Jo and StJohn at Evolution or Bust for another fascinating challenge question.  This one is great as a facilitation, training or team building opener to set a positive frame for the session:

What are you capable of doing now, that you weren’t capable of doing this time last year?

My responses:

I can go without alcohol, coffee or chocolate for a month (but not the same month).

I can do yoga five mornings in a row, especially enjoying the relaxation bit at the end.

I can run a Sustainability workshop and explain scope 1,2 & 3 emissions.

I can nearly get through a 24 hour flight and then stand in a long queue without “losing it” (This is one of my capability ‘goals’ for the next twelve months).

So what are you now capable of doing?