Archives for the month of: July, 2010

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” – Henry Ford

Asking our customers, clients, stakeholders what they want in a new product, service, brand is what we do, right?  I don’t think Mr. Ford was indicating otherwise. His point was that sometimes (many times?) our customers don’t have the creativity, vision, inhibition to articulate how “what they want” actually looks, feels, tastes, smells.

Many times, our job is to take the essence of what our customers are asking for and put it in a whole new package. Something they wouldn’t have thought of — but that they love!

Listen, hear, and deliver something completely original.

So, once again I find myself facing a significant change in my life. I’ll be leaving a job I love due to a corporate reorg to start a new journey, in a new field, with a new culture.

Searching out on the web I found all sorts “unscientific polls” about how many times people change jobs in a lifetime. The stats show people change jobs\careers 7-12 times in a lifetime. No surprises there. The difference for me this time is that I’m not moving “from” a job as much as moving “to” a new job. Let me explain.

When I’ve changed jobs before I often was changing because of some sort of dissatisfaction with my current situation – boss, responsibilities, compensation, culture, etc. I’m happy with all of those factors this time around.

This time around the organization does not have a space for me after the reorg. This time around, the decision to change was not voluntary. That’s a different set of circumstances for me.

Luckily, I believe I’m still moving “to” a really good place. Good job, good company, good people, doing good things. I like having a sense of pride when I tell people who I work for and what I do. I have that now and will have that in my new role.

I’m sure this new role will bring a new set of thinking and challenges to the forefront. I look forward to sharing my learnings, questions, and insights with you all.

This weekend I participated as a volunteer facilitator at one of the largest townhall meetings ever held in the US – over 3500 participants in 60 cities, hundreds of facilitators, taking place over 6.5 hours! The topic of discussion was the US Economy and Budget. The goal – listen to facts, discuss our differences, and come to a majority decision on a number of choices aimed at reducing the budget by $1.2 trillion.

The experience was amazing. First, the organizational and logistic planning was impressive and well executed. Second, working with a table truly diverse in age, gender, race and income proved to me that we can come together, listen to each other, make decisions that benefited an entire society and not just ourselves. I had participants who were able to listen to the stories told by others and change their views in the moment on sensitive topics, including healthcare, social security and spending on defense.

Here are the stats on the diversity of the participants. I encourage you to visit the link above, learn more about how democracy can really work, and think about how you can bring the “voice of the people” into your business, community, home.