Looking Forward to the Future

Looking Forward to the Future

These have been unbelievably difficult times. Since we became aware of this Virus the world has been devastated and the lives of many people lost. Those of us lucky enough to have remained healthy have had to be “Locked Down.” We human beings are social people and this has been an extremely difficult time. Many people do not have jobs that translate well to working from home, and are unable to work. They have lost their ability to support themselves. Even with the incredible flow of money from the Federal Government there is widespread fear in their hearts. They are unsure of their ability to be able to eat and live through this catastrophe.

Let’s never forget the pain from this event. We should not just return to our lives as they were in the past. This can be an opportunity for us, even though it has come with pain and upheaval and fear.

Let’s look at our actions. What have we done since the shutdown of our country? How did you and your loved ones get through the days and weeks and months that have passed? How did we care for others in need? We are a resilient people that do not take things lightly. Nor do we give up.

We are going to be stronger as a people, as a nation. We will not be dependent on a foreign source for critical items. Our supply chains are going to change. The international elites that have driven the world for the past seventy years have been exposed. They had no loyalty to anything but money and their power. That goes for many of those in the so-called “deep state.” The unelected technocrats that have been running the government. George Friedman’s book, which I have mentioned previously, “The Storm Before the Calm,” describes this quite convincingly.

But that is the world over which we have little control. We need to pay attention to the world over which we have some control. We must learn from this event and make ourselves better. For some time, I have been lamenting the imbalance between our investments in technology and sociology. We have forgotten the fundamental truth. We are PEOPLE FIRST.

Let’s help each other more. Let’s be more attentive to the needs and wants of our employees. Let’s bring back a spirit of “serving.” Let’s cooperate with each other rather than compete with each other. Let’s never forget how vulnerable we were when this was happening and in fact that we always are vulnerable as individuals. Let’s be honest, with everyone including ourselves. Let’s be responsible for ourselves and accountable for our performance. And let’s step up and be people of character. That’s how this country was built. That is the way we used to be. Let’s get started on the path to a brighter future.

The Time is Now.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In our last post, we talked about thinking outside the box (or triangle).

For those of you who have previously taken our classes, you know I often ask about “the box.”  Why is there a box?  Who decided to get me into this box in the first place?  I hate the idea of being penned into one set of ideas and one way of thinking nearly as much as I HATE discounts.  You are all well aware that I hate discounts immensely.

I think that doing things the way we have always done them is what constitutes the box we find ourselves stuck in so much of the time.  It is human nature to find a routine to follow.  It’s against our nature to reassess that routine and push for change.

Every time someone tells me that change isn’t all that difficult, I tell them to go home and suggest to their spouse or partner that they switch sides of the bed.

Change is tough.  Pushing for change and constantly striving to stretch and grow has a lot to do with changing our way of thinking.  To gain a different perspective, we must see differently.  To see differently, we must look, as Proust said, with new eyes.  To have those new eyes, we need a new mindset.

Education is key.

This year, let’s challenge ourselves to grow and stretch and move our paradigms with ongoing education.

That’s the way to find constant growth and improvement, both within our careers, and within ourselves.

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy: Socrates

Most of what we know about Socrates we have learned from his students, especially Plato.  We know he was a Greek philosopher and a teacher.  From his teachings, we developed the Socratic Method: a style of teaching that involves the asking of multiple, open-ended questions of the students.

It was Socrates who told us, “I cannot teach anyone anything.  I can only make them think.”

As we have learned in the many centuries since then, thinking is the foundation of all learning.

From this Greek Socrates, we have named our Learning Without Scars “mascot.”

lws-owl-logo

We felt that the owl was apt, as owls symbolize wisdom.  And naming him Socrates took our commitment to continuing education into the perfect symbol.

At Learning Without Scars, we are dedicated to continuous improvement for people: managers, supervisors, salespeople, counter people, and every individual working to make your dealership a profitable and effective business in today’s market.

Let us show you what happens when you have highly trained staff who are confident in the job that must be done.

Join us in 21st century, online employee development.  You won’t be disappointed.

The time is now.

Getting Personal #MondayBlogs

My daughter wrote on her Friday Philosophy recently about “Outliers” and framed it in a manner that my granddaughter did regarding athletes. It is interesting, as many of us will relate to Malcolm Gladwell’s book entitled “Outliers.” That gave us the famous 10,000 hours as the floor for being an “expert.”

 

So why I am interested in this concept is that I believe in “Options.” Well this is where I come from on many things in life. I believe in the almost unlimited capacity of mankind. As people we have done and do today and will do in all of our tomorrows incredible things. I am certain that I am just like everyone else – an incredibly talented person in some form or fashion, I just haven’t found what it is yet. So that brings me back to “Options.”

 

George Bernard Shaw said “Youth is wasted on the young.” I think he was jealous. My granddaughter and grandson are experiencing lots of options in their lives. They have a loving home, terrific schooling, access to music and athletics and the comfort and security to pursue whatever they want within the boundaries established by their mother. What a gift.

 

So they have “Options” and thus they can find out in what manner they can be “Outliers.” 

 

So I continue to tilt at Windmills.

 

I continue to believe that each of us can learn more, and do more and become more. We are our own limit. To that end I enjoy teaching or training people.

 

I was very blessed myself in the mentors that I have had in my life. My grandmother who received her Master’s Degree from the University of Manitoba in the 1914. Imagine that? To my mother and father and my sister for the opportunity that I had to grow up with schooling and music and athletics. To my complete working life starting at The Lac Marois Country Club where I learned a whole bunch of stuff and learned to teach and lead. To the nondenominational Church which introduced me to Priests, and ministers and Baptists and Rabbis and all manner of differing philosophical belief systems. To the bar where I played piano (I would not get arrested if there was a raid as I was underage) but as an employee I was safe. To the various part time jobs including selling encyclopedias. Then to the teaching work at McGill University establishing programs on instruction for outliers – early infant swimming and older fearful swimming, and then teaching people how to teach and coach in water sports. To the Boy’s Farm and Training School which had my great grandfather as one of the founders. This was initially a “Home for Wayward Youth” which morphed into a cog in the prison system in Quebec where I was taught to do personality profiling, amongst other things. (I nearly had a breakdown with that one, as part of my job was to reside on site and act as a warden.) To finally arriving at Hewitt Equipment, the Caterpillar dealer in the Province of Quebec in 1969. This was a strange happening as my mother got a call from the parent of one of my students at McGill who asked “Didn’t he take Mathematics and Physics at University? Which led to him asking her to have me give him a call. (He was the VP Finance at Hewitt, his name was John Swift.) This led to my being engaged on a “one-year contract” to find and fix a problem with the computer system that was driving parts inventory control. Then the real mentoring opportunities came into being.

 

There was the Senior partner from Urwick Currie, Mr. Steele, in Ottawa who had sold the system to Hewitt who spent one day a week with me for months helping me learn the system and general business application software. (I had a minor in computer science which in those days was programming and the like.) There was Larry Noe, at Caterpillar Tractor who was one of the early employees in Dealer Data Processing (DDPD), which was the batch system offering from CAT to their dealers in the late sixties and early seventies. There was Bob Kirk who smoked his pipe while regaling you with stories about parts inventory management. Then Ian Sharp of I P Sharp Associates who introduced me to the programming language APL and the Internet in the early 1970’s. The list goes on and on. I was very fortunate to have so many people take an interest in my career. All of this prepared me for my consulting career and allowed me to develop a training business and financial modelling business. From 1969 until now, I have been working in this Industry now for forty-seven years. As another of my mentors, Burton Grenrock, said “Whodathought.”        

 

So now it is my turn to transfer some of my experiences and knowledge to the people that are following me in this Industry.

 

We started Quest, Learning Centers in 1994 and closed it in 2014. We opened Learning, Without Scars, in 2015 and it continues to go forward. It will become a Hawaii Corporation in 2017 when we move from California to Hawaii.

 

And this is where it gets interesting. For me that is, if for no one else.

 

With the driving force of my daughter, Caroline, we have created quite the learning platform for adults in the capital goods industries. Learning Without Scars is supposed to indicate that the “students, the learners” do not need to experience the scars that I have received over my career. They can learn from me and avoid those scars. I have many clients who disagree most vigorously on this Company Name. They tell me there is no such thing as learning with me Without Scars – rather they say there are lots of SCARS. But that is an opinion, right? And everyone has opinions.

 

Learning Without Scars has created products to fit into the learning environment of the 21st Century.

 

  • We offer Learning On Demand (LOD) products. This replaces “webinars.” Each program represents two hours of subject specific learning. We offer sixty such LOD programs.
  • We offer Planned Learning Programs (PLP) products. These product offerings allow management and supervision to be exposed to all aspects of their departmental business. We have programs for Parts Businesses and Service Businesses. Each program spans three years and provides sixty hours of learning.
  • We offer Planned Special Programs (PSP) products. These product offerings are for specific job functions in the Parts Businesses and Service Businesses. The will cover such job functions and telephone and counter sales, or warranty administrators, etc.

 

As I said it is exciting for me to be involved in these leading edge learning programs.  

 

Now let me introduce you to Socrates. Our logo is the symbol of “wise” with a mortar board of accomplishment. And the Socratic method of teaching is still alive and well even today. This logo is the product of my Daughter in Law, Joanna who is an extremely creative woman.

This is Socrates:     

 lws-owl-logo

So I started from Caroline’s Friday Philosophy of “Outliers,” which to me are those special people who have made the tough choices in their lives to strive to reach their potential. Which leads me to the various “Options” that have been available to you over your life and career.

 

And that takes me to the end of this rather long Blog entry. Which will be the switch point for me from the career of “Doing” through Consulting Work and “Teaching” through the Classroom work to the career of developing Learning Products for the Internet Age. Please wish me well if you would.

 It wasn’t very long ago that Caroline dragged me, under protest, onto Twitter and social media.  Now, the modern technology is opening still more options.  It’s an exciting time.

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy #2016-27

Many of you know that I often say that I don’t really believe one person can motivate another person. BUT. I do believe that any person can demotivate any other person. I really resent when on person demotivates another person. We need to respect each other and have respect for the dignity of work. Do you best at whatever it is that you do. Our elder in our church when I was growing up took an interest in me. He said to me “Be happy in your work OR work and be happy. You don’t have a choice – the HAVE to work.” It was and continues to be great advice.

 Here are some quotes on motivation to give you a lift in this Friday Filosophy #2016-27.

 

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until you good is better and your better is best.

St Jerome.

 

It always seems impossible until it is done.

Nelson Mandela

 

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

PLEASE REMEMBER: No one has to lose for you to win.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Arthur Ashe

 

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucius

 

Never forget:

Good is the enemy of doing things better.

Better is the enemy of what is possible.

Never settle for what is – strive for what is possible.

 

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy #2016-26

Well I enjoyed Independence Day and I hope you did as well. Then we had an interruption in life with some surprise surgery in the family. Everything is going well again and we are back to our Friday Filosophy #2016-26.

We continue to see the attack on the status quo in Turkey tonight and hope that everything can be resolved with little loss of life. 

Some quotes on adapting to change.

 

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

Stephen Hawking

 

Reasonable men adapt to the world around them: unreasonable men make the world adapt to them. The world is changed by unreasonable men.

Edwin Louis Cole

 

Adapting is a common, natural way for people to adapt to their environment.

Joe Barton

 

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.

H.G. Wells

 

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.

Marcus Aurelius

 

Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.

Nolan Ryan

 

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy #2016-25

What a week! Starting last Sunday with Father’s Day. That followed our comments on the status quo and disruption. And we were given a gift on Thursday with Brexit. Not a gift in the manner in which you are thinking, but in the manner of following the thoughts on status quo and disruption. I believe that we constantly need to be challenging the status quo which brings me to the topic of Friday Filosophy #2016-25: dreams.

 Some quotes on dreams.

 

Reality is wrong. Dreams are real.

Tupac Shakur

 

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.

Billy Wilder

 

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.

Jean-Paul Sartre

 

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

Colin Powell

 

Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Harriet Tubman

 

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

 

My thoughts go out to the citizens of the United Kingdom who have retaken control of their own destiny. Best wishes and lots of luck.

 

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy #2016-24

One of the most special gifts I received in my life has been fatherhood. My daughter is a very special woman. (I am sure she will poo poo this when she reads it but it is true.)  Although with my work and the travel it entailed it was difficult at times, as I missed things. We tried not to travel during school breaks and that was a very special time for me. The only problem I have as a father is that my daughter is almost identical to me. Make no mistake she has her mother’s manner and instincts and pleasing personality but there is no misunderstanding that she is my daughter.

Some quotes on fathers for our Friday Filosophy #2016-24.

 

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

Jim Valvano

 

One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.

George Herbert

 

A father is a man who expects his daughter to be as a good a woman as she meant to be.

Frank A Clark

 

I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal, and I never loved any other man as much.

Hedy Lamarr

 

One of the greatest gifts my father gave me – unintentionally – was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity. We had a rollercoaster of a life with some really challenging financial periods. He was always unshaken, completely tranquil, the same ebullient, laughing, jovial man.

Ben Okri

 

I know that I will never find my father in any other man who comes into my life, because it is a void in my life that can only be filled by him.

This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too.

Harlan Coben

 

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy #2016-23

Last week we talked about the status quo. Now, in Friday Filosophy #2016-23, I want to move to technological disruptions. Conventional wisdom, which is another oxymoron for the status quo, states that disruptive technologies change everything.  Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen see disruptive technologies upsetting apple carts all over the globe.  

Here are some thoughts on disruptive technologies.

 

Disruption is, at its core, a really powerful idea. Everyone hijacks the idea to do whatever they want now.  It’s the same way people hijacked the word “paradigm” to justify lame things they’re trying to sell to mankind.

Clayton Christensen

 

Supply chains cannot tolerate even 24 hours of disruption. So if you lose your place in the supply chain because of wild behavior you could lose a lot. It would be like pouring cement down one of your oil wells.

Thomas Friedman

 

The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.

Ryan Kavanaugh

 

Employees speak of being fearful opening emails and feeling increasingly helpless in the face of the deluge. Physiologically, we now know that the state of continuous disruption puts us into a constant state of hormone-induced stress.

Noreen Hertz

 

The First Amendment was designed to allow for disruption of business as usual. It is not a quiet and subdued amendment or right.

Naomi Wolf

 

True disruption means threatening your existing product line and your past investments. Breakthrough products disrupt current lines of business.

Peter Diamondis

 

The time is now.

Friday Filosophy #2016-22

We just had a dismal jobs report posted yet the jobless rate continues going down. This just highlights the visible disconnect between “government” metrics and real life. The job participation rate is 62.6% :nearly at a forty year low. There are 94.7 million people who are outside the labor force. How dismal is that. Perspective is everything and the status quo is a serious threat to our families and the future of the country.

 

On that note, for our Friday Filosophy #2016-22, here are some thoughts on status quo:

 

The status quo sucks.

 George Carlin

 

I don’t accept the status quo. I do accept Visa, Master Card or American Express.

Stephen Colbert

 

The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.

Bob Iger

 

People who demand neutrality in any situation are usually not neutral but in favor of the status quo.

Mas Eastman

 

The history of storytelling isn’t one of simply entertaining the masses but of also advising the status quo.

Therese Fowler

 

Entrepreneurs are misfits to the core. They forge ahead, making their own path and always, always, question the status quo.

Maximillian Degenerez

 

I am not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

Niccolo Machiavelli

 

 

The time is now.