In Asia, bamboos abound. In the place where I grew up, bamboos grow everywhere.
We always equate bamboo with resilience in the context of stormy winds, hurricanes, strong rains and floods. It is very strong but it's strength doesn't come from resisting those natural forces but being able to bend but not break. Once the storm is over, these bamboos could snap back to its form, no problem.
For businesses people and executives suffering from small crisis to big upheavals, how is your resilience level? Do you snap back after a personal crisis, a sickness, losing a loved one, losing a job, getting fired, or just an unexpected turn of events in your life and career? These crises are catastrophic and any person can be physically, emotionally, and psychologically debilitated by these events.
Take note, resilience doesn't mean you don't feel pain or suffer from it. It just means that you can recover from any challenges quickly and become a better person in the process. It means taking all the challenges as fuel for the next level of personal growth and accomplishment. It means owning up your part of the problem without assigning blame, feeling resentment, and being bitter about the situation.
When we bend, we don't break. We let things go, things that we cannot control and let it takes its own course. The bending is for our betterment and this is not a sign of cowardice or timidity or weakness, but a sign of wisdom and great sense of balance and inward strength. As the cliché goes, 'this too shall pass.'
What do you think?
Both my nephew and niece, play this children's game..
Would you rather have an ice cream or a popsicle?
Would you rather play baseball or basketball?
Would you rather live in Canada or in the Philippines?
Would you rather go to the beach or hike in the mountains?
Would you rather be a lawyer or a doctor?
Would you rather be stranded in the island or stranded inside the cave or swim in shark tank?
Would you rather so on and so on....
Did you get the drift?
This is always in binaries. This or that. Tit or Tat. The Devil or the deep blue sea.
Binaries are narrow specs we put ourselves in because we think that is the only way to be or to have.
For those that resist the binaries, there are more options and opportunities awaiting. There is joy in the discovery of knowing who you really are and what makes you tick.
For those the accept what is being offered and resign to whatever is given, it is just the devil or the deep blue sea.
Have you heard lately? People in organizations say beware of the consultants. They borrow your watch and tell you the time!
There is a reason for that. From top 5 consulting giant firms, to any Tom-Dick-Harry, everyone is saying they are consultants. From coaches, mentors, palm readers, salespersons and marketers, suppliers, computer geeks, web designers, coders, and anybody that is a solo business owner, they call themselves consultants too!
Well, there are management consultants, technical consultants, executive coaches, psychological counsellors, legal advisors, and many more are plenty around in different professions.
The marketplace is field with consultants of various stripes and colors, peddling different sorts of solutions based on various formula and potions.
Nowadays, there is a bit of cynicism about consultants because not all are good, not all are ethical, and not all could make it in six-figure take home income.
There may be hundred of consultants in one room but there is a huge diversity in application, in background, in skills set, in expertise, in geographical, sectoral experience, and many other essential variables.
It is up to the discerning client or prospective client to figure out the fake from the true ones, filter out the noisy from the substantive elements, and engage those that have actually created real value to comparable organizations in this sector. This is not a daunting task and more and more organization need that extra third party, objective, external validator, verifier, sounding board, advisor to accelerate your growth goals to the next level.
-Check them out. Get recommendations and references from previous clients.
-Know what you really want to achieve in every transaction. Just like any partnership, it should be a win-win proposition.
-Does this person have the credibility, integrity, expertise, and connection that you need? Are there things in your list that are a must or good-to-have?
-Don't go around shopping for the cheapest one. Price is not a predictor of value. Look for quality, value, and undisputed credibility in the field.
Whether you are buying a training material, planning a company retreat, or designing a performance management program, know you needs versus what your want. This will save you lots of time, effort, and troubles.
Take it from me. I am a consultant.
I am popping a lot of bubbles lately.
There is a tendency by the rank-and-file to project a certain aura of greatness about their companies to the point that when the rubber hits the road, tries to defend their stupid policies and procedures and leave the customer wanting to obliterate them out of the face of the earth!
A classic example of a website form that this organization is promoting to spur up public involvement and engagement with their programs. I put out my hand and expressed interest and started engagement. Well, they have a convoluted and archaic policy of internal referrals and Board approvals, aka 'insider trading.' I called the BS and they can't fail not to admit that if they want to remain exclusive at their own peril, they do not have to bother public citizens like us with these fake forms.
Another classic example of that is the fact that organizations whose mandate is to create public engagement end up actually creating exclusionary and elitist programs that bar interested people from actually being able to participate. Who would have thought that entrepreneurial programs espousing the values of community, transparency, collaboration are those that pretty unfriendly to newcomers and new entrants. This perpetuates the old-boys network mentality and creates incestuous relationships amongst actors in the space. Incestuous relationships are very harmful to organizations and individuals. There is no fresh air coming in.
Whether it is from the public and private sector, citizen leaders like us should refuse to accept the BS, call it for what it is, and get the attention of the decision-maker of the organization. Whether it is an airline, a grocery store, a non-profit, a church, or whatever, bad policies, procedures, protocols, or whatever systems have to be resisted with gusto. Organizations that fail to make corrections are set to suffer from many troubles or count their not-so-long shelf lives.
Boards and staff have to set the records straight. They need to define their roles and responsibilities. The Board needs to set the general direction for the organization and look at the long-term viability of staff, programs, and assets. While the staff is hired to look after the particular operations of the organization.
When hands-on Board becomes to muddled up in too much detail, the staff feels disempowered and frustrated that every decision including what nails to use or plants to buy or how many colors of the logo needs to have is a pain in itself. Boards are not meant to make those calls!
It is important to leave it up to the staff to figure it out. They are to be trusted to make those important operational decisions because they are close to the problem, they know what works because they have the experience working in this role, and that they need to exercise their creativity and ingenuity. Respecting each other's roles is highly critical to the success of this relationship.
When Board and staff work constructively, then it can be heaven on earth. It is important that staff can consult the Board when....(state those reasons) and stick to those as much as possible. Constructively in the sense that while roles and responsibilities are delineated well, the relationship is very supporting of one another. If both Board and staff collectively use their energies and their strengths together, they can solve problems, anticipate future challenges, and deal with setbacks with resilience.
It is a tango- takes two steps forward and one step backward. As a dance, partners have to be in one heart, soul, and mind so that it doesn't become a labor but of an art in itself. So it does with Board and staff relationship.