Sunday, November 07, 2010

Progress & Hope come together..

So there's this bad habit growing into me, I find myself starring at the PC for a very long time not knowing what to do with it. Even though I know all I want is to come up with either a creative design or a kick @$$ plan that will help me get my new company in MAJOR action, somehow all I seem to think of is Elizabeth Gilbert's lecture and specifically why isn't Mr. Genius showing up for his part of the deal. I am posting the link for you HERE to understand what I am talking about.

I guess I’m too nervous to actually come up with something that’s of my own creation because in my line of business, all that matters is how well you impress the audience. So here I am sitting infront of the screen again, this is similar to those lonely moments when you find yourself flipping channels endlessly at about 4 in the afternoon when all channels are show casing the worst programs simultaneously and you find yourself with nothing interesting to settle to. There’s just me, my drifting thoughts and the useless places I just don't want to end up in.

The one and only thing that strikes my mind is why do we get nervous? Why do we put ourselves in situations like this? Can we be enjoying having no control over ourselves when our hearts and minds are shaken like a V12 diesel engine?
I define this Nervousness as a state of emotional control where an individual finds himself scared of the unknown, horrified from it only because he does not know what to expect. In other words, nervousness means fear and in my particular case, its fear of change. When I’m in this situation I keep on telling myself this is something that I am fully aware of how to control. I can deal with this provoking situation that I'm in, there is no need for being lost anymore, I can deal with change.

People usually fear change because they do not have enough information to help them project the future. We experience fear because we have difficulty preparing, rehearsing and delivering our material and don't know how the final outcome will turn out to be. A smooth change is a change we usually don't notice, however no matter how different we try to describe it, we end up going through a progressive and an un-noticeable transaction. But my main focus here are changes that gives us the shivers, the ones that can make us fall into depression or make us do something we might soon come to regret. In case you are wondering why I am making this a big deal is because I am counting on this to quit my current job. I am tempted to resign and purely focus on a business that has no ground yet.

Anyways to summaries the above, nervousness equals fear due to big changes. It took me a while until I came to this conclusion, but it helped me tackle the problem I was facing. I applied what I know of change management to solve my problem (for more info click HERE to read about change management) and when I was done getting over the five steps of change, I somehow got over the fear of disappointing ppl and started focusing on business again.

Little by little, designing became a practice and this practice became a habit and sooner than anticipated, I was a hard working designer (I say hard working cause I don’t think I am really creative yet loool). But before all of this, I could have always given up and fallen back to whatever I am good at or whatever seemed easier to achieve. I chose to fall deep in and no matter how much time or money I must spend, I must stick to it and give it my best until I succeed.

A Quote by Orihime (from Bleach) smacks me back into reality:

"There were a lot of things I wanted to do. I wanted to become a teacher, and an astronaut, and a baker... I wanted to go to a bunch of different donut shops and ask for one of everything! And I wanted to tell the ice-cream man to give me one of everything, too! I wish I could have five different lives! Then I could have been born in five different towns, and eaten five lifetime's worth of food, and had five different careers, and... fallen in love with the same person, five times."-Orihime

Focus, determination and complete loyalty is the path I chose and this will now stand as Big Bear’s values too. Now let us see how far I reach and maybe one day I will get to live 5 different lives and fall in love with the same person, five times."

One of my favorite shows is TED Talks and it will be a dream come true if one day I find myself giving a talk worth spreading in one of their programs. I am contemplating if I should keep this as a benchmark to my success.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

...and Change Will Follow

I had to give three of my own staff warning letters after they’ve violated one of the rules set by the company. My approach was soft and humble, I started by apologizing to take disciplinary actions against them and then I also explained why this step was an important step to take from a company’s point of view.

This got me thinking about loads of other past experiences when I was supposed to make such harsh decisions, but in the end I let them get away with verbal warnings. Looking back at time, ever since I joined the company just a couple of years ago I think our situation has been improving, yet a lot of time was wasted because discipline was never a value that interested the company or at least it wasn’t to the employees.

What went wrong is very simple to understand. A company called Waltkens used to manage a tiny little cage with 5 monkeys stuck in it. They appointed a watchman with a high pressure water hose that was used to wash down any monkey that tried to climb up a ladder that had bananas hanging on top of it. This watchman used to open up the hose, splash every monkey that tried touching a banana and just to teach the other monkeys a lesson, he would attack the rest of the monkeys using the same water force till they lost all power and could barely move. This happened almost every day until the 5 monkey’s decided they won’t go for the bananas anymore.

A couple of weeks later, one stupid monkey decided to try his luck and climbed the ladder. Just before the watchman reacted, the other monkeys jumped on the stupid monkey and bashed him till he was worn out and thus a new system in the cage was created and followed for months. The watchman had no means to stay any longer since no monkey could get his arse up the ladder, so he packed up his goods and left for good. Yet the monkeys still followed the same old rule (Attack any monkey that tries to act smart on us).

After a while the cage was sold to a new company and the management tried changing this bad old habit (of monkeys attacking each other) by replacing one monkey with another new monkey every month. Even after all 5 monkeys were replaced, the same old habit still lived in this same old cage, despite the fact that the monkeys never knew why they attacked each other every time one of them tried to climb the ladder.

This story is also similar to my situation but the only difference is that they are not monkeys, they are my employees. They are not wrong too, I have been doing them wrong by blaming them for not being responsible and thought they have no discipline in themselves. I have been introducing loads of new procedures, new methods, and new standards to follow yet no one seemed to care about them. They just couldn’t get themselves to commit to the new BETTER I am trying to introduce. 

I was speaking to a friend that’s having some problems living with his girl. I told him to take it easy and not demand too many changes cause she is going through a “transformation curve”. She is going through it because of FEAR. She is scared from the future (the unknown) and would rather continue life just the way it is or retreat to her old life where everything was simple). Now you are asking her to change or be a goner but you don’t realize that there are 6 steps to change, so whatever she is going through is a positive sign.

Step 1 – DENIAL. First she’ll deny everything you say or suggest.
Step 2 – REJECTION. Then she will act frustrated and get angry.
Step 3 – SELF ACCEPTANCE. After a while she will try negotiating without admitting she is wrong.
Step 4 – DEPRESSION. Then she will accept her wrong side and fall into depression.
Step 5 – ACCEPTANCE. Then she will try to gain knowledge for self understanding and better vision.
STEP 6 – THE OUTCOME. She will see an opportunity or a better way and that’s when she will start execution to make the change successful.

And just after I explained the last step, I realized that I have led my team in the wrong way. I did not stop to see or help them pass whatever stage they were stuck in. I, myself was blinded by the stupid reasons that I have put before me and them. I put my head down, shame and guilt felt so heavy in me.

So first I am starting with me, I’m going to make a change and hope this change gets positively passed on to you.

Quote of the day:
“Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.” Che Guevara