Blog – Blogging
New Project: PUNCH(ing) It By John Sarvay | January 17, 2014
We’re big fans of collaboration. And we’re big fans of the creative team at PUNCH. They study the art of impact, and they create great design. (We like great design.)
Over the next few months, the team at PUNCH and the team at Floricane are playing a game of musical work. They’re helping us strengthen Floricane’s strategic brand presence – our design and print materials, our online presence, our use of social media – and we’re helping members of the PUNCH team strengthen their management and leadership skills, and their overall organizational effectiveness.
Our teams have been working together for more than a year, and we’ve grown to enjoy and respect their creative energy and insight. We suspect they might feel the same way.
Keep your eyes peeled as we move into 2014. We’ll be unveiling a fresh look that builds on the great logo design the team at Zeigler|Dacus dreamed up – way back in 2008. (We continue to lean heavilty on Ben Dacus for great design, by the way. You can never have too many awesome designers in your corner.)
New Project: Visioning with the Richmond Symphony By John Sarvay | January 15, 2014
Our team really enjoyed working with the musicians, staff and board of the Richmond Symphony on their strategic plan last year, and I absolutely love our collaboration with Maestro Steven Smith on the FIRST CHAIR program. So, it should come as no surprise that I'm happy to be hanging out with the Richmond Symphony team again -- this time, facilitating some longer range visioning work. Over a couple of sessions this winter, we'll explore the ways in which we anticipate Richmond will continue to grow and change as we move toward 2020. And we'll look at the ways in which cultural organizations around the world are transforming. Through those filters, we'll work to craft a vision (not a vision statement, but an asipration) for Richmond's symphony.
Same Motion, More Action By John Sarvay | January 15, 2014
Twitter led me to something useful today. (Really, Andrea Goulet Ford did.)
Lately, I've been pondering (more on that later) some of the things that keep me from taking more action. There are many drivers -- habit and inclination among the stronger, but also too many choices or options, a dash of guilt and a need to look busy. What in the world am I talking about?
Well, there's my commitment to maintaining this blog, as an example. I have a list of about 40 potential blog posts that I recently revisited and revised. In the time I spent editing the list of blog posts, I could have written three posts. Or the new Excel spreadsheet I developed to track Floricane's cash flow, when what I really needed to do was build a budget for 2014.
This evening, Andrea retweeted a link to a blog post at Buffer by James Clear with the provocative title, "The Mistake Smart People Make: Being In Motion vs. Taking Action." Here's a snippet:
Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but that task will never produce an outcome by itself. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will get you a result.
Here are some examples…
- If I outline 20 ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion. If I actually write and publish an article, that’s action.
- If I email 10 new leads for my business and start conversations with them, that’s motion. If I actually ask for the sale and they turn into a customer, that’s action.
- If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion. If I actually eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
Sometimes motion is good because it allows you to prepare and strategize and learn. But motion will never — by itself — lead to the result you are looking to achieve.
It doesn’t matter how many times you go talk to the personal trainer, that motion will never get you in shape. Only the action of working out will get you the result you’re looking to achieve.
My first impulse after reading Clear's piece was, "Yeah! I need to do less motion, more action!" And then I settled down, and remembered how I am fundamentally wired (read: motion, not action). I need motion. Processing my way through my work is core to what I do. Abandoning the side of me that researches, studies and explores options would be a mistake.
No, I need the motion I have. But I also need more action.
And that's my new motto for 2014: Same Motion, More Action.
Go read the whole thing, and then decide if you're ready to act more. (Or, if you act too much, maybe you need to put some more motion in your life.)
The Cost of Efficiency By Theran Fisher | January 13, 2014
I like to think that I am an efficient person; or at least I try to be. For most routine tasks in my life I have created a standard way of completing them, I utilize various apps and software programs to stay on top of my ever-growing To Do list, and my desire to organize my life borders on obsessive compulsive behavior. In fact, now that I consider it, I spend a potentially inefficient amount of time thinking about how to be more efficient. But we’ll leave that for another blog post.
Earlier this week, Caroline and I attended an event where the guest speaker is a recognized efficiency expert. He’s written books on the subject and specializes in email efficiency, which is the one area of my life that I have given up on trying to manage. Needless to say, I was eager to here him speak and went prepared to have my life transformed.
The majority of the tips and tricks he presented simply utilized many of the built-in features found in most email clients – rules, templates, shortcuts, etc. Some I had never considered using before and so I took note, but my life was not yet changed. Then he brought up the subject of returning to a massive inbox after being out of the office on vacation or a business trip. I slid closer to the edge of my seat with anticipation.
When leaving the office for an extended period, the speaker suggested creating a new rule that automatically places all new messages into a folder. A nice psychological trick I thought, you return to an empty inbox and can then sort through your emails at an appropriate time. But then the speaker threw a curve ball: ignore the folder with all of the emails from your absence. Completely. Just forget it even exists. In his opinion, the majority of the emails are junk and those that are important can be ignored until the sender contacts you again.
This notion of increasing your own efficiency at the expense of others’ efficiency didn’t sit well with me and I have thought about it a lot over the past few days. What I’ve come to realize is that I do this kind of thing all too often. I like to keep certain office supplies near our worktable, so I move them there without telling anyone else. Now everyone else has to spend time hunting them down. Or I schedule a doctor’s appointment for my sons, but put it on my personal calendar and not the family calendar shared with my wife and she in turn schedules a second appointment.
The realization I’ve come to is that my efficiency is not simply dependent on what I do and how I do it. Nor is the efficiency of those around me solely based on their actions and decisions. Efficiency, evidently, is a team effort. So, to the rest of the Floricane Team, where would you all like to keep the stapler?
New Project: Building a Community of Support By John Sarvay | January 7, 2014
With one of the most complex acronyms ever -- MRSDVCC -- the Metro Richmond Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee's core purpose is to create a safe networking and collaborative space for people working in the sexual assault and domestic violence arena. The all-volunteer group has been around for a number of years, but recently experienced some drift in focus. We spent an afternoon with a handful of members last fall, and are reconvening for a pro bono afternoon of facilitation with more members in January. We hope to help the members establish a more sustainable foundation for their important community building work.
- Getting A Piece Of Your Mind
- Taking Time
- Five Lessons from Group Coaching
- In The Name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sing!
- TILTED 2014
- New Project: PUNCH(ing) It
- New Project: Visioning with the Richmond Symphony
- Same Motion, More Action
- The Cost of Efficiency
- New Project: Building a Community of Support
- New Project: VCU Office of Health Innovation
- New Project: Setting Priorities with SAGE
- New Project: Insights for Teams
- Building Role Clarity in My Own Backyard
- Engagement Takes Time