Reconciliation Defeats Revenge

by beCause Associate Robi Damelin - While watching the bereaved African-American mothers on the stage at the Democratic Convention, I thought just how much we mothers, who have lost children, have in common, regardless of color, creed or national identity.  I thought that all bereaved mothers in the world should rise up together and say, "Enough! Stop the killing! Let our children live out the course of their lives.  We cannot continue to have the dreadful task of burying our sons and daughters and of continuing our motherhood by tending to graves and pretending that planting flowers and plants brings solace." I promise you, as one who has lost a child, the pain never goes away.  Yes, we put on our... more

What’s Your Story?

What's Your Story?

by beCause Associate John Seaman and his Saybrook Partner Robert Ferguson Storytelling is all the rage these days. In a world that is swimming in content, more and more organizations have begun using stories to sell products and services, build support for a strategy or agenda, or shape public perception. Unfortunately, many of the stories they choose to tell are superficial or inauthentic, serving only to undermine the very goals they hope to achieve. For truly compelling stories, organizations should look to their own heritage. What kind of stories work, and why Storytelling may be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fad. In fact, the power of stories is well documented in the literature on narrative psychology. As social creatures, our happiness... more

Business Leaders: Expose Yourself to “Love”

by beCause Associate Andrea Learned -- One of the more challenging things for business leaders to understand about social media is how much it is about sharing “love.” When I bring it up with clients, I usually need to pause for the “wait… what?” response. The general concept may demand an extra mindset shift for those in the business-to-business (B2B) world. More pointedly, I’ve realized that being open to receiving this social media “love” is even harder for most to grasp than the idea of giving it. And, no. it’s not just you. This does sound suspiciously like relationship self-help. But, after meeting another leader whose contributions would amplify her company’s innovative work — if only she’d bring her voice and wisdom to social media — I’m convinced... more

New rules of strategic relational engagement

Successful businesses have moved from transactional to relational, which acknowledges interdependence among a diversity of parties as essential for sustainable success.  Dramatic new technologies, evolving business models, environmental impact, economic instability, political upheaval, and broad-scale migration resulting from regional conflicts, now demand improved engagement between business leaders and their myriad stakeholders. A broad spectrum of stakeholders has a direct impact on your core business. That’s why I call my framework “Strategic Relational Engagement” (SRE) because incorporating meaningful relationships into your business can transform stakeholder fear and/or animosity into understanding, productivity and strategic impact.  In a shareholder environment in which annual growth is expected (achievable or not), all-out strategic relational engagement of stakeholders is the only path to satisfaction of shareholders... more

A Woman of Conviction

A Woman of Conviction

Guest post by Cynthia Lardner who interviewed Nadine B. Hack -"I had the opportunity to interview a woman I admire tremendously and we had a wonderful conversation about how she came to be a woman of conviction respected globally." CL: What influenced you when you were young and who were your role models? NBH: My grandmother was an extraordinary woman, dedicated to helping others.  She immigrated to the US from what was then Russia (now Ukraine) to escape Tsarist pogroms.  I grew up in an building where our extended family lived (her brothers, sisters, their children and grandchildren).  She taught me that when I went to the bakery I should ask the price of today and yesterday’s bread: then, after... more

Compassion: Wisdom in Action and Association

Guest post by Dr. Surendra Soni -- Indian philosophical wisdom, especially in the Sāmkhya school of philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita, describes that our lives operate under the influence of an admixture of various modes of energy. We are not under the influence of the same mode of energy all the time. This varying blend of energy has an overwhelming impact as much on our relationships as it has on our actions and performance. This energy, which has a certain quality of consciousness, flows into our actions and our relationships and goes on to mould and shape them. These varying modes of energy lend charm and colour to human life and pursuit, but they also have us swing between harmonies and... more

Leading Sustainable Innovation

beCause Associate Peter Cook just released a book with Bloomsbury Publishing, Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise . I asked Peter for some insights into this, the 11th book he has written or contributed to over 22 years in business. What prompted you to write this book? I have had three passions across my life – science, business and music. When I was four years old I wanted to be in The Beatles. By nine, I wanted to be a brain scientist. At 18, I joined a pharmaceutical company as a chemist and traveled the world, fixing factories and scaling up life-saving drugs, including the world’s first treatment for HIV / AIDS and work to introduce human insulin to the world. By 29 I became... more

Telling stories: transmedia activism

beCause Associate Lina Srivastava interviewed by Henry Jenkins, Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California - As my student Geoff Long likes to say, transmedia is an adjective, not a noun, and as such, it needs something to modify. Much of the conversation here has centered around transmedia entertainment, transmedia storytelling, or perhaps transmedia branding and transmedia learning. But, when the word transmedia modifies activism or mobilization, there is no more important voice in the world today than Lina Srivastava. In her hands, transmedia becomes a verb — something we do to make a difference in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiOKsv_1wRo#t=22 I first met her in Madrid several summers ago when we were both speaking at a gathering of thinkers... more

The Dumbest Guy In The Room

The Dumbest Guy In The Room

by professor innovation management IMD Business School Bill Fischer - By now, everyone reading this knows (or should know) that you never want to be the so-called “smartest guy in the room.” Surround yourself with smarter people and you’ll all win. More ideas, more energy, more connections, smarter people make smart people even more successful. But, what about being “the dumbest guy in the room”? Ever think of that? Have you ever aspired to be the one who asks the dumbest questions? In fact, we think that someone has to do this in order to take most conversations to a higher level, and yet most of us instinctively shun such a role to the extent that it often never happens, and we’re all the... more

Navigating complexity - hold onto your core!

by beCause Associate Jennifer Sertl   I am a pilgrim on the edge, on the edge of my perception. We are travelers at the edge, we are always at the edge of our perception. ~ Scott Mutter (Escalator ~ Copyright 1984 Scott Mutter used with permission from Bob Mutter) The people I know in this impact community often do a great deal for others. As caretakers and as innovators, we need reminders to slow down and also take care of ourselves.  This message is particularly for all my colleagues fostering social innovation. Here are a couple of exercises I hope sharpen your senses and allow you more grace in the midst of the pressure that comes with being change agents. There is a... more