Enlightened Conflict

important to know when something has reached its end

November 11th, 2016

 

period just stop here

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“It is always important to know when something has reached its end.

 

Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”

 

 

Paulo Coelho

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“When you start to suck, stop.”

 

 –

 

Kristen Hersh

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So.

 

This is mostly about business <although, I imagine, some aspects bleed into Life>.

 

stopIn business … we create false endings all the time. And I mean ALL the time.

Milestones, quarterly objectives, standards, etc.

 

We do this not just because people have a tendency to work better aiming at something but also because we suck at knowing when something has naturally reached its end.

 

Now.

 

I have written about stopping, or closing down, when you start sucking and how difficult that is.

 

Back in 2012 I said “sucking is like quicksand.  The harder you work to stop sucking the further you get sucked down into suckedness.”   A fun idea to write about but that is different than recognizing an ‘end’ … that is simply not recognizing you have given all you can and it is all downhill from there.

 

I have written about ‘periods’, the stop punctuation, and the art of knowing when to stop. A fun idea to write about but that is different than recognizing an ‘end’ … that is simply about not recognizing when you should shut up.

 

This post is about knowing … and I mean really knowing when something has reached its end.

Knowing that it is time to close, close up … and move on.

 

Uhm.

 

This is hard. Really hard.

And, speaking for myself and how I think philosophically, I know I make it even harder. I once wrote about running through the end of project … I called it “riding to the buzzer.”

Riding through things you are working on makes it a little more difficult to recognize whether you ran through a milestone or through its natural end.

 

I say that because here is where a natural end truly becomes sneaky … 99% of knowing when to stopthe time it doesn’t appear as some brick wall or solid stop.

Sure.

‘The end’ most likely does have a stop sign around if you pay attention … but more often than not the sign is most likely covered up by some overgrown bushes which have never been trimmed.

 

It seems a little strange because one would think we business people would be better at seeing ends and when to close up on something and move on.

I mean what the hell … business is strewn with milestones, objectives, deadlines and a slew of ‘people created’ ending points. And, yet, most business people suck at the really important ability to know when something has reached its end.

 

We are not particularly good at it with regard to a company <uhm … companies actually do have life spans>.

 

We are not particularly good at it with regard to employee initiatives <once in place we have a nasty habit of thinking it should be an ongoing ‘organizational culture tool’ which enables consistent behavior>.

 

We are not particularly good at it with regard to existing products & services <what happens when there is actually something better to be offered?>.

 

We are not particularly good at it with regard to sales objectives <what happens when our stated audience is … uh oh … sated?>.

 

 

In fact.

 

What we are particularly good at is getting whatever it is that we want done starting over poohinto a “doing” mode and then developing a whole slew of ways to nudge it down the road. I imagine if I stick with that metaphor I could suggest we suck at not seeing any stop signs because we are too focused on nudging and tweaking the engine and replacing shoes so people can keep walking down that road.

 

But ‘being over’?

 

Whew.

 

We hold on way beyond the sell date. Everyone does <me included>. It is natural.

 

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Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it’s the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open. But my hand has been clenched into a fist for three years now; it’s frozen shut.

All of me is frozen shut. And about to shut down completely.

 

—–

Gayle Forman

 

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It is natural because of the dreaded “what’s next?”

few whats next

Yeah.

 

In order to acknowledge an end … to close up shop and move on … well … you have to know what’s next. And not only that … you kind of have to already have a plan in place or at least a road to bus everyone over to where they can get off and start walking.

 

And maybe that is where we business folk suck the most. It’s not that we don’t know when to stop we just don’t know how to start again.

Start anew.

 

About the only time we are actually good at it is within a ‘forced end.’

 

As in … we have no choice.

 

As I typed that I thought about … well … a different kind of business … the business of having a band and the arrival of the Foo Fighters after the death of Kurt Cobain:

 

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“There were people that really resented me for starting this band. ‘How dare you start another band?’

 

They asked me ‘Why did you decide to carry on and make music that sounds like Nirvana?’ and I said well, wait a minute – like, loud rock guitars, and melodies, and cymbals crashing and big-ass drums?

‘Cause that’s what I do.

What do you want me to do? Make a reggae record?”

 

Dave Grohl

<Foo Fighters>

 

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When viewing the music industry and bands and individual artist you can find a lot of examples of forced ‘doing what needs to be done and moving on’ as well as ‘well, it is time to move on’ type endings <we business people should think about that a little>.

 

When forced … talented business people do what needs to be done.

Unfortunately … most of business doesn’t really create this kind of ‘forced decision.’ Most times we simply try and squeeze whatever we can out of whatever we have. And we squeeze until there is nothing left <way beyond the ‘end’>.

 

Ok. What to do.

 

This is solvable.

And relatively easy in the scheme of things.

 

It is a version of ‘planned obsoletion’ <which I have always been a HUGE fan of in business> … but your senior management team needs to sit down on occasion and not do ‘blue sky thinking’ but hunker down like a military plan of action and say “we won this ground and what ground do we attack next.” This includes an attitude which says we will aggressively pursue that plan <so it is not just a plan but a plan of action>.

 

Far too often we look at the ground we have won and seek to consolidate it … and … well … consolidate it.

Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze.

And, on occasion, we fool ourselves into thinking we are truly exploring ‘what’s next’ by saying ‘let’s take that hill just outside of the area we currently occupy.’

And we make it sound like some massive effort that will refresh us. Instead we are investing significant resources on a less than significant objective. I am certainly not suggesting that incrementalism does not have a role in business strategy but rather we far too often use incrementalism to ignore the stop sign we just walked past.

 

I am not a big SWOT analysis guy nor am I a big ‘white space’ business guy. I am more a pragmatic “this is who I am and this is what I am good at and I don’t care who I may compete against or what they may be currently doing I believe ‘these x’ people will like what I have to offer and I am going to go get it” business guy.

 

In a growth situation <which, by the way, I tend to believe any healthy organization should always be in> you should be seeking to grow. To expand. To think of ‘saturation’ as a swear word. To always be thinking about how to shake-the-etch-a-sketch so that stagnancy <in sales, attitude, behavior, thinking> never sets in.

 

To be clear.

Sure.

 

I believe you should always talk with your innovations/new product pipeline people because they may have some new widget up their sleeve you can go and expand your business with but, more often, you will be successful by looking at what you have now and finding new ground to attack with that. I have found starting over i amyour new widgets just have a tendency to cement the ground you have already won more often than not.

 

Keeping with the military analogy I often tell businesses to think of their business modeling with an ‘occupation force’ team with a separate “attacking army” team mindset. Especially if you are in a growing category you almost have to have a “win this ground and move on” attitude or you can get stuck in a grind-it-out business war.

 

Regardless.

 

It is important to know when something has reached an end. If only because it permits us business folk to close it off, leave it behind, not invest more energy squeezing something that has really ended <even though we do not want to admit it> and move on to the next chapter of our business life.

 

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“Do not fear to lose what needs to be lost.”

Sue Monk Kidd

innocent until proven guilty

October 30th, 2016

 

i-was-innocent

—————–

 

“Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made, or by dark images you hold about yourself.

 

They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused. “

 

=

Alan Cohen

 

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Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

 

One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged.

 

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I used the opening quote in this post in my ‘recognizing the real person’ post in which I suggested judging people is more difficult than many of us make it out to young innocence decisions context inspiresbe <“I could tell whether that person was guilty or not”, immediately, being one of the most misguided, and potentially damning, things we do>.

 

Thinking someone is guilty of something is an insidious little thought.

 

Like John Green said …

 

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 “Once you think a thought, it is extremely difficult to unthink it.”

 

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John Green

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That is the reason why innocent until proven guilty is difficult to grasp, difficult to do and difficult to practice.

 

And it is even more so in today’s world.

 

While our court system continues to practice ‘innocent until proven guilty’ … this practice continuously crashes into a society, and certainly a social world online, that immediately rushes to a “guilty until proven innocent” verdict world.

 

And if you do try and suggest that someone should wait until the facts come out … or that maybe, just maybe, someone is innocent … you are blasted for be being naïve or ignoring ‘common sense thinking.’

 

Well.

 

The whole scenario bothers me.

5.0.2

5.0.2

You are either a believer of innocent until proven guilty or you are not.

 

It is not contextual or situational or ‘right for one person and not right for another person.’

 

It is one of the basic beliefs of the American society.

And maybe we need a lesson in social studies or civic studies to remind ourselves of that.

 

 

I once wrote … we all have guilt for something. The something could be big … it could be very small. But that is the funny thing about guilt … its size doesn’t matter. Normal laws of space & weight do not apply to guilt. A sliver of guilt can bear the same weight as a mountain of guilt.

All that matters is how we choose to bear that weight.

 

 

innocent no_one_is_innocent-graffitiI sometimes think because we all know we are guilty of something that we struggle to find innocence in others in the public eye. And, yet, I should remind everyone, that while we may be guilty of something, we are more likely than not … innocent of more than we are guilty of.

And, maybe we should all self reflect a little, I tend to believe we would all like to be judged more often by the bulk of our innocence than on the sliver of guilts we may bear.

 

We should sit and think about that.

All of us.

 

There is no such thing as an innocent word.

 

They are all going to end up being guilty of something.

I say that because we should use words wisely with regard to people’s innocence.

 

Anyway.

 

I could get extremely philosophic with regard to why we people may err on the side of wanting to jump to ‘guilty’ rather than innocence but I will not.

 

I will not because America actually makes it much simpler.

 

Innocent until proven guilty is part of who we are as a country.

 

Just as a right to bear arms.

 

Just as a right to speech.

 

Just as a right to believe different thoughts.

 

Just as a right to your own religion and religious thoughts.

 

And, yes, even people in the public eye deserve the right to be innocent until proven guilty.

 

And that means people in roles of responsibility … well … have a responsibility to maintain that same belief and vocalize it.

 

This presidential election has not only been crazy but it has brought out craziness with regard to who and what we are as a country.

 

What someone is guilty of is not something to be speculated.innocent-until-proven-guilty

 

Why?

 

Because they are innocent until proven guilty.

 

The right to be presumed innocent is one of the mainstays of who and what we are as Americans. And, yet, the presumption of innocence is undergoing an uncomfortable change in ‘society law’ which is encouraged by an increasing amount <oddly> by extreme conservative websites & spokespeople <who are supposed to be the ultimate purveyors of the constitution and constitutional rights> as well as … uhm … natural human behavior <which embodies a natural instinct to ‘where there is smoke there is fire’ attitude>.

 

We cannot, and should not, ignore these dynamics. But the right to be presumed innocent is one of the main procedural safeguards in the framework of an American criminal system. And it should remain one of the main procedural, mental, safeguards in the societal framework.

 

It not only benefits the accused but it benefits society.

If we sacrifice that we sacrifice more than just the right we sacrifice a significant part of … well … a ‘better society’ and better citizenship.

 

As Ben Franklin noted … giving us liberty for the sake of security means we are not deserving of the freedoms.

 

Look.

 

Yes.

 

Presidential campaigns seem to bring out the worst in everyone.

 

One of the things that forces us to bring out our best is … is … well … innocent until proven guilty.

 

Yes.

 

The worst thrives in a public social online universe that feeds on ‘guilty until proven innocent” <which our forefathers inherently understood that ‘perceptions of guilt are almost unrecoverable in the public eye and thought to head that off at the pass>.

And that means ‘our best’ needs to have some backbone and resolve and resilience in the face of our worst.

 

Innocent until proven guilty.

 

This is a constitutional right.

 

And maybe some Republicans <and the RNC> need to be reminded of that. It is part of what makes America different and makes America fair & reasonable & … well … makes Hillary different from Trump.

 

I believe if you feel like you have done nothing wrong of course stand up and say so.

 

I believe if you have done something wrong of course stand up and say so.

 

But ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is not about what you have done right or wrong … it is what America stands for.

guilty-until-proven-innocent

Someone smarter than I needs to figure out how to remind everyone of that.

This is simply my small attempt to do so.

 

I have no idea whether Hillary Clinton has done anything criminal or is a criminal. What I do know is that we are all innocent until proven guilty.

And shouting from the mountaintop that someone is guilty, without specific proof, does not make it so.

 

If I were the Clinton campaign I would make the ‘high road’ pivot in the last week based on ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

I believe they have the opportunity because of this new FBI thing to pivot against the so-called law & order candidate and his “law” surrogates who seem to have forgotten that the whole foundation of law & order is innocent until proven guilty. The heinous “they look guilty” is at the root of profiling, stop & frisk, prejudice against Muslims, Jewish people, Catholics as well as ‘anyone who does not look like me’ … and the rights of everyone in America.

we-are-innocent-until-proven-guilty

Regardless.

 

This is bigger than any presidential election.

 

Innocent until proven guilty is institutional.

 

And to defray this part of our institution is to seed rot in our house. And, at this time and place, I see far too many responsible people irresponsibly planting seeds of this rot.

 

Anyone shouting guilty, without any real proof … and I mean REAL proof <not speculation or innuendoes or ‘common sense’> is rotten.

 

We need to eliminate the rot. We need to refind who and what we are as Americans. Americans who are innocent until proven guilty.

Enlightened Conflict