As the end of summer approaches, I have been starting to focus on my objectives for Q4. Three primary objectives have risen to the top:
Objective #1: To have the online course I am developing ready to launch with a New Year's promotion. It will be useable as a self-directed course, and will also be the foundation for online courses with more interaction, both with me and with others. Finally, it will be the core of a version of the course targeted at developing passion in the workplace as a competitive advantage.
Objective #2: To develop the speaking/workshop side of my business. This will be both about generating speaking opportunities and developing more passion pursuit workshops.
Objective #3: To eliminate the debt accumulated during the first years of getting my Passion Catalyst business off the ground so I can take full advantage of the very cool opportunities starting to materialize. In short, I plan to shrug the debt monkey off my back so I can fly.
With my #3 objective in mind, for a limited period I am going to turn on a new (old) revenue stream - the Reality Check qualitative research service I offered in my marketing consulting days. Interestingly, my qualitative research work was where I honed the skills I now use with my Passion Catalyst clients.
My gift - one I use on a daily basis in my Passion Catalyst work - is engaging people and probing to peel back the layers of the onion for a deep perspective on the matter at hand. Couple that with an analytical ability to slice and dice the resulting information, identify the core issues, and present it in an easily digestible format, and you have Reality Check.
If you would like to explore what my Reality Check service can do for your organization, drop me an e-mail. I do much of the research by phone, so geographic location is not an issue.
Here is more information:
Reality Check Research
Reality Check, a feedback program based on one-on-one interviews, was developed by Curt Rosengren to provide you with in-depth qualitative information on what people think and how it affects your company.
What are the benefits of a Reality Check?
Knowledge of what people really think, not just what you think they think.
In-depth, comprehensive answers to important questions.
Access to the information you need without putting everything else on hold to gather it.
Information gathered by an objective third party, allowing complete candidness.
You send a signal that you really are interested in them and what have to say.
How can you use a Reality Check?
To do a customer audit. Find out what the issues are on your customers’ minds.
Identify problem areas and uncover strengths that you can leverage.
To get feedback from your partners or employees.
To obtain feedback on marketing effectiveness. What brand are you really building out there? Is it the same one that you had intended? Where are perceptions different?
Any time you want to gauge what people really think.
Examples of how past clients have used the information gained through a Reality Check.
The perceptions of a company’s target market were explored. The company reinforced the perceived strengths by incorporating them into ongoing corporate messaging.
A service firm uncovered brewing discontent due to a shortfall in consistently soliciting client feedback. They instituted quarterly reviews in which their clients assess their performance.
A software company identified problem areas in the non-renewal of software licenses and moves were made to put steps in place to eliminate those problems.
A company saw the need to do a better job of educating customers on the company’s products, reinforcing an initiative to create a communication program (e-mail, newsletters, etc.).
A service firm’s customers voiced their concern with the company’s voice and e-mail systems, leading to a complete overhaul, mapping them more closely to clients’ stated needs.
The more I work with people, the more it amazes me how incredibly different and unique people are. When I first learned about multiple intelligences (more info here), it fit right in with my experience with my clients.
One of the things I explore in my first session with a client is their learning style (knowing that gives me an opportunity to tailor my approach to what works best for them). Pursuing your passion in your career is inherently about learning. It is by definition new, especially at first. Being able to consciously tap into how you learn best and building what comes naturally into your exploration of your future can be an incredible asset.
The eight intelligences outlined in the multiple intelligence theory are:
Occupational Adventure reader Pat Kane in Scotland e-mailed me today to let me know about his new book coming out, The Play Ethic (available on amazon.co.uk globally). He's got some very interesting ideas that fit well with how I see the work world.
The Financial Times did an article on him back in April, and they described his ideas this way:
Kane says much of the work we do today is intrinsically playful. We should stop thinking of playing as a distraction and start celebrating its benefits, such as added creativity, flexibility and dynamism.
Later, in the article it says:
He identifies a new type of worker - the "soulitarians", who, if and when they work, shun high salaries in favour of "meaningful" work, are keen to experiment with technology and happily flit between start-up and corporation, self-employment and job-sharing. They are capable of hard work in the right endeavour and their creativity and technological skills make them increasingly sought-after. But they are militant about putting work in its place so they can have time for travel, personal growth and new experiences.
Work, at least in the past couple of centuries - according to Kane's reading of Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - is deemed good for the soul, no matter how soul-destroying it may be.
Hoo-boy! Ain't that the truth! That's part of what I'm out to change with my Passion Catalyst work. The article later describes how Kane sees play as the superior option to gritting your teeth and seeing work as a four-letter word.
So does this mean we should just muck about at work? Nope. Play is more than that. Kane takes his cue from the root-word dlegh (in Celtic, Germanic and Slavic), meaning 'to engage oneself'. Play is about discovering new possibilities. It's the way we mammals test our strategies for survival and reproduction.
He outlines several ideas to help you see the world differently:
* Listen to the radicals
* Embark on journeys of discovery
* Look across disciplines
* Question the routine
* Recognize the barriers
* Practice flying upside down
* Destroy the old model
* Envision multiple futures
We miss so much opportunity in our careers - and in our lives in general - because we're stuck in a quagmire of same-thinking. These are some excellent tips to help you break free.
So often, I see people start to dream about where their future could take them, and promptly stomp on the idea as impractical or pie-in-the-sky. I always remind them that there is no cost and no risk to simply letting the idea exist.
Here's an article that echoes that idea. It notes that many people follow their daydreams with an immediate bootstomp of "that'll never happen." Rather than concluding your daydreaming by reinforcing the idea that it is impossible, the article suggests simply letting it go and moving on.
You can let your daydreams and fantasies go on without destroying them. Do not comment negatively about them or throw them away as useless and groundless. When ending a daydream, move away to other thoughts, without criticism or comments. Must you say some negative words about your daydreams and show your disbelief in their being realized? Go on with your life as it is, but when you daydream or fantasize, do not destroy the dream by denying it the possibility of materializing.
Do not worry that believing in your dreams will turn you into an unpractical, dreamy sort of person. Let them motivate and inspire you, and you will become a more practical and successful person.
The article also talks about using visualization to move those dreams toward reality.
The feelings that accompany success are very important. Remember and relive the feelings that accompanied your past successes, because they are the magic of the future. If evoked intentionally and consciously, they can cause the materialization of your dreams.
Rehearsing in your mind the feelings and emotions that accompany success, move invisible forces to create visible success in your life.
For me, of course, that's easier said than done. I find it challenging to recall those moments of glory when things feel less than stellar. It occurs to me that some prompts might be helpful. In the past, I have started (and aborted) a "success journal" that I would write in when I was riding high, trying to capture the experience for later use. Might not be a bad idea to start again.
Or perhaps taping myself talking about what is going on so I can hear the edge of excitement in my voice to lend that much more of a reality to the memory. Or better yet, videotape myself.
I'm always interested in studies that back up tools like visualization. A while ago I posted about an experiment conducted with the 1980 Russian Olympic team. Here's an interesting list of studies I just came across focused on the effect of visualization on healing.
All these seem to back up the idea that visualizing our desired outcome can be a powerful tool in creating the future we want. The question, of course, is how to approach it? Here are some visualization tips to get you started.