Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Here's T. S. Eliot's letter rejecting Orwell's "Animal Farm" for publication: Eliot thought the pigs were great.

Original Tweet:

Kenny Rose (@KRLRose)
12/3/13 7:25 AM
To change the culture change the conversation@ThisIsSethsBlog

sandymaxey (@sandymaxey)
12/3/13 7:29 AM
.@KRLRose Need opportunity-based narratives… a la @jhagel

love hagel..
For me, narratives are related to, but different from, stories.  Stories are self-contained – they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Narratives on the other hand are open-ended – the outcome is unresolved, yet to be determined.  Stories are also about me, the story-teller, or other people; they’re not about you.  In contrast, the resolution of narratives depends on the choice you make and the actions you take – you will determine the outcome and you are therefore an integral part of the narrative.

Passion, on the other hand, comes in many different forms.  My focus here is on what I call the passion of the explorer. 
This form of passion, most often found in arenas where there is sustained extreme performance improvement, has three primary attributes. First, there’s a long-term commitment to a specific domain. The commitment is not just to learn about the domain, but to make an increasing difference in that domain. The other two attributes are dispositions – orientations to take action in specific contexts.  There’s a questing disposition – a tendency to seek out new challenges, to become excited by them as opportunities to get to that next level of performance and to want to move on to a new challenge as soon as one challenge has been successfully addressed. And then there’s also a connecting disposition – a tendency to seek out and work with anyone who can be helpful in addressing the challenges that are on the horizon. 

OK, but how are narratives and passion related?  Here’s the thing – narratives create the conditions that catalyze and draw out the three attributes that define the passion of the explorer.

The narrative is enriched by the experiences of others, spreads more broadly as others see the tangible evidence of what can be accomplished and acquires far more credibility.

Now, not all of us will be drawn equally to any particular narrative. But narratives can become bright beacons calling us to reflect on whether the opportunity being framed is one that is meaningful to us as individuals. They are powerful antidotes to the institutions and practices we have today that discourage and ultimately squash passion in their quest for predictability, standardization and tight specification of all the actions we must take. They call us to re-connect with the passion we all felt as children and to move from the passion of the player that most of us had as kids to the passion of the explorer, motivating us to make a long-term commitment to a specific domain.


They are powerful antidotes to the institutions and practices we have today that discourage and ultimately squash passion in their quest for predictability, standardization and tight specification of all the actions we must take.

and once again...

...and their quest for.... tight specification of all the actions we must take

Threat-based narratives are deeply conservative or even reactionary – they want to preserve what we have rather than explore exciting new opportunities.

Threat-based narratives and the passion of the true believer have combined throughout history to create many of the social movements that have wreaked havoc in our world. Nevertheless, even here the tight connection of narrative and passion helps to explain the power that these movements have exhibited.

Why does all of this matter? As I’ve explored in the Big Shift,we live in a world of mounting performance pressure – it’s not going away.  In that kind of world, we need to find ways to draw out sustained extreme performance improvement.  We simply cannot do that without deep and widespread passion, as I’ve argued elsewhere. The problem is that, based on our recent research into passion levels within the workforce, only 11% of the US workforce has passion about the work they do. If I’m right, narratives can play a key role in drawing out passion, both within each of us and within our institutions.

If we can’t find ways to re-connect with our passion as individuals, we’ll continue to feel mounting stress, become more and more marginalized and ultimately burn out and drop out.  If we can’t find ways as institutions to tap into the passion of our participants, we’ll experience diminishing performance and ultimately topple out of existence.

indeed... narrative for 100% of humanity.. has true *grit (from 24/7authentic curiosity from within) is our sustainability...
as well as ..... our.... what could possibly be a daily.. hourly buy in... for 100% of humanity.....?

sandymaxey (@sandymaxey)
12/3/13 6:42 PM
@AjmaniK I can't see or interpret words. But I can feel their meaning, but only through writing them. Odd. A whole new level of meaning.

Shirley Ayres (@shirleyayres)
12/3/13 5:56 AM
"Bring our children back to where they belong: the centre of our communities" strong message at #abcdScot

sandymaxey (@sandymaxey)
12/2/13 6:46 PM
@Richard_Florida Perhaps your "tolerance" needs to extend to working class? Which is sad- what is after "tolerance?"

sandymaxey (@sandymaxey)
12/3/13 7:55 AM
My goal for the coming year. Negotiation. What’s the One Skill that Can Help All Women Get Ahead?
This approach helps people get comfortable with women using this skill when they connect the dots, “Oh good, she’s not going to use this as a sword to cut me into tiny pieces forever, but tomorrow she is actually going to be my negotiator.”

Andy Carvin (@acarvin)
12/1/13 8:11 AM
Love, love, LOVE this. Congrats to the @planetmoney team! RT @planetmoney The T-shirt project is live! #seedtoshirt