The More Disruptive the Issue, The Higher the Cost it is To Resolve

In this issue of Frankly Speaking, we talk about disruptive, “wicked” issues. "Wicked" issues are those with high emotions, where many different opinions exist on how to solve the issue, and it is critical that the issue is solved for the organization to move forward.

Combating Democracy's Problems

The Community Engagement Institute

Learning from each other addresses democracy’s problems. Many times, citizens feel sidelined because they don’t think they can make a difference. “Wicked” issues, such as immigration policy or school consolidation, are framed in ways that promote divisiveness and not all options for solving them are considered. Democracies depend on constant collective learning and a system to promote dialogue.

The result is a lack of people participating in the decision making process or the perception that "the end is already decided, so why bother?" Decisions are often made by a small group or hastily without giving the public the opportunity to be able to reach shared or reflective, informed judgment.

Small communities and public institutions are facing daunting problems that can best be solved if all citizens are given the space to work together to produce common ground on the things upon which they do not agree. Traditional ways that communities go about solving problems may limit citizen participation, so when people disagree about what to do, it prevents them from joining forces.

Political institutions’ efforts to organize citizens can backfire by draining away the vital energy that people bring. Mutual distrust between citizens and many political institutions has been increasingly disruptive for decades. Citizens see politicians as unresponsive, as well as ineffective, and the political environment doubts that the general citizen is responsible and capable to make informed choices.

The Global Horizons, LLC Community Engagement Institute teaches community and elected leaders how to create safe, neutral space for citizens to work together in a session/s moderated by a professional trained in the art of Deliberative Dialogue:

 ·         Identify/name the issue in their own terms of what is most valuable.

·         Frame the issues so that a range of actions are considered and the trade-offs required are evident.

·         Make deliberative decisions weighing the trade-offs, to turn hasty reactions into sound judgment.

·         Identify resources that are available, even intangible ones like enthusiasm and commitment.

·         Organize actions in ways that builds upon the common ground identified and helps the other become better.

Asking questions in a different way can help open up the values of certain positions.

Questions such as:

·         How does this problem affect you and your family?

·         What do you think is the right thing to do?

·         What might be the consequences, both positive and negative?

·         What are our options?

·         Who else do we need to solve the problem?

·         What resources could we use?

·         Can we support one another?

·         What are we learning?

When you set up the process to allow citizen participation, great things happen. People actually get along! They come up with wonderful solutions that, when they come together, are better than any previously proposed.

To learn more or book a training on the art of Deliberative Dialogue, contact Kimberlee Spillers, kim@ghorizons.com or 712-250-0275.

We know how to help your organization move forward. Together.

Sow and Reap - What Would You Do?

Author Unknown

A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil, and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year went by and the CEO asked the young executives to bring their plants to work for inspection.

When Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot, she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.

When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed; a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He asked Jim to come to the front of the room. Jim was terrified.  He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer — Jim!”

Jim couldn’t believe it. "Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.

“All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

  • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
  • If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
  • If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
  • If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
  • If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
  • If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
  • If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

Be careful what you plant now. It will determine what you will reap later.

WUCA! and Politics

We were told that WUCA! should stay out of politics. That we should focus on doing WUCA! and not get into the "mud" with the others. 

If new to WUCA!, the acronym is to Welcome, Understand, Comfort and Appreciate yourself and others for great relationships. bewuca.com

Actually, in part, WUCA! was created in response to politics. Politics where one side bullies the other and people don't get along in business, community, organizations, school, family, church - you name the entity. 

WUCA! asks how do you value other people? How do you value yourself? Do you look for ways to be offended and strike back or do you try to understand the "why" of the other person's thinking and build a relationship with them?

WUCA! has the power to elevate and improve politics when you look inside yourself and take responsibility for the way you react to the outside environment. No one else can make you feel angry, sad, mad, glad, offended, or any feeling, only you can. You allow your feelings by the choice of the response you make. 

The Welcome in WUCA! is about self-responsibility and how you choose to feel. In each situation, determine the outcome you want and act to achieve it. Welcome frames your ability to respond in the way, with the words and actions, you choose, for the outcome you want.

Understand is to listen. Do you really listen or just wait to talk? Listening involves all your senses because only seven percent of what is said is heard through the words spoken. Body language and tone make up the other 93 percent of what we say.

Listening also involves the values and history of the receiver and speaker of the communication. How did they grow up? What were their parents like? What happened to them when their brain was developing during the first five years life, when the brain makes more than 80 percent of its neuron connections? Do you know the why behind the words? 

Comfort in WUCA! is to know your passion, have a purpose in life, with a clear vision of the future and goals to reach your vision. It is being comfortable in your own skin with who you are and where you are going. 

Appreciate yourself and others, as unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. Appreciate people for who they are, while they are living. If you wait until their funeral to give their eulogy; it's too late for them to hear.

From what we experience and observe, WUCA! belongs FIRMLY planted in politics and in life, for relationships - and politics - are all around us. How we behave and treat others is a constant and creates the world in which we live.

When you Learn WUCA!, Act WUCA!, and Teach others to Be WUCA!, you will change the world.

We know how to help people get along in all settings. If you'd like to know more, reach out to Kim, kim@ghorizons.com.

 

Four Principles to Engage a Disengaged Workforce

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

From Balboa Press
EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact: 
Marketing Services
Tel: 1-877-407-4847
Fax: 812-961-3133
Email: press releases @balboapress.com 
(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address)

Book Addresses the Issue: 70% of Employees Not Engaged In Their Workforce

ATLANTIC, Iowa - During more than 28 years of community and business development, business ownership and projects with school districts, Frank and Kimberlee Spillers explain it takes a village to engage a workforce using the principles in their book, The BeWUCA! Way, The ART of getting along, published by Balboa Press.

“Gallup research shows that more than 70% of the American workforce is disengaged in their jobs," say the Spillers. "That means that companies are leaving huge amounts of money on the table. One top reason for disengagement is that employees resign because of their relationship with managers and coworkers. When there is an engaged society, people get along, communities grow, businesses profit, organizations attract volunteers, families stay together, and student learning increases."

WUCA! (Woo-ka) principles create environments that welcome, understand, comfort, and appreciate self and others - components critical to productivity and success. Living WUCA! is an intentional choice how people think about, talk to, talk about, and treat people where they live, work, and play.

Through many success stories using their WUCA! approach, Frank and Kimberlee are experts in creating engaged environments so human relations - and bottom lines - thrive.

About the Authors

Frank and Kimberlee Spillers are the co-owners of Global Horizons, LLC, whose purpose is to build civility around the world. Frank has owned businesses and worked in community and economic development at the local, state, and federal levels. Kimberlee is a business owner, editor, and member/chair of numerous local, county and state boards, and is community organizer, mentor. Learn more at www.bewuca.com.

“The Be WUCA! Way”
By Frank and Kimberlee Spillers
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 146 pages | ISBN 9781452569093
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 146 pages | ISBN 9781452569079
E-Book | 146 pages | ISBN 9781452569086
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

It Takes a Village to Engage a Workforce

America’s low level of employee engagement is a huge drag on your community’s economy.

An October, 2013 Gallup survey indicates that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to their 142-country study on the State of the Global Workplace. In other words, about one in eight workers -- roughly 180 million employees in the countries studied -- are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations.  http://www.gallup.com/poll/165269/worldwide-employees-engaged-work.aspx. 

In the U.S. and Canada, that survey indicates employee engagement remains at 29 percent, static since Gallup’s 2006 survey of employees engaged in their workplaces.

In the 2013 report, Gallup states, “Increasing workplace engagement is vital to achieving sustainable growth for companies, communities, and countries --- and for putting the global economy back on track to a more prosperous and peaceful future.”  

These statistics matter to communities as global business relationships flourish and economies are increasingly interwoven. An engaged workforce is critical to each community infrastructure for safety, stability, and sustainable growth. An engaged workforce keeps vital services in place like police and fire departments to protect citizens and homes. An engaged workforce provides jobs and business opportunities. An engaged workforce provides volunteers for churches, civic, and philanthropic organizations.

If workforce engagement is such a huge issue for companies, and the statistic of engaged workers has been the same for nearly eight years, why is little being done to address the problem? Companies, communities, schools, and individuals must move in a different direction. Doing the same things in the same way will get you the same results. 

A picture of a village engaging a workforce

In a given geography, we identify four “workforce hubs:” individual, community, education, and business, each an entry point of opportunity to engage citizens. For example, in the business hub, engaged employees are critical for a company’s bottom line. An engaged worker will contribute more to profit, growth and innovation, increased investment and purchases by outside interests, and an internal productive, enjoyable environment. Workers need their “head in the game” while on the clock. When workers are distracted for any reason from the task at hand – making money for the business – worker productivity decreases. In short, worker engagement matters to the company bottom line. 

All businesses, community organizations and governments spend money to attract new opportunities and people from around the globe for economic growth. It’s imperative communities have a holistic approach to workforce engagement to be efficient with those dollars.

What to do? 

Implement an overall community approach with targeted actions to better-engage citizens in every hub to strengthen schools, increase productivity, build volunteerism, and reinforce families.

  • In the individual hub, get to know yourself. Coach citizens to know themselves and identify their skills. Find their passion and purpose, define their vision of the future, and establish goals to get there. In turn, the community will benefit from new businesses, stronger families, and increased pride. New voices, ideas, and attitudes that welcome must exist and be promoted.
  • In the community hub, be open to newcomers and new ways of seeing the world. Newcomers arrive in our towns in many forms seeking a place to connect, feel safe, perhaps raise their families, and contribute to society. In a five-county area, we used a process called Community Builders. By encouraging new ideas from residents and newcomers, 250 new jobs followed during the next three years. 
  • In the education hub, connect your students with your area workforce. The learning environment in your education system establishes habits for your future workforce participants. Schools are workplaces. Interactions between administrators and teachers and teachers with students need to model workplace etiquette and skills. 

In our method, Coaching in the Classroom, intentional outreach, especially with students “at-risk” is crucial to a community’s success. Gallup identified the reason students drop out of school and disengage from education: they have lost all hope in graduating. Our experience indicates these are the students who will run their community someday, so engaging them, teaching them early on to be productive citizens, business owners, and mayors will pay off. In one school district  that implemented Coaching in the Classroom, the “at-risk” population decreased in three years from 41 to 12 percent.

  • In the business hub, knowing employees and their strengths is key to success. When a worker is considered for a position, there is an effort made to connect their resume and skill set to what is needed. Likely what would be more effective, especially in the long-term, is to determine what the applicant is absolutely passionate about doing. Doing what they love to do and contribute will indicate whether they “have” to come to work, or “get” to come to work. When a person “gets” to come to work, a business will have an engaged, productive, energized workforce. 

In companies large and small, the relationship between supervisors and employees strongly impacts worker engagement. When there is worker dissatisfaction, it’s often with a supervisor, not the company itself. It pays in the long run for companies to train their front-line supervisors to have respected, encouraging relationships with the workers in their charge.

Gallup concludes, “If your business is like most, only about one-third of your employees are committed to your company’s success and that’s clearly not enough to overcome the two-thirds of your workforce standing in their way. So, while doubling engagement may seem like an uphill climb, it’s easier than justifying a company’s downhill slide.”

When you take a holistic approach to worker engagement, your whole community benefits by increasing wealth beyond the bottom line. People will volunteer. They will take pride in their town. They’ll invite their friends and family to move to the area, growing school districts. When you feel valued, you have personal and professional satisfaction and peaceful relationships - outcomes every community seeks in its quality of life.

Implement The BeWUCA! Way methods to motivate your village to engage your workforce. Click here now to create a 21st century workforce economy!

Earn, Learn, and Don't Use Your Budget!

If you are a chamber of commerce, Main Street Community organization, school foundation, or an organization with a cause, this opportunity is for you! 

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Make a difference with your membership and your community without putting a dent in your budget. 

Want a speaker, but budget is tight? We can do this together! We provide the workshop, and your organization handles the publicity, registration, any refreshments, and meeting facilities.

 In return, we split the net registration fees 50 / 50 with your organization.

(travel expenses may need to be discussed depending upon location of event) 

We offer flexible programs for your non-profit to present to your community members based on your needs, our experience, and our popular book, The Be WUCA! Way, The ART of getting along. (Press release)

The Be WUCA! Way is a process to create civility in environments where people get along so businesses grow, customers return, bottom lines increase, students achieve, and organizations grow.

WUCA! is an intentional lifestyle. It’s a choice of how we think about, talk about, talk to, and treat people civilly every second of every day.

It’s setting a respectful, civil atmosphere for your workplace, community, family, school, and place of worship where new people and ideas are welcome for deeper, more meaningful, productive, healthy relationships that grow your family's unity, economy, organization, and volunteers.

Act now and schedule this new WUCA! training for your membership, schools, communities, and businesses!