Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ikigai - The intersection of career motivations

Received this from Angela Carr-Kitzsch, CEO of EmployIndy, in a nice bar, over beers. It's no wonder that the founding documents of America were probably deliberated above a tavern. Talking with Angie is like drinking from a firehose!

I'll let the graphic speak for itself. We spent some time discussing the importance of this Ikigai supra venn diagram. Very though provoking.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

What drives human behavior?

This is from an email I sent to a friend last week. It encapsulates an idea I've been thinking about for a long time . . .

As I believe I have mentioned before to Bruce, in a bar in Portland, in 2014, on a Leadership Exchange trip hosted by the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and having just returned from China and still a bit jet-lagged, I found myself with three smart people: David Forsell, CEO of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Bill Taft, Leader of LISC Indianapolis and Sherry Siewart, CEO of Downtown Indy.

Somehow we got on the subject of what motivates human behavior. I blurted our Sex, Power and Tribe. For me it was like Einstein's Magic Year, except I'm not that smart and it didn't take a year - it took about 5 minutes.

It has become the lens through which I see all human drama that surrounds me.  It's like I'm living in an experiment and events are results producing data I collect and analyze. I have yet to observe contra-indicating samples. In fact, the sexual harassment eruptions and the partisan politics of the past few weeks have allowed me to infer, with increasing certitude, that there is a hierarchy of those motivations. And it is:

1. Tribe
2. Power
3. Sex

I'd love to talk with you guys about this at some time. What convinced me that the order was as shown is that power differentials are used to instigate sex. Thus, sex is subject to the influence of power.

The tribal behavior of politicians, abandoning one tribal affinity: patriotism, for another more important one: party, (but which could also be religion) shows me that these guys would rather get elected than get laid or saved. But there are lots of examples where devotion to country (membership in a tribe) accounts for the seemingly irrational choice to make the ultimate sacrifice. Too bad that military service is optional in America (unlike Israel) and the experience of battle or at least the kind of bonding that even occurs in peacetime deployment, isn't a cultural foundation that every citizen (even women) understand.

All for now.  Your comment about how the GOP is rotting got me thinking. How could a political party rot? If you subscribe to this human motivation taxonomy you can understand why so much dysfunction can be the consequence of blind allegiance to tribe. It doesn't make sense because it doesn't need to.

Further the affiant sayeth not :)

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Interview with MCCOY on #GivingTuesday

Thanks to @MCCOYOUTH for giving me the chance to write down some thoughts on the subject of Entrepreneurship and Youth empowerment. The hour passed in a minute. Pardon the typos and awkward phrases.

Question asked by Jacie
What inspired you to start 1st MakerSpace?
Answered  8:58 AM
We made hundreds of 3D printers and placed many of them in schools...watching the kids go nuts with creativity and enthusiasm for learning was the trigger. I thought: we have got to do this for every kid in every school.

Question asked by J
I know youth who are interested in going into teaching/education. How can I support them?
Answered  8:59 AM
There are lots of avenues. We work with University of Indianapolis and Marian College. I just googled Teach for America. Visit a school and ask a teacher. Most of the teachers I've met are passionate about teaching and can help you take the next step.

Question asked by Anonymous
I saw the word "thinkering" on your website. What does that mean?
Answered  9:01 AM
It started as a malapropism during a speech I was making at Marian. I liked it and made a note. I've since learned it's a 'thing' - there's a book by the same title I bought. What I think it means is to tinker while you're thinking. That interaction with your hands and brain is critical. It's what kids want to do and it inspire creative solutions to problems.

Question asked by John
What is the most exciting thing about encouraging youth to be “Makers”?
Answered  9:03 AM
EVERY KID HAS POTENTIAL. Watching kids make stuff, solve problems is cool. But the best part is watching them gain confidence that they can. In education they call it agency. If you have it you believe you can learn anything! Isn't that what we want EVERY HOOSIER KID TO HAVE?

Question asked by Jace
What is a makerspace?
Answered  9:05 AM
The first makerspace is between your's the power you have to believe you can solve any problem by tinkering, adjusting, designing, building, breaking or just simply undertstanding the world. It's the place where we put tables and tools and supplies and a community of makers who share what they know to make stuff that is relevant to their lives. Sometimes it's art, sometimes machine, sometimes for sale, but it's always something they can be proud of. That pride leads to all sorts of positive outcomes for students.

Question asked by Doug Miltenberger
What can Indianapolis and Indiana do to grow it's tech community?
Answered  9:07 AM
WOW - that's a big question. Here's a simple answer: help more kids believe they can be a part of it. Make it OK to fail - failure is feedback. Change 'education' into 'learning.' There's never been a better time in the history of our planet where enthusiasm for learning is more important yet seldom enjoyed.

Question asked by Anonymous
Would you say this community is a good place for kids academically? I want to make sure my kids are challenged academically and creatively.
Answered  9:10 AM
Engaged parents are the key. Follow your kids' interests with encouragement. Create networks of mentors, experiences and resources. Make sure the teachers want your child to learn as bad as you do. Teaching is hard and it is changing fast. Let your kids explore. And help them understand that learning is a lifelong pursuit and grades are only a single dimension of attainment. My two questions on the final exam are: do you like yourself and do you love to learn. That's all that's really important.

Question asked by Jace
Are there other makerspaces in our community?
Answered  9:17 AM
We operate spaces at Arsenal Tech and Shortridge for IPS students. I know of several being built in township schools at Decatur, Pike, Lawrence, North Central. We visited a space at Cathedral and I know Gary Pritts at Chatard has one in his Physics lab. One of the best is in Beech Grove - they focus on Agri-Engineering. Avon is building a new one. You can join Club Cyberia on the east side for $35/mo and have access to all their tools and training. Herron School of Art has the Think it Make It Lab. We've proposed makerspaces for Fishers IoT Lab and the Hamilton E Library. We're building a makerspace at Mt Vernon Community Schools now in Hancock County and Ninestar - the Hancock County Utility wants to transform their tech center into a makerspace! And we're helping the new Newfields Museum (at the IMA) build one soon.

Question asked by Anonymous
Does 1st Maker Space have any summer or afterschool programs? What are they like? What age group do you usually work with?
Answered  9:19 AM
We turned over the job of producing summer programs to the Maker Youth Foundation last Spring so we could focus on designing/building and sustaining makerspaces in schools and libraries. Check with after the holidays to see what their schedule is. Bethany Thomas , their Exec Dir is a genius at programming STEM activities. She's served over 1000 kids since she's worked there and I have no doubt she'll be helping kids have a passion for learning next summer too.

Question asked by Anonymous
What is the worst business advice/guidance you ever received?
Answered  9:23 AM
OH WOW! I've probably moved on (suppressed the memory) :) I can only think of my own bad decisions (too many to count) and missed opportunities. I'm sitting hear scratching my head... Let me think about me: if you want a follow up.

Question asked by John Brandon
What suggestions would you give to a budding entrepreneur about what to expect?
Answered  9:27 AM
OH WOW! As John Wechsler (@Wechsler) would say: STRAP ON! Entrepreneurship is not for sissies. If you are married, make sure your spouse is on board. It's not easy and they are along for the ride whether they want to be or not. Get a group of other entrepreneur friends you trust and meet with them regularly. Remember your business is not your child. Fail fast. Read. Keep whatever you are writing or saying very short. I update from time to time with lots of info...

Question asked by Anonymous
How young were you when you decided to be an entrepreneur? I am not sure the kids I'm around know what that is, or that it's an option for them later in life!
Answered  9:32 AM
I started my first business right after I started working for my first employer after graduating from college. It was a motivation education franchise. I never did very well. Then I invented an electronic backgammon game that beat the world champion - but never made any money. Entrepreneurship is a big word. Just keep it simple: starting a business from scratch and making money and/or a difference. It's not for everybody. You need to be able to deal with rapid change, unpredictability, stress and problems you didn't know existed. You need to inspire a team and you are always SELLING.

Question asked by TMH
On the other hand, What is the best business advice/guidance you ever received?
Answered  9:35 AM
Too much good advice - and much of it I didn't follow. Keep a savings account - or marry someone who will. Pay attention to accounting - or pay someone who will. Cut all your income forecasts in half and stretch all your timelines by 3x. Here's one I can remember well: Cost of Sales will be much higher than you think...that was from Mark Hill of Baker Hill - an legendary Indianapolis entrepreneur.

Question asked by A
In case I missed it...What is 1st Maker Space, and how does it help students in the classroom?
Answered  9:39 AM
Kids want to make stuff. It's as much a part of their DNA as creativity. Neither of which are 'measured' by our current education system so it doesn't get taught. We want to change that. We think a makerspace belongs in every school. Like shop class 30 years ago but with modern tools like 3D printers and laser cutters . . . but just as importantly as hot glue guns, cardboard, straws and tape.) Once you see the engagement, focus, problem solving, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, inventing that kids are capable of you'd be amazed that more schools don't add making to their education toolbox (sorry for the pun :)

Question asked by Brandon
How do you "turn your brain off" so you are not always thinking about new and/or better ways to do things---or do you??
Answered  9:42 AM
I'm afraid that's not possible. I can try to redirect it - like figuring out why Christmas lights don't work :) But the maker mindset is a habit of thinking. You just look at the world through the lens of fixing/changing/adjusting/adapting. It comes from having that self-confidence that you CAN - SO YOU DO!

Question asked by John
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to be an entrepreneur and launch their idea?
Answered  9:45 AM
START NOW. Start small. Sell something (anything) to anyone. Listen to what they have to say about it. Take that feedback and improve what you are doing. Imaging growing that business. What will it take. How will it work. Who should be involved. How can you describe it better. Where are more customers. Ask them: WHY DID YOU BUY IT . . . or better yet: WHAT DID YOU BUY? Someone who buys insurance is buying peace of mind. A lady who buys eyelashes (I learned) is buying self confidence. Hang out with entrepreneurs. Expand your network. If you don't move or die you'll be growing your network every day. Do it on purpose. It will be the most valuable asset you have.

Question asked by Anonymous
If you could change one thing about the way we prepare youth for the world of work, what would it be?
Answered  9:48 AM
Breed self confidence into their education. If you have it you believe you can do anything. Without it you are worried you can't do anything. Lots of bad things happen when kids grow up hopeless and helpless. If kids graduate school thinking they are a C student - that 20%-30% of the other kids are smarter than they are that's the WRONG RESULT! We should put signs on schools that announce: WE'LL FIND OUT WHAT YOUR GOOD AT - not by testing you to death, but by helping you discovery what makes you happy. THEN - we can match them up with a career that meets their emotional needs as much as their financial ones.

Question asked by Jacie
Thanks for chatting with us today! Is there anything you'd like to add before the end of your chat?
Answered  9:51 AM
WOW! I feel like I've worked a whole day thinking so hard! If anyone wants to reach out after this I'd be happy to carry on off-line. This was like hanging out in the commons at a university and talking with friends (which I never did but thought would be cool! :) Thanks for helping McCoy do what they do! Money for them is an investment that pays better dividends than most of the businesses I've ever started! A SURE BET!