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The devil in your story

organisation
In his book Honoring the Body, Alexander Lowen, tells a story that he heard from Willhelm Reich. One day a young devil who had been on earth causing trouble went down to Hell and, in an agitated and distraught manner, demanded to see the Master Devil, because the devils were in serious trouble on earth. The guards were so impressed by his serious demeanor that they brought him to the inner chamber, where the Master Devil was sitting on his throne. The young devil in a trembling voice exclaimed ‘Master, we’re lost. They’ve discovered the truth on earth.’ The old Master Devil looked undisturbed, and in a quiet voice said. “No problem. Go back and organise them.” Alexander Lowen struggled for many years with the internal dynamics of his International…
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Where does your vision stand?

vision
Your vision is not just an idea, neither is it a dream or something in the future. Your vision doesn’t live in your head, and it’s not a picture or a statement hanging on the wall. If it doesn’t make your heart beat faster it’s not a vision; if you don’t become energised when you talk about it, maybe it’s not for you. I once heard Steven Pressfield saying that stories and books live in another realm, waiting for us to have the courage to write them. Maybe your vision is waiting for your courage too: the one that comes with feeling, acting and doing to reinvent the possibilities and stories around us.
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Which truth are you holding onto?

truth
Most of the elements of our business or project that we regard as truths are in fact contingent rather than necessary.  You don’t need this software to do what you do, nor that budget, this platform, that team. When you think you need them, in that precise moment these conditions turn into essentials, the necessary truths for you and your business.  Once you hold them true, you turn them into the pillars of your project or business, elements without which you couldn’t possibly function. But creativity lives in a world of possibilities, not in the world of truth.  The beauty and joy of your story is the dance between what you believe is true and what you think is possible.
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Knowledge and time

knowledge
I look at the piles of books that I want to read and I despair. It takes me ages to get through one single book. I’m normally reading two or three at the same time. They spark so many ideas that I find myself spending more time taking notes than actually reading. I’ve observed that I’m reading less and less complex books. We’re living in an age that celebrates data rather than knowledge. We’re so addicted to instant learning and how-to guides that we forget that real knowledge takes time. What I mean by real knowledge is the type of intellectual excitement and depth that you can only get when you take the time to read and be delighted with the words and the ideas that the author is conveying.…
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Points of view and interests

customers, story
Nick Boles, a British conservative politician, recently said: “I don’t represent peoples’ points of views but their interests, and if they don’t like the results, they should just not vote for me in the next election.” When we take our customers on a journey we can think of it as committing to making the story they tell themselves, about who they are and what their vision is, true.  We’re not here to reinforce the ways they’ve done things before: we’re proposing to them that they change something. If you see your work in terms of supporting  their interests, their dreams and who they really want to be, you might take more time to find out not who they are, but who they could be if they dared to live the…
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Sticking to the pack

sunk costs
I remember listening to Seth Godin talk about sunk costs and thinking “I get it, now I know what to do next time I’m facing a decision involving sunk costs.” Well, as I’ve learned recently, there’s a difference between knowing and doing something about it. I was waiting for my flight to start boarding when, 15 minutes before the scheduled time, people start queuing for no apparent reason. And of course I did the same, although I knew we still had 15 minutes until boarding.  Five minutes later, when there were more people queuing than sitting, there was an announcement advising passengers to go back to their seats, as there were still 10 minutes until boarding. I looked around. Nobody moved. How interesting! I thought. “I can sit down or…
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Are you sure you’re confused?

confused
I’ve been at my friend’s house innumerable times. I know how to get there, but that day it had been snowing heavily since the early morning.  While was I driving on the main street before turning right onto the street where my friend lives, I noticed that the signposts were covered with snow and the corners of the street were blurred.  I hesitated to turn, and I continued. I kept on driving until I realised I was lost. What had happened? This was stupid. I took a deep breath and started looking more closely for the familiar details of the street. Only then did I see my way to my friend’s house. Most times when we feel confused it doesn’t mean that we don’t know. Very likely we’ve been there…
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Stories are not just made up of words

story
I remember once listening to a member of an indigenous community standing at an international forum and reading aloud the names of all the people in his village killed by the military. He cried for the next three minutes of his statement. There are stories that need no framework, no sentences, no logic, no beginning, and no end. And when you find them, you just want to be part of them. Stories are not just made up of words, and they don’t live in the mind. They live in the hearts of the people that listen to them and tell them to others over and over again.
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The woman in the food truck

value
Peter decided to build a canteen on his premises so that his staff could enjoy a hot meal at work sitting alongside their colleagues. When the project was quite advanced he realised that a significant number of people were buying their lunch from a woman who owned a food truck parked in front of his premises. The woman in the food truck relied on people from his company for her living.  Building a canteen would leave her in a difficult situation.  Peter could have chosen to go ahead, as the decision had been made internally and he had already invested a substantial amount. He could have decided to offer the woman a job at the canteen so he wouldn’t feel bad about his decision.  But he chose to stop the…
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What it takes to be the among the best

culture, customers
Arzak is one of the top fifty restaurants in the world. It’s a family restaurant located at the top of a hill in Donostia, Basque Country, in Spain.  Arzak has been awarded three Michelin stars since 1989. He’s travelled all over the world to eat at the best restaurants and bring back the best ideas to transform Basque cuisine. Once he said “I bring what I see in Japan or in any other country and I translate it into what Basque people love to eat. I’m Basque, and that’s how I think about food.” The closer you can get to your audience, the easier it is to bring them the best. What is the common ground between you and them? How can you translate knowledge and information that’s out there…
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