A question I ask myself often is, “Am I making a difference; how am I making the world a bit better?” It is not an easy question. Yet the question has shaped me and my actions.
I have come to see that there are many ways that we can each contribute. I was fortunate to choose a career as an organization development consultant and executive and team coach to influence leaders and teams to create more engaged, inclusive environments that foster wellbeing and impact. One of my goals is to share the power of an open mindset and open conversation skills to co-create shared solutions amidst our turbulent and fast-changing environment.
I have come to see that there are many ways to make life better for others. Small actions such as greeting neighbors and volunteering are impactful. We can each take action, even in our full lives, to ensure we are contributing in a positive way.
Recently, I had the fortune of hearing Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ph.D., talk about her latest book, Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time. Kanter co-founded and until recently directed the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative to help people at the top of their fields apply their skills to national and global challenges.
In her book, Kanter inspires us by sharing accounts of leaders who tackle real challenges such as climate change and economic insecurity. Leaders are reaching outside their corporations and joining across businesses, government and community sectors to deal with issues such as poor nutrition in inner cities. She shares the story of a journalist turned entrepreneur who decreased social divides by giving social media users access to free local education and culture.
She also reminded us of Kanter’s Law: “Everything can look like a failure in the middle.” Something valuable to remember as we embark on making a difference.
Kanter proposes more than thinking “outside the box” but thinking “outside the building.” She incites us to think broadly and to form collaborations across individuals, organizations and industries and to mobilize more people to think bigger and differently about how to engage in positive action.
I agree that the time is now for each of us to consider what issues attract us, what skills and resources we have and to join together to make the world better. The more of us who take action the more possibility.
What most calls you where you can make a difference?