DISCLAIMER: No marriages or relationships were harmed in the research or writing of this blog, although some edits were made because, apparently, someone who shall remain nameless “needs filters.”   Over the last few months, I had several casual conversations with a young man (25 years) and a more senior woman (60 years) about using what historically have been called hookup apps. Both were promoting and complaining about their use. First, some history to set, what experts call “context.” According to my extensive (30 seconds) of research, the title of the first “hookup app” is often attributed to Grindr, which was launched in 2009. Grindr (I’ve been told) is a location-based social networking and online dating app geared towards gay, bi, trans, and queer people. It was one of the first apps to use a mobile device’s location capabilities to suggest potential matches nearby, a groundbreaking feature at the
No, the title does not answer the question, “What do consultants do?”. The other day, I was thinking about the Roman Empire. I do this often because the complexity of the Roman Empire, both socially, economically, and politically, is a fascinating tapestry that should be unraveled a thread at a time during a man’s life. But then, my lovely bride Martha, approached me with that, “I’m about to ask Dean to do something.” look on her face, so I had to quickly pretend to work. Since my wife is patient, I eventually had to do actual work, this month’s From My Seat at the Bar – Professional Development: The Neverending Story. The title, happy blog readers, or Bleaders, as I like to call you, represents some thoughts I had regarding professional development. You see, the other day I made a delicious breakfast. It wasn’t complex. It was not difficult
Today was officially hot. I mean, hot like the Midwest in the heart of summer hot. Scientists estimated the humidity to be 2000%. Even under the umbrella on my patio, everything about the day screamed hot and miserable. In the distance, through the shimmering air, I could see my wife, Martha. Despite the heat, despite the humidity, she was diligently weeding. As I glanced at her, I could see her wipe the sweat from her brow, take a deep breath, and bend down again to what was clearly an arduous task. Nothing is harder than keeping your garden going when it’s this hot. Without further ado, like any good husband, I rose from my chair and went inside to enjoy a cool drink and the air conditioning and write this blog. Today’s topic? The death (again) of association meetings through long, drawn-out, excruciating boredom. Consider the following from association
Last week, surrounded by cigarette smoke and sipping a luncheon Manhattan, I thought, maybe it’s time to write about a healthy lifestyle. The smoke, BTW, comes from eating lunch in, literally, the only bar in America where I think you can smoke, compliments of a grandfather law and a clientele in my town that doesn’t care. The Manhattan, of course, came in a glass. With that in mind, and while writing this in the Kansas City Airport (slogan? It’s all about the Plains) I want to share some lighthearted tips on staying healthy while on the road. As someone who’s been blessed with a talented and accomplished wife (who denies ever calling me fat, by the way), I’ve learned a thing or two about maintaining my well-being. So, let’s dive in and discover how to embrace health on the road (or just health). So, without further ado, some tips,
Creativity has been an essential component of my life for as long as I can remember. From early expense accounts to the lies I tell my wife about exercise; creativity is fundamental to my success. The most basic use of creativity is to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. As a result, all of us are creative in our own way. The rewards for creativity are obvious. The most creative among us become wealthy and successful or are sentenced to prison. Recently, though I began thinking about sources of creativity. Creativity as the Big Idea The official definition of creativity, according to the Oxford dictionary, is “The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” Well that’s boring. For many of us in business, we think of creativity as the Big Idea. The Big Idea is the flash of
Earlier this month I was engaged in a classic conflict with my wife, Martha. A conflict familiar to any spouse or roommate. With a broken “mechanical” dishwasher, both of us were gradually adding our dirty dishes to a pile in the sink – implicitly determining who the human dishwasher was going to be. Now, dear reader, we all know how this resolves itself. Whomever places a dish that causes the pile to collapse, does the dishes. For 2 days we engaged in a battle of wills, physics, and dare I say it resilience. Amid this marital contest, I finally asked myself, Mr. West (it was a formal conversation), “Are you resilient or are you just too stupid to quit”. Over the last few months, I’ve been impressed by peoples’ abilities to keep moving forward regardless of all the obstacles they face. They refuse to stop – kinda like the
Last month was my celebration of “Rantmas” in Death by Unanimous Decision – decrying the slow decision-making that will mark the end of so many associations. This month let’s pretend that everything will be awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!! despite the evidence and talk about Inspiration. See I can be positive and hopeful. 😊 Make sure to read to the end (promise you won’t skip) for insightful, impactful, hard charging bonus content. Oh, to be inspired. As the great actor Audrey Hepburn once said,  “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” Every year at some point, all of us must reenergize, forget the past, and find the inspiration to keep pursing personal, professional, or organizational goals. But inspiration finding doesn’t come easy. The search for inspiration is a long, arduous road filled with inspirational speakers. I hate inspirational speakers. Here is a summary of every inspirational speaker ever. “I
This June, I sat outside on the patio, enjoying the results of my good decisions. Everything looked fine. The flowers were flowering. The birds were singing. The deer were deering. You would never have thought, that in a few short months, much of what I was enjoying would be dead. Today, in November, that same ground is brown. The leaves have turned and dopped. The flowers withered and dried. The deer stand fat and happy after eating at my delicious deer buffet. Stupid fat deer. Think they’re so big. As I grow contemplative towards the year’s end, I am afraid that today, we sit happily running our associations and organizations, enjoying the flowers and birds, but with withering death just around the corner. The reason? Association governance, decision-making, and decision-makers are not adapting to the harsh realities of our new world. Let me explain. No, we don’t have time.
I’m not lazy, I’m providing opportunities for others to share their voice. LOL This month’s blog takeover is by Nikki Haton Shanks. While she’s one of our strategists and an acknowledged industry leader in the association sector, more importantly, she and her husband run Troubled Waters Brewery near Tampa, FL. Unlike me, she doesn’t learn lessons from drinking booze, but from making it. Here’s some lessons learned and some takeaways for our association (and other) colleagues. Take it away, Nikki. My husband owns a brewery (Troubled Waters Brewing in Safety Harbor, FL) and is a Certified Cicerone (kind of like the Sommelier of the beer world). Being married to a brewer is fun and interesting. There have been days I’ve walked into the house and he’s toasting trays full of coconut in the oven for a new chocolate stout recipe or jalapeños for a new IPA with mango. His
Welcome one and welcome all. Like many of you, I often want to work less, do less, be less. This month, two of our awesome strategists Nikki Golden and Nikki Haton Shanks approached me with an idea. “What if we wrote a guest blog from My Seat at the Bar, would that be OK?”. Being a kind and generous blogger, I jumped at the chance to not do any work. You see, unlike me, Nikki and Nikki, or the Nikkis, as they’re affectionately known, have been thinking about the lessons learned (or forgotten?) on how to bring people together. We call this a convening strategy and the people, of course, conveners. Enjoy this month’s guest Blog and 5 great lessons on how to bring people together more effectively. From The Nikkis I (Nikki G) think about gathering a lot. And not just because I just had my kitchen remodeled