THE AGE OF LOCALISM
For centuries large organizations have amassed power in order to engineer change. Since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors, achieving scale has been a primary path toward influence.
But when you look around the world today, you can see that the traditional big institutions are struggling and stumbling. According to the Pew Research Center, in December of 1958, 73 percent of Americans believed they could trust their government in Washington, all or most of the time. In March of 2019, fewer than 17 percent of Americans agreed with that statement. Meanwhile, church attendance in the United States has fallen from 71 percent to 50 percent in the last twenty-five years.
Correspondingly, it seems increasingly difficult for large organizations to act swiftly, collaboratively, or effectively. In the twenty-first century, bureaucratic scale has become the enemy of excellence, not the enabler of it. Why?
Culture Makes The Difference
What differentiates companies? It’s generally not products, services, facilities, or equipment. In our industry, for example, our lumberyard competitors sell essentially the same assortment of building materials that we do. Across New England, our white pine sawmill competitors make products that are very similar to our own. Additionally, we all tend to sell our products at comparable prices. So, what differentiates one company from another?
Years ago, I would have said it was people who make the difference and separate companies. But I have come to realize that’s not the whole story. Certain companies may think they have the ‘best people’, but the truth is, great people are everywhere – the planet is filled with them. For example, the United States has a more productive economy per capita than Europe, but no one would take this to mean that America has better people than Europe does. America is filled with great people, and so is Europe—and, so is every other country on earth. People are inherently great by virtue of their common humanity.
SELLING OUT FREEDOM
What organization inadvertently shined a light on this new cold war? Unexpectedly, it was the National Basketball Association.
On October 4, the Houston Rockets GM, Daryl Morey tweeted, ‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. STAND WITH HONG KONG.’ I was happy to see this. All fall I have been saddened by how little moral support these brave pro-democracy protestors have received from leaders in the United States. The protesters most aggressive demand for Hong Kong? They want to be able to elect their leaders – which the Chinese Communist Party does not allow (In China the Party picks your leaders). The very fact that they need masks to protest tells you everything you need to know about the Chinese government. You don’t need a mask in America to disagree with your government.
So why have they not received more encouragement? The answer, it turns out, is money.
Governor Mills Nominates Individuals for Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission
Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has nominated six people to serve on the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission. The Governor nominated John Cashwell, Robert Checkoway, James Cote, Kevin Hancock, former Senator Michael Pearson and former Senator Richard Rosen to serve on the Commission, an inter-governmental entity charged in part with reviewing the social, economic and legal relationship between Maine Tribes and the State.
“The Maine Indian-Tribal State Commission has the potential to improve and strengthen the relationship between the State and Maine Tribes,” said Governor Mills. “In nominating these qualified individuals, my Administration is taking a step forward in reinvigorating the Commission and empowering it to become a forum for substantive communication, problem solving, and...
Kevin Hancock Addresses the 'Elephant in the Room' at the DO MORE GOOD Conference
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”- Margaret J. Wheatley
May 18, 2019: This past Friday I spoke in Lincoln, Nebraska at the DO MORE GOOD conference. Don’t you love that title, DO MORE GOOD?!
Do More Good conference stage at the University of Nebraska Innovation Campus
The conference was held at the University of Nebraska Innovation Campus in the shadows of the giant Cornhusker football stadium. It was an exciting opportunity for me because the event brought in some top business speakers from around the country. Jay Cohen Gilbert, founder of the B Corporation movement, spoke. So, too, did Rand Stagen, co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement.
The conference was a...
The Consequences of Overreaching
My next book is about, in part, OVERREACHING, and how leaders often go too far and take too much…
One of the common paths of overreaching, I have concluded, is GOING TOO FAST…and cutting corners in the ZEST to get there.
Nearly every book on Custer’s last stand indicates that he was in a hurry for a victory because he wanted the news to reach the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia before it ended. His rush for glory led him to attack before he KNEW the situation he was entering.
“We scouts thought there were too many Indians for Custer to fight…It was the biggest...