CIVIL CONVERSATIONS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN POLARIZING TIMES How can we lower the emotional temperature at a time when people find themselves at odds with one another about so many issues - in their communities, at work, and at home? DARYL DAVIS has an answer: Get to know those who don’t share your values. Really get to know them! Daryl should know. A Black musician who befriended KKK leaders and other white supremacists, he built unlikely bridges with those who hate him just because of the color of his skin. And as unimaginable as that seems, many of those haters became true friends and renounced their old beliefs – some even gave Daryl their robes and hoods.
TALENT RETENTION AFFECTS OVERALL PERFORMANCE MIKE ABRASHOFF was just 36 years old when he took command of the near-worst performing ship in the U.S. Navy. At the time, the USS Benfold had a talent retention rate of 8% meaning there was 92% turnover each year. More important, because the jobs could not be filled fast enough, the ship found itself trying to do 100% of the work with 80% of the crew. One week after he took command, Mike had a sailor leave the Navy. When he asked him why he was leaving, the sailor replied, “Because nobody ever asked me to stay." This prompted Mike to make talent retention a top priority.
TALKING WITH PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU If a Black man can talk to and befriend KKK members, you can talk to co-workers, neighbors, family, friends who don’t share your views, too. Nicholas Kristof offered this amazing endorsement of DARYL DAVIS’s work in his New York Times’ op-ed “How Can You Hate Me When You Don’t Even Know Me?” Davis, a Black musician who’s made headlines as a conflict navigator, reaching out to and meeting hate with civility, tells Kristof the biggest lesson for all of his from his extraordinary work: “If I can sit down and talk to K.K.K. members and neo-Nazis and get them to give me their robes and hoods and swastika flags and all that kind of crazy stuff, there’s no reason why somebody can’t sit down at a dinner table and talk to their family member.”
TURNING DOWN THE TEMPERATURE Is it possible to ignite positive change in a polarized world? Can we make our community, workplace, and holiday dinner table more civil? I was beginning to lose hope – and then I met DARYL DAVIS. I’ve never met anyone like him – and I’d bet you haven’t either.
“The biggest mistake we can make in uncertain times: to think we know.” -Beau Lotto
NOTHING IS CERTAIN EXCEPT CONSTANT CHANGE So much is changing in our professional and personal lives that it’s almost impossible to keep up. We’re all facing new challenges, working and competing in new ways, and encountering new problems that we’ve never faced before.
A MILESTONE BESTSELLER The newest book by legendary investigative reporter BOB WOODWARD was released on September 15th and debuted at #1 on the non-fiction bestseller list. RAGE is Woodward’s 20th bestseller and becomes the 14th to reach #1 – more than any other non-fiction author.
IS SEEING REALLY BELIEVING? Change is inevitable – but for us humans, the ability to adapt with it is anything but. The biggest obstacle to adapting and thriving in shifting environments is in our own heads: Our perceptions. Perception underpins the assumptions and biases that drive every single one of our thoughts, decisions, and actions. Most important, those assumptions and biases are borne from past experience that may not be relevant when coping with a new world.
THE COMPETITIVE ORDER IS RESET IN TIMES LIKE THESE YOU CAN COUNT ON IT: The big lesson from past downturns is that the competitive order within industries is rearranged far more than will ever happen in prosperous times. It’s already happening -- the pandemic has spurred surprising innovation from companies across a wide range of industries, building a new competitive advantage for those bold enough to take action.
CREATING GREAT VIRTUAL EVENTS It’s amazing how quickly the events world has changed and how much we’ve all learned about virtual events in such a short time. From my experience, the early attempts at virtual events ranged from OK to terrible. But that's to be expected. I’ve likened it to the early days of the internet when dial-up was horrendously slow and it was text only. Still, we were all so excited to read a newspaper on the screen, even though there were no graphics and it took forever for pages to load. But quality quickly improved and high-speed connectivity put it over the top. I expect the same will happen with virtual events – new platforms will evolve and the bar will be raised as execution improves.