Cinco d' Swine-oh

I wrote this week's entry for my personal blog...and as I sat to write the Freakin' Genius Blog, I realized how applicable it is to business in so many ways. Being a solutions-driven strategist, I muse over how many times I have heard clients rationalize their situation, no matter how dire. Placing blame somehow gives some the power to face another day, another meeting. In this economy, however, the reasons really don't matter. All that matters are the actionable solutions to making things WORK again.

The other point to be had here, is holy cow, how news of this swine flu has travelled. The flu itself has travelled nearly at the speed of the internet which illustrates the nature of a global community. The core of that global community, of course, being the absence of distance of any definition, actual or virtual. The internet is indeed the force...we must make sure we are friends with it as it pushes us further into the future.

My partner, Peter, often full of wise cracks, is equally full of wise insights and said to me after reading this entry, "there are lessons to be learned in every challenge, making us stronger and all the wiser for the next big hurdle".

The recession...the depression as others have called it, The swine flu, could all just be our global way of getting our degrees in the matters of business and life in the 21st century.

This week's entry is entitled: Cinco D' Swine-Oh

How tragic that I can look into my crystal ball and know that in a week, nearly every amazing, kind, and truly authentic person of Mexican descent that I know will be viewed with disdain. My question is, does it really matter where it started? The implications of mosquitoes, birds, pigs, people, when it comes down to a virus that can affect us all, does it really matter where it started?

It is human nature to look for the reason, the source of ones problem. Not so much to rationalize it, but more to implicate a blame of sorts, and in doing so, point the finger away from oneself. But when it comes down to finding a way to deal with whatever the issue is, doesn't all the blame just get in the way of finding a solution? Doesn't the anger associated with both sides of pointing fingers just get in the way of seeing the forest through the trees? And if all the finger pointing is in one direction, doesn't that just plain HURT and not do anyone any good?

I hear the message in the underlying CDC announcement of the emergency situation concerning the swine flu outbreak. It is mostly "CYA" in nature and we are being told not to panic, it is mostly to unlock the funding for treatment and enable the polarizing of medical needs if necessary IF a large scale pandemic arises. As I sit here this evening, I reflect on weather that shifted in 30 degree directions at least 6 times over the last 2 days. Yet, tonight, as we shift into another 70 degree period, the birds chirp and the daffodils sit up straight and proud. As analagous as weathering the storm, our species too is strong and can handle strong shifts in challenge.

As humans, we are innately driven to survive. The swine flu will be another challenge to overcome, one, like the 30 degree shifts in weather, but if there is anything I can do to drive home the point that no one is to blame for this then let me say this: That Ground Zero will hardly matter if it comes down to a huge percentage of us getting sick and, that what will count is our nature to kick this virus in its proverbial nucleus' ass and be stronger from it.

On that note, I am taking and feeding a boatload of immunity boosters to my family this week. We are avoiding large crowds for awhile and depending on how things shake out, I may or may not attend a conference in Wisconsin. To quote a rather well known movie, "may the force be with you" and may we weather the storm like the daffodils in my backyard.

Listen up!

It's fast becoming obvious that there is a misperception about what social networking is about. While twitter has become infiltrated with people who share micro-details of their day-to-day lives that out of context have no meaning to most, Linked-in serves as a place where most people write so they can self-promote and read themselves over and over. It's akin to talking just to hear oneself talk, and it can wear out the usefulness of all the venues if we are not careful.

Instead of pontificating madly, listen up. If you aren't asking a question and investing yourself and your listening skills in the group or community that you are hoping to be accepted in, you are not going to find many welcoming committees.

Widening your scope, opening your mind, and reaching out to a group rather than forcing yourself in is the secret to success in social networking.

Re-tweet an article of value that you found, or introduce two Linked-in connections you have. Send a customer an article that you found on a recent bout of keyword surfing, and ingratiate yourself for thinking of another's challenge instead of purporting to have the most important advice for someone you barely know.

I know that I have learned so much from my groups. I feel like I am so lucky to have been welcomed into them so that I can share in the wealth that the combined power of the group itself has to offer. Providing value to add to the dynamic should be your goal. The networking comes as the cherry on the sundae.