Posts by John

Capacity to Chomp

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 4 comments

Capacity to Chomp

One of my all-time favorite writers, Jerry Harvey, died three years ago today– August 1st, 2015. He was the author of The Abilene Paradox as well as one of the best titled books around, How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed in the Back, My Fingerprints are on the Knife? His writing in Organization Development helped shape my own writing more than any other person and I miss him dearly. In 1981, my mother went back to graduate school when she was in her 60s to get her Masters in Social Work at Catholic University in Washington DC. She asked Jerry to write a letter of recommendation to the...

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Dancing in Africa

Posted by on Jul 1, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Dancing in Africa

Recently I was watching a movie on TV entitled Get On Up, a biography of the R&B singer, James Brown, starring Chadwick Boseman, a great actor who has also starred as Jackie Robinson in 42 and in Black Panther. Seeing the movie rekindled a memory that I thought I’d share. When I was in college in the late 1960s, I decided to get out of the Western world for a year and study in Africa. I had never been overseas and I wanted to go somewhere new and exotic. So, I got accepted in a one-year program at Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on the west coast of Africa, for the school...

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Reflections on His Life

Posted by on Jun 4, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Reflections on His Life

I can’t tell you how many of my friends have told me, “ I wish I had done a better job of capturing my parents’ stories before they died. I just wasn’t interested in hearing those stories until it was too late. It’s such a loss.” One thing that I feel good about doing with my 97-year-old father is encouraging him to write very short reflections of his life and memories. I call them one-pagers—just short, crisp stories. Dad is totally computer illiterate so I told him that I would edit them, type them up, and keep them in a file on my computer. So, he began cranking out his hand- written...

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The Art of Listening

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

The Art of Listening

I’ve written about my love of books and my love of films so it’s time to write about my love of music. I grew up as a child hearing Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, and classical music. I remember standing at the top of our stairs and yelling down to my father, “Dad, can you put on Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto so I can get to sleep?” When I was a sophomore in high school back in 1964, we moved to Detroit and I discovered Motown. My sister and I used to go downtown and see Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Four Tops, and...

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Community Building

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 9 comments

Community Building

Farn and I recently invited our neighbors over for an Open House…some late afternoon wine and appetizers. It took about 15 minutes of effort to write an email to all of them inviting them over. And everyone came. We hadn’t seen anyone for months and it was fun to get caught up, share stories, and laugh together. Afterwards, I was thinking about why this has taken so long. A lot of it has to do with where we are in life. For almost all of us, our kids are living somewhere else, we’ve retired or are close to retirement, and we’ve developed our own little patterns that are hard to break. I...

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