Tag Archive for 'Joel Barker'

How can you make a difference?

Even in America, the land of plenty, there are so many people who need food, shelter, a helping hand, and a kind word.  It’s true, the safety net created by public and private organizations is multi-layered and highly efficient, but it is, after all, a net not a pillow.  Nets have holes.
Looking at the many unmet needs it’s easy to be intimidated by the scale and we feel justified in our indifference because, “Hey, I pay my taxes and contribute to charities, don’t I?  What more can I do, right?  I’m just one person.”
Here is a condensed version of a one of my favorite stories, which was created my friend and favorite futurist, Joel Barker, who was inspired by Loren Eiselely’s book 

Starthrower.

A man was walking on a familiar stretch of beach one morning after a storm. Up ahead he could see a stranger coming toward him.  The stranger was continually stooping over, picking up something and tossing it in the ocean.  Finally, the man could see that the stranger was throwing into the ocean some of the thousands of tiny starfish the storm had washed up on the beach overnight. As the two men drew near and exchanged greetings, the man commended the stranger for his efforts, but also commented on the futility of such a task. “There must be hundreds of thousands of starfish on this beach. How could one person possibly make a difference?” Picking up another tiny starfish and tossing it back into the ocean, the stranger answered, “Made a difference to that one, didn’t I?!”
Here’s a pledge I will make to you and ask you to consider making:  As I race through my hectic, self-important life, at least once a day I will try to make a difference in another person’s life.
Could be as simple as holding a door, patting a back, giving a compliment, noticing a frown. Or perhaps something a little more involved like checking on someone with a call or visit, creating an opportunity, providing a meal, (your idea here).
With a world full of unmet needs, at the end of the day at least we can say, “Made a difference to that one, didn’t I?!”

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.

Make a difference to just one

Even in America, the land of plenty, there are so many people who need food, shelter, a helping hand, and a kind word. It’s true, the safety net created by public and private organizations is multi-layered and highly efficient, but it is, after all, a net not a pillow. Nets have holes.

Looking at the many unmet needs it’s easy to be intimidated by the scale and we feel justified in our indifference because, “Hey, I pay my taxes and contribute to charities, don’t I? What more can I do, right? I’m just one person.”

Here is a condensed version of a one of my favorite stories, which was created by my friend and favorite futurist, Joel Barker, who was inspired by Loren Eiselely’s book Starthrower.

A man was walking on a familiar stretch of beach one morning after a storm. Up ahead he could see a stranger coming toward him. The stranger was continually stooping over, picking up something and tossing it in the ocean. Finally, the man could see that the stranger was throwing some of the thousands of tiny starfish the storm had washed up on the beach overnight.

As the two men drew near and exchanged greetings, the man commended the stranger for his efforts, but also commented on the futility of such a task. “There must be hundreds of thousands of starfish on this beach. How could one person possibly make a difference?” Picking up another tiny starfish and tossing it back into the ocean, the stranger answered, “Made a difference to that one, didn’t I?!”

Here’s a pledge I will make to you and ask you to consider making: As I race through my hectic, self-important life, at least once a day I will try to make a difference in another person’s life.

Could be as simple as holding a door, patting a back, giving a compliment, noticing a frown. Or perhaps something a little more involved like checking on someone with a call or visit, creating an opportunity, providing a meal, (your idea here).

With a world full of unmet needs, at the end of the day at least we can say, “Made a difference to that one, didn’t I?!”

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

The Middle East revolutions and you

The potential for revolution in the Middle East has been brewing for many years. One of the reasons includes differences in ideology between those who want a more secularism and those who want more fundamental theological influences. But the main motivation for popular unrest and revolt is lack of opportunity for the younger generations. Regardless of which country you consider, this last reason cuts across all borders and forms of government.

So the die is cast and the revolts, which began in Tunisia, have now cascaded to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Iran. Some of my experts say this could become a global issue. The question seems to be not whether the revolts will continue or be successful, but rather will the result be positive or negative.

Last week, before the outbreaks in Bahrain and Yemen, we asked our radio and Internet audience what they thought would be the outcome of the Egyptian revolt. Here’s what we learned:

About four out of ten respondents were optimistic and said they thought a new democratic government will be created to represent all Egyptians. But more than half took the other side of the issue and voiced their concern that Islamist influences would prevail, causing Egypt to become more like an Iranian theocracy. I’m happy to report that a tiny percentage of our respondents reported that they “just don’t care.”

My friends, what is happening in the Middle East right now should concern everyone. From the price of oil, to control of major shipping lanes, to potential problems in Europe, to the war on global terrorism, what happens in the Middle East in the next six to 12 months will directly or indirectly influence our lives and businesses.

Once again, we continue to live the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

I have been covering the evolving events in the Middle East on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. To listen to these conversations, please click on any of the links below and leave your thoughts.

To participate in the current poll question, visit SmallBusinessAdvocate.com and vote.

Potential paradigm shifts from the Eqyptian revolution, featuring futurist, Joel Barker

Will the Middle East unrest cascade around the world? featuring trends expert, Gerald Celente

Could Egypt’s unrest impact the global economic recovery? featuring David Adler, high-net-worth writer for Financial Planning magazine

Could the Egypt revolution have been predicted? featuring Gene Griessman, author of The Words Lincoln Lived By and The Achievement Factor

Would new battery innovations change your small business?

Look around you at how many things you use that are electronic. Then make that scan again, but this time, only look at the things that run on batteries. Now look one more time and think about how much of the form and weight of those battery-operated devices is determined by the battery.  In the next 10 years, not only will fewer devices be burdened by an electrical cord, but fewer will be restricted by the battery. Emerging battery innovations will dramatically change the way we use things and live your lives.

For example, what if you could push a button and literally print out a battery - on a sheet of paper? What if the battery itself, so to speak, was actually part of the paint on a device?  Go ahead - let your mind wander.  I’ll wait … Hmm-Hmm-Hmm.

As our friend, Brain Trust member and world-class futurist, Joel Barker, has taught us, the byproducts of exciting innovations are often paradigm shifts. As you stand in your business, imagine if battery technology innovations became the next killer app, what shifts would result for the goods and service you use and sell?  The next question is, would these shifts harm or benefit your business?  Contemplating these kinds of questions are why business owners need to connect with the thinking and projecting of futurists.

Recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, Joel reported on exciting battery innovations, including batteries that can be printed on paper.  By the way, you can find Joel’s books and other works at Joel Barker.com.  Take a few minutes to listen to our conversation and let us know what you think the world would look like if you could buy a ream of batteries. Listen Live! Download, Too!

How long does an ice age take to develop?

Could global warming actually cause an ice age? If so, how long could one take to develop? That’s what many in the climate change camp are proposing.  But as you may know, I don’t drink that Kool-Aid.  In fact, my concern for what humans may be doing to the planet is only exceeded by my skepticism of the global warming doctrine.  Even if Al Gore is right, what would cause me to think that he and his ilk have THE answer to solve the problem?  How do they know how far to go?  What if they go too far and tip us into a “global cooling” scenario.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather be warm.

Nevertheless, I always enjoy talking with smart people about this topic, and I did enjoy such a conversation recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, with my friend and Brain Trust member, futurist, Joel Barker. Joel was the first person to popularize the concept of what happens when a paradigm shift causes something you’ve come to know and love to go back to zero. His book on paradigms, Future Edge, published in 1992, was listed as one of the most influential business books of that year by the prestigious Library Journal, and it has been used for more than a decade. Reading this book changed the way I look at the world, so when Joel speaks, I always listen, even if I have a different point of view.  By the way, Joel is also an outstanding film-maker, and his latest is called “Innovation at the Verge.”

Take a few minutes to listen to my conversation with Joel and, as always, let us know what flavor Kool-Aid you like. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Small business and 21st century paradigm shifts

As we engage the world, at least the parts that touch us, we establish – or are taught to establish – what futurist Joel Barker (www.joelbarker.com) calls filters. Barker says we use these filters to accept some parts of the world and reject others. These filters ultimately create the paradigms through which, as Barker says, “we view the world.” And once established, whether feasible or flawed, we actually learn how to live and work, often successfully, with our paradigms.

But let’s look at that “feasible or flawed” aspect of paradigms. The flawed paradigm will typically take care of itself because it requires more maintenance and will likely have a shorter life. A flawed paradigm will quickly create problems for its holder but not for too long.

It’s the feasible paradigms we should worry about because they’re the ones upon which fortunes have been made and belief systems established. The buggy whip had a long life as a successful propulsion paradigm, as did the newspaper want ad as an effective way to reach prospects.

The danger of a feasible paradigm is that, as we learn from the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, everything has a time to be and a time not to be. But once money, generations of time and effort, and yes, even faith have been invested in a particular paradigm, like a buggy whip or a want ad, it’s difficult for the holders of that paradigm to accept the reality and inevitability of change.

But as Ecclesiastes promises, change will come. And when it does, it creates what Barker calls a Paradigm Shift, at which time “everything goes back to zero.” The automobile was the paradigm shift for buggy whip manufacturers, as the Internet has created a shift for newspapers.

We live in an era when paradigms are shifting all around us in unprecedented numbers. Some shifts are natural – caused by the human intellectual journey, and some are self-imposed – created prematurely by human imperfections and deficiencies. Regardless of the cause, paradigm shifts are our reality; and unless we want to get run over by them, we have to deal with the new paradigms as they reveal themselves, hopefully, before a shift.

Having learned so much from Joel Barker from his books and films, it was a great day for me when he became a member of my Brain Trust as a regular guest on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Recently Joel was a guest again, and we talked about paradigms and some of the shifts that are happening right now. Don’t miss this interview with one of the the great thinkers of our time. And of course, leave a comment and I’ll make sure Joel sees it.




Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Temporary failure in name resolution in /var/www/wordpress/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: unable to connect to twitter.com:80 (Unknown error) in /var/www/wordpress/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142