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How do relationships cross from acquaintance to friendship?

Zat Rana thinks that friendships are based on a 'shared culture' between two people, and this culture is built through shared experiences. That belief places a pretty high hurdle on friendship. If we accept this idea, then developing and maintaining our friendships is among the most time-consuming and energy-consuming things we do. 

Design Luck: What Does It Take to Bond with Someone? 2018-Aug-4 by Zat Rana

By default, there is an invisible wall that separates us from most people that we interact with. This wall is created by the public selves both parties hold up.

The only way to truly connect with someone is to break this wall down, not fearing that doing so is going to lead to a kind of nakedness; the kind that makes us feel shame and embarrassment and vulnerability.

Once that threshold is crossed, what is left is truth and honesty and all of the soft and warm and fuzzy things that make life just a little better.

The Agency of an Interpersonal Culture: I have written before about how any strong relationship has its own culture and how much of what is great about it stays hidden in what is unspoken.... 

Every interaction between two people provides an information point to the culture that exists between them and this culture subsequently develops its own agency according to the sum of these information points.

To maintain a bond, not only do the total positive points have to outweigh the total negative points, but the two parties have to consistently redirect the agency of the interpersonal culture to aim towards a future that is meaningful before it gets too heavily reinforced in the wrong direction.

The longer a relationship lasts, the more information the culture contains and the more it affects the space that exists between the two individuals.


Planning an "advance" for innovators

I recently attended a weekend retreat for innovators, something I had forgotten I need. It was fun but there were also frustrations. Seth Godin pinpoints some... 

An idea which really struck me was having a poker game, or some other activity where we have to manage chance and random results. 

Seth's Blog: How to organize a retreat, 2010-Dec-15 by Seth Godin

...An advance*. Retreat is too negative).... 

I've been to a bunch and here's what I've learned, in no particular order:

Must be off site, with no access to electronic interruption

Should be intense. Save the rest and relaxation for afterwards

Create a dossier on each attendee in advance, with a photo and a non-humble CV of who they are and what they do and what their goals are

Never (never) have people go around a circle and say their name and what they do and their favorite kind of vegetable or whatever.... 

Instead, a week ahead of time, give each person an assignment for a presentation at the event. It might be the answer to a question like, "what are you working on," or "what's bothering you," or "what can you teach us." Each person gets 300 seconds, that's it.

Have 11 people present their five minutes in an hour. Never do more than an hour in a row. The attendees now have a hook, something to talk to each presenter about in the hallway or the men's room. "I disagree with what you said this morning…"... 

Invite a poker instructor or a horseshoe expert in to give a lesson and then follow it with a competition.

Challenge attendees to describe a favorite film scene to you before the event. Pick a few and show them, then discuss.

Don't serve boring food.

Use nametags at all times. Write the person's first name REALLY big....

Create an online site so attendees can check in after the event, swap email addresses or post promised links.

Take a ton of pictures. Post them as the advance progresses.

*Seth gives credit for this term to Alan and Bill, the founders of Fast Company magazine. 


We still don't know the impact of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulations

Responses in the email newsletter industry have varied from OMG to Who Cares, and we still don't know what the implications will be. Will non-profits and small businesses be ignored while the EU pursues deep-pocketed companies? Will the impact vary much from country to country? How much will European citizens (and British citizens) report on problem behavior they see? How much non-compliance will be tolerated?

Law.com: One CLO Tested His Employees’ GDPR Knowledge. He Was ‘Shocked’ at What He Found, 2018-Aug-2, Interview of CLO John Boswell of SAS Institute by Phillip Bantz

“After we had done hours and hours of training, we did [the calls] and we were shocked at how poorly we did as a company,” Boswell said. “It showed us that although we did all this training, we weren’t doing it right or we weren’t as effective.”

While the results of the test were disappointing, Boswell used the experience as a teachable moment to “see where we missed the mark.” He said he plans to test another random sample of SAS’s more than 14,000 employees at some point in the future. 

...Boswell eagerly awaits additional guidance from the EU Data Protection Authorities that enforce the GDPR.

Under the law, the definition of personal data is broad, encompassing everything from Social Security numbers to email and IP addresses. This means SAS has to jump through new regulatory hoops whenever it shares a bank of emails with another company to validate software, Boswell said.

“Over time, hopefully we will get a sense from the regulators in Europe as to what they care about and what they don’t,” he said. “Right now, every company in the world is out of compliance with the GDPR in some way. The only question is how bad is OK?”


Laziness is a symptom not a cause

We can't tell someone to 'stop being lazy.' We can only help them identify and overcome their challenges. 

Medium: Laziness Does Not Exist (but unseen barriers do) [paywall], 2018-Mar-23 by E Price 

I’m hoping to awaken my fellow educators — of all levels — to the fact that if a student is struggling, they probably aren’t choosing to. They probably want to do well. They probably are trying. More broadly, I want all people to take a curious and empathic approach to individuals whom they initially want to judge as “lazy” or irresponsible.

If a person can’t get out of bed, something is making them exhausted. If a student isn’t writing papers, there’s some aspect of the assignment that they can’t do without help. If an employee misses deadlines constantly, something is making organization and deadline-meeting difficult. Even if a person is actively choosing to self-sabotage, there’s a reason for it — some fear they’re working through, some need not being met, a lack of self-esteem being expressed.

People do not choose to fail or disappoint. No one wants to feel incapable, apathetic, or ineffective. If you look at a person’s action (or inaction) and see only laziness, you are missing key details. There is always an explanation. There are always barriers. Just because you can’t see them, or don’t view them as legitimate, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Look harder.

Maybe you weren’t always able to look at human behavior this way. That’s okay. Now you are. Give it a try.