Category Archives: Diversity

Dandelions and Lessons Learned

Robert D. Austin, Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick, explains in this video how Danish software tester Specialisterne maintains a diverse and productive workforce. The “dandelion metaphor” he shares is a great way to explain the “lessons learned” in a context that can be easily understood.

Back in the late 90’s, Steve Jobs redefined Apple via “Think Different”:

In the documentary “One Last Thing” (2011) Jobs stated that people needed to “shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it…”

In my humble opinion, we need to make recognizing this a priority; “Being Different” no longer needs to be seen as an automatic impediment to succeeding in both life and career. Rather, we need to treat different perceptions as a positive value that, if anything, offers additional rewards and opportunities for all.

Communication Charts for Different Cultures

communication-style-snipInteresting visualization on how communication styles differ by nationality.  Drawn up by Richard Lewis – no, not that Richard Lewis – this one is a Berlitz veteran who is known as an expert in cross-cultural communication.

That said, I’d love to see how the other Richard Lewis would visualize a communication chart for Larry David.

Personal experience seems to validate several of his observations, but I can’t lay claim to having worked with colleagues from all of these nationalities.  I can say that the Israeli model is pretty accurate (“rationality mixed with some emotion” sounds just about right to me) but I think that some of the others would also apply as well.


The original B.A.M.F.

As an aside: I’ve never had any extensive dealings with Finns in a business context – but what little I know about their culture and history would seem to support Lewis’ direct and to-the-point observations. Not to mention, Right to the point. brings to mind this famous Finnish hero.

Original blog link:  Communication Charts Help You Negotiate In Different Cultures – PSFK.

What is Meola Works?

A couple of viewers have noticed the small image gallery on the right column of this blog; I figured I’d take a moment to share a little bit of the story behind it.  “Meola Works” was the name my late father Al Meola z”l used for his studio where he would create artwork with various media.  He would sketch with charcoal, paint with oils, or sculpt with whatever inspired him. As a toddler, I remember our trips to the “D-U-M-P-S” where he would gather anything and everything he could use to satisfy his creative urges.  He would work with paint on wood, metal, scraps of broken furniture, door panels, and whatever else he could get his hands on.

The Meola Works page will feature photographs of his original artwork, some of which is still “in the family”; my intent is to update the gallery with additional images of his work whenever possible.

Day of Unplugging 2014

National Day of Unplugging 2014
Take the Pledge on 3/7-8!

Sign up and take the pledge – who’s with me on this?   Before you say “no” – just ask yourself: What will you unplug for?

Do you have multiple cell phones? Take your iPad to the beach on vacation? Ever find it hard to get through a conversation without posting an update to Facebook? Is your computer always on?

Keep throwing rocks…

Why I don’t roll (or blog) on Shabbos

Shabbos (or Shabbat, in modern Hebrew) is the Jewish Sabbath, which starts from Friday right before sundown, and carries through until about an hour after nightfall on Saturday evening.  During this time, traditional Jews refrain from certain activities classified as “labor” – in other words, it is a “day of rest”.  No iPhones, no laptop, no Twitter (unless you set it up to run in advance, which could be the subject of a whole other post).

So yes, I am, like Mr. Sobchak,  “shomer Shabbos” – and while there are 39 different types of work that are technically forbidden, I’ll let this mug tie it all together with Walter’s top 3:

Shomer Shabbos V2 Large Mug