Category Archives: innovation

Episode 1: Epilogue


Got together with my dear, long-time friend, Patty Cooper, for tea at The Grind Cafe in Lincoln Square just before NYE. She was visiting family for the holidays and we wanted to catch up before she flew back to LA. Patty is a guru on emotional intelligence. She has many valuable insights on the sensitivities of human behavior and how it’s influenced by the culture that surrounds it.

As we sipped tea and shared a Bennison’s almond croissant, we discussed how 2018 was a challenging year for both of us on many levels. We expressed our common struggle with the need to feel anchored in a clearly and neatly defined purpose. A plethora of options have crossed each of our paths and we’ve somewhat been able to sort through them to determine what were opportunities vs. distractions. The aha moment was realizing that we’ve been waiting to see what showed up in front of us instead of actively creating our reality.

We came away from that conversation promising to be instigators in 2019. This will require us to be rooted in our own creativity and to trust our intuition. We also agreed that we wanted to keep the conversation going so that we could support each other and track our progress. What better way to instigate our lives and continue the dialog, than by collaborating on what we’ve named the “the diablog.”

Folks, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce Patty Cooper.

That was a delicious croissant, Pon! I always love our meetings. At the end of 2018, I was feeling a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. One way that I anchor is through thoughtful conversation. Over tea, we talked about the need to get back to basics and the idea of becoming instigators in our own lives.

I have been very lucky that jobs have come very easily to me. I’ve always gotten work through friends and colleagues. By saying “yes” to opportunities, I’ve been on some pretty amazing adventures from New York, Europe, Chicago, Los Angeles to Russia.

I’m currently a contractor at a large entertainment company. It’s been a lot of fun with a great team and a lot of support from upper management. A year ago, the company started the process of a huge acquisition. At the end of 2018, I was told that my position might get eliminated. I immediately went into survival-panic-fear mode. I spent so many hours asking myself what am I going to do now??? And getting back nada in return. The not knowing really paralyzed me. I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t present with friends. I was stuck in “I don’t know.”

There are two things that I’ve taken into practice since our talk that has helped me to alleviate my anxiety as I sort things out. When I am feeling discomfort or waves of anxiety in my body, I ask myself – What if this is actually a ripple of change that is coming from my future life? What if it’s an emotional vibration from the oncoming change that I just can’t see yet. My energetic field is adjusting and it feels strange and uncomfortable. As I adjust and take steps and make choices, the change will materialize.

The other idea that has helped me through this stressful time thinking whether or not I will have a role in the company is that I have told myself the decision has already been made and I am invited to participate in it. For some reason, that has almost completely alleviated my anxiety. It has allowed me to go to the office and focus on doing the same excellent work as I have been. It has also allowed space in my thinking to be open to new possibilities. I realize I have choices and I can be the one seeking out my next experience. By changing my narrative about change and the anxiety of the unknown, two friends have sent over links to jobs that might be a next great fit. I have let something go to make room for something else.

I’ll keep you posted with how it all unfolds.

Patty, I love how you’ve realized that you can actively seek out your next experience, and that making choices that are right for you is your way of accepting and riding this approaching new wave. Co-authoring the diablog couldn’t have happened at a better time. As you know, I follow Seth Godin’s blog to guide my decision making. I hang on his every word to make sense of this owning-my-own-business thing. On January 12, his post seemed to speak directly to you and me, and I quote it here.

“The instigator: In The Wizard of Oz, we meet a powerful heroine. Dorothy is resolute, focused and honest.
A generous partner, leading her friends to where they seek to go. ‘C’mon, let’s go,’ is a great sentence,
worth using more often. It doesn’t require a permit,
a badge or a degree. It’s simply the work of someone who cares enough to lead, at least right now.
And right now is enough.” – Seth Godin

In between bites of croissant, we said we wanted to be resolute, focused and honest in our conversations. In between sips of tea, we shared the same desire to lead others because we cared enough to change our world.

So c’mon, Patty! As you embrace the wave of change coming to your life, will you join me on this journey to lead others who care enough to create change?

As Dorothy said, “C’mon, let’s go.” because right now is enough. Looking forward to the next diablog, Pon.

Innovation (and great storytelling) happens at the intersections

When I took Barkada Circle® through a rebranding process in 2017, my biggest challenge was being able to create a clear pitch with a simple narrative behind it. Yup! There I was, storytelling consultant to nonprofits, trying to write my own story, and not knowing where to begin. The problem was not a lack of vantage points. It was quite the opposite; I had too many. Eventually, I was able to buckle down and figure out my story about storytelling.

My challenge stemmed from multiple interests I’ve accumulated through the years.
In my 20s, I was an undergrad with academic pursuits in art, engineering and design.
In my 30s, I was a full time graphic artist for a global manufacturer of dental products
and building a freelance business with clients from various industries. When I turned 40,
I launched Barkada as a birthday gift to myself (What normal person does that?).
Storyteller, designer, illustrator, writer, industrial engineer, public speaker, workshop
sherpa⏤you get the picture.

According to Emilie Wapnick, author of How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who
(Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up
, folks like me are called
“multipotentialites⏤those of us with many interests, many jobs over a lifetime, and many interlocking potentials.” A multipotentialite herself, Wapnick has been a musician/songwriter, a web designer, filmmaker, writer, law student and entrepreneur. As a career and life coach, she helps other people with wide and varied interests understand and appreciate who they are in a society that asks us to pick a lane and stay in it.

In her TED talk, Wapnick points out three multipotentialite super powers. I’ve realized
that these qualities enhance my abilities as a storyteller, or they’re probably the reason
I am one:

Idea Synthesis⏤Combine two or more fields and create something new at the intersection. Innovation happens when seemingly unrelated concepts converge. It’s where we can spark new ideasjust like in the movieswhere two opposing characters meet to spark tension, intrigue and an interesting journey that changes them forever.

Rapid Learning⏤We’re less afraid of trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zone. Helping clients to become better storytellers requires me to approach them with
curiosity. Listening to their stories while keeping an open mind means that I have to be willing to move aside my preconceptions, absorb new information like a sponge and,
in some cases, even relearn what I thought I knew.

Adaptability⏤In today’s world, change is fierce and it comes fast. Shared stories can hold members of an organization in a common personal bond. A culture rich with storytelling helps to anchor them to the mission so together they can weather the storm and thrive.

We have a stack of complex, layered problems in the world, and we need creative,
unconventional thinkers to tackle them. Multipotentialites make great connectors and
collaborators. Armed with their breadth of skills, knowledge and vocabulary, they can speak multiple languages across various fields. They can translate information into stories that can be understood and acted upon by others to get the work done.

Wapnick closes with this message of encouragement: “Embrace your many passions.
Follow your curiosity down those rabbit holes. Explore your intersections. Embracing our inner wiring leads to a happier, more authentic life. And perhaps more importantly
⏤multipotentialites, the world needs us.”

This multipotentialite storyteller is ready to help you find the intersection where a new
story can spark your next innovation. Fill out our contact form or call 773.852.3522 today.