Long Nails

Ran into this lady in South Florida. 


Couldn’t help but notice the nails. 


She told me she’s been growing them like this for 29 years!


I asked if she had any difficulty typing, driving, or anything. 


And she told me she does everything with them.


No, I don’t think that I want to touch these things. 


I’m only getting as close as the camera. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Upside Down Bird, Black Sheep–Same Thing

I thought this art was funny and accurate:

There’s always one in every family.

Really, it should be there is always one (or two) in every family, group, and organization. 


Whether it’s the upside down bird or the “black sheep”–I think we call it that person a troublemaker!


Is it the attention they crave? 


Is it a good fight or argument they are after?


Are they just different and that’s okay.


Listen, we are all the same, but we’re also all different. 


Imagine being completely the same and how boring that would be. 


So being the upside bird isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 


The other birds may look at this upside down bird as cuckoo.


But the bird may not be a cuckoo bird at all.


He may just be acting himself. 


To the upside down bird, he probably thinks of himself as being right side up bird, and that it’s the other birds that are the cuckoos.


From my experience, there is being different and then there is being cuckoo for real. 


There really are one or more cuckoos just about everywhere you look.


Worse yet, if the other 4 birds are sane, then watch out because you may be the cuckoo bird.


And then there was the movie, “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Snowflakes Are Unique

Thought this was an interesting analogy. 


A colleague refers to some customers as snowflakes.


At first, I didn’t get it. 


Then I understood. 


Every snowflake is unique. 


Based on how the ice crystals fall to the ground through different temperatures, moisture levels, and atmospheric pressures, the shape of every snowflake is different. 


Sometimes when it comes to project management, customers too think they are unique, different, and special.


They think that solutions that work industry- or enterprise-wide could never work for them and their wholly distinct ways of doing business. 


Hence, as I learned, the term snowflake. 


For those of us who have been around the project management block a few times, we know that while there are specific customer requirements, most of them are not all that unique. 


And when some customers simply don’t want to do things differently than they’ve done it before, there can be greater resistance to change. 


Hence, the “We’re special. We’re different” reframe along with the standoffishness, doubting, circling the wagons, throwing up obstacles, or just refusing to fully participate. 


Obviously, it’s a lot more difficult to modernize and transform through technology and business process re-engineering when your customers aren’t on board. 


So it is critical to manage organizational change, address the questions, the fears, and elements that are truly unique, and bring the people along as true partners. 


Not every requirement is a snowflake and neither is every customer, but we have to manage the similarities and differences in every project and make sure it improves performance and meets the needs of the customer and the organization. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Square Trees

So I never saw square trees until I visited Palm Beach, Florida. 


What’s the saying:

“It’s hip to be square!”

I definitely had to take a doubletake when I saw these. 


Wherever we were going, I was gonna stop and get a photo of this. 


These trees are almost as if they are from another planet. 


What planet would have square trees? 


Hope you enjoy it. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Left Handshake Is Right

So I heard about someone misinterpreting something I did for the worse.


Occasionally, when someone tries to shake my hand, instead of shaking with my right hand, I will take their hand in my left. 


I’ll do this for various reasons such as arthritic pain or from dirt (like ink or cleaning ) from some prior work I was doing. 


But always when I extend my hand it is with warmth and friendship. 


However, I learned that one person took this handshake as a serious personal affront. 


They thought that I was “disrespecting” them intentionally.


So I learned that even the most everyday, mundane gestures like a handshake, but done differently, can be taken out of context and misinterpreted. 


Why do we judge others for the bad?


Maybe because we don’t trust, don’t want to ask, don’t want to know, or have had bad experiences in life that jade us. 


But sometimes a handshake is just a handshake whether with the right or left hand. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Disability Stories And Resources

Disability

Just wanted to share this great site called Disability Blog where people tell about their experiences of being disabled and how they have overcome the odds. 


It is hosted by Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.


And it is the official blog of Disability.gov where there is lots of information on “disability programs and services.” 


The blog site promotes the “full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce and communities nationwide.”


Disability Blog posts guest bloggers on various topics and I read some of the recent posts and they were very good, including:


– Disability rights activism

– Small business loans and mentoring support with SCORE for a veteran with disability

– Resources and support from the Amputtee Coalition for a child that was hurt in a lawn mowing accident

– A courageous description of how someone lives with syndactyly (fused fingers).

– Options for workplace accommodations at the Job Accommodation Network


As someone myself who has had two total hip replacements, I encourage people to get their personal stories out there to increase disability awareness, rights, and resources and support to help them.


I used to dream about retiring one day and running along the boardwalk and ocean every morning in Florida, but I know that will not happen for me anymore (so thank G-d for swimming). 


Disabilities can happen to anyone. 


We all need to be sensitive to what it’s like to be different and have unique challenges, and to try and help anyone who does.  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Abhijit Bhaduri)

Color Me Different

Soldiers
I saw this restaurant and followed the color in to take this photo.



They had these multi-colored figurines lined up proudly on the ledge overlooking the tables and patrons. 



Each was different, but also the same. 



They had no faces, and were cut this way and that into segments of color (head, torso, butts, arms, legs, feet)…uniformity, but diversity. 

They are low-tech, but reminded me of robots or toy soldiers, but without the guns–just standing in colorful attention ushering people in to sit and eat and enjoy. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)