Trendy – Shoes and Bag In One

I thought this was a very creative ladies bag.

It combines two things that many love–shoes and bags!

No, you’re not putting your shoes in the bag.

And you’re definitely not wearing your bag on your feet (that’s another blog on innovation).

In this case, the shoes (and legs) are the design on the bag itself and make up the shoulder straps to carry it. 

Creative and fun thinking, right?

Also, I like the design of bold colors of the red and white sneakers and the blue jeans on the black bag. 

This is both functional and cool, and I like the trend of “mixing it up.”

The straps are the legs and shoes–pretty smart! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful Bartholdi Fountain


I tool this picture of beautiful Bartholdi Fountain.

This statue and fountain sits between the U.S. Botanic Gardens, the American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial, the Rayburn House Office Building, and the Department of Health and Human Services (in the background). 

French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who designed this amazing fountain, is the same artist who made the Statue of Liberty. 

This 30 feet tall, 15-ton, cast-iron statue sits marvelously at the base of Capitol Hill. 

Next to the American Flag, this stands out as another shining symbol of our democracy, liberty, and national strength. 

If as a nation we can once again unify, emulating the 3 women figures who are together holding up the massive fountain bowl over their heads, we too can accomplish great feats for the American people and our nation. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Have You Been Voluntold?

Have You Been Voluntold?

Voluntold, it’s a funny word.

A combination of volunteer and told, to do something.

I couldn’t believe that this word is actually in the dictionary and means:

“When one has been volunteered for something by another person. Often against their wishes and desires.” (Reference: Unwords)

“The exact opposite of volunteering. Always used in reference to an unpleasant task to which you have been assigned by your boss.”(Reference: Urban Dictionary)

I’ve seen this used when the boss asks for volunteers for a task or special project. If no one volunteers, then the boss volunteers someone–telling them to do it. They have been voluntold!

One time, I remember a very tense meeting where a boss was presenting his vision for the organization, but at the same time putting down the status quo and everyone in it.

As one point, he asks for a volunteer to help with driving his vision forward (note: no one had bought into it), and no one volunteers.

The boss ask for a volunteer once, twice, and three times at the meeting as the tension rises.

Finally, a hand goes up and someone accepts the task.

He is the bosses new favorite and is told publicly at the meeting that he will be rewarded for “stepping up.”

The truth is he didn’t really step up, but rather succumbed to the pressure to do it.

Another victim of being voluntold.

In the end, he really didn’t perform much of what he volunteered for–not a surprise, since he never bought into it to begin with.

Sometimes, we do have to ask people to do things, but it shouldn’t be by force or undue pressure.

A leader builds his vision with his team–not for his team–and they move forward together to achieve their unified goals and objectives.

Telling someone to do something, and pretending that they are really volunteering fools no one and achieves nothing accept maybe calling out some pretend accomplishments to go with the pretend volunteers. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Andrew Huff)

>No Choice But to Change

>It’s easy to get into a rut and just follow the status quo that we’re used to.

People do it all the time. It’s doing what we know. It’s comfortable. It’s less challenging. It feels less risky. It doesn’t “cause waves” with various stakeholders.

Don’t we often hear people say, “don’t fix it, if it ain’t broke”?

Here’s another more arrogant and obnoxious version of the anti-change sentiment: “don’t mess with perfection!”

And finally, the old and tried and true from the nay-sayer crowd: “we tried that one before.”

Unfortunately, what many of these die-hard obstructionists fail to acknowledge is that time does not stand still for anyone; “Time marches on.” Change is a fact of life, and you can either embrace it or make a futile attempt to resist.

If you embrace it and moreover become a champion of it, you can influence and shape the future—you are not simply a victim of the tide. However, if you resist change, you are standing in front of a freight train that will knock you out and drag you down. You will lose and lose big: Change will happen without you and you will be run over by it.

In short, it is more risky to avoid change than to embrace it.

Therefore, as a leader in an organization, as The Total CIO, you have an obligation to lead change:

  • to try to foresee events that will impact the organization, its products/services, its processes, its technology, and its people.
  • to identify ways to make the most of changing circumstances—to take advantage of opportunities and to mitigate risks, to fill gaps and to reduce unnecessary redundancies.
  • to develop and articulate a clear vision for the organization (especially in terms of the use of information technology) and to steer the organization (motivate, inspire, and lead) towards that end state.
  • to course correct as events unfold; the CIO is not a fortuneteller with all knowing premonition. Therefore, the CIO must be prepared to adjust course as more information becomes available. Sticking to your guns is not leadership, its arrogance.
  • to integrate people, process, technology, and information; the CIO is not siloed to technology issues. Rather, the CIO must look across the enterprise and develop enterprise solutions that integrate the various lines of business and ensures true information sharing, collaboration, and streamlined integration and efficiency. The CIO is a unifier.
  • to institutionalize structured planning and governance to manage change. It’s not a fly by night or put your finger up to see which way the wind is blowing type of exercise. Change management is an ongoing programmatic function that requires clear process, roles and responsibilities, timelines, and decision framework.
  • to bring in management best practices to frame the change process. Change is not an exact science, but we can sure learn from how others have been and are successful at it and try to emulate best practices, so we are not reinvesting the wheel.

Change is a fact of life, even if it is often painful.

I’d like to say that maybe it doesn’t have to be, but I think that would be lying, because it would be denying our humanity—fear, resistance, apathy, weariness, physical and mental costs, and other elements that make change difficult.

But while the CIO cannot make change pain-free, he can make change more understandable, more managed (and less chaotic), and the results of change more beneficial to the long term future of the organization.