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Mindfulness for insight, and agile for results give us the innovation and drive we need to succeed. Dan Greening and Mirela Petalli help you use both practices together to live life well.
Sep 13, 2022
Enjoy.com Crashes Into Reality, Bye Bye $500 Million: Ron Johnson confidence, venture capital fueled unsafe speed. Mindful Agility was too slow, cautious for their taste
In this third and final episode on fabled merchandiser, Ron Johnson, we discuss the startup Enjoy.com, which turned $500M of invested capital and goodwill into nothing. This was Johnson's second attempt as a CEO. What did he learn from that failure? How did it shape his new company? Your co-hosts, Dan Dickson and Dan Greening, bring perspectives of traditional and agile management, finance and technology, retail and service. We think our analysis demonstrates how you can make better choices in your own projects, big and small, for much greater levels of success. We examine this company from the lens of Mindful Agility: * How well did Enjoy understand its ecosystem, did it examine conditions without bias? * As Enjoy matured, did it lean into potential risks, to explore and learn more? * Did Enjoy mitigate risk and preserve options? * Did Enjoy direct its evolution with low-cost, high-return experiments? And finally, we armchair quarterback what we might have done as execs at Enjoy.com. *References* * (Nakrosis 2022) Stephen Nakrosis, Enjoy Technology to be delisted from Nasdaq, shares tumble, Market Watch, July 7, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/enjoy-technology-to-be-delisted-from-nasdaq-shares-fall-15-271657234123 * (Huddleston 2015) Tom Huddleston Jr., Two years later, ex-J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson resurfaces with e-commerce website Enjoy, Fortune, May 6, 2015, https://fortune.com/2015/05/06/ron-johnson-enjoy-jcpenny/ * (Stegeman 2022) Levi Stegeman**,** “this company is horrible my phone was…,” Trustpilot reviews, Enjoy.com, https://www.trustpilot.com/review/enjoy.com?page=2, Jun 17, 2022 * (seeabove 2021) seeabove, Enjoy Delivery Service is a SCAM, ATT Community Forums, Aug 12, 2021, https://forums.att.com/conversations/wireless-account/enjoy-delivery-service-is-a-scam/6115bcdbebe45663333f880e * (Unglesbee 2022) Ben Unglesbee, Ron Johnson’s Enjoy Technology wants to create a new form of retail. But first it must survive, Retail Dive, June 17, 2022, https://www.retaildive.com/news/ron-johnsons-enjoy-technology-potential-bankruptcy/625705/ * (Chafkin 2015) Max Chafkin, How Failed JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson Is Redeeming Himself With Enjoy, Fast Company, Oct 26, 2015, https://www.fastcompany.com/3051611/he-made-target-and-apple-stores-cool-after-his-jcp-flop-the-redemption-of-r * (Hill 2022) Jeremy Hill and Bailey Lipschultz, SPAC Led by Former Apple Executive Goes Bankrupt Less Than a Year After Going Public, Bloomberg, June 30, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-30/ex-spac-led-by-former-apple-executive-goes-bankrupt-plans-sale?leadSource=uverify wall
Aug 16, 2022
Business on Fire Part II: Could Business Mindfulness Have Stopped the Failure of Steve Jobs' Protege Ron Johnson at JC Penney?
This is the second episode of a three-part series on fabled merchandiser, Ron Johnson, and how he failed to restore JC Penney to its former leadership in retailing. In this episode we're going to be talking very explicitly about business mindfulness and how it applies. If you want to understand "business mindfulness," this is the episode for you. If you'd like some background on scaling mindfulness, you'll like Episode 2 on self-similarity (our first full episode). If you'd like to hear our detailed failure analysis of Ron Johnson and JCPenney, that's in Episode 11, the one just before this. Mindful businesses share a set of six characteristics, which we introduce at the beginning. Then we talk about different examples of each characteristic, from some mindful businesses we know about, such as Toyota and Trader Joe's, and with counterexamples from JCPenney. *References* * Sutcliffe, K. M., & Vogus, T. (2014). Organizing for Mindfulness. The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness, I, 407–423. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118294895 * Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Obstfled, D. (1999). Organizing for high reliability: Processes of collective mindfulness. Research in Organizational Behaviour, 21, 81–123. * Greening, D.R., Mindful Business characteristics, twitter thread, https://twitter.com/greening/status/1554164846022823936 * Langfitt, F. (Director). (2010, March 26). 403: NUMMI (No. 403). In This American Life. National Public Radio. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/403/nummi-2010 *Credits* * "DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 23JAN13 - Janice Marturano, Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Mindful Leadership, USA, speaks during the WorkStudio 'Experiencing Mindful Leadership' at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2013," Photo by World Economic Forum, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/8408308078 * Women watching sticky notes, image source Copyright-Only Dedication (based on United States law)or Public Domain Certification, https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1431647
1 hr 18 min
Jul 19, 2022
Business on Fire Part I: Steve Jobs protege Ron Johnson burns JC Penney cash fast as CEO
As an executive working for other CEOs, Ron Johnson succeeded wildly in redesigning Target stores and building Apple Stores from scratch. But then, as a CEO, Ron Johnson crashed and burned two later companies. Join Dan Dickson, a seasoned retail executive and Harvard Business School grad, and Dan Greening, co-host of Mindful Agility, as we talk about Ron Johnson's first failure, JC Penney. Major shifts in management practice arise in response to crises. Lean Manufacturing helped Toyota and Japan survive, after the Japanese industrial base had been destroyed in World War II. Lean Manufacturing now dominates the auto industry, and failure to adopt its principles bankrupted General Motors and others. Agile management practices arose in response to growingly spectacular software project failures. It is now dominates software teams and is expanding to other creative teams and whole businesses. "Business agility" is emerging as a trend in business management. This is the first of three episodes where we analyze business failures to discover whether agile and mindfulness philosophies could have averted disaster. *Three take aways* * Failure analysis helps us succeed, sometimes beyond competitors * Business success is correlated to business agility and mindfulness * Ron Johnson's failures at JC Penney could have been anticipated *References* * Max Chafkin, "How Failed JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson Is Redeeming Himself With Enjoy," Fast Company (October 26, 2015). * Noel Tichy, "J.C. Penney and the terrible costs of hiring an outsider CEO," Fortune (November 13, 2014). * Phil Wahba, "Ron Johnson says J.C. Penney should have stuck to his plan ," Fortune (May 16, 2016). * Jennifer Reingold, "How to Fail in Business While Really, Really Trying," Fortune (March 20, 2014). * Taiichi Ohno, Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, 1988. *Credits* * Stinger sound Swing beat 120 xylophone side-chained by Casonika licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). * Photo of Ron Johnson by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch, licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Jun 28, 2022
Want lasting change? Label emotions
If we want lasting change, emotions may be our strongest opponent. When forced to change, people feel fear, rage, anxiety, and other emotions. Emotions are designed to satisfy basic needs: defend, fight, flight, reproduce. But when they overwhelm us, they shut down logic. They’re great when we’re suddenly confronted by a lion in the African savanna, we don’t have to take time to think. We just feel fear and run. But when building a strong family, or tackling some other tough, long-term challenge, emotions can confuse and distract us. We often don’t even notice that we’re feeling fear, rage, lust, or love… we just feel and act, no thinking required. By training ourselves to notice and label emotions, we allow them to continue to exist. But can put them on the same playing field as other factors relevant to our goals. We have to start with ourselves. If we label the emotions of family members or teammates, we rob them of agency. But if we label our own emotions, we signal psychological safety, inviting others to do the same. *Guests* * Eric Gibson, Principal Coach for Agile Valley. a business consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. * Jay Beale is CEO of InGuardians, Inc. a computer security services company in Seattle. * Matt Zimmerman is Director of Online Products for Springer Publishing in New York. *Links* * Mindful Agility Community (Facebook group) * Mindful Agility web site *Credits* * Episode image by Nenad Stojkovic, licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). * Stinger sound Swing beat 120 xylophone side-chained by Casonika licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0.
Jun 7, 2022
Hand to mouth awareness: stop harmful habits and get a great smile
Nurse Heather's four year old son, Jack, likes to put his fingers in his mouth. But this can lead to dental problems in the future. She heard the episode about Matt learning to keep track of his keys, by noticing that he was setting them down and saying "I'm putting my keys on the counter." Heather wondered whether it could help her son. We also discover that Heather has bigger plans, involving her husband, and this was just a practice run. These last two episodes explore "noticing and labeling." There's been a lot of recent psychological research on these techniques. *Links* * Subscribe to newsletter at https://mindfulagility.com * Follow our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn * Join our Facebook community: Mindful Agility Community *Credits* * The sting separator sound used in this episode is a derivative of Swing beat 120 xylophone side-chained by Casonika used under license CC BY by Daniel Greening.
May 17, 2022
You Lost Your Keys. Again?!
We all have hapless friends who would lose their head if it wasn't attached. Maybe we are that friend! Matt recently moved in with his girlfriend, Mirela Petalli (our co-host), and Matt realized losing his keys kept making them late. Can mindful agility help? Matt and Mirela worked together. Matt is familiar with Scrum, an agile technique; Mirela is familiar with mindfulness. Together they take us on an exploration of how mindfulness alone can help us get more done. When we bring in agile, we raise the bar further. Does mindful agility help Matt keep track of his keys? This is the first episode where we get more specific with agile—weekly sprints, measuring outcomes, retrospectives—all in the context of home life. Do these practices bring knock-on effects? Let's see what happens with Matt's long-stalled exercise ambitions. *Links* * Subscribe to newsletter at https://mindfulagility.com * Follow our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn * Join our Facebook community: Mindful Agility Community *Credits* * The sting separator sound used in this episode is a derivative of Swing beat 120 xylophone side-chained by Casonika used under license CC BY by Daniel Greening.
Apr 26, 2022
Noah Rasheta: Fewer Expectations, More Success
Our stories provide a shorthand self, which gives us focus while the stories make sense, but they put our happiness at risk. If we imagine them to be complete and permanent we are doomed to suffer. When we release our attachment to our stories, we create freedom. Only through our actions will we transform ourselves and our world. The stories are only decorative. We talk with Noah Rasheta about the stories around him, as he lives a life with fewer attachments. We find out how we can avoid those attachments by doing things, but not being things. Noah Rasheta is the host of the Secular Buddhism podcast and author of three books on Buddhism. *Links* * Mindful Agility Web Site, for links to the Mindful Agility podcast, resources, and blog * Secular Buddhism Web Site, for links to the Secular Buddhism podcast, books, and resources * Stephen Batchelor Web Site, for books and courses * Rick Hansen, Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom, New Harbinger Publications, 2009. *Credits* * Photo of PT Barnum and Tom Thumb, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, circa 1840. * The sting separator sound used in this episode is a derivative of Swing beat 120 xylophone side-chained by Casonika used under license CC BY by Daniel Greening.
Apr 5, 2022
Noah Rasheta: The Entrepreneur Driving the School Bus
When we choose ambitious goals, we're going to create stories about them. But nothing lasts forever: our jobs, our achievements, our friends, our relationships... or our stories. If we attach our identities to ephemeral stories (and aren't all our stories ephemeral?), we will suffer. Noah Rasheta, the host of the Secular Buddhism podcast and author of three books on Buddhism, abandons the story he told himself and others, that he was a successful entrepreneur. He takes us on a journey of self-discovery, finding comfort with unknown challenges, changing stories, and new pivots that may be needed. From entrepreneur to school bus driver to ... well, you decide if he's an entrepreneur or just having fun. *Links* * Mindful Agility Web Site, for links to the Mindful Agility podcast, resources, and blog * Secular Buddhism Web Site, for links to the Secular Buddhism podcast and resources * Steve Blank, "Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything," Harvard Business Review (May 2013). * Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Currency (2011).
Mar 15, 2022
Iterations for Ukraine
The Russian war on Ukraine is in full force. The Mindful Agility co-hosts have ties to Eastern Europe. We are contending with our own reactivity, as we interact with others less familiar with the region. Our friend, Rob Coles, discusses how he employed an agile strategy to direct funds to individuals on the ground in Ukraine. He ran several iterations, adapting with each new discovery to send money more effectively. To understand the challenges ahead, we can employ compassion. There are combatants, refugees, residents of war zones, anxious news consumers, and people dealing with economic upheaval. There will be more suffering coming, with refugee resettlement, people with PTSD, social and economic instability. No matter who wins, if we can even name a winner, there will be many broken pieces that will take years or generations to repair. We can use tough challenges, like war, to explore mindfulness and agile. Mindfulness helps us discover truths hidden in plain sight. Agile helps us discover truths hidden under rocks. And through iteration, we can produce better results, through these tough times. We end our episode with a loving-kindness meditation, for all beings affected by this war. *References* Charity Navigator is a site that vets charities, and provides guidance for donating to Ukraine. Airbnb has its own Ukraine donation program, where you can provide housing for fleeing Ukrainians and others. Airbnb does not make any income from this program, providing all funds directly to home owners. Rob Coles did not use this program, but did take advantage of Airbnb's policy not to apply fees to reservations in Ukraine.
Feb 15, 2022
95% Vegan, 100% Happy: Goals and Compassion
Today we're discussing goals, interdependence and compassion. Nurse Heather faced a challenge that the rest of us encounter. She had a goal that seemed incompatible with her family and environment. Our goals and our social environment often conflict. In our personal lives, if we want to stop smoking, focus more on studying, or lose weight, our family and friends can present big challenges. In our work lives, too, if we want to meet with teammates daily, get feedback weekly, or honestly experiment- i.e., when failure is possible- our colleagues, customers and bosses can present big challenges. Compassion, the ability to adopt the perspective of others, is an important mindfulness skill. Highly compassionate people are often great negotiators and compassion can help us persist through many challenges. As you listen to Nurse Heather tell her story, try to think from a compassion perspective. How is Nurse Heather feeling? What about her friend, her husband, her children?
Feb 1, 2022
Resolutions Just Humiliate Me: Goals and Reactivity
Improvement is hard enough, whether we're trying to fix a Fortune 100 company or quit smoking. Our reactivity can create unrealistic expectations and then encourage others to dictate our futures. Reactivity tells us to give up when our first attempts fall short. It tells us to feel guilty, which can sideline us further. Mindfulness meditation teaches us to harness those few seconds between our emotions and actions. It can push the pause button on our amygdalas and increase our likelihood of success, in everything we do. Join us as we explore the intersection of mindfulness and agility in overcoming challenges and achieving our goals.*References* * Greening, DR, Align to a Driving Purpose, https://senexrex.com/driving-purpose/ * Tang YY, Posner MI, Rothbart MK (2014) Meditation improves self-regulation over the life span: Meditation improves self-control over the life span. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1307(1):104–111. * Valk SL,et al (2017) Structural plasticity of the social brain:…
Jan 1, 2022
Zooming In and Out on Life: Self-Similarity
Many systems exhibit self-similarity. If you zoom in or out, you keep seeing similar patterns. Recognizing self-similarity can help us become more agile at different scales of our lives and work. We can discover new insights, even when our limited language and perspective gets in the way. Meditation is a big part of mindfulness. This episode experiment includes a guided meditation on the topic. *Credits* The sting separator sound used in this episode is a derivative of Swing beat 120 xylophone side-chained by Casonika used under license CC BY by Daniel Greening.
Dec 30, 2021
Welcome to the Mindful Agility podcast. Mindfulness and agile can help you lead a more fulfilled life, at work and at home. Mindfulness practices help us gain insight and clarity, while agile practices help us forge new paths. We explore both. *Support us* * Rate the podcast and its episodes. Share the podcast with friends. Follow and comment in our Facebook page, "Mindful Agility podcast". *Hosts* * Mirela Petalli is a trained mindfulness instructor and a neuro critical care nursing instructor. Mirela and Dan have studied mindfulness together for a few years. * Dan Greening is an enterprise agile coach. He led the agile coaching teams at Skype and Citrix to help improve their ability to innovate. He’s started a few companies. Between startup 1 and 2, he miraculously finished a long-postponed computer science PhD. And after startup 3, he cleaned the garage, another miracle. *Human References* * Mindful Staff (2020) The Science of Mindfulness. Mindful. https://www.mindf…