A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A sticky idea, but why isn't it sticking?

I often get emails like this from my dad. Having worked for over 16 years for my dad's first client as Norman Kurland & Associates, Allied Plywood Corporation, even I get a little skeptical when I see articles extolling the virtues of Employee Ownership. The shares of stock I earned over these years dropped in value from over $100,000 just before I left the company, to less than half, still a substantial sum that I wouldn't have had had I not been a participant in an ESOP.

As I listen to the Made to Stick audiobook while pumping iron or working a cardio machine, ideas about how to make my lesson plans more memorable percolate, and my mind often wanders to daydreaming about how I might help promote a great idea that for some odd reason just isn't resonating in the minds of everyday Joe's and Jane's, who struggle with the same problems as I do with how to pay the mortgage -- forget about retirement!

One of the C's in the Heath brothers' SUCCESS acronym template for purposefully designing sticky ideas is "Concreteness." The Heath brothers cite a number of examples in CD 4 where a communicator developed an idea that stuck and went viral using concrete examples. In my case, for my lesson planning purpose, I thought about creating M-19 Molly and M-19 Mike as fictional characters who might personify how we are learning instructional objectives in room M-19. In the case of The Industrial Homestead Act, perhaps we might create a parable of The Just Third Way using a fictional Lincoln, to personify someone within a true "Ownership Culture," or Wage Serf Wally, who is treated like a number by his employer, like the rest of us.

My sister Dawn has raised a great question, despite a working model that seems to prove the point, why isn't anyone paying attention?

You'll appreciate Dawn's point after you read this story.

Own or Be Owned,

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:No Wonder the JTW is Being Ignored by the Establishment
Date:Fri, 28 Dec 2012 19:18:14 -0500
From:Dawn Brohawn 
Reply-To:Capital Ownership Group: Louis Kelso's Binary Economics Discussion Group

Rowland located a great article on Lincoln Electric on the Motley Fool website (www.fool.com). The author expresses his bafflement that this remarkable ownership culture has been virtually ignored by the media and academia. Here's a little excerpt:
The Cleveland-based manufacturer of welding technologies and No. 1 in the world since the 1930s, announced the 2012 bonus for its roughly 3,000 American employees.
Read the following five lines slowly.
The bonus has been paid for 79 uninterrupted years in a row.
This year, Lincoln Electric shared $99.3 million of pre-tax profits with employees.
The average 2012 bonus was $33,915 per worker.
The average employee earned $82,300 (including the bonus).
No one was laid off in 2012.
Do you find that impressive? How about this?
In 2011, the picture was essentially the same. Ditto for 2010, 2009, 2008... 1997... 1979... 1956... 1948...
The article concludes:
Corporate America is suffering from a near-criminal lack of imagination.
Lincoln Electric presents convincing and reassuring evidence that it is possible to run a very profitable, very large multinational business in North America by respecting your customers, employees, investors, and society at large. All of them.
It need not be a zero-sum game, the delusion embraced by too many of the nation's business leaders, especially in recent years.

They owe it to America to do better.
If this successful model of ownership sharing and justice-based management can be overlooked by the gurus of business, economics and the media, it's little wonder that our ownership paradigm and systemic reforms are being met with such deafening silence.
In 2013 let's all make a joyful noise for the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading for every citizen -- and drown out all the naysayers!
Best wishes to all for the New Year,
Dawn Brohawn
Director of Communications
Center for Economic and Social Justice
P.O. Box 40711, Washington, DC 20016
(Tel) 703-243-5155 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            703-243-5155      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, (Fax) 703-243-5935
(Direct E-mail) dbrohawn@cesj.org
(Web) www.cesj.org