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It’s here — 2021. Whether you are aware of it or not, the past year has torn down our “normal, ” destroying and devastating the governments, cultures, and modes of operation we’ve been used to for decades.

Now, we are left with instability, distrust, and a deep foreboding of what might come next.

So, what is next?

That is the one question filled with both the crippling fear and the unshakeable hope that humanity will rise, driven by its better nature, or succumb to its darker, self-centered, destructive tendencies.

You’ve seen vestiges of it already, and more will come, I guarantee it. …

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Get ready for 2021, where the rate of cultural change will be matched only by the speed at which organizations want to get things done.

As far as the global workforce is concerned, 2021 will be about building new roads to unfamiliar places versus sitting still, establishing kingdoms, and fortifying the corporate battlements.

But at What Price?

This compelling shift comes from a major cultural trend that signifies the transformation of the modern workforce into a hyper, performance-driven environment.

In their recent book, “Changing Organizational Culture,” Alvesson and Sveningsson address our changing times, noting:

“In a turbulent and changing world, organizational culture is often seen as central for sustained competitiveness. Organizations are faced with increased demands for change but these are often so challenging that they meet heavy resistance and fizzle out. The new “Hyperculture” encourages the development of a reflexive approach to organizational change, while providing tactics for managing such rapid transformation.”

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Winston Churchill once said, “Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught”. This is how many people see education, learning and personal development. That’s because most training approaches haven’t evolved that much since Churchill was caught yawning in the back of a classroom.

As a professional storyteller and learning expert, I have always been fascinated with the overlap between entertainment, storytelling, and meaningful learning. …

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It was a lofty goal, we knew it from the start.

You even might have scoffed, laughed, or dismissed what we were doing as the wasted efforts of a few unheard voices crying in the wilderness. No one would hear it, and no one would care.

But, we went ahead and did it anyway.

What started out as a creative effort to explore the storytelling boundaries of music for our new Folktellers series, became something quite different, something deeper, richer, and more meaningful than any of us could have imagined.

It was late summer in Detroit, and the year 2020 had proven to be one of the most challenging and divisive around the globe. Between pandemics, economic upheaval, and marching in the streets, the world was in a fearful, unsettling state. …

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As an author of children’s books, I think a lot about how kids see the world.

In an age where the issues of race, color, and diversity have risen to epic proportions, I often wonder where these divisions in our society started and what we can do about them. Are these solely adult issues, or do they begin as far back as our childhood?

What are the Colors Children See?

As adults, we tend to underestimate the perceptivity of children, especially when it comes to diversity and people of color. We tend to look at the world of children through our grown-up lenses, painting their unique, primary perspectives on human beings with the misconceptions and prejudices we’ve acquired over years of adult living. …

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2020 is turning out to be the Year of the Hero, but for reasons you might not expect.

Our current global crisis is demonstrating daily, in myriad ways, how we are all on a collective journey of support and sacrifice, not a quest for self-fulfillment and personal preservation.

Many of the stories being written right now are be driven by the leaders of heroes, as well as the heroes themselves. Each incredible tale becomes a testament to the successes and failures found in guiding our heroes forward.

George Bradt of Forbes Magazine recently pointed out that:

“Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose. Teams need heroes. They need role players. They need leaders in the arena and behind the arena… The hero’s journey and leader’s journeys are similar, but not the same. At some point, the hero has to accept the quest themselves and get into the arena. The leader inspires and enables others on their quests perhaps arranging forces for battle strategically from outside the arena and perhaps leading forces in the arena tactically.”


Josef Bastian

Josef Bastian is an author, human performance practitioner and often an odd duck.

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