What's in an adventure...

I will be using the definition of adventure rather liberally; using it figuratively and will definitely be using it as a verb! It’s far more action oriented that way.


ad·ven·ture [adˈven(t)SHər, ədˈven(t)SHər]

NOUN: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

VERB: engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.

It seems that being an experiential learner, having a fundamental belief invaluable skills are learned on adventures, and knowing that with a new year there will be great opportunity, has me thinking of adventures lately — and if you have gotten this far, it has you reading.

It’s easy to think of adventure as travelling to a new country, climbing a cliff face or trekking the highlands of Scotland — and although adventurous, it is limiting when you consider the full scope of what an adventure can be. This is why I like thinking of adventure as a verb; especially when you think of it as exploration of unknown territory.

Now you have something to work with —

Only know one language and it’s holding you back — learn a second language. It’s an adventure!

Not very good with your hands — break out the tools and build that bunkie* you need. It’s an adventure!

Someone is looking for a volunteer to solve a problem — raise your hand and say you will solve it. It’s an adventure!

Instead of saying you can’t drive standard — ask someone to teach you. It’s an adventure.

And although the big adventures are great to share with friends, I’ve found the real opportunity to grow and explore is with those small potential adventures that come your way on a daily basis. I’m a big believer in taking on these small adventures as a way to broaden your abilities, increase your view on the world, and simply become more interesting.

Here’s to adventures both big and small !!

And if you are wondering about any adventures I have on the list this year, my daughter and I are going to build a small off-grid bunkie with all the modern conveniences we can muster — talk about exploring unknown territory.


* a hut holding a bunk or bunks, a free-standing bedroom separate from the main house, which may or may not have other facilities (a fully outfitted outer house would be a guest house and not a bunkie)

Energy and Angst... here's to 2019.


He was a old school General Manager — he smoked too much, definitely enjoyed his scotch, would go toe to toe with anyone over the business, and protected his people with a passion. He was the sort that would have his feet up on his desk when he spoke with you… ever crotchety, ever prickly, and ever insightful; I learned much from him. I remember sitting across from him once lamenting over the dynamic environment we found ourselves in.

I feel like a cork bobbing in the ocean, I’m not able to grab onto anything, and just moving around at the whim of the ocean. There’s just no control over any of it.” He looked at me and simply said, “Me too”.

Don’t get me wrong we were running a solid business with good leadership, a good team, plans were in place, over plan performance was commonplace, and we had just enough operating mechanisms to ensure we stayed the course (but weren’t repressive). If memory serves me (and it doesn’t always) this was a time when the corporation was starting the journey towards a multi-billion dollar company, and it was a time of more and more “corporate reach in”. There were a growing number of things happening that we just hadn’t seen before — it was a interesting combination of Energy and Angst. It was a time where positive energy and confidence finds itself irrationally dealing with the future and a perceived unknown.

This is something I find also seems to occur at the beginning of each year — you don’t really have to look any further than those New Year’s resolutions or New year’s words people rally behind.

2019 is a year that will have 365 opportunities, and if you are paying attention to the pundits, may also be a year of turmoil (but then again I think they say this every year). All of this energy and opportunity, balanced off (sometimes disproportionately) with events beyond your control is what we have to work with to make the most of the coming year.

I can’t truly say if ever stopped being that cork in the ocean or just got very good at being “a cork” — either way I survived, as well as thrived. Some of it was a result of just going with the flow, some it was finding the proverbial port in a storm, some of it came from knowing what needed to be done when the waters were calm, and sometimes it was simply knowing when to hold on tight. Yes, all very metaphorical but nonetheless helpful. Each year I have had a plan regarding how to handle the year’s ocean; sometimes complex and sometimes simple, but I have always had a plan. And I have always gotten it down on paper. This has always been my anchor.

This year I want to go with the flow, see where things take me, and maybe wash up on some shores I’ve never experienced before — and to ensure I don’t get lost, my plan for 2019 will consist of one word. And that word is desire. It will be interesting to see where it takes me.

A friend of mine mentioned his word for 2019 is deliverance — I’m sensing my seas will be much calmer.


An argument to stay young... or at least think that way.

“How business schools are adapting to the changing world of work.” I just finished reading this and it got me to thinking, and apparently to typing. In short, it offers a commentary on how business schools are changing what (and the way) they teach to prepare business students for the new world of business.


If you happen to be curious about what’s happening around you it doesn’t take long to feel the onslaught of information that suggests change of a profound scale is upon us, and will shake the very foundations of who we are, what we do, and how we will survive — AI and robotics will put hundreds of millions of people out of work (leaving them with little purpose), liberal democracy, although not out, is down for the count, our environment is cascading to a place that may not be able to sustain the world’s population, and our mastery of the gene may change what it means to be human. Is it all as dire as the collective has made it out to be? I really don’t know. Although I do know that there is a very good chance that the scope and scale of these changes will be greater than anything we have seen for quite a while.

I think we can all agree that impactful change is“afoot”.

The premise of the article, aside from still needing technical skills, was to impress that creativity and adaptability are now the cornerstones of business education; it went on to suggest that creativity, grit, teamwork, communication effectiveness and decision-making skills are crucial for long term success. I’m not entirely convinced some of these actually can be taught, but that wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. What came to mind was that when we’re young we possess these skills, and in turn, have them suppressed or broken by social and institutional endeavours — and after they are crippled and broken, have the same social and institutional endeavours suggest they can help develop them in your time of need. Why not just nurture these in the first place? Simplistic yes and maybe even trite, but nonetheless resonant.

cre·a·tiv·i·ty [ˌkrēāˈtivədē] NOUN : the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

grit [ɡrit] NOUN : courage and resolve; strength of character.

team·work [ˈtēmˌwərk] NOUN : the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.

communication-effectiveness [kəˌmyo͞onəˈkāSH(ə)n,iˈfektivnəs] NOUN : A two way information sharing process which involves one party sending a message that is easily understood by the receiving party.

de·ci·sion-mak·ing [dəˈsiZHənˌmākiNG] NOUN : the action or process of making decisions, especially important ones.

I don’t really know how impactful the coming changes will be but I do know I will work through them; I’m also not really in a position to speak intelligently regarding how our social and institutional endeavours encourage conformity and suppress anything innately outside the box of, and frankly I don’t even know if these are skills we are born with. What I do know though are these two things —

  1. When you read you learn something, you’re encouraged to think, and ultimate encourage others to do the same.

  2. Creativity, grit, teamwork, communication effectiveness and decision making skills are definitely crucial for anything you will ever do, and this includes adapting to the changing world of work.

And because I can’t help myself, I have to say we are born into this world hardwired for challenge so we definitely come with grit, and if you have ever sent a group of kids outside to play you know they will come up with something interesting (so I suppose they have creativity, teamwork, communication effectiveness and decision making skills in their young tool kit). At the very least this reinforces how important they are.