To Be Effective, You Must Be Healthy

It’s that time of year again when we prepare for winter’s cold and flu season. Here are some helpful hints to be proactive and prevent illness for yourself and your family. Start right away if you begin to get sick or have been exposed to colds, flu or other infectious diseases to prevent you from getting sick!

Vitamin C  Make sure to take enough to keep your immune system strong. Take more if you’re fighting a virus.

For the Flu  Prevention    Make sure your vitamin D3 levels are optimal. This may require monitoring by a blood test.  To recover faster if getting flu-like symptoms:  Oscillococcinum.

Immune Support Supplements

  • To boost your body’s ability to fight infections: use immune supportive nutrients and herbs, including zinc, echinacea, astragalus, and others.
  • Specifically formulated combinations of produce excellent results for knocking out a cold or sore throat if taken at the onset of symptoms.

Sinus Relief  Utilize colloidal silver in a neti pot or nasal rinse or consider natural decongestant.  Mucinex (guaifenesin), over the counter at pharmacy, thins mucus and helps drainage.

Keep your pH in Optimal Range  Alkaseltzer Gold is an option that contain less sodium.

Natural Antibiotics/Antivirals  These are effective in a variety of viral and bacterial infections.

  • Take Vitamin D3
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Oregano Oil
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Gargle with hydrogen peroxide to relieve a sore throat
  • Take Vitamin A

Prevent the spread of infections  Use Skin Cleansers with natural grapefruit seed extract. Avoid triclosan, that is contained in many antibacterial soaps and is a persistent organic pollutant.

Get plenty of rest 

Drink lots of water

These suggestions can keep you healthier all winter long!

To Be Effective, You Must be Healthy© Robban A. Sica, M.D. 2016


If Change is the Nature of Life… Why Do We Resist?

If change is the nature of life, both personal and organizational, then why is it our nature to resist change so vigorously? Over the years, my micro-view from having been involved in mergers and acquisitions, new product distribution, design and development, and enterprise redesign, is that there are two opposing forces at work within the human psyche.

If you are part of the leadership that is implementing the change in an organization, you may favor it, but if you are on the receiving end of the change, fear may make you resistant. In some cases, fear and favor reside in equal measures, no matter what side of the equation you are on. Knowing that without change, atrophy sets in; intellectually we accept change but hope it will happen to others and not to us.

George Bernard Shaw stated, “Progress is impossible without change and if  you can’t change your mind, then you can’t change anything.”

So the question is how to address organizational change thoughtfully and favorably alter the minds of people that are resistant. Well, to date we are not doing a very good job. According to the 2013 Strategy&/Katzenbach Center survey of global senior executives on culture and change management, the success rate of major change initiatives is only 54 percent.

Dr. Andi Simon, has just completed a book, called “On the Brink, a Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights,” which provides case studies that show how change and growth can be accomplished using innovative and creative methods.

While there is no one “secret” to ensure success of a change management program, I have found that a combination of elements within a structured methodology can create guidance and increase the organization’s chance for success.

Here are 5 elements that can ignite the change process and keep it on track.

If we are not talking about changing a culture, as it may be strong, entrenched and valuable and we are creating a transformation within a culture, it is beneficial to begin by finding the elements of the culture that support the change we want accomplished.

1.  See things from the staff’s perspective. Anais Nin said, “We don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are.” Believing that to be true, it is imperative to involve all staff potentially  affected and make them aware of and understand how the proposed changes will alter their work as the data becomes known. Understanding this factor first and foremost will provide insight; are we dealing with fear, favor or ambivalence at differing levels within the organization? Take the pulse of the people involved in the process. Connect with each of them on an ideological basis to articulate:

  • How embracing this change will enhance my personal values
  • Why this change is good for me, if everything including my current position may be eliminated
  • Why this change is good for the company and what would be the result if the change is not initiated

2.  Use both informal and formal leaders to communicate the change, both top-down and bottom up. Don’t be afraid to employ creative approaches to spread the word.

3. Recognize small wins that can be celebrated as you move closer to the long term objective. Find culturally acceptable ways to commemorate.

4. Identify the criteria that indicate successful change and design follow-up and accountability.

5. Create a communication strategy that uses a variety of methods:

  • Create a “story” with symbols that can rally the troops; both visually and verbally
  • Design open forums with senior management responsible for the change
  • Begin formal training sessions
  • Produce informal open air sessions where concerns can be raised
  • Hold a funeral for those processes, jobs and work flows that were important and valued by the staff but are no longer required

Articulating a plan of action whenever change is initiated means that unlike the cartoon at the beginning of the post, we are not waiting for miracles to happen, we are artfully designing them.

If Change is the Nature of Life, Why Do We Resist? ©Carmen Effron 2016

SLOW is the Acronym for 2016

Note from Vikki Pryor:  Starting 2016 off on the right foot has been on my mind.  We can never have too many new ideas to do just that.  I am fortunate to have wonderful networks, co-workers, friends, colleagues, and teachers over the years.  With permission,  shared below are the thoughts of  Constance Armstrong, Executive Director, The Boston Club, and fellow member Fredia Woolf, Principal, Woolf ConsultingFor more, visit Fredia’s website.

Constance Comments

There are a lot of wise women in The Boston Club. I am continually learning from experiences shared, counsel freely offered, insights provided, by so many of our members. And, in the midst of the holiday/year-end madness we call life (you may be reading this in February, if your email inbox looks like mine!), I want to pass along something that may be the very best gift I’ve received this year.

Last week, Fredia Woolf and I were talking about trying to clear our desks before year end. Fredia, one of our wisest women, told me about the year-end message she would be sending her clients, and generously agreed that I could share it here with you.

Fredia thinks that many of us could benefit if we would just SLOW down, and, yes, it’s an acronym–but one you can truly use. To Fredia, going SLOW means:

Stop and savor something for a few minutes each day. Tune into your senses. Notice your body. And appreciate a tiny vacation – or microbursts of mindfulness – in the middle of your day. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of urgency and speed. (For me, its stopping when I drive past the ocean, pulling over if only for a moment, to watch the view that always calms me down.)

Let things flow; let things go. Some things – as well as skills, beliefs, ideas – are held onto for just too long and need to be cleared out. And others benefit from being allowed to evolve organically, or to collide with serendipity. Over-thinking can be counter-productive. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of control. (OK, intellectually, I know its true, but this is going to take a LOT of work!)

Open your eyes, mind & heart. As we gain experience, we also get more fixed and closed in our thinking. We believe we know, so why be open to learning? We have formed our opinions, so aren’t curious about others. We have developed a thick protective carapace, so won’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable, but opening up to the new brings freshness and expansion. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of exclusion and mistrust. (My father-in-law reads George Will as well as Frank Rich; he says, even liberals are wrong sometimes.)

Weave your past, present and future into an integrated whole. Take the time to remember who you once were, what you once loved, what your lost talents might be, and bring them to light in the present. This will help you create a richer future, in which you feel alignment and purpose. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of fear. (You have all helped me with this. I resisted writing Comments for a long time, but your feedback has reminded me how much I enjoy writing, and convinced me to keep going.)

Fredia and I also discussed that one’s stage of life–whether you are starting out, gearing up, winding down, raising kids, planning the “third half”–always affects how you look at and use time, but I think SLOW fits any stage. Mindfulness, even in small doses, can sharpen your decision making, lift your spirits, energize your day, and open you to opportunities of all kinds. We all have choices.

My New Year’s wish for each of you is the choice to Go SLOW! See you in 2016!


Are You a Virtual Voter?

We all have the power to cast our votes. Very important votes happen every day, not at a polling place in November.  Yours is the power of the virtual vote, the use of your personal intellectual capital.

Our intellectual capital is the sum of our life experience, regardless of our education or occupation. The decisions we make about what we read, the websites we visit, the links we click, the media we utilize, who we listen to, who we turn off, and how much we share of ourselves, is all part of how we vote each day. Sometimes we make conscious choices on how to use our intellectual capital but often it is unconscious.

Particularly in midterm elections voter turnout is quite low. “Only 36.4% of eligible voters voted in this year’s [2014] midterm elections, down from 40.9% who voted in 2010, according to preliminary analysis by Michael McDonald at the University of Florida. The last time voter turnout was that low was 1942, when only 33.9% of voters cast ballots, according to the United States Elections Project.”  according to TIME magazine.  Yet in a Pew Center poll for the same election, only 20% of those who did not vote (who were registered), cited “did not care” or “did not like the candidates.”  Most people stated they were too busy to vote.

Why has voter turnout has been so low? Do we feel our real power lies in the choices we make each day?  If we take an active approach, we consciously express our preferences.  By actively listening, thoughtfully expressing ourselves, and consciously examining how we interact with the wave of information which confronts us each day, we have impact.  Will this influence our decision to show up at the ballot box?

How do you manage, use and share your intellectual capital? Your choices have powerful outcomes for business, communities, families and individuals.  Starting this November, cast your vote, literally and virtually.

  • Acknowledge the Existence of Your Intellectual Capital

Take stock of who you are. What do you believe in, know, and think?  Remain consciously aware and open to new information, thoughts and ideas.

  • Understand the Power of Using Your Intellectual Capital

Your choices, decisions and actions have power. We are all more powerful than we imagine and rarely see the long term impact of how we use our power.

  • Accept the Importance of Sharing Your Intellectual Capital

Every break through, and advancement is the result of sharing of intellectual capital of many individuals over very long periods of time. Today’s innovations could not exist without the multitude of discoveries in the past.

Change & Innovation: Are You a Virtual Voter?… ©Change Create Transform 2015

Change and Innovation: If You Have an Idea…..

Have you ever seen a great new successful idea and innovation – that you thought of some time ago?  It has happened to me many times, and is frustrating and disappointing to think about what seems to be a lost opportunity.

What gets in the way of acting on great ideas? Not enough time, money, connections or too many commitments, problems, or roadblocks? It is no accident that an idea that might have been a passing fancy or a regular rumination, has successfully come to life – through someone else.   Once we become consciously aware of a new idea, our intelligence has processed the millions of inputs leading us to our discovery. That discovery already has lots of things going for it, including our energy.

Bringing the idea from seed, to seedling, to concept, to product is a process that requires a subtle combination of thoughtful processes and action.

  • Believe in the Discovery

The next time you discover a new idea, give it some time to sink in before discarding it as crazy or misguided. Play with it, have fun, and see where it takes you.

  • Allow Time for the Idea to Develop

Timing is everything. Have the patience for the process associated with exploring the idea. Write the idea down, do some research, discuss it with creative and open-mined individuals, and begin to develop a plan for evaluating your idea.  Allot designated time for your creative process, even if only an hour or two per week.

  • Clear away Distractions

It is easy to fill your days and hours with activity. Eliminate any obvious distractions which keep you from moving forward with your idea. Think positive thoughts, associate with positive people, and read positive books. Consider Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Change Your Life.

  • Embrace Risk Taking

Acknowledge that your idea might be rejected, laughed at, or viewed as a failure. Have the mental toughness to be gentle with you. Give yourself permission to dare to be different. As Benjamin Franklin has said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

  • Remain Open

You will receive feedback and inputs along the way, provided you are open and listening. Remaining open is important to making mid-course modifications, refining your idea, and ushering in success.

  • Get Ready for Success

As important as believing in your discovery is belief in yourself. Accepting that you are worthy of success is critical to creating the environment to receive everything that goes along with success. This includes having the courage to ask for help, input, ideas, resources and support.

If You Have an Idea…Embrace it, Explore it, Follow it, and Share it. Yes, we do need another great idea, and many, many more.

Change & Innovation: If You Have an Idea… ©Change Create Transform 2015

Change & Innovation: Personal Crisis Derails Performance and Leadership, A Two Step Approach to Get Back on Track

Despite how intertwined personal and professional life may be, many leaders in the face of personal crisis, remain steadfastly on track.   There are leaders who seem to thrive under pressure, whether personal or professional.

What is leadership derailment?

McCall and Lombardo in a study conducted for the Center of Creative Leadership in 1983, first introduced the concept of managerial, professional and leadership derailment.  This study, along with other studies and research, has provided the language for a phenomenon that may have been observed, but was not specifically identified, and still often goes unnoticed.

Derailment defines those leaders, who experience significant success throughout their careers but fail to reach their full potential professionally because they “come off the tracks.”

Why do leaders derail? 

Causes for derailment are classified into three categories: skills, perception or awareness, and personality.  Over time these categories become enmeshed, so a leader’s skills, perceptions, and personality traits can individually or jointly cause them to derail.

It is widely recognized that leaders derail because they have one or more of the following challenges.

  • Fall short of business objectives and performance
  • Appear inadequate for broader leadership, and limit their areas of expertise
  • Struggle with building and leading a team, and falter in interpersonal relationships
  • Resist or fail to change
  • Allow personal problems to impede professional performance

Step 1

Acknowledge the relationship between personal life and professional performance.

Too many organizational cultures are in denial regarding the relationship between a leader’s personal side and their professional performance. In the face of a leader exhibiting characteristics of an impending derailment, some organizations fail to act appropriately.

Acknowledging a legitimate relationship between personal crisis and professional performance opens the door for properly identifying, diagnosing, treating, and preventing that which could otherwise end in unnecessary derailment.

Step 2

Have the institutional fortitude to confront leadership derailment and examine the root cause.

Sometimes an organization deals with the warning signs of derailment, without giving attention to the underlying causes. Why does this matter? Because failure to acknowledge the root causes of the relationship between personal crisis and professional performance will affect leadership, organizational culture and operating results. Disguised and undiagnosed personal crises are a prescription for leader dysfunction and organizational poor performance.

Change & Innovation: Personal Crisis Derails Performance and Leadership, A Two Step Approach to Get Back on Track
©Katrina Patterson 2015



Change & Innovation: Thinking for Yourself

Truly independent thought is an art and certainly much more than a skill.

At first blush, some might balk at the notion that they may not be independent thinkers. Unconscious, automatic, straight-through thinking, underpinned with data, facts, analysis, opinion, information, ideas, history, benchmarks, research and input is where much of our decision-making lies. This is how we are trained. A newly minted manager is cautioned to take a rigorous approach to work. It certainly has its place, but where is the space to think? Does our intuition and sense of things matter?

Early in my career, I was unaware that the seemingly random thoughts and ideas swirling around in my head might be valuable. I tried to dismiss this chatter as a distraction and an interruption to what truly needed to be considered. It was a personal, subtle and lengthy process to discover that my ruminations are more than valuable, they are indispensable. Executive leaders are well advised to consistently hone this important art.

Experience, wisdom and understanding of people, not just processes, is the hallmark of a strong leader. Knowing when and how to tap into these important resources is critical.

Recognize that your intuitive process is valuable. It is essential to model this for other leaders. We must know ourselves first, to effectively lead others.


Important decisions require time and reflection. In tense and time sensitive settings, take a deep breath and reflect, before acting or deciding. Even a moment’s reflection will make the difference.


Contemporaneously record thoughts, ideas and solutions that deeply, fleetingly, or persistently emerge. A notepad bedside (paper or electronic) is a must.


Some of your thoughts are just for you. Ideas emerge and are quickly forgotten in the rush of everyday living. Are you sometimes unable to retrieve that seemingly great idea? Take it as a sign of a “thought just for you.” Our thoughts and feelings are to be savored as a reminder of our resilience, purpose, and ability.

Recommit to independent conscious thinking, based upon experience, wisdom, and understanding.
The best place to start, is with you.

Change & Innovation: Thinking for Yourself  ©Change Create Transform 2015

Change & Innovation: The Benefits of Reinventing the Wheel

“Reinventing the wheel…” It is a phrase sometimes used to refer to overcomplicating things.

When introducing a new strategy or approach, many say, “Whatever you do, please don’t reinvent the wheel.”

When we need a strategic breakthrough, what is truly needed to reach the next level?

“Cars you can drive will eventually be outlawed.” It is a provocative statement, but according to Tesla Motors Elon Musk, this may be a fact of life rather than a dream of science fiction sooner, rather than later. When was the last time you saw an elevator operator helping you get to your destination? More likely than not, you simply pressed a button that took you to the floor where you needed to go. Or better yet, there are the smart elevators without any buttons at all.

Business icon Henry Ford is well known for making the first affordable automobile with his successful implementation of the assembly line. Little known fact, the Model-T was originally available in several colors before transitioning to its iconic black. Many innovations are “before their time”. In its early days some skeptics suggested Apple be shut down and the money be given back to the shareholders.

Whether or not we are “reinventing the wheel” or making a breakthrough has a good deal to do with our frame of reference. We would be well served to look at our world view, aversion to risk, tolerance for ambiguity, willingness to fail, self-awareness, and attachment to the familiar. As executives, professionals and leaders, these are the areas where we can set the example that will lead to change and success. We cannot expect our teams to embrace diversity, take prudent risk, and achieve superior results if we do not set the tone.

Successful innovators often seem to have overcome astronomical odds to achieve success. The reality is straightforward. Breakthrough innovation is built upon many years, decades and centuries, of small, often unrecognized changes, inventions, ideas, successes and failures of those who have gone before. The recognized innovation often culminates because of timing, and the willingness to overcome fears, take risk, and let go of the what has worked in the past.

New ideas can be scary, but are necessary if humanity is to advance. In the words of Thomas Alva Edison, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Leaders of today can take this charge, to be at the forefront of “reinventing the wheel.”

Change & Innovation: The Benefits of Reinventing the Wheel ©Change Create Transform 2015