Linda Gorchels blogs


Drowning in Plastic

In honor of Earth Month, my Contemplate post this final Friday is on the environment. I struggled with how to narrow the topic. Contaminants in drinking water? Pollution? Air quality? Climate change? Whew!

I made my decision after viewing Plastic Planet, Werner Boote’s documentary on the dangers of plastic. And we’re drowning in it. Plastic is used in our clothing, furniture, cars, food packaging, electronics, yard tools—it’s ubiquitous. Think about it.

If you took every plastic product in your home or apartment and stacked them in front of your building, how many piles would you need to make? How big would the piles be?

Drowning in pastic

Drowning in Plastic

Plastic has been hailed as a miracle—and a curse. It’s convenient to use, but hard for the earth to dispose of.… Read the rest

Expert Business Model Advice

Since this is the fifth Friday this month, I am adding another “Contemplate” post. This time I’m sharing expert business model advice.

Business Model Renewal

At the end of every chapter of Business Model Renewal, I included an interview with a prominent business leader or consultant. Each offered a different perspective on business models. Here are snippets of their words of wisdom providing expert business mode advice.

The Importance of Developing a Business Model Portfolio

(Mary) Kay Plantes, Ph.D.
Expert in business models

Kay Plantes, Principal, Plantes Company, LLC

The speed with which product and service commoditization arises in today’s more open economy is remarkable. Price transparency, stronger buyers, supply chains that can copy anything, excess supply, the global recession and slow recovery—there are many forces behind the acceleration. Collectively they are shifting the basis of competition from individual products and services to business models as business models are harder for competitors to copy.… Read the rest

Practice Random Acts of Kindness

The other day at the gym I overheard a snippet of a conversation. “For Lent I’ve decided to practice random acts of kindness.”

Now, I’ve heard of people giving up chocolate for Lent. I even heard news broadcasts about a man who had given up beer for Lent, and another man who said he gave up everything EXCEPT beer.

But doing more random acts of kindness as a resolution? What a great and relevant idea!

Random Acts of Kindness

I decided to research the topic and came across the “official site.” It’s owned by The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation, a small nonprofit that invests resources into making kindness the norm. While there were no suggestions about using this as a Lenten activity, it did provide a host of kindness ideas.… Read the rest

Scenario Development: A Tool for Strategic Foresight

What is strategic foresight?

It’s the disciplined study of the future. It’s a strategic thinking process rather than a strategic planning process. As such, it goes beyond traditional economic, statistical, and business forecasting. It goes beyond extrapolating current and past trends. It may apply scenario development as a tool.

Why is foresight important?

We live in an increasingly complex time in which the connections between past, present, and future are often unpredictable. People use foresight to help steer a course between the false certainty of precise forecast models and the chaos of ignored circumstances.

Several years ago, I attended a certificate program in strategic foresight at the University of Houston. The class comprised a cadre of individuals from the military, national security, think tanks, corporations and higher education.… Read the rest

What is Pronoia?

Pronoia? What’s that?

I heard the term for the first time in a yoga class. It was introduced as an antonym to paranoia. Here is Wikipedia’s definition:

Pronoia is a neologism coined to describe a state of mind that is the opposite of paranoia. Whereas a person suffering from paranoia feels that persons or entities are conspiring against them, a person experiencing pronoia feels that the world around them conspires to do them good.

Pro and Con of Pronoia

This sounds good until it later references a paper by Dr. Fred H. Goldner in which he describes pronoia as a “delusion that others think well of [you] … politeness and the exchange of pleasantries are taken as expressions of deep attachment and the promise of future support.”

Ignoring the delusion part, I rather like the concept of pronoia, the feeling that the universe is on your side rather than against you.… Read the rest