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  • Writer's pictureChuck Cusumano

Odds and Ends and Inspirations: Fresh Ideas for Growth

By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus

The consulting business is a little bit different than other industries. In place of products that you would bring forward, you bring knowledge, ideas, and experiences to market.

This summer, the entire team at The Joshua Group spent some time catching up on reading – a task that was long overdue. Not all of the information and data we collected will become material for a blog, a training session, a coaching call, or a consulting visit, but there were certainly some interesting ideas that caught our attention – ideas that will probably make their way into your business or life (especially if you are a reader of our blog).

These ideas have some serious potential. They might even become more fully developed and turn into a training class, or perhaps an eBook.

For now, we will just have to wait and see how these seeds of ideas germinate, thrive, and grow!

A Few Exciting Ideas

Remote Working

For some, this might feel like a tired subject – and we get it. If you grew up with the corner office in your sights, then you may resist any change from the status quo.

If you realized that you love what you do (the work), then you may be more inclined to resist going back to a physical, central hub if it is only a place to sit and be managed. It is easier and more efficient to connect with those that love the work (like you do) through the web than through any physical structure. That being said, if the work is management or supervision, then getting back to where we can see and oversee others seems like the most natural solution.

But here is the important caveat: Leadership can be accomplished from anywhere. Technology and information are both growing and changing faster than society can adjust; there have always been social revolutions in our history as a result of the advances in science, information, and technology.

The challenge now? We are seeing these advances more often and more widespread than ever before. The answer may simply be that the status quo will always exist – except now it lasts months, not years or decades!

So, how do you adjust?

The Power of Small Change

We get so caught up in the moment – in ourselves, in the event, whatever it might be – that we often miss the power that a small adjustment in our thinking can make. In fact, a small change can often cause a gigantic adjustment in the outcome.

Consider small changes like:

  • Responding to a terse text not with an immediate reply, but with a phone call sometime later to discuss the issue.

  • Taking the stairs and not the elevator.

  • Drinking water rather than anything else.

  • Writing three personal notes to friends – not 50 ‘likes’ to online connections.

  • Responding with gratitude, not privilege.

  • Treating your loved ones as if this was the last time you would ever see them, not as if they will always be there.

  • Giving joy, not purchasing happiness.

  • Thinking about people, not things.

  • Creating moments where you are, and with who you are, not FOMO.

  • Remembering we are human – not red or blue, masked or unmasked, vaccinated or unvaccinated.

  • Having your own informed opinion, not the opinion of the news feed you consume.

The new currency is what you do with the information you have – not the collection of information.

Understanding Your Own Lenses

It is important to be very careful with the glasses you find yourself looking through. Some of us wear glasses so we can read. Some of us wear glasses to drive. Most of us will wear glasses in the sun.

We all put lenses on the way we perceive the world each day – the secret is not which lens you choose, but rather to determine if you really know which lenses you are looking through.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you see the world from the lenses of pessimism or optimism?

  • Do you see people or things?

  • Do you see religion or faith?

  • Do you see yourself as you are or as you aspire to be?

There is a common cliché that we have likely all heard before: "When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

And as challenging as all those lenses may be to figure out, we understand they are there and we grasp that they are part of what influences our view of the world.

We have learned to adapt to the different lenses that we may have on at any given moment.

But what is most insidious are the algorithms that are the invisible lens of our modern life – like the internet and social media. The original intent of these platforms was to help you sort through all the information that was present and use your search history as a way to prioritize your future search.

The problem is that it creates an echo chamber of your own thinking and reinforces that view. Look up the 10 best places to go in Hawaii and you will get a different set of lists depending on the browser (lens) you use and your past search history (lens) – this will be totally different than the results your partner (sitting right next to you) probably gets.

It happens every day without us even thinking about it. We are looking through lenses we do not know we have on.

Make no mistake, there have been cultural, geographic, religious, ethnic, and racial lenses since the beginning of time. What has changed is that we now have an algorithm bias that we forget to adjust for.

So remember, just because your news feed, your friends’ feeds, or whatever it is that delivers you information exists and is present, that does not mean it is the only information available.

Think about it, the more you look at something, the more the web will send you that specific something – remember that quantity is not the same as quality.

Algorithms are running the world. Just look at what Mariah Carey’s fans did on Twitter and iTunes with her album, Glitter from 2001. They tweeted it up until the algorithm in 2018 changed and turned a flop into a hit.

In short, be careful with the glasses you put on and the lenses you invest in!


Ready to talk more about any of these ideas? Want to hear more about these odds and ends? Need a push to put on a different set of lenses to see the world, your business, or your life a little differently?

Reach out to us at We are more than ready to talk these things through with you (and more!).

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