I’ve been a fan of Ray Dalio, co-founder of Bridgewater Associates. He recently published Principles: Life and Workisboth an autobiography and and exposition of his core values. Mr. Dalio is notably recognized for his emphasis on building an organization that makes great decisions based on radical truth and transparency. Bridgewater is the largest United States hedge fund manager with some $150 Billion under management.
Mr. Dalio itemizes and explains the rationale behind scores of principles. A core set of these principles is his 5-Step Process (about page 260 on my ebook) for improving an organization. Each step is listed below, followed by how our flagship Process Triage workshop practices these steps. (I’m not saying PT does these 5-Steps the way Bridgewater does, but we follow the pattern.)
Have clear goals. The Process Triage workshop’s prework includes a Process Capability Goal. It describes what the process we’re triaging must be capable of performing and delivering in measurable terms. If the process can sustain the goal, it will contribute its share of a larger organizational objective. The workshop’s executive sponsor assigns this goal’s writing to an understudy (the workshop host) for professional development. Every improvement the triage team proposes and prioritizes will, if implemented, deliver progress towards this goal.
Identify the problems preventing the goals from being achieved. We identify problems — we call them Pain Points, with the most believable, Go-to experts in the process we’re triaging. They’re hand picked by the host. Each triage team consists of the most believable, closest-to-the-work performers of the work. Every pain point must be described in measurable terms — counting how much and how often something happens that inhibits the capability goal. It’s radically truthful and radically transparent. Each triager is provided the respect, empathy, and listened-to attention as they identify pain points. Given each triager sees only a portion of the whole process, they’ll see pain points across the whole process after everyone’s contributed. Their situational awareness and diagnostic insights make all of them smarter than any one of them.
Diagnose parts of the machine. Using the ProcessTriage® Protocol, the team examines each pain point and selects the type of solution and sizes its level of effort. The four solutions are:
ANALYZE a pain point for a cause that’s not obvious, then triage that cause(s). DESIGN a best practice (procedure, tool, technology, policy, instruction, etc.) that stops the problem.
TRAIN an existing best practice.
ENFORCE a trained best practice.
The typical, 10-member triage team will sort (not solve), size, and prioritize about 20 improvements per workshop from 30 pain points. Every proposal is believable and has strategic fit.
Design changes Each triage generates a Process Triage Profile™, much like a personality profile like Meyers-Briggs or DISC®. This profile highlights how much best practice design work is needed compared to training and enforcing existing best practices. This gives improvement leaders a clear-eyed understanding about what they face in reaching their goals. You cannot scale a process with design issues — you’ll just create crap faster if you hit the gas. If the focus is training and enforcement, it’s all about people and resource management.
Doing what’s needed. The triage workshop’s Host writes the post-triage implementation plan and submits this to the Sponsor. (Our certified facilitator coaches as needed.) This plan should be signature ready and executable when approved.
Radical truth and radical transparency sounds good. We know it works when we create an expert facilitated space for teams to experience it respectfully and emphatically.
If your core process team welcomes an immersion in this, give us a call.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2018-01-10 15:46:562018-01-10 16:05:00Process Triaging syncs with Ray Dalio's Life Principles (5-Steps)
I offer my company’s Process Triaging Service to any Jurisdiction seeking to establish and sustain a best practice for hosting satisfying Constitutionally peaceable assemblies for all stakeholders in such events. The fee for this facilitated triage service is reimbursement of travel related expenses (refundable coach-class air, Marriott Courtyard-class lodging, rental car, etc.) for the first five (5) jurisdictions that request the triage workshop.
I need the jurisdictional Executive Sponsor to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, first come, first served.
The offer consists of a facilitated a 1-Day Process Triage Workshop (Agenda HERE) for the requesting Jurisdiction Executive Sponsor. It requires the participation of the jurisdiction’s Go-To experts who know all the stakeholder tasks — what you have to actually DO to deliver a satisfying assembly.
My company has experience in triaging public sector core processes, such as the Medicaid Enrollment Process and the processes within a Department of Motor Vehicles. I don’t have many government executives in my contacts list or Linked-In network. Please forward this to any public sector executives you think would be interested. Thanks.
The violent protests related to the monuments that earlier generations mounted, and other ‘anti-Free Speech’ counter-protests have offended me in a purely violation-of-our-constitution manner. While I personally abhor the speech of some participants (such as white supremacists) the lack of enforcement of our constitutionally sacred right to peaceably assemble, by allowing blue-shirt thugs to violently counter-protest, disgusts me more. I was potty-trained as a junior officer in the Army Rangers to Lead the Way! I seek to lead a solution to this nonsense and not merely complain, sit on my arse, and cower before jack-booted, face-hiding, thug-enabling political correctness. Our Constitution is color blind and abhors identity politics! We are a nation of individuals, secured in our rights to Life, Liberty, and the (constitutionally legal) pursuit of happiness. And I’m friggin’ UNHAPPY!
THE TRIAGE WORKSHOP DELIVERABLE
A Peaceable Assembly Process Map suitable for training, triaging, and continuous process improvement.
A Prioritized List of bottoms-up, Go-To expert process improvement proposals that, if implemented, deliver the desired Constitutionally protected peaceable assembly within the jurisdiction.
A ‘Peaceable Assembly Management Team” who are more situationally aware and each other and have each other’s back to ensure peaceable assemblies are consistently delivered.
A case study for all triage participants to present to future teams to demonstrate the participant’s ability to lead world-class team-driven issue processing and continuous improvement.
WHO ARE WE AND WHY ARE WE QUALIFIED TO HELP?
ProcessTriage® (PT) is a consultancy focused on developing a team’s issue processing skills, primarily in teams who do an organization’s marketing, selling, fulfilling, and accounting (cash management) within its core process. The core process we seek to improve is the 1st Amendment Peaceable Assembly Process, from Assembly Desired, to Post-Assembly Results Reported. Based on the hysteria and violence related to recent protests (Constitutionally protected assemblies), there is a LOT of process pain!
PT is built around coaching the ProcessTriage® Protocol, a fast and effective procedure to treat a business process’s Pain Points. This issue processing is called triaging – to examine a pain point, verify its relevance, sort it to type of solution, size its level of effort, then assign its priority for completion.
I’ve personally led over 1,000 team triaging workshops, with experience in about every type of industry or organization that creates something someone else needs — commercial, non-profit, public and private sector, start-up to Fortune® 500.
OPTIONAL READING: MY WORKING NOTES I’M BRINGING TO THE TRIAGE
It all begins with a process. A process happens when a multitude of tasks are required to create something of value and these tasks require different and specialized skills – different people, tools, or technologies. A process requires a team to run competently and efficiently. The valuable thing we are constitutionally protected to possess is theRight to Peaceably Assemble:
Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY PROCESS (Print this post and download the Case Study map below)
A Peaceable Assembly, at some size, frequency and location is complex enough to require a process – ask any event planner. For purposes of this case study, we’ll keep the process simple with two sub-processes: Assembly Planning and the Assembly Event Management from the Assembly Event Sponsor’s view (click on the picture below for PDF download).
The 1st Amendment Peaceable Assembly Process (Sponsor’s View) SELECT to DOWNLOAD PDF. Includes an explanation of the Action-Result Mapping Style and narrative walk-through.
Assembly Planning: The Jurisdiction Having Authority (JHA) has published Assembly Permit Requirements to plan and coordinate the resources for providing security, safety, and sanitation for the assembly. As this Constitutional Right allows for peaceable assembly, the JHA may request law enforcement presence to maintain the peace, including detaining individuals who demonstrate illegal conduct (which does not include speech).
The Sponsor (Action #10) determines the assembly’s scope, such as the date, time, number of participants, location, free speech theme, and media / marketing requirements. If the proposed assembly requires a permit (JHA published), the Sponsor requests a permit (Action #20). If a permit is not needed, the Sponsor publishes the assembly notice (Action #40). If a permit was required, the JHA evaluates the request (Action #30) and grants or denies the permit request according to the published assembly criteria. Participants will R.S.V.P. the Sponsor if desired (Action #50). Assembly Planning concludes when the Assembly Plan is completed by the Sponsor and JHA.
Assembly Event Management: On some date prior to the Assembly Event (sub-process start), the Sponsor stages the assembly event (Action #210), including sanitation facilities, stages, route guides, etc.). Law Enforcement stages safety and security measures if required (Action #220) and the media stages their resources if interested (Action #215).
The assembly is held (Action #230 after it is staged (Results #210, #215, #220 are complete). At the same time, if needed, Law Enforcement provides participant safety and security (enforces the Rule of Law), and, if interested, the Media observe the assembly. If a participant violates the 1st Amendment by acting in an illegally non-peaceful manner, Law Enforcement may detain the individual(s) and initiate an appropriate, due process rule-of-law process (Action #275).
After the assembly event is held the Sponsor completes post-assembly tasks (Action #240), such as site clean-up. Law Enforcement completes their post-event tasks (Action #250) and the Media publishes / broadcasts their coverage.
After Law Enforcement (if present) completes their safety and security tasks (Action #250) the Sponsor completes their assembly closure actions (Action #260) and reports the results (Action #270) as the choose.
The Process Capability Goal.
A Process Capability Goal is a statement of how well a process must perform, in measurable terms, that if sustained over many cycles (assembly events), meets our strategic objectives. In no particular order:
The Peaceable Assembly Sub-Process must be capable of:
Submitting a permit request that meets JHA-satisfying criteria on the first submission, allowing for occasional cosmetic corrections.
Evaluating, and granting or denying a permit request in a courteous, efficient, Sponsor-friendly manner.
Effectively announcing the assembly notice to (1) invite potential participants and (2) make stakeholders and impacted individuals aware of inconveniences related to the assembly.
Publishing an assembly plan that enables venue suppliers (e.g. sanitation), law enforcement, and the media to schedule appropriate resources to ensure all participants experience a peaceable, Constitutionally legal assembly.
The Assembly Event Management Sub-Process must be capable of:
Ensuring the Constitutionally protected peaceable assembly is at all times peaceable, and restraining (minimum) or removing (maximum) non-peaceable participants.
Delivering a satisfying participant experience within the enforcement of constitutionally protected peaceable behavior.
Sufficient public safety, sanitation, and emergency medical support appropriate for the demographics and number of participants.
Ensuring safe and efficient ingress to and egress from the assembly venue.
A Process Point of Pain is any recurring behavior or event that inhibits the process’s Capability Goal. A pain point is always a measurement (factual, measurable, empirical evidence) and not a resource constraint. We need to triage these pain points into sized and prioritized solutions.
The Role of Law Enforcement (Stakeholder)
Our Constitution prohibits the Government from abridging the freedom to assemble peaceably. A defense of and enforcement of this right obligates the Government to take whatever means necessary to secure this right, by use of deadly force if justified (worst case). Of course, any use of force is subject to the courts for review to insure its exercise was merited. This use of force shall not be directed at the peaceable, legally behaving participant.
The defense of this right of speech and peaceable assembly does not assert the Government agrees or disagrees with the content of such speech or assembly, however repugnant or virtuous it may be; it is enforcing the right to peaceable assembly and free speech only. The Government is not choosing sides.
We are a people who are governed by the Rule of Law, and we settle our political differences by debate, by vote, and by free election of representatives who, by majority, decide the Rules of our Law, always in harmony with our Constitution. It’s color blind. It’s identity-politics free. It’s the most masterful social contract in the history of civilization. And it works every time we enforce it.
The Role of the Press (Stakeholder)
The Press is a Participant in the peaceable assembly. Its presence and speech are equality protected. At the same time, the Press is obliged to maintain constitutionally protected peaceable behavior; to observe; to not participate or incite non-peaceable behavior.
All of us are smarter than any one of us. Seal Team 6
We’re better than this. Let’s fix it.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2017-08-26 00:16:372017-09-08 12:56:08An OFFER to triage the 1st Amendment Peaceable Assembly Process - Travel Expenses Only - First 5 Requesting Jurisdictions
One of Process Triage’s core values with our customers and clients is to Make Touches that Make a Difference. We listen and look for a moment in each triaging engagement to add something of delightful value, above our expected scope of work.
Tory’s an EOS Operator, meaning he’s adopted the Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS), introduced by Gino Wickman’s book, Traction. Tory, a visionary, sponsored a triage and tasked his integrator, Jeff King to host it. I blogged about their bi-lingual triage team here. (Visionaries and Integrators, the two C-Suite must-have roles are explained in Gino’s and Mark Winter’s book, Rocket Fuel)
To the point, Jeff was responsible for the 90+Day Post-Triage Implementation Plan. This plan is the signature-ready deliverable the triage host presents the sponsor to request resources for any Big Now project-size efforts and Small Now task-size actions the organization cannot complete. Jeff’s plan was, frankly, one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Process Triage Host Jeff King with his triaged process map (Courtesy Schwope Bros. Farms).
On a parallel narrative, I’m a Vistage International speaker. Vistage members benefit from guest speakers on about any topic related to running and growing an enterprise. It’s a privilege and honor to be on the circuit, noting speakers are not allowed to solicit — it’s a pay it forward opportunity with a very modest honorarium. It’s my practice to chat with the Vistage group’s chairperson to understand where the group is and how I may best tailor my talk on triaging. I’m looking for an opportunity to make a touch that matters. One such chair was Will Hindrickson, in the New London, Connecticut area. Will mentioned his entire chief executive group were EOS operators. So I read up on EOS, read Traction, and suspected there were synergies between Process Triaging and EOS immediately.
Seeking more info on EOS, I asked two Vistage Chair friends in Kansas City, Tony Lewis and Jeff Hutsell what they knew about EOS. Turns out Tony’s an EOS Operator himself, and said about half a dozen or so of his members were on EOS, namely Tory Schwope.
If you’re interested in EOS, Tory’s a case study success. Consider using an EOS Implementer (Tony Lewis asserts using an implementer/coach is the best practice, and their 90 minute overview is without obligation). I’m a believer because of the quality of Tory and Jeff’s post-Triage follow through.
If you’ve adopted EOS or are an EOS implementor (coach), and want to add a Moment that Matters touch in the EOS issues solving track, consider hosting our Process Triage Immersion Workshop. I’m best reached by text or email initially. (I’m focused to only answer cell phone calls from those in my contacts list).
Hat Tip, Tory.
UPDATE / P.S. 1/30/2016
The Process Triage immersion workshop is usually only one-day long and focused on an enterprise’s core driveshaft process. It generates a prioritized list of solutions to process points-of-pain. These pain points are recurring events or behaviors, as observed by the hand-picked process expert team who live in the trenches of the process– NOT the C-Suite’ers (who sponsor the triage). It’s the bottoms-up, bought-in list, not a top-down list you have to sell or direct. These solutions are, in EOS terms, pre-validated, pre-qualified issues with proposed solutions already nominated — in a “Bring me solutions, not problems” approach. Process triaging therefore drives the Issue Tracking dimension and value of EOS deeper into the organization, towards front line leaders. The EOS issue tracking method is, itself, a process that welcomes high quality inputs — high quality issues. That’s why Tory suggested a triage schedule a few weeks ahead of the quarterly pulse.
Not mentioned in Tory’s kind remarks was the process documentation produced by the triage team (as illustrated in Jeff King’s photo above). You can leverage the triage map into your process documentation.
Disclaimer: The EOS Operating System is a copyright of EOS Worldwide. ProcessTriage LLC has no commercial relationships with EOS Worldwide.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2016-01-29 10:18:342019-06-19 18:07:40Catapult your EOS Issues Solving Track with Process Triage
My rabbi of almost 30 years, a genuine talmid chacham began a lesson saying, ‘Answers are easy, it is the questions that are hard.’ This speaks to the idea that questions are more elemental and full of potential, and in practice, ignite the imagination and inspire us to challenge our limitations.
For example, I like to reward myself after what I think has been a successful day of triaging an enterprise’s expert team. The work is intellectually intoxicating and fulfilling. The quip, ‘I can’t believe someone pays me to do this!’, attributed to the legendary novelist John MacDonald, fits my feelings. My at-a-boy is a nice steak at a recommended steak house. (I do not expense anything above my published per diem rate, to be sure).
So the first question is easy enough; “Where is a great steak house?” The answer typically offers a choice of two or three. But once seated and menued, the next question is prescient. It is ignitful — meaning it may ignite and explosion of superb customer service that sets a seriously succulent steak on your table. Like this bone-in Porterhouse filet at the Silver Fox in Richardson, Texas this week. (That is NOT Photoshopped!)
I asked my server, “What is the steak your chef would most like to serve tonight?”
She blinked, clearly not knowing. So I commanded her (yes, commanded) to go find out.
A few moments later she returned with a spring in her step and answered, ‘Sir, it’s off the menu. It’s a bone-in Porterhouse filet. How would you like it prepared?”
“Medium, thank you, with a side of grilled (brussel) sprouts.” (It comes with snap peas and mashed potatoes.)
She marched off to the kitchen, having bagged the elephant, so very, very pleased with herself.
She returned much faster than I expected, and placed the beautifully plated work-of-art before me. The fork leaned over to it in anticipation!
And Wow! — was it delicious. Howl-at-the-moon delicious.
So, I was a few savory fork-fulls from finishing it off, cleansing my palate between bites with a nice Pinot Noir to re-live the blossom of that first bite, when the chef walked up to my table and — grinning ear to ear, asked, “How do you like your steak? It’s hard to get this cut in the quality we require, so I thought I’d check.”
“It is wonderful!, I replied, mouth half-full.” Then we small talked for a moment as he was clearly pleased with the effort.
Afterwards, when the server returned with a concluding cup of coffee, she was beside herself that the chef had visited her table. And he was so pleased.
So I asked her one more question.
“What IF you asked your chef what he or she wanted to create and serve most during your shift, that would want them to go check with a guest — and then suggest it if it seemed fitting? What would your relationship with this chef grow into? What would your guests think of your service?”
She offered a very cute fist bump, fittingly returned.
What are your questions that ignite the best from others?
If you boil Process Triaging down to its first essential deliverable, it’s The List of process capability improvement proposals. This list is created and prioritized for immediate execution by your hand-picked triage team.
The facilitated Process Triage Workshopoffers a number of other value propositions, such as team building, team conflict resolution, and continuous improvement team development. But the bottom line is it generates the list of improvement proposals that will most certainly improve your operational performance if you implement the list.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2015-10-22 08:38:432015-10-22 08:40:37What is Process Triaging? in 2 Minutes
The facts will set you free, to borrow a sacred phrase.
When I have time, I compile the results of the most recent Process Triage workshops, our flagship service. We always ask participants — the triagers, specifically (not the sponsors or hosts) what they thought of the workshop.
One of the five questions is,’What did you like most?”
September 2015 Sample from the most recent 100+ Basic Workshop participants.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2015-09-16 14:41:232015-09-16 14:48:17What Triagers Like Most About Our Basic Triaging Workshop
Here it is — my list of rules, laws, axioms, truisms, and blinding flashes of the obvious, in no particular order — thoughts that have stuck to my cranium wall after leading hundreds of process triages (on a napkin here).
I hope this list is be good enough to bookmark and I promise to keep it fresh.
Usually, it is unwise to fix the most squeaky wheel first.
Almost every process triage workshop (overview here) illustrates why the most painful points on a process are not necessarily the first improvement investment. Every point-of-pain, where the process is not behaving right, requires an investment to remove, either an action item-size Small Now or a project-size Big Now. The triage teamranks remedies, not the amount of pain. Quite often, a single quite point of pain, usually near the start of a process delivers the most capability improvement compared to where all hell breaks loose downstream. These less obvious fixes often pay for the workshop’s opportunity costs.
If you don’t fix the quality of your work first, you’ll just create crap faster.
You’d be surprised how often this is overlooked. Of course, we’re not talking about designed speed where we intend to re-cycle and improve immediately, such as in Agile software development.When we look at a list of triage results — the Small Now’s action item-size and Big Now’s project-size list, we recommend the process delay volume increases until most of the remaining items are “Enforce –‘x'”, as opposed to Analyze, Design, or Train.
Task complexity increases with volume.
What works at ‘x’ volume blows up at ‘2x’ or ’10x’ volume, especially if it involved human labor. Processing 25 paychecks every other week is QuickBooks® simple. Cutting 20,000 3rd Party commission sales force pay checks, where each SKU has a different compensation rate, off a base of 1 million point-of-sale transactions per month, is astonishingly difficult. One of PT’s early successes was triaging such a process, hat tip Wendy Cogan, the host.
This is why Google can’t update software very fast anymore. Or why anything attempted by the federal government that involves transacting with hundreds of millions of citizens is incapable of being created quickly (Obamacare exchanges), which is why the smartphone mobile app world is so compelling — it forces simplicity.
Individual experts cannot fix what only teams can find.
All of us are smarter than any one of us. I cannot count the number of times one member of a triage team identified a process’s point of pain in which the solution was obvious to another team member who specialized in an upstream or downstream activity or silo. And very often, the solution is not the obvious one, nor is it the one the executive would have pointed out.
You can free up cash to use elsewhere by (1) borrowing it at interest, (2) trading equity for it, (3) outsourcing necessary work cheaper, or (4) improving insufficiently capable, cash leaking processes you should own and lead. Continuous Process Improvement (#4) demands you actually lead an organization.
There are a number of tactics the CEO can apply to raise cash without involving more than a few staff members, like borrowing money, trading equity for some, or deciding not to do work others do as well or better less expensively. But freeing up or generating cash through on-going operations requires business process improvement, which is a TEAM activity. Improving team performance requires leadership.
A Process Capability Goal is to process performance what Strategic Objectives are to enterprise performance.
If there is one behavioral indicator — one thing to look for, to determine if a business process is well-managed, it is the presence or absence of a Process Capability Goal (PCG – template here). If the managers of a process do not know how well it must behave, in a manner that, if sustained, will deliver its share of the firms financial goals, it will be chaos and ill-conceived and unfocused improvements.
Only managed processes are scalable.
A process is not scalable that is not measure for speed, quality at essential points, and unit cost consumption. Period. Full Stop.
You don’t understand your process completely until you can see it as a flow of cash.
Seeing a process as a flow of cash separates candidate executives from impostors, for financial acumen and managerial accounting is lingua franca of executive management. As I’ve said, while stomping my feet for emphasis, “Money isn’t everything but it pays the bills for everything ultimately. Every improvement that improves a process’s capability should make sense financially, and that story cannot be told unless one is aware of how and where a process consumes cash. So teach your front-line experts, those who see the most capability-inhibiting issues, how their process eats or generates cash.
If you will not delegate a task, when it can be delegated, you are the bottleneck that inhibits your growth.
As an enterprise grows, the time demands on the CEO are more outward facing, with investors and strategic customers and constituencies, leaving less time for inward, operational attentions. The roles of CEO and COO must split into different people. COO responsibilities cannot be delegated if the business operating model does not push continuous process improvement tactics down into production spaces — delegated to them. Process triaging is all about teaching and establishing operational improvements.
Don’t necessarily fix what you have not counted.
Do not change your business model unless the one-time problem was obviously catastrophic. Just count it instead and determine if it will repeat. After counting it and establishing a trend, then fix it.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2015-06-06 11:13:022015-06-22 07:02:00The Rosey-isms List
The more I remember my mother, Betty Grimmer Rosenberger, of blessed memory, the more I admire her. For those who did not know her, my older brother John’s eulogy (here) sums up the essentials. The slide show preceding her funeral service is short and sweet.
Mother kept a journal most of her life, from about 8th grade well into her 70’s, with some seasons of her life well detailed and others seemingly skipped. Her journal entries during my early childhood are a marvel. While I was playing on the Pecos River, burying cantelope in the sandy river bank to cool it down and marking its spot with as stick so as to find it later, Mom was wondering how much credit the grocery store in town would allow before her meager school teacher paycheck arrived at the end of the month. Or the short, sad entries of ‘D’ (Duane, my Dad) out late and home drunk again.’ (Dad turned his life completely around some years later, but that’s another post of another day.)
I thank my mother most for demonstrating tenaciousness in the perfection of ones talents. Before I left for boarding school at age 14, she returned to her first love, painting. (Our family’s fortunes improved with Dad’s race horse breeding and training business hitting its stride.) She earned a fine arts degree at the University of Iowa as WWII concluded, then sought a teaching job as close to Ozona, Texas as she could. She longed to return to her childhood community and her beloved grandmother, Dixie Davidson. The closest she could get was a Pecos River oasis town of Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. She was smitten by a quit-high-school-to-fly-a-P51-Mustang-in-the-Army-Air-Corps cowboy. Dad introduced himself at Sprout’s Cafe (then on main street next to the bank) based on Bill Hitson’s bet he couldn’t get a date with such as nice school teacher type. They almost eloped but Mom’s mother, a pre-Law graduate from the University of Texas essentially read the riot act to her. Anyway, I found her one morning asleep at her work table with her hair matted to a church painting she was working on, with a couple of 100 watt lights glaring over her shoulders. The ‘Churches of the Rio Pecos’ collection, fourty of them, are a legacy and treasure of New Mexico history, 39 of them hanging in Dos Palomas (two doves), the home John and I general contracted for her to display them.
The point of this remembrance is mother taught me now to make something from almost nothing, but hard work and trust in the talents and gifts one is blessed with. Granted, Mom had a college education — a liberal arts education, when a college education mattered, but painting is a craft. She did not hit her stride until thousands of hours of practice, as Malcolm Gladwell asserted in Outliers(Little, Brown & Company, 2008)
Mom is my reference point for growing ProcessTriage® and finding Immersion Workshop Facilitators — men and women who can unconsciously lead a team of strangers through a crazy-focused team building moment.
https://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.png00Joseph Rosenbergerhttps://processtriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/logopng2-300x110.pngJoseph Rosenberger2015-05-07 09:08:222015-05-07 09:20:29Something From Almost Nothing (a Mother's Day tribute)