Saturday, April 30, 2011

The American Cancer Society - 2011 Relay For Life of Deerfield Beach & Lighthouse Point, FL:

The American Cancer Society - 2011 Relay For Life of Deerfield Beach & Lighthouse Point, FL:

This year Bluegreen Corporation joined the American Heart Association's Start! Program as part of its ongoing commitment to wellness. Because we have a long history of philanthropic work as well, it occurred to me that to up the number of miles we are reporting for the Start! Program, we could register for the local charity walks and raise money at the same time we are counting our steps. With that in mind, we already walked in Boca Raton's JDRF walk on April 9th and are walking in the GreatStrides event for Cystic Fibrosis at Florida Atlantic University tomorrow, May 1st. Our next walk is the Relay for Life event being held to benefit the American Cancer Society at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on Saturday, May 14th. It just so happens that Saturday, May 14th, is also the date of Bluegreen's 12th Annual Charity Golf Tournament to benefit JDRF and Christel it will be a banner day in terms of physical activities for wellness and philanthropic fundraising.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random Thoughts

Sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the web of connections one encounters? With the new social media and the multi-networked environment, the six degrees of separation has been reduced despite the immensity of the growing number of individual expressions of consciousness.

In Science of Mind magazine the other day there was an article by Gary Zukav referencing the human evolution towards multi-sensory perception. A way of approaching reality beyond what we now experience through the five senses. Everyone has heard of the entirely eerie sixth sense but the term multi-sensory perception removes some of the negative connotations now associated with just the sixth sense. What was labelled the sixth sense was an intuitive acknowledgement of what is to become an evolutionary reality, however, with all things defined there will be more that just one additional sense perception. Avoiding the dogmatism imposed by language, there is a way in which the five senses have long operated as a system of perception and in that way I feel intellectually in is easier for us to perceive the possibility of what living with this optimized system might feel like.

The perception of reality informs to a degree what we know or think we know and therefore has a profound impact on our behavior. I think this may be more of an unconscious effect than a conscious one because of the enormity of awareness that would be required to sort through or synthesize what is taking place at any given moment.

Relating this to the modern day workplace and business environment or political landscape, one can see that the early recognition of the importance of data (maps, libraries, constitutions, codes of law, census demographics, databases, analytics, etc.) gave rise to the early MIS environment where it was then necessary to find tools that equipped us to make sense of all the data. With advancing technology and the new cloud environment, I wonder how interconnected our own multi-sensory perceptions are with the advancement of our ability to interact and interpret knowledge through the cloud?

All of this makes me take a deep breathe and remember that in our Western mystical tradition there was a way of contemplating God (ultimate reality) through the apophatic tradition of unknowing...through the Cloud of Unknowing as one anonymous mystical writer put it. How much of our modern Constructivist learning theory is built upon that initial letting go of what we formerly held to be true and real?

Returning to our interconnectedness and the advent of the cloud in technology, how will this alter the social reality. Social constructivism talks about how our meaning making is informed by our encounters with the social environment (now global)and reminds me of the memes and conversations from Integral theory and the greater impact this will have on our interpersonal and international relations, our understanding of ourselves and others, which any modern person realizes has been evolving all along...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Volunteerism and Career Development

There are so many benefits from volunteering. We often have heard it said that it is in giving of our time and talent that we truly receive. As I have mentioned before, I am a great admirer of synchronicity and the uncanny ways that we are all connected even on the premise of six degrees of separation. Now with the Internet and all the various social media and networking sites, I feel the benefits are expanding exponetially.

My employer has seen tremendous benefits from its philanthropic and volunteer activities and I want to relate some recent events that I think help the story of how employees who volunteer not only receive personal and professional benefits but add value to their employers and any professional and community networks that they participate in.

The company I work for has made great strides in the last 18 months in elevating the strategic value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We presently have a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee that reports its efforts through a Talent Strategy Committee and the Executive Committee.  Several members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee belong to other organizations that are also working on diversity and inclusion in their industries and beyond. Our committee chairperson is also a member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA)and participates actively in their diversity programs, while several other members belong to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA)and a group entitled Women in the Industry (WIN) which is now closely associated with ARDA. The remainder of our committee members also belong to the Florida Diversity Council and/or to the National Diversity Council. Each council member also has a volunteer role in one of these organizations and ofter in a some leadership capacity.

The value for one's career and professional development is largely derived from the sheer amount of learning that comes from extending your intake of new knowledge and best practices and alerting your day-to-day activities enough to take in a widening circle of relationships. Building such relationships and working in the community have mutually benefical outcomes and lead to a sense of pride in your employer for supporting these efforts.

My employer additionally has a long history of supporting charitable and other non-profit organizations locally, nationally and internationally. One of our core values is relationships and our president always reminds us that we genuinely care about one another, our customers and our communities. These relationships offer foster a number of alliances where you feel as though you have entered into some virtuous cycle advancing from good to great.