Jackie's Blog

Seeing the Ripple Effect

Seeing the ripple effect of the work the team did one year ago is surprising. Seeing the ripple effect of the work your team did two years ago is thrilling. And yet, here I am reflecting on the power meeting and how we got there. It is a small ripple in the work we did two years ago. 

So today, consider one project you are doing now that you want to see the ripples of your effort. Consider the level of effort and imagination you add into the mix. Is it is something that is sustainable with outcomes to open new doors for you as you progress? Will it connect you to the good that matters to the people you want to spend your life with into the future? Will it allow you to spend time doing what you love? Will it build the strategy and foundation for your vision? Is it what you meant to say "yes" to for a long-term vision?

Listen and Silent are the same

Do you ever consider that listen and silent have the same characters and are the same? It is an Ah ha for me. I am lover of TEDTalks. When I was listening to a TEDTalk to get in the mood for preparing for a client innovation session in Academic Medicine, I heard a speaker talk about this idea of "Listen and Silent are the same." It jumped out at me and let me reflect on how I listen. Am I silent? My monkey mind is usually running a mile a minute, as my friend Mary says. For me to get really silent, it requires I stay true to my practice of meditation. Sometimes I meditate more than once a day. Maybe this might be a clue. 

What if today, you take a moment to really listen to what is being said and be silent? I plan to listen and be silent at least three times today when I am with clients and my family. When you read Own Your Value, my latest book, one of the key tools in the book is to ask questions and really listen to what is being said and not said. It is an awakening. Will you try it at least once this week and let me know how it goes? 

Now More Than Ever

"Now more than ever we need to work with you." said Bill, a Senior Level Leader. It felt like I had heard that before. And, I had. In Own Your Value, I wrote, "We are walking in a forest of unpredictability. So many things are changing.Whether you agree with what is happening or not, it is happening." It rings so clear that organizations are searching for innovators to emerge to take risks. To take a risk it requires you have some quiet time to feel your vision. See what you want to create in the future and what is emerging. Now more than ever, we need thoughtful, centered leaders with a clear vision.


One way to improve your balance is to practice in a safe place. Stand on your right foot, lift your left foot off the ground, and count to 5 for a set of 10 times. Then, switch sides and stand on your left foot. Repeat three times. Now do it with your eyes closed for just 10 seconds.

When I read this new balance practice, I realize how easy is sounds, I know it is challenging for me. When you practice improving your balance, it gets better. If it doesn't, talk with your doctor right away. 

Balance is so important in life and in developing your career. Each day I practice improving my balance. Every week, I take an inventory of the balance in my life. Michael Gott developed this very powerful simple, self inventory to take each week and experience no negative self judgement while doing it. Unlike the balance exercise standing on one foot, you have to be self reflective and get real with yourself. It has helped me tremendously. If you want to learn more about where you are in balance in your life, consider taking a moment to practice doing something for the first time.

Time Off

What you would do with 30 days of time off? I explored lots of comedy, movies, new art projects and a new vision for our innovation consulting business and #OwnYourValue. I feel at ease, happy and fresh.

Life stopped for a while for me and I started listening to myself and some wise people that said, "See how you can take some time off work." I did and am feeling good. I did something for the first time. 

When you are at a place that you have never been and realize a break might just help you hit the reset button, do it. I called our clients and let them know. They shocked me. They said, "We are here for you. Take all the time you need and come back to us."

So I did. I hope you are at a place today that you can take some time off. It might just be that button to push to feel good. Just try a few days on for size and do something for the first time. Give yourself some time off.


Work Hard and Stay Innovative

"The only thing I know to do it keep working and going." said Hubert Duncan, my grandfather, west Texas rancher and east Texas dairy farmer. I thought about this paradox as I meditated this morning and saw the clouds break in Houston. We are working to restart client projects and that is tough. When you have momentum, take a break, and restart, it takes so much more effort. When every person you talk with in your hometown has a sadder story than you could have imagined, how do you keep innovating?

Many books are published about innovation. Own Your Value is released on September 20th and it is about the paradox of how to work hard and stay innovative. It is in my DNA and what I know. Zig Ziglar as one of my mentors encouraged me to keep going. I wish he were here today to keep encouraging. After #Hurricane Harvey, it seems I am prone to crying instead of working hard and staying innovative. So, today I will do all three. Cry, work, and innovate. Sending you lots of love and compassion. What do you do to keep going?


Pure Value

How do you know if what you are doing adds pure value? You feel it. You see it. It can be measured. Dr. Mauro Ferrari, President, Houston Methodist Research Institute delivers pure value to science, medicine, patients, and our community. When you are in his presence, you feel it. You see the results of what he publishes in Science and thousands of other peer review journals. When I think about pure value, I think about Dr. Ferrari.

In Own Your Value, you feel the ups and downs of the journey. When the road seems too long and the trip is too hard, it is time as Bob Seger sings to Turn the Page. There are days you know to keep going and days you know to start over.  Pure Value is when you feel on it down in your bones. Go for that feeling today. What is one way you can experience Pure Value today? I did with making plans for a new project with a brilliant client. I hope you get that experience today. For more, join us on 9/20 to launch Own Your Value. 

Be the One

"You are the one. You know it when you are hear a leader make request for someone to step up and take action. You step forward." said a Director at CenterPoint Energy in one of our innovation sessions. She decided to Be the One. You can too. When you read a post on social media, see a story on a news report, or get a text from a friend in need, take action. There is no one looking over your shoulder. It is between you and your heart to step up. You will be glad you did.

Yesterday, I tried to map out an adventure to HEB and could not go beyond a few blocks because of flooding. I am grateful to God. I am thankful to CenterPoint Energy because I have power. I have internet. I am grateful to the City of Houston and have running water. I am safe. Today, I jumped out of bed early to get my client work completed so I can volunteer. I am working on more wheelchair donations for the 7,000 plus guests we have living at George R Brown Convention Center and now Toyota Center. I received calls and emails from from executives and directors at hospitals and they are working on it. I am grateful. On Monday, Beyonce paid for 20 wheelchairs and we are thankful. 

There is a dire need for wheelchairs and it increases as more people are being rescued today. If you have wheelchair(s) which you are willing to donate, will you please text me at 832-563-8511? I will coordinate with @RudyRasmus at St. Johns Downtown and #Temenos with @CatherineFlowers, Executive Director, at the City of Houston Housing to pick it up. @ARocketMovers is offering to pickup the wheelchairs. 

#HurricaneHarvey Volunteer from Where You Are Now

Houston is a place you can open your heart and do something now. You can volunteer where you are with tiny efforts or big efforts. On Monday in Houston, I stayed on the phone, texting and connecting with friends and clients to help Pastor Rudy of St. John's Downtown. Sunday night, Pastor Rudy let me know that people rescued and sheltering at George R. Brown Convention Center needed 20 wheelchairs. After five hours of effort and communications, Pastor Rudy let us know that an innovator @JPGiles of #Cisco connected him with months ago came through with a source for the 20 wheelchairs and Beyonce offered to pay for them. What an experience. I felt relieved. On social media, @Peggy Swords, CEO of #Excalibur Exhibits, a client and friend offered a wheelchair and walker. Wow. How did she know? It is amazing to be a part of a tiny effort of doing something good. Thank you, Pastor Rudy for the tiny things and big things you do. As you say, "We love you and there is nothing you can do about it."

Here is more from Beyonce, a real life Wonder Woman. Thank you for your leadership! 

"My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help," Beyonce said.

"I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John's in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can." 


Organic Connections

Is "organic" a label you look for when shopping? Most people prefer the idea of natural. Things that are not human engineered and forced to grow have more appeal. Our clients thrive when they see things naturally moving forward. Have you felt forced into a connection you did not want? How many times have you made one connection and easily a simple introduction of one person to another opens doors for you that you could not imagine. In the new book, #OwnYourValue, you will meet Hafizah Coston and you will see how one organic connection open three new doors that could have never been forced open. Hafizah has a natural way of seeing what is real about a situation. She has a curiosity that sparks organic connections for many others and most of the time the organic connections benefit her and her customers, especially #UTMB and #UTHealth.

What about being open to your curiosity? What is one way you can spark an organic connection today? How can you be open to helping others? Hurricane #Harvey might give us some new ways to show an organic connection.