Leading Visions to Action
Organizational Consulting & Business Development
In This Issue- May, 2007
Exciting News! 
Cross Currents
is expanding!
 Smart Marketing

Small Business
, Soloprenuers,
and YOU!

Website Content,
Monthly E-letters,  Ads, Articles, Membership Communication,  Back-End Sales, Seminar Design,
and more!

Are you ready for a marketing make-over?

Call 510.336.9161

Cross Currents Communications
is getting ready to launch a new web site.

Please send links and brief description of services and fees to: coachshera@gmail.com or call 510.336.9161 for more information.

Social Change . . .
Did You Know?
According to the US Dept. of Labor:

Today's learners will have 10-14 jobs by age 38.

25 % of employees in the USA have been working for a company for less than a year; 50% for less than 5 years.

The top 10 jobs that will be demand in 2010 didn't exist in 2004.

China will soon become the #1 English speaking country in the world.

60 babies are born in the US each day, compared to 244 in China and 351 in India.

If MySpace were a country it would have the 11th largest population in the world (between Japan and Mexico).

There are 540,00 words in the English language. . . there were five (5) times as many during Shakepeare's time.


I continue to be amazed at the growth and acceleration of the social and consciousness transformation taking place on a global level throughout our communities, organizations and businesses. Hundreds of thousands  are participating in a non-advertised, non-violent, socio-cultural evolution.

As Paul Hawken so eloquently stated at the 2004 Bioneers Conference in Marin County, CA. . .

"There is another super power here on earth; it is an unnamed movement; it is far different and bigger and more unique than anything we have ever seen; it flies under the radar of the media by and large; it is non-violent; it is grass-roots; it has no cluster bombs, no armies, and no helicopter; it has no central ideology and a male vertebrate is not in charge. This unnamed movement is the most diverse movement the world has ever seen.

No one started this worldview.  No one is in charge of it. There is no orthodoxy. It is global, classless, unquenchable, and tireless. This shared understanding is arising spontaneously from different economic sectors, cultures, regions, and cohorts. It is growing and spreading worldwide with no exceptions."

So, I've decided to dedicate this month's letter to teamwork and collaboration-in the workplace, on the web, and most importantly in our own hearts.

If you are looking for ways to grow your business or facilitate change and enhance learning in your organization, I invite you to contact me for an initial consultation and assessment.

In heartfelt collaboration,

Sheryl R. Sever (Shera)

"Sheryl is a true leader and a great joy to work with. Her motivating trainings and dynamic presentations are engaging, compelling, and produce terrific results!"
Tom Dare, Director of Marketing, McGraw-Hill Publishers, ELT

Change Your Mind, Change Your World
Web Ecosystems

The  Web 2.0 revolution is changing the way information is exchanged and allowing individuals, businesses, and  communities to connect and share resources, ideas, and solutions like never before. Values are positively changing and social entrepreneurship is exploding.

Defined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976), a  MEME is  a unit of cultural transmission of information that can be transferred from one individual to another. Like genes for the body, memes help cultures evolve.

Check out one of my favorite memes, GLOBAL MINDSHIFT, featuring video steams from many of today's leading thinkers including Duane Elgin, Briane Swimme, Joseph Campbell and others.

"Never underestimate the power of a few committed individuals to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that has."
Margaret Mead

Collaboration in the Workplace
"None of us is as good as all of us."

Fostering teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration. In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively. As One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard discovered,  people recognize, and even assimilate, the belief that "none of us is as good as all of us." High Five, The Magic of Working Together.

In America, many of our institutions such as schools, our family structures, and our pastimes still emphasize winning, being the best, and coming out on top. Workplaces that exemplify and reward teamwork are not yet the norm.

Organizations, however, are working on valuing diverse people, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences. As part of the social transformation that we see taking place globally, collaboration, co-creation and cooperation seem to be values that are being more readily embraced and promoted in  organizational development.

Having consulted many senior managers, educational, and organizational leaders over the past 13 years, I've included here my Ten Tips for Building Terrific Teams as your quick guide to cultivating successful teams, encouraging creativity and innovation, and attaining optimal results within your business or organization.


1.    Communicate Clear Expectations. It is crucial that team members know why they are working together, and how their role, functions, and outcomes contribute to the bigger picture and overall success of the organization, its clients and coworkers. As a leader, how clearly you communicate the overall vision, mission, and values of the organization will be the power driving the team forward.

2.    Have an agenda with objectives at team meetings. Allow time for progress updates, discussion, brainstorming, and action plans. It can be particularly beneficial if the meeting facilitator is trained in Cross-Cultural Awareness, or Marshall Rosenberg's NVC practices.  Using these techniques will help keep a diverse team cohesive and focused, encourage everyone's participation, and can easily diffuse and transform stagnation. Change, creativity and solutions are not birthed in a static environment.  Are necessary concerns and  misunderstandings raised and properly addressed on your team?

3.    Include your consultants and independent contractors in your brainstorming meetings. One of the biggest mistakes some organizations make is to not include consultants and independent contractors in staff meetings, project updates, long-term goals and vision.  You will get a lot more mileage from your consultants when they are included in discussions and sessions affecting your organization's direction and growth. Consultants are typically natural networkers and wealth of resources. They can easily be a powerful contributing factor to your organization's long-term success and expansion.

4.    Cultivate an atmosphere where team members can appreciate the diversity of talent on the team, not just in skill set and areas of expertise, but from a whole person perspective.   If the team is working on a long-term project consider investing in the Myers Briggs assessment, DISC or an  Enneagram training for the workplace.

5.    Have a rewards or recognition program in place. Giving public recognition on the company intranet, newsletter, or in a staff meeting, or rewarding high-performers with gift certificates to a spa or event, are just a few low-cost, no-cost ways to acknowledge team members for a job well done.

6.    Build fun and shared occasions into the organization's agenda. Hold potluck lunches; take the team to a performance or cultural event. Host dinners at a local restaurant, (include your associates' families) or plan an outdoor event such as hiking, bicycling, or even river rafting.

7.    Encourage collaborative leadership models within your workplace. Move away from traditional, hierarchical leadership models that are deadening to the human spirit and that can create separation, distrust, and a competitive environment. Focus on  cooperative models for team performance. Rotating facilitators at your weekly or monthly meetings is one way to begin this shift. Appointing co-managers to lead a project is another effective strategy.

8.    Create opportunities for giving and receiving feedback. In his recent visit to San Francisco, the Dalai Lama continually emphasized the importance of dialog, along with education and training. How well trained are you and your people in examining assumptions, active listening, asking for clarification,  and other non-defensive communication models that make it safe for you and your associates to express needs, be heard, and enthusiastically create innovative solutions with and for each other?

9.    Provide resources.  One of the surest ways to create chaos and diminish motivation, performance, and morale is to expect people to perform without the tools and resources they need to deliver outcomes they are proud of.  Be sure everyone has the basic information and tools they need to perform, including  healthy, ergonomic workstations.

10.    Form a Green Team at work. Help your people raise their awareness of opportunities to save energy and contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment. By allowing others to take leadership and responsibility, passion takes hold. A green team can be very motivational for employees who want to make a difference in their work environment.

Got a great organizational team story? I'd love to hear it, along with any other feedback you'd like to share. Click here  and let's schedule some time to speak!
As we move into the longer, glorious days of this season,  may you be happy, may you be at peace, may you be healthy and safe.

Love with all your Heart!

Sheryl R. Sever
Cross Currents Communications