Birth2Work Radio Show show

Birth2Work Radio Show

Summary: Birth2Work Radio Show Podcast. Rick Stephens and Elane V. Scott co-host Birth2Work radio, bringing insightful commentary and perceptive questions to a panel of leading thinkers.

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast


 Bob Dickman on Birth2Work Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:13

Today's guest, author and trainer Bob Dickman, defines storytelling as a story - wrapped in an emotion - that can compel us to take action and thereby transform the world around us. That is why great stakeholder leaders are inevitably great storytellers too. Bob Dickman is an executive coach who teaches narrative strategies as they relate to corporate communication, product design, and branding through FirstVoice, a consulting firm specializing in media awareness training for business. His book, "The Elements of Persuasion" (HarperCollins), co-authored with Richard Maxwell, was nominated as one of the top business books of 2007 and has been translated into 15 languages. In our interview we get a close up glimpse at how he actually works with clients to bring out their ability to reach a crowd with story. You'll learn how his work with clients all across the country aligns with Birth2Work and why understanding the elements of a good story can change the way you communicate, forever. Many of the core principles he outlines in his book, are ones that we embraced in the writing of our own book, The System: Igniting the Soul of Commerce. Whether talking a cop out of a parking ticket, getting that last stand-by seat to get to a wedding, or simply telling our own personal stories to friends, telling a compelling story creates empathy, part of the larger ability humans have to put themselves in another person's shoes. We are able to attribute mental states to another entity, which is crucial to social interaction and communal living-and to understanding stories others tell us. In our book, we drew heavily on traditional story telling to fill in the emotional details of the years of facts we had gathered about what is going on in America's communities and why too many kids aren't fully developing the skills they need to thrive in the new economy. We wanted to promise our readers that their time spent on this book was of great value because these facts are about real people and real circumstances. And they would be able to remember what they read. In the novel, by naturally utilizing the human instinct for empathy, we wrote about characters who are all the people we know from communities we've lived in or visited. Readers could see themselves in the fictional community, and more easily see how they too could learn and become active and engaged with others. Storytelling has persisted in human culture since the earliest records known to man. Anthropologists find evidence of folktales everywhere in ancient cultures, written in Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Chinese, Egyptian and Sumerian. Storytelling promotes cohesion among groups and serves as a valuable method for passing on knowledge to future generations -- informative, cautionary, or entertaining. We hope you will embrace this new knowledge for business, in life, and for transformation. Storytelling is an art and a science. To lead others well, a great stakeholder leader must have the facts, but he must also be able to share them with people he meets as if they applied to them personally, as any good storyteller knows. - Elane V. Scott

 Judy Jennings on Birth2Work Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:07

I am pleased to welcome Judy Towne Jennings, PT, MA, discussing the critical importance of “tummy time” for infants. Our health series brings you critical conversations with doctors, brain development specialists, nutrition experts and physical therapists, such as Judy, to help you understand more about the disconnected worlds of health care and the public expectations of it. Building a capable workforce and thoughtful, engaged citizenry for the future, is overwhelmingly influenced by each person’s primary caregiver in their first six years of life. Yet today, we (the broad, societal “we”) keep looking around at each other, panic stricken, saying “What do we do? Why are so many kids being diagnosed with autism, speech delays, and behavioral disorders?” And while theories abound that attempt to explain these substantive changes in our children – such as changes in the medical diagnostic standards, mercury in early childhood vaccinations, disposable diapers, even forward-facing strollers – few people have connected more than a few dots in the broad picture of childhood...except for us at Birth2Work. I pulled this week’s guest right out of the national news. It was the August 9, 2008 issue of Newsweek where I first read Judy’s name in association with Christina Gilliam’s interview “Giving Your Baby Enough Tummy Time.” As the official spokesperson for the American Association of Physical Therapists, Judy gave valuable, easy to understand answers born of her own experience as a physical therapist, on the crucial importance of “tummy time for infants.” Once a tried true way to get babies moving, creeping and crawling around on the floor has become as much of a novelty today as strollers were 50 years ago. Giving babies regular time on their stomachs while they are awake and supervised is critical for developing their motor skills, like gripping and grasping, holding up the neck and head, developing shoulders and core strength, not to mention eye movement that must precede the ability to read, and tongue movement important to speech development. I have been talking about this for years and I'm excited to talk more about it with you. In her role as a practicing physical therapist for 40 years, Judy has persisted in providing the best care she could to her patients, even as she noted that critical physical milestones of many of her youngest patients were not being reached. For example, 6 month old babies come into her office and are often now no more developed than a 2 month old. Judy sees this because she has been practicing for a long time. But what about physical therapists who have only been practicing for a short time? Do they see the difference? Meeting these developmental milestones for her youngest patients has become increasingly problematic. For Judy, as a stakeholder in the health profession, it was too important to look the other way. She had to act and began asking others in her profession if she was the only physical therapist experiencing this phenomenon. Indeed, she was not. Together, she and her peers acted. If you want to know why your child’s physical development is so crucial to long term brain development and capacity building for the future, listen to this program. You don’t want to miss this interview. - Elane V. Scott

 Kevin Buck on Birth2Work Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:30

We’re all familiar with buzz words such as “integrate” and “collaborate.” But how do you actually get people to take the next step and move from talk to action? On this Birth2Work Radio program, co-host Rick Stephens and I have invited Kevin Buck, principal and co-founder of Emergent Success, Inc., to discuss precisely that. What is the leader’s role as a facilitator of collaboration and action with measurable results? The facilitation role Birth2Work prefers requires the leader to invite every sector to answer fundamental questions about the whole group, "Who are we? What are our common goals? What do we want to accomplish together? And how might we work better together?” Integration happens when there is a shift in language among participants who want a new outcome, where they take ownership over their group process and there’s no need to “sell” anyone on an idea. Birth2Work and Emergent Success share a passion for a system’s approach to working on tough, complex issues because there’s no such thing as a single solution to any of today’s prominent problems. In a tightly interconnected world like we live in, we feel the effects of global activities in our own backyards. The economic sectors that drive commerce - business, government, education, healthcare, media, and community groups – are interdependent and rely on the stability of each other for their progress and survival. Businesses need the education system to supply them with capable workers. Education depends on the government and business for funding. The students in the education system depend on their parents and communities for support in order to grow and learn. Parents and their communities depend on businesses, community/non-profits, and the local healthcare system to be stable, provide jobs and services that make their lives work. The media which overlay them all have become the drivers which shine a light on the distinctions between one place or another in society shaping who and what we think is important. But who’s paying attention? Hopefully, it’s the community stakeholder leaders. What Birth2Work is about is showcasing the people who are in your own communities; those who are taking action right now in their work to lead and facilitate systemic change and progress on critical social issues. Like Kevin, they are motivated by real collaboration in business offices, hospitals, or community town hall meetings, where local stakeholders have come together to solve problems that require the input and work of those who are affected by the plan, right where they are. - Elane V. Scott

 Lucia Cape on Birth2Work Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:54

Our guest, Lucia Cape, was the first person to be named Vice President for Workforce at the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Alabama, in October 2006. She was charged with establishing the Chamber's Workforce Division in response to the workforce challenges brought on by the region's amazing economic growth, including the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act that has brought thousands of jobs to Redstone Arsenal, a government facility, in Huntsville. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Lucia was a contractor to the Marshall Space Flight Center's Academic Affairs Office from 2002-2006 where she worked in informal education, including business/industry partnerships. This is when we first met Lucia and began the working relationship which we continue today. We believe you will find her interview to be of particular interest in the current economic times because she is working in a part of the country where the employment base has grown by 13.5% since 2000, accounting for 33% of all net employment in the state of Alabama. Also, Huntsville's workforce growth accounted for an astonishing 66% of the entire state's total increase in available workforce, as reported in the 2008 Huntsville Madison County Economic Growth Report. From the outsider economic developer's view, it's a dream situation. Few other places can match Huntsville's economic performance. In this interview we talk about Lucia's work and continued growth as a professional - from contractor to the role of Vice President at the Chamber. We get to touch on some of the challenges she has faced, and then discuss the personal side of her work, such as how, as a working mom, she continues to apply at home what she learned from reading our book, "The System: Igniting the Soul of Commerce", and in other parts of her community life. Join us for an insider's view of a workforce development professional. - Elane V. Scott

 Vermilion County Leaders on B2W Radio - part 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:21

This week the leaders of Vermilion County, Illinois will post some economic gain in a marketplace where thousands upon thousands are showing decline. Why? Listen to the program today as we talk with two more people from Vermilion County about their views of the shift in thinking and work that began there over ten years ago. At that time the region was struggling with 20% unemployment, long-time big industries had closed down, and the people of this county were going through their own recession while the rest of the country was enjoying unparalleled prosperity. Today, the tables have turned somewhat. Meet Lou Mervis, former Chairman of the Illinois State School Board, and Jeff Mays, a former Illinois State Legislator, who brought their best talents and skills home to help. We heard last week from Vicki Haugen, Vermilion Advantage CEO and President, about the visioning and facilitation she has been part of since Vermilion County leaders took on the challenge of rebuilding a future for their county after some devastating economic losses. This week we thought it would be helpful to bring in another perspective on the same process. Jeff and Lou, with me and co-host Rick Stephens, follow the thread of business involvement and engagement of leaders in local education in the last 25 years. What they saw happening was the difficulty independent businesses had in making a go of it once the larger industries they worked with left the area. Local businesses began merging with companies from outside their area to make up for it. The result was that the new CEOs and other major figures of the business community were no longer living in the towns in which their businesses were based, and so those leaders didn’t have the same stake in the health of the town’s educational system or workforce. Further, local Vermilion County issues didn’t impact many of them at a personal level because their kids didn’t go to school there or look for jobs within in the area. What used to be a given, that the president of the local mill would also serve on the local school board, was no longer true. Simultaneously, workers in the industry-based towns had in mind that with a “strong back and a will to work,” a person could make a good living, and that education was of secondary importance. Eventually, of course, those jobs were either automated for machine processing or they were outsourced to another country, but employees with that earlier mindset stayed on, making transitions to new jobs tougher. Local businesses and business leaders also surrendered involvement when state mandates, incongruous with local needs, started being made. Business leaders threw up their hands, and asked “Why bother?” Of course hindsight is always 20/20. We can see now what factors were at play that led up to the more recent state of distress in these communities (like hundreds of others are in this country). Today, after more than ten years of focused effort, including multitudes of initiatives and countless programs, Vermilion County leaders from all economic sectors are aligning around common language and a shared set of values established by the community’s stakeholder leaders. (Beyond an agreement to speak English, alignment of language means answering the question “What do WE mean when we say X?” See our website for a posted list of leadership definitions that we hope will help our listeners and visitors align with us in language.) Vermilion leaders continue to refine and work their plan so that generations to come can keep Vermilion County and its people working and looking toward the future. That is why today Vermilion County is posting an economic gain when others are not. - Elane V. Scott

 Vermilion County Leaders on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:26

A good story is something treasured, certainly in novels, movies, or film. By “good” I don’t mean upbeat or positive, but coherent, thorough, and with an original voice. Where fiction is involved, we hold story creators to a high standard of originality. Why when dealing with reality then, do we continually tell the same old stories of how things used to be over and over again? For example, you know that one location in your city that never seems to be able to sustain a shop longer than six months? (I’m sure every town has a location like this.) In good times and in bad, no matter what kind of music store, restaurant, or tire shop goes in there, it seems to be cursed? So that one plot of land gets a bad reputation, people tell each other the same stories of how one thing after another opens and closes there and, soon enough, the place sits empty and falls into disrepair because no one is willing to try to make things work there anymore. Consider that one location as a microcosm of the thousands of small towns, particularly throughout the Midwest in our country, that are constantly telling each other stories about how all the young people are moving away; the factories are closing; the local government is corrupt; the media doesn’t care; and on and on and on until sure enough, the towns are virtually empty and then, slowly fall into disrepair. It’s something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it? You have certain beliefs based on the stories you’re told, either by parents or leaders or media, and you take action to better your situation based on those beliefs. The stories we tell affect our outcomes. Listeners to this program will recall a past interview we did with Vicki Haugen, President and CEO of Vermilion Advantage in Vermilion County, Illinois. Since 1982, Vicki has been at the helm of Vermilion County’s venture of mass transformation. The area, once prosperous from agriculture and heavy industry in the region, was forced into massive layoffs and closures in the 1980s thanks to globalization, threatening to leave Vermilion County as a dying part of the “Rust Belt.” Refusing to passively let their county die out, however, the county’s Chamber of Commerce merged with the private Economic Development Corp., of which Vicki was President and CEO, thus creating Vermilion Advantage, and starting the process of transforming into a sustainable community in which its citizens are engaged and thrive. Part of that undertaking meant encouraging stakeholders (and by virtue of residency, everyone in the County is/was a stakeholder in its success) to change the stories on auto-repeat about “how things are” there. The root of changing the stories wasn’t about asking the local paper to simply start reporting “good news” in order to make people feel better though. Changing the stories meant bringing together stakeholders from every sector, and to recognize and bring leaders from all the sectors together took Birth2Work’s help, and having them agree on common language and a common vision that everyone could begin working toward. Suddenly, the stories that started to be told among citizens were in relationship to positive new goals, instead of past failures. And today the stories people tell about Vermilion County are igniting new action and enthusiasm towards the achievement of shared goals in the community. Vermilion County’s recent success story though, is similar to a lot of “overnight success” stories – it took 20 years to get there! Stakeholder leaders have come 180 degrees from the point of looking into the abyss of a local economic depression in the 1980’s, to a picture of economic and cultural sustainability today thanks to the entire community’s commitment to working together over the long haul. Sound like a timely and encouraging story that has deep relevance to our country’s circumstance today? We at Birth2Work and those in Vermilion County feel like it is. We care deepl

 Vicki Haugen on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:33

On this Birth2Work Radio show, we are in conversation with Vicki Haugen. Since 1982, Vicki has been at the helm of Vermilion County, Illinois' venture of mass transformation. Once prosperous from agriculture and heavy industry in the area, globalization took that away and forced massive layoffs and closures in the 1980s, threatening to leave Vermilion County as a dying part of the "Rust Belt." Refusing to passively let their county die out, however, the county's Chamber of Commerce merged with the private Economic Development Corporation, of which Vicki was President and CEO, and began the process of transforming the county into a sustainable, high tech. community in which its citizens are engaged and thrive. With Birth2Work's book, The System: Seeking the Soul of Commerce, as a road map, the stakeholder leaders have embraced the undertaking of a grass roots effort in redefinition - telling a new story of their community.

 Jim Ehmke on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:12

Soaring medical costs present one of the greatest threats—not just to the well-being of our families—but to the very foundation of our national economy. As citizens and as stakeholders - for our own economic well being - we must make critical changes now. But where do we begin? We must begin with the understanding that, like education, there are no single solutions. What Birth2Work leaders talk about is process. Given the state of health care in this nation, solutions will not be found simply through the desire to solve the complex health care problems we face. Rather, we must align stakeholder values around health. We must have some broader, clearer vision about what it means to be healthy and what the measures are that tell us we have been successful in getting healthy. On Birth2Work Radio, we highlight health stakeholder leaders with multi-faceted approaches to human care giving. We take special care to present them within the context of what Birth2Work does—examining the many aspects of systemic issues that affect communities (in this case health and health care) from the beginning of life through adulthood, and the necessity for engagement of every sector (education, government, business, non-profits, media and health) to even have a shot at achieving a sustainable solution. The health series includes a Dr Alberto Gedissman, pediatrician serving as a community saver, as well as a life saver, dealing with the pediatric obesity epidemic (iTunes release June 5, 2013); and Harvard educated neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor (iTunes release March 6, 2013), who talked about being a patient following a massive stroke, and held us spell bound as she described what it was like to be aware of a tumor pushing against one side of her brain. We learned about the surgery that kept her alive, but it was her mother’s instinctive care for eight years after that surgery that helped her recover her life. In the months to come, we'll release additions to our healthcare series: a neonatologist and hospital CEO, who has done groundbreaking work on the urgency of mother and baby bonding at birth (Dr. Bob Roth); a physical therapist and spokesperson for the American Association of Physical Therapists who is shedding light on a growing crisis related to improper physical and cognitive development in young children due to a lack of “Tummy Time” (Judy Towne Jennings); and an industry leader offering us insights into hospitals and care facilities that are putting as much attention on aligning and integrating actions for developing staff as adding new machines for treating patients (Kevin Buck). Why are these stories so important? They help give us a glimpse at the magic that results when the powers of the human mind and spirit meet the wonder of technology. No matter how extraordinary the things are that we can do with technology, it is still the gifts of time and the as yet immeasurable value of caring between humans that leaves us breathless with possibility. Today’s guest, clinical nutritionist Jim Ehmke, furthers our health series with his discussion about health and the responsibilities we have as our own primary stakeholders. He gives us that same glimpse at the importance of the human heart and soul in improving health practices and policies. When he and his wife began their Milwaukee-based practice, Complete Health Services, in 1976, there was a roaring national debate about the value of “alternatives” to traditional Western health care practices. Some thought those who were advocating more natural products or more personal responsibility were all nuts. Perhaps some were. But over time, the underlying messages of personal accountability and responsibility have grown, not diminished. Today prevention is not a dirty word. What we know, in the face of our massive economic meltdown and skyrocketing future health care costs as a nation, is that the day of the small town general practitioner who advised and guided us

 Angela Diaz on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:35

Central to Birth2Work stakeholder leadership development is our commitment to helping others come to know the value and importance of community alignment around values and vision to get results when progress may seem slow and difficult. One way we do that is by bringing listeners stories about leaders who have applied powerful stakeholder leadership skills to seemingly intractable community problems. With that, they have helped to improve results in environments where measures of success had faded or even felt out of reach. Key leaders in Riverside County, California were working on just such a problem when they brought in our guest for today's show, Angela Phillips Diaz, to help. They were facing a problem of what to do next when they realized that more medical professionals would be needed to serve a growing population in the future. While working with the Chancellor of the University of California Riverside (UCR), Angela Phillips Diaz focused on a project to increase local interest in the improvement of long term academic performance, with a focus on skills needed for healthcare careers. The move to bring in Angela was in response to her specialized system's thinking skills and new regional data showing trends and projections for California's Inland Empire, where Riverside is located. The Chancellor recognized that the sliding academic proficiency of the students in this region would likely not be good for long term, robust economic development and affect the quality of life for people living there well into the future. Where the Chancellor saw his opportunity to affect positive, lasting change in the region was in bringing together the community stakeholder leaders. Angela's unique set of leadership skills in this area were put to work right away building support among these leaders in the community and around UCR. A resulting Educational Leadership Federation was comprised of the chancellors of higher education institutions in the area, the superintendents of the regional high school districts, the President and CEO of the Community Foundation (representing many businesses in both communities), and leaders from the chambers of commerce, and others. Since the beginning, the Federation has agreed that having media represented as community members, civic organizations, and government all be part of the education conversation is necessary to affect change. Angela was the fundamental driver behind this change in thought about being more inclusive of leaders. A natural system's thinker, she quickly applied the concept of integrating and aligning stakeholders around a shared vision from reading about a similar action in a community in The System, Igniting the Soul of Commerce. Our book, as Angela says in her interview, is like a reference manual for innovative leadership practices, necessary for every community organizer going forward. If you haven't had the opportunity to read it yet, click over to the Birth2Work store now and pick one up for any leader in your life who's been working on the same problem for some time. Today, in our international economy, very few of us think about how closely tied our personal destinies are to the people who live within our communities. Technology in particular gives many people a false sense that they can shop, communicate and get along well without the burden of being tied to the actions of others, perhaps as long as they don't need medical care. But even though our clothes come from China, our fruit from South America, and the customer service reps. we talk to are working overnight shifts in India, who is it that you would call when your house is broken into? Or when you get in a car accident? And where do most children go to school? In an emergency, you call the first responders in your community of course – the police, the firemen, the paramedics. Your children, more likely than not, go to school in your immediate neighborhood. We are, in reality, intimately connected and d

 Alex Singer on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:01

It’s easy, and quite common, in today's popular media roundtables and forum discussions to sit in judgment of how other leaders and professionals perform their work. But how often do we look inward to evaluate our own work? On today’s program I talk with Emmy-winning director Alex Singer, who does just that. Discussing the media’s role as a major purveyor of culture and its significant educational impact, he speaks from personal experience as a director of some 300 episodes of one of the most popular, culture changing television series of all time, STAR TREK. What is the media’s responsibility to the public, if any? What are its opportunities? What was his role as director? At the consumer level, how much is the public responsible for understanding how the media works before watching a TV program, going to a film or picking up a magazine? Before going to the doctor, we have a basic understanding of the doctor’s background – higher education, on-the-job training, perhaps we’ve researched specifics of his or her schooling and specialty training. But how much did you know about the director of the last movie you saw? Or the product placement terms he agreed to in order to finance the film? Or of the special lighting, shadowing, and airbrushing that went into making the cover model look flawless in the last fashion magazine you read? The ability to understand the motivations behind media creation, along with being able to discern the elements of its composition, is the basis of media literacy. It is also of concern to Alex, after so many years in the entertainment industry. The benefits of being media literate are applicable to all areas of life and work. Within every economic sector there are leaders-vision holders-with their own motivations and bases for decision making that are relevant for followers and peer sector leaders to understand about one another. For example, media industry moguls may keep quiet on how much money a production costs, but the results of their decisions are evident for millions to view, or turn on, or buy. Have you seen a blockbuster movie lately? In contrast, on the political scene politicians use the media to distribute very tightly crafted messages designed to reveal a laser sharp message intended to move an audience immediately. Businesses put millions and millions of dollars into advertising that harnesses the power of how the brain works to absorb information, bypass natural resistance to input, and react differently. This isn't a criticism of those actions, but a further confirmation of how important it is to know more about the power of communication that comes to us electronically or on film, as individual consumers. For Mr. Singer it became overwhelmingly clear that young people who learn to apply critical thinking skills to what they see, hear, and read in the media, become better leaders throughout their lives, as critical thinking skills are regularly put to the test. Not only can we learn from Mr. Singer’s insights about media literacy, we can also learn about the importance of human interaction and collaboration for success. Mr. Singer’s success as a director, and ultimately the success of his TV shows and movies, hinged upon his ability to work collaboratively with other people in a complex, everchanging environment. You can’t create a successful film over email, phone, fax, or webex, you must do it by simply spending many hours with other people working side by side to achieve a goal. Often in our communities, the government or other sectors of society are the targets for answers to fix problems for us. But the large issues of today, whether they are economic, environmental, or workforce related, tend to all have global variables and an immense web of interdependence between sectors. The only way that the communities of our country can tackle the issues they face, is by coming together to work collaboratively for the long haul, just like Mr. Singer has

 Ed Rensi and Ian Wigston on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:21

Co-host Rick Stephens and I bring our listeners conversations with stakeholder leaders, digging deeper and deeper into the challenges and opportunities in developing the pipelines that supply the workforce for our nation’s future. This program brings two special, previously recorded interviews with early Birth2Work supporters: Ed Rensi, former CEO of the McDonald’s Corporation, and Ian Wigston, founder of Thoughtforge, a UK-based company created to help business clients effectively achieve dramatic, sustainable shifts in performance. My interview with Mr. Rensi and Rick’s interview with Mr. Wigston, are seminal examples of leaders with vast business experiences on a global level, with years behind them at the helm of their respective companies, and fairly recent personal “Uh Oh!” moments when each realized the workforce needed for tomorrow wasn’t being created today. Though physically thousands of miles from each other and unknown to each other personally, through their connections with Birth2Work —reading our White Paper and our book, "The System: Igniting the Soul of Commerce" —the two are in striking agreement on the necessary action steps for business and communities going forward. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to read the Birth2Work White Paper, might I suggest you print it and take it with you at lunch today? Please don’t hesitate, ever, to engage with us. Email us at and let us know what you think, offer suggestions, and ask questions. Spend 20 minutes with this definitive paper of our organization. It has already traveled around the world in the hands of stakeholder leaders from 3 continents and 11 countries. I promise you will be inspired by the Birth2Work process, introduced in the paper, for helping leaders bring a community together to create capable people for the future. - Elane V. Scott

 Jordan Brandman on B2 Radio (episode 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:18

As the November 4 election day edges closer, I’m certain Birth2Work Radio listeners are engulfed, as I am, in the sea of words gushing from every electronic device ever created. Unfortunately, I’m finding little comfort in most of them. Long term, systemic problems like the ones candidates are talking about cannot be solved with punchy sound bites. They require shared vision, community engagement, and alignment. How, I wonder, did we enter our current economic situation, without seeing the signs of it years ago? And what can we do differently now? Start with how you think about the problems that seem to affect you the most. The Birth2Work Team is committed to unveiling the interconnectedness of our education crisis, our workforce crisis, our economic crisis, our healthcare crisis and our leadership crisis with a proactive view and a sense of urgency. The problems politicians address are seldom just of their own making. They’re of our own making, in our own lives. In small ways, every day we make simple decisions that have long-term consequences. For example, have you ever been part of a school club, neighborhood sports team, or organization that needed to have small local businesses buy advertising for your publications or provide soda and ice-cream for floats to raise money? Did you give much thought to the reality that those same businesses need you to buy from them, too? Have you ever wondered why many small businesses have just gone away? How about community leadership and voting? Will you be taking your children to the polls with you when you go to vote? Do you talk to them about how you are going to vote and why? Do you encourage, support, and model civic engagement to instill the value of active citizenship that tomorrow’s communities will require, not just to exist, but to thrive? Active modeling by his mom was how today’s radio guest learned to lead as a community stakeholder. With this week's program, featuring civic leader Jordan Brandman, I invite you to listen and consider thinking differently about the long term value of first modeling the behavior you want from others. No need to wait until disaster strikes before you do something to make a difference. Stay Engaged! - Elane V. Scott

 Jordan Brandman on B2W Radio (episode 1) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:50

According to the US Senate’s website, “the (US President's ) swearing-in ceremony represents both national renewal and continuity of leadership. As each president has offered a vision for America’s future, we reflect on the heritage of Inaugurations past.” Presidents do not lead because they are paid to do so. They lead at the will of the people. And while it is wonderful and important to take pride in and pay attention to the swearing-in of our nation’s newest leader, it is just as important to remember that our identity as a country is deeply rooted around a sense of continuity because of the Constitution, more so than the vision of any single president. The Constitution of the United States is the greatest American example of all time of a document clearly stating the alignment of the values and vision of a long ago group of stakeholder leaders from 13 colonies. They knew that a written document about shared vision and shared values, tempered by measures of success appropriate for the day, would be an invaluable beacon of light, long-term, to a fledgling country of disparate people committed to thrive long past the time it took to put it down. Every nationally elected leader and staff member since its writing has been responsible for serving those values that we, as Americans, agree define us and guide us. Today, we’re sending this e-card out a little early as an encouragement for you to be a part of the national reinvestment of our American values and vision via the Inauguration ceremony, no matter where you are. With this week's program I invite you to think about how you can make a difference in your own community by being a stakeholder leader at something. In today's show, we're talking to Jordan Brandman. He had many years of interest and experience in working with community groups when he decided to run for School Board Member. He wanted to take what he knew about schools, management, and building strong relationships across multiple community sectors, share it, and make a difference. Jordan Brandman, is a political community stakeholder leader. Listen to his story to gain some critical insights into what it means to be elected to a community leadership position and the kind of difference you can make if you stick with it for a while. Along with an acute awareness and experience with government’s roles and responsibilities, Jordan also understands that we as citizens must hold up our end of the citizenship bargain, and be actively engaged in our communities, know what the rules of law are, and be effective stakeholders in the implementation of policies that our elected government produces. For all of that, we are pleased to have him on our show. On Birth2Work Radio, we consistently address big, complex questions, with a long term and systemic view of the solution. Often our society’s focus on the big picture issues seems to pass over the importance of local actions. Distracted by complacency, or even a lack of personal crisis, we can fail to act in time to avert a looming disaster. And now look where we are. The crisis has finally landed at our front doors. There is no argument over whether or not our economic security is in crisis. What we must ask is how we entered our current economic situation again, without seeing the signs of it years ago? What can we do differently on a local level? Must our country confront a similar meltdown with our future workforce issues, or are we capable of tackling a big problem like understanding how to prepare capable people for the future before it bites us? Yes we can. - Elane V. Scott

 Wallace Walrod on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:34

The driving point behind every Birth2Work Radio show is the story of the featured stakeholder. Period. Not their accomplishments, position, or status alone. It’s the story of each person’s thoughtful action in his or her community, business, and/or sector that makes each of them a model stakeholder for others to learn from. The metrics of their success are determined, in part, by hard numbers, but not solely. In today’s conversation we speak with Wallace Walrod of the Orange County Business Council, who brings to the fore an important notion in shaping the future of any community: data and research numbers are always at the heart of public decision making—driving outcomes in government and business—but they are only one piece of the proverbial pie. People's stories and their relationships, needs and aspirations are just as necessary to making decisions about the communities in which we want to live and raise our families. And yet it’s so obvious to point to the numbers and say “See, we’re succeeding,” or pass blame, “See, you’ve failed.” When we rely solely on data, the what of the story, we miss the bigger picture including who and why. I’m particularly excited about this program because I think in so many ways it puts together the whole story of what Birth2Work is about. In this show, we discuss the media’s affect on young people, their educational experiences, and how math and science will be significant to their futures. Mr. Walrod links local, regional, and national research and data to create a picture of what the future workforce opportunities will look like for these kids as they get older, and finally we focus on what local communities need to do to put together a successful future operating plan. We are beginning to see a significant pattern emerge with our work all across the country. With communities like Vermillion County, Illinois; Huntsville, Alabama; and Orange County, California all utilizing a broad systems approach to achieve local gains, the importance of developing a national picture for our work has become eminently apparent. Where relationships, stories and data come together to inform community action, is the cutting edge regardless of where you are, and we’re right there with you. Stay engaged! - Elane V. Scott

 Crisis Across Sectors on B2W Radio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:05

Crisis (noun) – a situation or period in which things are very uncertain, difficult, or painful, especially a time when action must be taken to avoid complete disaster or breakdown. So, the question is, if the crisis is foreseeable and inevitable, how imminent must it be before we address it? This week: a first on the program. Instead of interviewing one stakeholder leader and discussing their work, passions, inspirations, and engagement, we’re establishing a topic and asking multiple guests to respond. We’ve invited Dr. Bob Roth to return, adding ExerciseFriends co-founders Patrick McCluskey and Ken Collins, Hope High School math teacher Sean Geoghegan, and stress and anger management specialist Michael Benner to discuss the medical, business, education, and human response (respectively) to crisis. There’s no limit to the number of times in a day a person hears that word thrown around, especially if one happens to watch or listen to any kind of news after five p.m. “Financial crisis,” “healthcare crisis,” “Middle East crisis,” “political crisis,” “banking crisis,” “employment crisis,” and on and on….is anyone else experiencing crisis fatigue? How can one person/nation/world possibly respond to all this? Americans are, traditionally, crisis-driven. We act, especially within the political sector at a national level, only when a given situation has gotten so bad it demands an immediate patch response or something dire will happen (see definition above here.) Only when either action or death (literal or proverbial) are imminent, does the momentum for change exist. Precious few of us have both the foresight and chutzpah to call our colleagues on such behavior if and when we see it. And that, my fellow stakeholders, is the difference between how the masses respond, and a stakeholder leader creates a sea change. Just what does it mean to be in crisis? How can it be managed? Prevented? Resolved? Stakeholder leaders do not wait for crises to affect them before taking action. More often than not, they are able to see situations developing before they become full blown disasters. In so doing, they take action by uniting stakeholders, identifying the problem, and through a shared agreement of language, vision, and values, begin the often messy process of change. Those stakeholders might be laughed at, told to “get a life,” “stop overreacting,” or simply to “relax”. It was this way with me when I began working, teaching and playing with my daughters from the first weeks they were born to develop their mental, emotional and physical capacities. “Let them just be kids,” I was told. It was this way with cautious investment managers who spent hours probing rating agency representatives for straight answers about the formulas used for giving mortgage backed securities and derivatives triple-A rankings. “There are lots of smart people working on this...don’t worry…get a life.” (Listen to NPR's "This American Life", 6/05/09) It was unpopular to challenge the status quo. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Except perhaps in the case of accidental medical emergencies (as Dr. Roth relates, pre-mature babies with collapsed lungs or heart failure, or natural disasters) there’s apt not to be a community/national/global-wide crisis that can’t be thoughtfully headed off by stakeholders and stakeholder leaders who are paying attention, with foresight, and broad systems thinking in place. - Elane V. Scott


Login or signup comment.