While I have traveled much of the world, I have not been to either the North or South Pole. However, I have developed a friendship with Fred who lives at the South Pole. We email usually on a weekly basis. Actually, I do not know Fred's last name; I never thought to ask.
Fred happened to notice a strange phenomenon to those that are living in the South Pole. We call in global warming or what the political right calls environmental nonsense. I told Fred about what the United Nations wrote about regarding the melting snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
Mount Kilimanjaro is melting also.
I sent Fred this photo of two photos of Mount Kilimanjaro in the 1950s and the other in 1999. Along with the photos of Kilimanjaro, I sent an artist's conception of global warming. Fred appreciated my attachments, but it did not resolve his problem.
The cause of Fred's iceberg melting
Fred said that when he noticed that this iceberg was melting and got scared. This happened several months ago. I asked him what he did when he recognized the warning signs.
Over the next several weeks, Fred outlined his actions before it was too late. This was his systematic sequence of ideas regarding the meltdown of the iceberg.
- Fred sounded the alarm. Most of the others in the South Pole were not interested. They were more interested in a long list of other problems. I asked how he got over that indifferent attitude to a pending disaster. He said that if he could get 25% of them geared up, which would be enough initially. He got some tentative data and talked some about what might be a serious meltdown of a good size large iceberg.
- The next step for Fred was to get his team amassed. He needed to convert a few people to understanding the problem with the potential iceberg disaster. Fred said that he selected people from the larger group because of their personal positions of power. He had to have a knowledgebase or the rest of the group would not buy into addressing the meltdown of the iceberg. The rest of the group needed to trust them, and they needed to be born leaders.
- Fred got those leaders together and came up with a way begin to address the problem and to get all on board. I emailed him several times about how this would or could be accomplished. I look at Washington and see people chasing their tails and not really addressing the critical issues. He suggested using brainstorming...get all sorts of ideas out on the table and then weed through the ideas. Get rid of some ideas that would not work and tweak those that would.
- The next thing that Fred did was to get the message out to the larger many of whom totally disagreed with his concern about the meltdown of the iceberg. I mentioned how healthcare reform languished for a long time before it finally got going. Fred said that he worked very hard at dealing with those called the doubting Thomases in the larger group. If they understand how they benefited from addressing the issue, then they will help resolve address the problem.
- The next idea seems obvious even though it was not obvious to many. If you are attempting to get people to buy into a common problem solving issue whether melting icebergs or healthcare reform, then you had better believe it and show it in the manner that you conduct yourself. Show that you are excited.
- Fred emailed me about creating a list of short-term goals. Fred used the old axiom, "Rome was not built in a day." Therefore, make of list of smaller things than the entire city. That makes sense. I told him that his idea was like a football team that is behind by three touchdowns. That team will not catch up in a single attempt. It will take a series of touchdowns. Each touchdown moves the team to the larger goal of winning the game.
- Fred also said that the believers can never give up. They cannot quit believing finally resolving the problem. Once they get to believing that they can succeed, it would help in the recruitment process also. Optimism can be contagious.
- Finally, success in addressing the melting iceberg and any problem needs another cultural base. The old culture often either created the problem or could not address it. Therefore, common sense would dictate acquiring in new cultural mindset. Fred used this quote from Einstein. He attached it to one of his emails.
Fred's attachment to his email
Fred in several of his emails told me that overtime that the larger group came along and did benefit from his attempt to inform them of the melting iceberg. Fred and his friends had a cultural mindset change...they went to a larger iceberg. Fred attached this photo of his group of penguins disembarking the melting iceberg for a larger one that is not melting.
Fred's group is moving on to another iceberg.
Interestingly, Fred linked me up with Paul who lives in the North Pole. As Fred observed an iceberg in the South Pole melting, the same thing took place in the North Pole. Tragically, no one listened to Paul. Paul attached this photo of himself in an email that he sent me just last week.
Paul on his iceberg
You might like going to this PowerPoint put out by Fred.