I CAN! icanamerica@email.msn.com
Thu, 6 Apr 2000 04:55:17 -0500


We've been thinking a lot lately about the efforts in making change across the
Federal Governement and the affects on many of our peers and associates.
Despite the efforts in creating a new organizational philosophy in Governement
many of us are still able to navigate without getting lost; like explorers we
continue exploring.  The possibilities of finding new ideas and create new
services for our publics  is too tantalizing to many of us.  Like the past
adventurer, we simply don't want to stay at home, but to comb the far reaches
of our organization and the people we serve.

What happened during the Age of Exploration isn't all that far removed from
what's happening today.  Certainly, in the days of Magellan, the sea, after
all, had always been there - but it was the rare individual (the Explorer) who
ventured forth.  Much like the Federal Governement today, a new and
constantly shifting landscape has transformed the departments and
organization(s) in which we all work, no matter where we are in the United

Something we are discovering in this new Federal Governement, it is forcing us
all to become explorers, while we seek out the instruments of future
success.  These new organizational concepts are about speed, agility, and
innovation.  It's an age when a pioneer spirit is required and risks are
high.  It's like navigating in rapids.

Imagine for a moment that the top ten organizations in the United States are
undergoing monumental changes involving innovation.  These organizations are
developing breakthrough ideas for products, services, marketing, delivery,
etc.  Organizations that value innovation will also be able to outpace their

Innovation does not eliminate human or organizational limitations.  But it
allows us to set goals beyond our current knowledge or power, define what
needs to be done to make them attainable, and organize work and resources to
meet these goals.  Innovation makes it possible to organize for
breakthroughs.  Innovation can change......almost overnight......the
established order, rendering obsolete what only yesterday seemed

One of the most important tasks of our leaders is ensure our organization's
capacity survival.  Innovation provides this by.....

*       Developing structural strength.  Teamwork improves, communications
improves, everything improves.

*       Creating the capacity to survive a significant blow.  Some changes
cannot be anticipated, but a flexible organization is best suited to
adapt....and perhaps become stronger....as the result of an unexpected

*       Making an organization able to adapt and renew itself as the needs
and values of the market evolve.

*       Establishing an opportunity-focused orientation to change.  When
change is viewed as opportunity, rather than as a challenge, it becomes an
unanticipated catalyst.

The real test for the Federal Governement is the collective creative
effectiveness in which we find ourselves.  Our imaginations and mental
resources can be used to implement new strategies and initiatives.

The most important dimension of any organization including, Governement,
is the minds of the people in it.  If we build organizations that develop and
release human potential rather than suppress it; if we commit ourselves to
values, vision, ideas and standards, the United States of the future
will be an exciting place to be.

We have the information and technology to create the future in America.

We must also have the focus, the dedication and the resolve to
make the future all that it can be for all of us.

Change is hard because people overestimate the
value of what they have and underestimate the
value of what they may gain by giving that up.

                                                     Jill Rosenfeld

Three rules of work:

1.  One, out of clutter, find simplicity.
2.   from discord find harmony.
3.  in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

                                                   Albert Einstein

Source - Adapted from:
Karl Mettke, Program Leader
Creavity News Letter
US Forest Service April 2000

H. C. Covington, Executive Director
I CAN! America,  LLC
1.800.678.5774   Fax 1.505.209.2619