Soften Your Heart at the Tenement Museum

No need to close your eyes and imagine what it might have been like for immigrants in turn-of-the-20th-century America to struggle mightily for a piece of the promise of the American dream. Visit the Tenement Museum and see it and feel it for yourself, as I did on Tuesday.

It's not that you leave your imagination at the door. Rather, your wonderings take wing in context as you meet the ghosts of past inhabitants of 97 Orchard Street on New York City's lower east side.

On our tour, you stand crowded in dark, tiny tenement rooms once called home by a German-Jewish family who survived the Panic of 1873 and an Italian Catholic brood who outlasted the Great Depression. You are crowded shoulder to shoulder with other curious historians, many of them, descendants of the very immigrants whose lives we touch, standing there. With words and answers and pictures and questions and breathing in the dense history, you are transported to a teeming time, a dreaming time, the same American dream that drew my ancestors and that continues to draw 'em in even as we speak. Great stuff. Check it out if you have a chance.

For more see Tenement Museum Flickr Photostream and Tenement Museum Blog.


Change Management Toolbook

"Are you personally ready for change? Is your team in serious need of new ways to work together? How can your organization deal with a change project which lacks focus or direction? Do you want to know why change is inevitable but hard to achieve? Do you want to surf on the waves of change? You will find some of the answers to your questions in the new Change Management Toolbook website.

"The Change Management Toolbook is a collection of more than 120 tools, methods and strategies which you can apply during different stages of personal, team and organizational development, in training, facilitation and consulting. It is divided into three principle sections: Self, Team and Larger System.

Change Management starts and ends with individuals. As the system theory says, you cannot really predict how a person reacts to a certain stimulus. So, if you want to introduce change into a system, you will most likely need to think about what skills, behaviours and belief systems the members of the system will need to be part of the change effort.

At the heart of modern organizations are teams that share the responsibility and the resources for getting things done. Most projects are too complex to be implemented by one person, most services need different specialists and support staff to be delivered, and most products are the result of the work of a larger resources team or supply chain. We know that teams can either perform at their peak, or can be terribly inefficient.

"Larger Systems
Change processes are mostly initiated by either individuals or small teams, but the focus of change is one which goes beyond that small unit. It is directed towards the entire organization, or towards other organizations. A change project might be related to a community, a region or an entire society (and, yes: to the world as a whole)."