Half Full or Half Empty?
For whatever reason in the universe, I’ve had about 15 different conversations this past month with a variety of people on basically the same topic. Woven through every single one of these conversations was the thread of that age-old philosophical question, “Do you view the contents of a glass of liquid as half full or half empty?” I’m sure somewhere someone has done research on this, but I’d be interested in seeing some statistics on the levels of progress or success for individuals and companies whose core initiatives are based on the half-full mindset as compared to a half-empty approach. The differences could be staggering.
On the last day of every annual summer conference, the ICHRIE Board of Directors holds a conference planning and feedback session. With a half-full mindset, ICHRIE’s Director of Conference, Alleah Crawford, began the feedback session recognizing everyone for all the hard work and successes that occurred during the week of the New Orleans conference. To mention just a few, we applauded the efforts of the host committee led by Yvette Green, the results of this year’s Career Academy led by Catherine Curtis, the Campfire chats, the Rapid Pitch sessions, the memorable Deans’ and Directors’ program sponsored by the Culinary Institute of America, the new marketplace format, the financial contributions of our conference sponsors and ICHRIE partners along with the contributions of our keynote speakers.
After sharing the list of successes for the week, Alleah did something interesting as she opened the discussion up for feedback and ideas for next year’s conference—she asked those in attendance to share ideas for how we can make next year’s conference even better. Alleah didn’t ask for a list of how the New Orleans conference “glass” was half empty, she asked how we could make the Phoenix conference “glass” more full. She wasn’t pretending that everything that happened during the week was perfect, but was asking us to use what we learned during the week to improve next year’s experience. You could almost see the switch in mindset occur in the heads of most of those in attendance.
We plan to use this same approach in the ICHRIE office during our regular staff meetings. We have a small staff, but our staff meetings always center on how the ICHRIE staff can best support the Board of Directors in their initiatives and the twelve recommendations that came out of the Comprehensive Organizational Review (COR) that was completed last year (see https://www.chrie.org/files/___ICHRIE%20COR%20Summary%202018--FINAL.pdf for conclusions and recommendations of the COR).
The staff and the ICHRIE Board of Directors are committed to making ICHRIE the best it can be. Those serving on the ICHRIE Board of Directors are well aware of how much work is involved in their volunteer positions, but I cannot help but believe that our progress and success rates will increase exponentially if all involved have a “glass half full” mindset. It will, no doubt, be interesting. I’ll keep you posted on water levels.