Can Random Thoughts Help To Make Sense of Our Current Environment?

Why would anyone want to hear someone’s random thoughts you ask? Well, perhaps it can offer some method to the madness that some feel we are living in today. Let me explain.  

Why would anyone want to hear someone’s random thoughts you ask? Well, perhaps it can offer some method to the madness that some feel we are living in today. Let me explain.  


A few months ago, I blogged about preparing for a townhall meeting at which time I would speak to a few hundred employees who report to me. It was during the time we heard that the country was officially in a recession. (// 

I’ve also blogged about how my company has recently communicated workforce reductions. The HR, brand, communications and corporate responsibility folks that report to me have been in the thick of it all, preparing, communicating and responding to our internal and external stakeholders about our company’s position in the marketplace. So, it was time to reconnect with my team in another townhall meeting. This time, I shared with them some random thoughts — words and phrases — that I hoped would offer perspective and re-energize them to stay focused and deliver on our company objectives.  

Here’s the list of random thoughts. Some of these are a collection of my own observations, while others have stuck with me based on conversations with other people or from books or articles I’ve recently read.

  1.  Fittingly: It’s about doing things exactly right at the moment. We’re operating with fewer resources, so we have to be even more conscious about our actions.
  2. Speak as they hear: Speak to the listener in their words. We have to communicate and connect with our audience in a way that they like to hear.
  3. Tectonic Shift: This best describes what we’re feeling in the financial services industry — we’re living history right now.
  4. D-Process: We’re not in a “Depression,” and we’re not in “Deflation.” We’re in a “whole new process” unlike anything most of us have seen before.
  5. Three-dimensional chess: We have to think now and several moves ahead. (//
  6. Delivered calm: When we’re in crisis mode, we have to think through what’s happening, make decisions, communicate, but always try to keep your cool. Think about what happened in January when the US Airways plane landed in the Hudson River.
  7. Viewed at an angle, this could be a gift: Yes, we keep hearing it — the country is in a crisis. And ING is experiencing unprecedented change. However, we’re still committed to making it easier for our customers. Fresh perspectives and creativity are important now as there are still opportunities out there — even now.
  8. Bad news chases good news away: Dark clouds prevent us from recognizing the sliver lining. We all understand that continued bad news affects people, but our company’s culture is a strategic weapon. In my company’s case, we can’t forget the “orange” in ING.
  9. A bad culture kills a good strategy: Be aware. Again, let’s be creative and continue to improve our culture. Employee engagement is critical.
  10. A weak spirit lets worry take hold: Check yourself daily! Follow your spirit. Think of your spirit like your muscles when you work out. If you exercise them daily, they are sure to strengthen.
  11. Chillax: OK. So I have to attribute this to my kids. They taught me this phrase. We all have to chill/relax. Relax instead of resisting. It’s OK to step back and breathe.

So, what do you think? Do any of these random thoughts resonate with you? Maybe you have your own list that you’d like to share with me. I’m interested in reading them.