Leadership Development

6 Tips for Working with Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers draw people to events and have a massive impact on the overall energy and experience of attendees. Keynote speakers are also an investment, and there are ways to maximize the impact of your speakers at an event. Through managing Zingerman’s keynotes at hundreds of events over the last decade, I have seen my […]

Training & Business Systems

What is Bottom-Line Training®?

This is Part 1 of a multi-part series on the basics of our Bottom-Line Training method. Creating the Training Method When ZingTrain was founded in 1994, Maggie Bayless, ZingTrain’s Founding Partner, joined the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses as the third Zingerman’s business along with the Delicatessen and the Bakehouse. Her expertise in training method and instructional […]

Ari's Writing

The Magic of Mushrooms in Our Ecosystems

Last week I wrote a lot about grief—a feeling that, for nearly all of us, can be gut-wrenching. This week I want to turn my attention to a less intense element of the “ecosystem,” one that plays an important, if at times almost invisible, part in our organizational health. It’s essentially about taking the advice […]

Ari's Writing

Accepting the Reality of Grief and Loss into Our Organizational Ecosystems

I hadn’t really planned to write about grief this week. Somehow, though I wasn’t expecting it, grief and grieving seemed to keep showing up over, and over, again. Which is very much what my experience of grieving has been like. Even when I think I’ve got a handle on it, it creeps up on me […]

Customer Service

Building a Culture of Service

I often hear people say, “You can’t really teach someone how be a great service provider; people are either born that way or they’re not.”   Which makes me smile and shake my head. I certainly know that service didn’t come naturally to me—and in fact I cringe when I think about how badly I […]

Ari's Writing

A New Set of Stories Can Help Us Change Our World

As I write, world leaders are gathered in Glasgow, attempting to come to consensus on a way to address the increasingly urgent world crisis of climate change. Despite what seems to be general agreement on the gravity of the situation, the visitors to Glasgow appear unable (at least so far) to coalesce around a comprehensive […]

Ari's Writing

Continuing the Conversation on Compassion and Compost

In the spirit of last week’s discussion of compassion and compost, I thought I could begin this piece by pulling from the place I left off by returning to the work of writer Janisse Ray. I met Ms. Ray for the first time a few weeks ago at the annual Southern Foodways Alliance symposium in Oxford, Mississippi where […]

Training & Business Systems

32 Icebreakers to Kick Off Your Meetings and Energize Your Team

We’ve all been in the bad meeting… You’re left wondering why the meeting was called in the first place and why the same four people are dominating the conversation. In any meeting, in-person or virtual, it’s important to kick things off by letting everyone get their voice in the “room” in order to have a […]

Ari's Writing

Making Compassion Part of our Daily Work

This past spring, Joy Harjo—poet, artist, musician, and member of the Muscogee Creek Nation—celebrated her 70th birthday. Born in Oklahoma in the spring of 1951, Harjo has seen and experienced a good deal of suffering in the world; harm inflicted on the planet, on her people, and on herself as well. In March of this […]

Managing Ourselves

More Thoughts About Effectively Managing Emotion

Back in 1991, right around the right time I began the intentional explorations of my own emotions, Sam Keen published a book called Fire in the Belly. I read it shortly after it came out, and all these years later, I’m still benefiting from what I learned. Three decades down the road, I’ve gone on to […]

Managing Ourselves

Embracing the Importance of Emotions in the Organizational Ecosystem

“What do you do when your world starts to fall apart?” author Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing wonders in The Mushroom at the End of the World. Her answer: “I go for a walk, and if I’m really lucky, I find mushrooms.” When Brené Brown asked British actress Sarah Niles, “You, Sarah, are called to be really brave, […]

Ari's Writing

Natural Law #21: We Need Humility to Get to Lasting Greatness

Many people, wanting to live their lives in more interesting ways, will decide to take the occasional cooking lesson A well-connected friend asked me the other day to let her know what she should tell politicians of both parties that small-business people would like to have right now. Since I struggle to find the words […]