CBC Radio Interview regarding Trump and the impact on Canada

CBC Radio Story: please click here

“Donald Trump is just one part of international trend, values expert says”.

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New Organizational and Team Day-Long Workshops

Recently, I have designed and facilitated two new workshops in community:

“Shaping a Vision and Values-Driven Organizational or Team Culture; Enhancing your Organizational Moral DNA”

“Planning, Planning, Planning; Enhancing your critical thinking view and skills”

There are four more workshops I will be introducing over the next four months. In a short time, I will have flyers available for the workshops with more information about the objectives, outcomes, process and fees.

If you wish to know more about these workshops and or how I can customize these for your specific situation, please contact me.

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Career Coaching or Transition to Meaningful Work or Career Change

In my researching and coaching practice, it is clear to me that if you are following the traditional model (conventional wisdom) of career change, my experience it rarely works well:

  1. starting with internal exploration;
  2. developing your list of strengths, weaknesses, skills interests and ambitions;
  3. perhaps the usual psychometric testing or career advice;
  4. then researching various industries and professions linked to preferences and abilities;
  5. then making the decision, create a detailed plan of action; and
  6. send out resumes and fill in job applications.

This is the plan then implement model. Through a range of coaching approaches, I use another model, which I believe is much more effective. If you wish to discuss this please contact me.

Within this alternate approach I seek to assist my clients to meet any of these outcomes: 

  1. Transition into leadership roles in their current job
  2. Switch to a new position in their current line of work
  3. Change careers entirely
  4. Think and act strategically
  5. Solidify a positive mindset for success
  6. Increase self-confidence and assertivenessDevelop and sustain healthy work habits
  7. Improve self-awareness and emotional intelligence
  8. Enhance interpersonal relationships
  9. Manage stress and avoid burnout
  10. Achieve personal fulfillment

If you wish to know more, please contact me.


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RSA Global Newsletter December 17, 2015 – My Profile

This is a new link to the RSA global newsletter where I am profiled and the international project that I am contributing to with the CoED Foundation out of Birmingham, U.K.

RSA Global Newsletter Profile Martin Itzkow, FRSA


Martin Itzkow

December 17, 2015

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Changing How We Treat The “OTHER”


Royal Society of Arts Blog posted on 23rd of November 2015

Can we really teach empathy and compassion? Can we measure empathy and compassion? And if we can, will it make a difference that matters to the individual and the collective in our communities?

Martin Luther King (MLK) once said:

“In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever effects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I’m what I ought to be.”

We see through our eyes the horrific pictures of refugee children dying in the water, then hear through our ears the words of our leaders saying “not in our countries”, and then feel in our souls the terrible angst and horror of knowing that other human beings are suffering. We recognize that hundreds of thousands of people long for a space of freedom, safety and security on this earth. How do we experience our own forms of compassion and empathy? And how do we live these two values for others in the 21st century in Europe, North America and other parts of our shared planet?

Or do we simply turn off, disengage and remove ourselves from this reality and live our lives and other (potentially limiting) values by channeling our senses into our thoughts without any consciousness of our interrelatedness to others on this earth? Where and how (if we did at all) did we learn to think and act compassionately?

I have this deep longing to understand our own minds, consciousness and thoughts related to our values and deep beliefs about “others”. How did we form our models of our worlds? What do we need to do to socially innovate in educating and helping people to learn about the whys and the hows of compassion and empathy?

In reading Towards the Compassionate School[1] I am even more interested to know if the 10 declared “truths” about compassion are actually true for all of us. If so, how do we actually live these “truths”?

In his RSA video, Roman Krznaric (Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution) confirms the focus of the future must be outrospection – who are we in relation to the “other”. He sees this focus as the foundation of radical social change.  Click Here: https://youtu.be/lN4MRYIoCS0

Even though we have a central theme in all religions and faith communities about treating others as you wish to be treated yourself, do we actually have the insight and consciousness to pay attention to the following:

  • Are we wired for compassion and empathy?
  • Does the “Golden Rule” still have value as an approach to treating people as you wish to be treated?
  • Are compassion and empathy essential for good mental and physical health?
  • To be successful, do our NGOs, private and public sector organizations need to be compassionate, hold a space for empathy and live by a moral code?
  • Will technology become the next conduit to share and grow individual and collective compassion in society?
  • Do we value our world cities as places of hyper-diversity where compassion is our currency to live and develop harmoniously?
  • Do human-made and natural disasters (evils of this world) undermine all the forces of compassion and empathy?
  • Do our current economic systems fail to encourage all forms of compassion in our communities and the private sector?
  • Can compassion and empathy be taught by focusing on how to support the development of a compassionate and empathic mind?
  • Are compassion and empathy central to education and learning? (Are they unifying meta-values as central organizing principles?)

I am one of the international associates (Canadian) of the CoED Foundation, a non-profit charity based in England, dedicated to bringing compassion into education and learning. We are designing an initiative to understand how compassionate schools in six countries are advancing compassion in their students and developing them as future community leaders.

We are building this innovative approach to understand compassionate education, and to learn how to measure values in action.

It is with this in mind, that we wish to answer a few important questions, going forward:

  • How does compassion value’s education impact the students, the schools, their families and their communities? (What is the evidence of change?)
  • How will we understand the similarities and or differences cross-culturally when compassionate education is implemented by country, and by school?
  • What are the compassionate behaviours/actions demonstrated once the students complete their education.
  • How do these compassionate values and their behaviours/actions impact community both positively and potentially limiting in the long-term?

As this ambitious initiative is at the very beginning of the design cycle, our team has identified its desire to have numerous partners in the 6 countries, including:

  • National education networks and their local schools; (Faith and Non-Faith-based)
  • Community engagement consultants contributing their time and energy;
  • International values consultants to measure compassion (i.e. Barrett Value Centre- survey instruments); and
  • Individuals with expertise in many disciplines who wish to participate in an international, national or locally engaged action teams.

We are influenced by a number of compassion educators, authors, schools and foundations such as the Tara Redwood School in California with Pamela Cayton, Marshall Rosenberg (Non-Violent Communication and “The Compassionate Classroom”, The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, “MindUP” with the Hawn Foundation, and Roots of Empathy Foundation.

There are so many more examples of people, organizations and thought leaders in this emerging field focusing on compassion in education, with which we wish to co-create our initiative.

We encourage RSA Fellows and other international partners to engage with us in this design stage to play important roles in countries where our initiative will take root over the next three years. We are looking at implementing this initiative in England, Canada, the United States, Pakistan, Jordan and Nigeria as countries where we know compassionate education programs have been developed.

In the next three to five years, we believe that we will see, hear and feel that there will be more contributors to this conversation in more schools and community organizations positively impacting community.

Perhaps we will play a small role in energizing others to place themselves centrally on the world compassion map and make a difference that matters to them. Perhaps individually and collectively, we can live the values of compassion and empathy.

[1] Towards the Compassionate School will be presented at the RSA in London in December by Maurice Irfan Coles, CEO of the CoED Foundation. (www.coedfoundation.org.uk)

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Pop-Up Conversation Cafe on October 25 at Starbucks

Please join us.

October 25, 2015 Starbucks

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Imagination and Stretching – A Recent Testimonial

“Martin has a way of stretching the imagination of what could be when we are willing to think outside of our current state. By stretching our beliefs, Martin allows individuals to come outside of their comfort zone. This can be scary for some but Martin makes participants feel comfortable in this new perspective and validates their apprehension as they journey past the predictable and familiar ways.” Check this out on my testimonial section.

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Love the lyrics to this song about Thanking Oneself for Living – Our Lives..

Mercedes Sosa – Thanks to life (written by Violeta Parra)

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me two beams of light, that when opened,
Can perfectly distinguish black from white
And in the sky above, her starry backdrop,
And from within the multitude
The one that I love.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me an ear that, in all of its width
Records— night and day—crickets and canaries,
Hammers and turbines and bricks and storms,
And the tender voice of my beloved.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me sound and the alphabet.
With them the words that I think and declare:
“Mother,” “Friend,” “Brother” and the light shining.
The route of the soul from which comes love.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me the ability to walk with my tired feet.
With them I have traversed cities and puddles
Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
And your house, your street and your patio.

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me a heart, that causes my frame to shudder,
When I see the fruit of the human brain,
When I see good so far from bad,
When I see within the clarity of your eyes…

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me laughter and it gave me longing.
With them I distinguish happiness and pain—
The two materials from which my songs are formed,
And your song, as well, which is the same song.
And everyone’s song, which is my very song.

Thanks to life
Thanks to life
Thanks to life
Thanks to life

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Organizational Coaching Cultures – How to focus on becoming one!

I think that many of our organizations in public, private and nonprofit sectors use and think in an outdated hierarchical system of command and control.

This is very much a way of thinking and behaving as an attempt to control other people. On the other hand coaching’s intention is to empower other people to think and make decisions, their way.

Coaching brings out the best in people as they think, feel and behave differently – they are more impassioned to be creative, innovative and productive. This is a testament to the idea of replacing old management thinking, and behaviour with a coaching methodology and culture. Good coaching is moving the client into higher levels of responsibility and accountability.

Traditional management does the opposite and is the place where people often feel intimidated by being bossed around. The belief is that this is where resentment and sabotage exists in the traditional way of management practices.

In “Coaching and the Art of Management” it is stated:

“Managers act out core managerial beliefs, such as being in charge, controlling others, implementing other’s orders, prescribing behaviours and events, maintaining order, gaining and exercising command and control, and discarding the noncompliant.”

There is a great different between expectations and agreement as a leadership practice.

When those in leadership learn the power of co-creating agreements the accountability increases. This is a more powerful practice where agreements generate more powerful results.

The coaching methodology acknowledges, appreciates what you have accomplished, empowers you to internalize and repeat these results in your life. In coaching cultures, one thinks and act with the whole person in mind and not limited to one thread of the person’s life. It is about how the person is able to generalize the learning throughout the “full life experience” facing the person. If they are successful and feeling accomplished in their work environment, chances are that this will positively impact their world.

Coaching cultures do advance an organization to strengthen its capacities and become a place where people wish to be, to commit, and focus on what is best for all.

If you are interested in exploring how coaching culture could positively impact your organization, let’s connect.

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New Training and Speaking Opportunities

New Training and or Speaking Engagements:

1. Shaping Board Culture to Strengthen Board Governance, “Ten Big Questions that will Enhance Board Performance”.

2. Faith Organizations, “Creating the Future while Managing the Present” What research proposes to be successful in times of declining membership/participation and or an aging clergy?

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