I’m a dot connector. It’s not much different than what I did with a pencil, in a pre-school activity. Instead of looking at tiny black circles, I look at information, and in place of lines, I draw conclusions. The end is still the bigger picture, and an “aha” moment. This week’s “Top Trends in the World of Work” are about recognizing the value of dots. Without them, we’d be booking roundtrip tickets to the drawing board. And travel these days can be very costly. …

1. Dotted Line

We’re always referencing the “fine line” between things. It’s never really fine, is it? I see it more as a dotted line — which is really a line with some leeway. Those small spaces between are silent permission for the negative to pollute the possibilities. Lines, especially when carelessly crossed, are adversaries to greatness (and happiness) according to this Forbes post, which came with powerful pictorials. They might as well be cave drawings — there’s centuries of wisdom in not leading between these lines.

The Trend: The lines that box you in are not always straight. Stop growing in circles.

2. On the Dot

Now that “The Oprah Show” is over, there are two shows that bring me to my emotional knees: “Extreme Makeover — Home Edition” and “Undercover Boss.” They tell the story of human potential; in the case of the latter, however, it’s not a true story.

If you need a disguise to learn the truth about your company, you’re doing something wrong.

#Schooled by Inc.com — it might as well be “Extreme Makeover — Workplace Edition”! Stories that matter don’t wear a mask and arrive late to the ball.

The Trend: Leaders tell the story; they don’t merely star in it. Real leaders show up on time.

3. Dot Dot Dash

At the end of my spelling-bee style made-to-order bliss some years ago, the barista asked if I worked for Starbucks. Uh…no — but it was great to know I had this star quality. Actually, all of us Starbucks patrons do. It’s by design that we speak in retail tongues — a result of a Starbucks customer boot camp. Now we’re walking, talking brand ambassadors that spread the word, all because we don’t like getting called out. This HBR video will fill you in on the magic of treating your customers like employees (there’s that fine line again). I’m looking forward to a White Mocha Caramel Coconut Frappuccino at half price today between 3pm and 5pm. Life is Grandé.

The Trend: The Tall Order – stop speaking in code and create ease in customer engagement.

Without connection we’re just a bunch of dots seeking meaning in the bigger picture of life. That’s what I say. …

 

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