Listening a Foundational Element in any Endeavor

As I have been reviewing Paul Polak and his ideas one of his simple concepts that he says is one of the most overlooked is listening.  It doesn’t really matter what type of organization you build or run this is one of the most important disciplines you can develop.  How did Paul and IDE help 17 million out of poverty?  Here is a foundational key you should listen to.  Don’t miss this!  Who is your business, social enterprise or charity serving?  Go now and listen.  Ask the right questions and listen.

Why listening is foundational?

It is absolutely essential to our limited time, human, and financial resources that we don’t waist our time with enterprises that are wasteful and ineffective.  If you run a business or charity one of the worst feelings you can have is to invest your heart and soul into something that fails to meet the needs of your customer.   You work and strive and fail your customer even though you have invested so much of your heart.  When your goal is to meet a need by organizing and creating value that serves life then wisdom says, “humble yourself and learn to listen”.

Listen to Paul in his own words:

Full Video Here


Envision Good . tv

Check out They are following some great organizations and sharing ideas that empower real people.   Here is a sample video for you to try on.

iPhone app for Good the Give Work app by Samasource

Samasource and Crowdflower has given you another way to help people come out of poverty.  I downloaded the app a while back and am amazed at the forward thinking of people like Leila.  If you have a minute do simple tasks to give.  How does it work?

Samasource and Crowdflower present Give Work, their new iPhone application. Give Work lets you support refugees in Dadaab, Kenya—the world’s largest refugee site—in minutes by completing short, on-screen tasks. The refugees are training to complete these same tasks and, by volunteering to tag a video or trace a road, you will generate money to support their training as well as valuable data to help focus future training programs.  (

“We are witnessing a tremendous surge in human potential” (Leila Jara).

Hear Leila in her own words at TEDxSV

More on Outsourcing good or bad?

I have recently found a social enterprise that seeks to serve small to medium sized outsourcing companies in places like India and Africa.  They look specifically for organizations that can also claim to create some social benefit.   So in doing some research on what is out there I came across this interesting youtube video.  What do you think?

Leila Chirayath Janah of Samasource brings a fresh vision to outsourcing

Leila is the founder of Samasource a non profit social enterprise that is seeking to identify and promote small to medium outsourcing companies in Uganda, Kenya and India.  The idea is that Samasource utilize due diligence in screening smaller but deserving companies and give them a platform.  Samasource also seeks to work with organizations that can define a social benefit.

Visit the  Samasource web site and view how it works presentation.

Some overlapping information in the following videos but they are short.  I am impressed with Leila’s communication skills and her ability to convey what the organization is trying to accomplish.  Watch the videos and let me know what you think.

Ponderings — Respect in business relationships?

faceartRight now everyone is clamoring for the newest the latest and the greatest.  How can we make it big?  The more I look forward the more I remember the tried and true.  You want to build and grow you need to remember the basics.  One of the foundational principles of commerce and trade is respect.  The fruit of respect is listening hearing and learning.  To be a great leader you need to have this down.  It must be at the front of your mind or you will have blind spots and be a less effective leader in your company and in life.

I value respect because it is a platform to build real relationships on and business is all about relationships and trust and respect.  So I am reminding myself to be open to learn from those around me.

So how do I succeed and how do I fail?

Interview with a young Social Entrepreneur Diana Mao of Nomi Network

fireshot-capture-2-nomi-network-www_nominetwork_orgThere are some things in this world that we try to hide from.  We just can’t seem to emotionally cope with certain realities.   Does that make them any less true?  Diana Mao is the type of person who can handle facing a harsh reality and instead of hiding her eyes she embraces those who are suffering.  She is weeping with those who weep.   Diana is seeking to harness the power of market forces to empower those who are survivors of sexual trafficking and slavery.  I know you were going to try to have  a good time today and now your thinking about something sad.  Well, you can be happy when you are a part of solutions.  In our own small part we can be a part of the solution.  I don’t know Diana all that well, but I can say one thing about her – she is joyful.  What’s not to be joyful about knowing that you are giving yourself fully to be a part of the solution to a horrific issue?  So I thank Diana for helping me to see more clearly what it means to be a human being.

The following is  a short interview with Diana Mao the founder of Nomi Network.

S E What would you like to share about your journey in establishing Nomi network.

D M The journey has been a amazing! I have met some of the most amazing people who truly believe that slavery can be eradicated in our generation! I am humbled by their efforts and excited that Nomi Network is a part of the solution. Although the journey has not been easy, my passion for God and the eradication of slavery has fueled my efforts and the late nights I spend working on the Nomi Network dream.

S E How did you decide to start Nomi network?

D M I have always had a heart for this issue but encountered it first hand where I conducted research for FINCA International and interviewed micro-finance clients who make less than $1 a day. During my visit to a remote village a father tried to offer me his daughter because he could not provide for his other children.  Desperation is the breeding ground for human trafficking. When I got back from Cambodia, I decided that I needed to take action. First, I started a “prayer for the nations” meeting, where I and other like-minded individuals prayed for Cambodia as well as other countries. Then, I decided that it was time to take action.  There was already a pool of individuals who were just as passionate as me to start Nomi Network.

S E What kinds of organization and people are you looking to partner with?

DM  1 – people who are passionate about ending human trafficking and who possess skills in marketing, product design, business development, finance and international development. 2 –  companies that aim to produce a line of slave free products – social enterprises that have the capacity and potential to produce high quality products and currently employ survivors or vulnerable women 3- non-profits that have the same vision of a world without slavery

new-picture1S E What would you like to share with other young visionaries considering taking a similar step?

D M Be ready to sacrifice – Try your best and God will do the rest – Do not take “no” for an answer – You might not see immediate results, but be faithful with your efforts and it will make a difference – Collaboration and information is necessary if we want to see systematic change – I read an article from a business school that said, “vision is what drives an organization”. You already have the hard part down: it’s the vision, so now it is just about taking action.