From my email:
“Rosa, is Hō‘imi a value you created? I’ve been trying to do more research on it, and can’t find anything more than what can be traced back to you and your writing.”
The short answer, is yes, as far as I know, and am aware of —so if you find anything more, please share it with me and let me know!
When I wrote Managing with Aloha in the summer of 2003, Ka lā hiki ola was the value I’d referred to, and relied upon most, as the value of optimism and hope. I loved that its literal translation, ‘the dawning of a new day’ was a promise of the future, rooted in the certainty that the sun always rises in the morning no matter what may have happened the day before. Indeed, there would always be hope. There was always the opportunity to make new, different, and better choices come dawn once you’d literally put your old choices to bed, and slept on them.
Up to that point, I had also been steeped in historical research to validate the authenticity and precedence of the Hawaiian values—I had no interest in ‘messing with them’ or straying from them in any sort of creative way. Discovering and understanding the kaona (hidden, storied meanings) of different value-holders’ interpretations occupied most of my research time, and I was much more focused on the workplace as the subsequent receptacle of my findings, that is, in how historical kaona could be specifically applied to modern management.
At first, a Hawaiian value was a value simply because the kūpuna told me so. With management and the workplace now in the mix, I soon concentrated on the definition that values drive behavior: Let’s Define Values.
“Hope is not a strategy.”
Hō‘imi came to be after I sent my finished book off to Island Heritage as my first publisher, and had turned my attentions to the creation of Say Leadership Coaching. What would the core values of my business be?
My first choices were easy: Alaka‘i for management, Ho‘ohana for intentional work, ‘Ike loa for lifelong learning, and Aloha as the core spirit of them all. However I needed something more, something about the attitude and expectation that accompanied everything we did, something that could be relentlessly applied to the problem-solving a management consultancy was sure to face, and the possibility robbers we would inevitably encounter. Something to theme our drive.
That something else, would be Hō‘imi, to have positive expectancy, and always look for better and best. Hope and optimism needed a more proactive edge… I didn’t see my company as being disruptive, but I wanted to be sure we were persistent—we weren’t too easily satisfied, asked good questions, probed courageously, and always looked for exemplary results.
In my mind, the core values of a company—any company—should be more than visionary; they should proactively curate the experience of that company, by directing its work in an expectant way: those values must drive the most desirable behaviors a company can emulate, so optimal outcomes result.
“Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies.
It happens when society adopts new behaviors.”
— Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
In my case, I wanted my company to reconstruct management (ALAKA‘I), elevate intentional work (HO‘OHANA), learn constantly to keep curiosity and creativity in play ( ‘IKE LOA), and respect the dignity of a human being’s worth and spirit (ALOHA). Hō‘imi would become our commitment, our outlook, our tenacity, and yes, our stubborn insistence that “…but we can’t.” was never an acceptable answer. We’d never settle.
What are the behaviors your company values encourage in you?
Do they push hard enough, constantly and insistently?
Do yourself a favor, and spend the next 3 minutes watching this wonderful video of Jason Silva: He describes optimism as a self-amplifying feedback loop:
Let’s Review: The Possibility Robbers
Possibility Robbers don’t belong in your life. Get rid of them.
In the eyes of your boss, or any coach or mentor who’s frustrated with you, Possibility Robbers are the villains who have robbed you of having a good attitude. They can muck up your other relationships too.
There are 5 Possibility Robbers which haunt our workplaces:
1. “Yeah, but…” — the throwing up of justification and excuse
2. Should-ing — working within other’s expectations, instead of within your own
3. My way or the highway — resting on your laurels and/or refusing to collaborate with others, neglecting to make room for them
4. “Not meant for me” — self-doubt, self-limiting behavior, and the problem of low self-esteem
5. “I can’t” when you really mean, “I won’t”, and/or “I don’t want to talk about it.” — this is a ploy to delay, or outright denial, and a lack of courage
Possibility Robbers are the enemies of HO‘OHANA (doing the worthwhile work of your most passionate intentions) and ‘IMI OLA (creating your best possible future in a rewarding and visionary way).
Read more here: Banish your Possibility Robbers.