Periscope: Ten Observations that Shape You and Your Organization’s Future (and you thought it was just an inauguration of a President). Things are changing. Are you ready?

Inauguration Day!

For some this is a celebration. Others are still in a state of shock. And others are afraid. I didn’t want to debate about the right and wrong of President Donald Trump. But really, what is this choice about?

It is a beginning not of just new changes in America as much as maybe us seeing what is the reality of our society. There are moments in the continuum of history that are so disruptive that it allows us to catch a glimpse of who we are and what is happening. The inauguration today allows us to put up the periscope and see above our normal currents of life.

Here are a few things to note as we pause today to pray for our President and our nation. Just some random observations that I think have ramifications for our homes, businesses, academies, organizations and non-profits.


Shift from just metroplexes like NYC and LA to the rural and secondary cities. For so long we have had our attention and focus on the urban centers of the coasts (which I still believe lead our culture in many ways in all domains), but have we forgotten the power of Nazareth? Economically, spiritually, morally, there are places in Middle America that shape us. Hey even in sports, the Cleveland Cavaliers are champions. But as land on the coasts get out of reach for most locals to own, people and companies will be moving to these secondary cities. The boundaries of influence are not just within the border of a big city. It’s not simply about where you are as much as what you have. Obtaining knowledge and expertise has no borders.


Power is in the big. We’re not denying it. But in today’s world, power is also given to smaller communities and networks that are more adaptive, represent the grassroots and the people. The small can have more or equal influence than the Big whether it’s squeezed into 140 characters or communicated by a rant with an unknown Youtube blogger. You don’t have to be a known public figure to be heard and followed.


Let’s just be honest, if you’re Black in America you face more prejudice and racism than the most of us. We need to stop trying to deny it and relook at how we do justice, protect, give access and distribute power. Without the Black Civil Rights Movement and sacrifice, I know as an Asian-American I wouldn’t be enjoying the freedoms I experience today. We are indebted to the heroes like John Lewis. In the coming months, expect greater polarization and larger outbreaks of violence not just among our Black community but from any population that is marginalized. (As one civil rights leader said, I don’t agree with the violence but I understand where it’s coming from). In the places of power, the color has changed. For greater creativity and innovation, intentional inclusivity with those culturally different than us must be a norm.


Conversations will move from civil to becoming more coarse, crass and violent. It’s speaking like you’re in elementary school again.


Being Old or a Senior Citizen in America is not so bad any more. You can be respected and lead movements even if you’re 70 years old. Look at who our top officials of our land are. Bernie Sanders and the Pope are heroes to this generation. It’s more about being young at heart, honesty, defending and fighting for the oppressed, living principled and passionate about justice. Let’s not just talk about the past. Act on what you know. Give quality access to those who don’t have it. Share the wisdom. Stand up for what you know is right.


Margins will continue to lead the masses. I know many don’t like Trump, but they voted for him because they just wanted CHANGE or didn’t like Hillary. It was reactive. Regardless, people want change and it often comes from the outside of what they know. People chose a CEO, not an insider career politician. I have 4 daughters (all four share my third culture). I want them to know they are being positioned right now to lead the world. Don’t just resist and defend. Create. Voice, Write. March. Take courage. Stay resilient. The greatest work is often not immediately seen by others. We got your back and we stand with you. Just because your marginalized doesn’t mean you have marginal minds. Your brilliant. The election of Trump will ratchet up the movement of those marginalized. Just watch what the women are saying in the cities of the world today. They are marching and being heard. It’s just the beginning of a greater movement of those who have been unseen and unheard for too long.


It’s now an era of expedience and efficiency. My guess is Trump knew how to win the masses with the rhetoric he used. My belief is that he will probably cause ulcers for both the right and the left. He does what is expedient. It’s all about the deal not friends.


Because of the tone of expedience and value of profit, jobs will continue to be taken over by robots and technology. Many of our “non-thinking” type of jobs will be gone in a decade or so. The speed of this will increase as technology continues to jump leap years into the future. As Elon Musk shared in a recent talk there will be a time when it will be difficult for people to know the difference between virtual reality and reality.


To my church friends, I believe especially among Evangelicals, we have lost the respect and trust of many ethnic groups in America because of our politics, language, rules, tone, and leadership choices. People were already leaving you because of the bait and switch tactics we use. Our passivity on issues of justice, gender and color doesn’t cut it anymore. We take a stand with silence. Time to not just hit the streets once a year or salve our conscience with a weekend unity breakfast in the distressed neighborhood near us but spend time building relationships with those who experience suffering and marginalization. Time to leave the gated communities and see (love, learn, listen) the world that is now in your backyard. As MLK Jr. said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”


The East and the South of the world will continue to rise politically, spiritually, culturally and economically. Because of the distrust of American Christianity, people are seeking for alternatives. They will find a unique interest in Asian culture and spirituality. And they will find the communal nature of the South attractive. Already the wealth of the world has shifted to the East. America is literally a debtor nation.

So who is on your board or your executive team? It’s not just an issue of color and gender (although important) but of culture and mindset.

At the end of the day, Trump will be more moderate and will offend both parties. Whether you like him or not, he is a reflection of America.

Yes, it’s a beginning. Hopefully, a beginning to see a new reality that has been already establishing itself for years.

If you’re an outsider, you can lead us into a new future.

There’s a small cloud rising.



Artist. Curator. Culture. DAVEGIBBONS.ORG

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