The Missing Link to Innovation and Inclusion

Let’s Complete the Revolution


We hear you.

We do not mean to devalue the work of early feminists.

It’s like oxygen on an airplane.  Early feminists had to put the mask on themselves first.  No choice.  I’d be suffocating now, if they didn’t.  I can no more not work than not breathe.  What we are saying is that we must secure the mask on the kids too.  This is not just a woman’s job.  It’s for every adult on the plane, and shame on us if we don’t.

We are also saying that, ironically, what’s good for children is good for business.  We have the tools and view to complete this revolution rather than double down on the old paradigm (e.g., “Lean In” to what’s there), because the truth is that empathy at the core is good for everyone and good for the bottom line.  It’s a win-win.

More soon….meanwhile, thanks to those of you who commented.  The beauty of a blog is the conversation.  Thanks for being there.

4 Responses to “Let’s Complete the Revolution”

  1. soboljordan

    I agree that it is not just a woman’s job – it is for every adult on the plane. I think that is why your negative reference back to feminism is confusing to me and detracts from your very important message. Great conversation! Miss talking with you, Jackie.

  2. Amy Martin (@AmyMartin216)

    Jackie — I agree with you. But as you know, I am not the biggest fan of “lean in” although I applaud the effort. I love the conversation. To be honest – there are days that my mind thinks one way about empathy and a different way the next. I had a very interesting conversation at my Momentum leadership class the other day. I have never had a female boss in my life until recently. So, in a sense, I have been reared in the workplace much like a man. I had only brothers in my house growing up and I am married to an alpha male. So, I have asked myself time and time again — do I lack empathy because of the influences in my life or do I choose not to crave it at work because I need the balance in my life – the professional and personal? To be honest — I don’t know the answer yet. I am a work in progress:) But even when I disagree with your opinion, I greatly enjoy your posts!

  3. jackieacho

    Continued thanks to both of you Sharon and Amy for the ongoing conversation. We’re all a work in progress until we leave this world. These honest dialogues between people who care about the outcome as well as each other are what move us forward. Pure gold.

    Even my own thoughts about empathy are evolving, Amy. It starts with getting yourself out of the way. A designer/artist with whom I’m co-teaching at class at CWRU Weatherhead next week, Seung Chan Lim (Slim) likes to say that empathy begins and ends there – getting yourself out of the way – to see the truth, in people, situations, even materials (e.g., like clay, if you are an artist). Artists operate with empathy and agency as two sides of the same coin. Agency being your capabilities to provide something of value in the world. With empathy and agency together, we do art (not just work). So, this is a really helpful perspective, perhaps especially for those of us coming up professionally in “male” environments (and I’m right there with you, sister – empathy was NOT my starting point). Slim and I are going to riff (yes, riff, Amy! – no powerpoint, no plan) on “Tell Me the Truth about Empathy”. Should be fascinating.

    What this means for children is also interesting, Sharon. If you think about life from birth to death as a lifelong apprenticeship to become the best human beings we can, operating as often as possible with empathy and agency, it puts parenting and the village around a child in an interesting light also. In order to get ourselves out of the way, we have to feel whole, having gotten what we needed emotionally and otherwise, especially in the early years, as you know better than most. While we do not want to alienate anyone who is feminist – and we are too, as we believe that gender should not limit opportunity in any way! – there is value in examining applied history. “Applied” history so we can understand how we got here, in order to move forward without unintended consequences….using all the tools and perspective we have today to build an even more abundant future for everyone. For us this means a change to the system now – rather than leaning into what’s there by giving (one more time with feeling) style advice to women coming up as leaders. We’re convinced there is a new paradigm which is a win-win for everyone. We want to build a future in which we are all liberated to act with empathy and agency, fully developed and unfettered – women, children, men. Everyone.

    More coming up in the next post….

    We look forward to your thoughts, as always.

    • jackieacho

      All of this is related to mastery vs adaptation also. When there is struggle or lack of intimacy in the apprenticeship, kids must adapt. When there is time and space for empathy and agency to be modeled and practiced (not just cognitively explained), kids can master and develop with intrinsic confidence and motivation. All of this means parents must themselves be able to practice both agency and empathy. A tall order in the current paradigm of today’s busy world.


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