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Monday, September 25, 2017

Dear Hannah: LEarning (The People In My Neighborhood (TPIMN))



 
Dear Hannah,

As the name suggests, The People In My Neighborhood (TPIMN) is a project that helps me learn more about where I live.

It began as an effort to organize the neighbors in our subdivision, then grew into an effort to learn about our adjacent communities - then their adjacent communities, etc.

It has grown into a powerful storytelling tool.


Love,


Daddy


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"LEarning (The People In My Neighborhood (TPIMN))"
By Derrick Brown
8-12-2017

As the name suggests, The People In My Neighborhood (TPIMN) is a project that helps me learn more about where I live.

It began as an effort to organize the neighbors in our subdivision, then grew into an effort to learn about our adjacent communities - then their adjacent communities, etc.

About one year ago, I was able to formalize the project into a google map with several layers.

These layers include community building blocks like voting wards, subdivisions, apartments, schools, churches, businesses, and crime.

Based on recent direct feedback, nobody cares to be shown how the map was built.

Those are too many details.

Many folks, though, care about what the map reveals.

So, let's use the map to help tell a compelling story - by the numbers.

Let's tackle the numbers first.

I live in a voting ward with 3000 registered voters.

2000 are White - and live North of what I call our "Mason - Dixon Line".

1500 of those White voters live in 5 key "North Side" communities.

The other 1000 voters are Black - and live South of that "Mason - Dixon Line".

I am one of them.

There are two candidates vying to be elected as representatives of our ward.

They both live on the "North Side".

Political campaigns have limited resources.

I would not blame these two candidates if they both focused their resources on targeting the 1500 votes in the 5 "North Side" communities.

So far - neither of them seem to be making themselves visible on the "South Side".

I ain't mad at 'em.

But they are overlooking an opportunity that is hard to see ... unless you have a visual aid.

Roll the demo ...

[Tour starts]

There are 50 registered voters in my community.

As I leave my community to drive my daughter to school, I pass a second community on my left.

There are 50 registered voters in that community.

Nearing the stoplight, the subdivision to my left has 50 registered voters.

The apartment complex on the right has 90 voters.

After we make a right turn, there is an apartment complex to the left with 230 registered voters.

Then there is another to the right with 100 voters.

If you are keeping score, that is 570 of my ward's 1000 Black voters ... who live within walking distance of my house.

It's a long walk, but they live within walking distance.

[End tour]

What does this say, and what does that mean?

Here's what it says to me - by the numbers.

The two "North Side" candidates will share 2000 votes.

Let's explore the possibilities of how that might happen.

If they split them evenly (1000 apiece), they will have created an opportunity for a third "South Side" candidate who targets Black voters.

If one candidate dominates the other, the third candidate who woos the "South Side" Black voters may have a say in which candidate wins.

Those are the two extreme possibilities.

Lots of other possibilities exist between those extremes.

So, the word to the wise is to make an effort to attract and organize those 570 voters who live within walking distance of my home.

It might matter more than we realize.

Selah.


About Derrick Brown (Principal Consultant)
 

I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

My *other* passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill & will, analysis & synthesis, ideas & execution, and activity & achievement.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

I am a publisher, filmmaker, executive coach & registered mediator with engineering degrees from Clemson and Georgia Tech.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes the following classes ...

  • ministry (serving people)
  • entrepreneurship (developing solutions that serve people)
  • stewardship (taking care of relationships, possessions, talents, body, mind, and time)
  • literacy (reading & writing skills)
  • numeracy (math skills)
  • language (communication skills)
  • self-expression (sharing "who you are")
  • self-identity (knowing "who you are")
  • analysis & synthesis (solving problems & sharing solutions)

KnowledgeBase is a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Dear Hannah: LEarning (Nine Men's Morris (9MM))



 
Dear Hannah,

Nine Men's Morris is an ancient board game combining the speed of checkers, the strategy of chess and the simplicity of tic-tac-toe.

It is easy to play, but difficult to master.

Become a master.


Love,


Daddy


Nine Men's Morris (9MM)

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"LEarning (Nine Men's Morris (9MM))"
By Derrick Brown
8-11-2017

Nine Men's Morris is an ancient board game combining the speed of checkers, the strategy of chess and the simplicity of tic-tac-toe.

It is easy to play, but difficult to master.

Opponents each start the game with 9 playing pieces.

The object ... is to either trap your opponent so he or she can no longer move or to capture all their playing pieces except for two.

The rules ... first person to play puts a piece over any of the white circles on your game board.

Then the second person does the same.

Your objective is to get three of your pieces in a row (which is called a "mill").

All the pieces in a "mill" must be on circles connected by lines.

In other words, diagonal mills don't count.

When you get a mill, you may remove and keep one of your opponent's pieces from the board.

The only time a piece can be removed from an opponent's mill is when there are no other pieces available except those in a mill.

Once both players have put down all their pieces (this is called the "placement" phase), they take turns moving their pieces along the lines in an effort to form a mill (this is called the "movement" phase).

You can only move one space at a time, and you can't move diagonally.

Also, you may only move to adjacent open circles.

You may not bump or jump an opponent's piece.

Remember, the forming of a mill allows for the removal of an opponent's piece.

If you plan well, it is possible to play a piece that forms two mills. If this occurs, you can remove two of your opponent’s pieces.

Play continues until a player can no longer move or is left with only two playing pieces on the board.
 Whichever outcome, this person loses the game.

I can show you better than I can tell you.

Let's see how it is done.

Roll the demo ...

The game's speed, strategy, and simplicity combine to make it a subtle powerhouse.

Let me count the ways ...

1. Folks from similar and different generations can compete.
2. Games end in 5-10 minutes - so several games can be played simultaneously - or in succession - without folks getting bored.
3. "Gameboards" can be printed and placed in document photo frames from Dollar stores.
4. Game pieces can be formal game pawns (like the ones in the game "Sorry"), or any uniform household item with a flat bottom (pennies and dimes work well - so do colored applesauce caps).

These four elements I have shared allow Nine Men's Morris to be the centerpiece of a compelling, inexpensive, intra-generational event.

Imagine middle, high school, and college students - along with professionals and retirees - all playing each other in a large room with 16 tables.

Each table can host two games between two players simultaneously - this means 64 people can be engaged and play 32 games in the first round of a tournament.

Each game requires a gameboard - a printout of the Nine Men's Morris grid placed in a dollar store document frame.

These 32 gameboards will cost $32.

With games taking 5-10 minutes - each tournament round will take 20 minutes.

A 64-player tournament will require 6 "rounds" to crown a champion - which means 120 minutes are required for gameplay.

Add 5-minute breaks between every round - 25-30 minutes are required for breaks.

This means that 150 minutes (2.5 hours) are required to conduct a tournament with 64 participants.

Let's add 30 minutes for breakfast before the tournament.

So, on a Saturday morning from 9 AM - 12 PM - this game provides the main attraction of a great, inexpensive mentoring event.

Man, that is alright.

Selah.

About Derrick Brown (Principal Consultant)
 

I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

My *other* passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill & will, analysis & synthesis, ideas & execution, and activity & achievement.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

I am a publisher, filmmaker, executive coach & registered mediator with engineering degrees from Clemson and Georgia Tech.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes the following classes ...

  • ministry (serving people)
  • entrepreneurship (developing solutions that serve people)
  • stewardship (taking care of relationships, possessions, talents, body, mind, and time)
  • literacy (reading & writing skills)
  • numeracy (math skills)
  • language (communication skills)
  • self-expression (sharing "who you are")
  • self-identity (knowing "who you are")
  • analysis & synthesis (solving problems & sharing solutions)

KnowledgeBase is a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Dear Hannah: LEarning (Now You Know History Quiz Bowl (NYK HQB))



 
Dear Hannah,

The NOW YOU KNOW History Quiz Bowl is a gameshow tells the story of 25 ordinary people who did extraordinary things.

This game is a walk through history, and the embracing of what our world calls diversity, sensitivity, and inclusion.

Writing the game helps me LEarn about and practice all three - at the same time.

It is my hope that playing the game helps us to all do the same.

Love,


Daddy


Now You Know History Quiz Bowl (NYK HQB)

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"LEarning (Now You Know History Quiz Bowl (NYK HQB))"
By Derrick Brown
8-11-2017

The NOW YOU KNOW History Quiz Bowl is a gameshow tells the story of 25 ordinary people who did extraordinary things.

These people have special connections to each other - and to us.

Our connections to their lives, stories and accomplishments help us to relate to them.

This allows them to disciple us - even though we may never meet them face-to-face.

The game is played in the tradition of "Jeopardy" - with a few stylistic departures.

First, I serve as host.

My role is to be the griot.

Each gameboard selection affords me the chance to introduce a person and tell their story - in 15-20 seconds.

Each story ends with a common knowledge "answer" that contestants then "question" for points.

Our second key departure - if contestants do not phrase their question properly, we chew the meat, spit out the bones, and keep LEarning.

Questions, answers, and phrasing are all of secondary importance.

The story and LEarning are our priorities.

Roll the demo ...

Each of these stories used to appear as posters on the walls of my office when I was a school administrator.

They were great conversation pieces, and inspirations to all who engaged them - especially me.

Please note that I call this a History Quiz Bowl.

That is very intentional, and I fully embrace the irony there.

Human nature and conventional wisdom suggest that once the stories of two Black people are shared (within 5 minutes), then this becomes a "Black History" Quiz Bowl.

Au contraire, mon frere et ma chere.

This game is a walk through history, and the embracing of what our world calls diversity, sensitivity, and inclusion.

Writing the game helps me LEarn about and practice all three - at the same time.

It is my hope that playing the game helps us to all do the same.

Selah.


About Derrick Brown (Principal Consultant)
 

I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

My *other* passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill & will, analysis & synthesis, ideas & execution, and activity & achievement.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

I am a publisher, filmmaker, executive coach & registered mediator with engineering degrees from Clemson and Georgia Tech.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes the following classes ...

  • ministry (serving people)
  • entrepreneurship (developing solutions that serve people)
  • stewardship (taking care of relationships, possessions, talents, body, mind, and time)
  • literacy (reading & writing skills)
  • numeracy (math skills)
  • language (communication skills)
  • self-expression (sharing "who you are")
  • self-identity (knowing "who you are")
  • analysis & synthesis (solving problems & sharing solutions)

KnowledgeBase is a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Dear Hannah: LEarning (Writing Your First Business Plan (WYFBP))



 
Dear Hannah,

Vision, Mission, and Steps provide a path that helps you to walk in your life's purpose.

Vision describes what your efforts will produce / create - it describes your "end".

Mission describes the concrete path to your vision - it describes your "means".

Steps describe specific projects and tasks required to navigate that path - your "who", "what", "when", "where", "why", and "how".

Write these - so that whomever reads it may run with it.


Love,


Daddy


Writing Your First Business Plan (WYFBP)

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"LEarning (Writing Your First Business Plan (WYFBP))"
By Derrick Brown
8-10-2017

Many years ago, I developed a six-week class called "Writing Your First Business Plan".

The purpose of the class was to help entrepreneurs with GOoD ideas (good ideas from God) "wrap their minds" around their vision, mission, and steps - in a way that established and built positive momentum.

Vision describes what your efforts will produce / create - it describes your "end".

Mission describes the concrete path to your vision - it describes your "means".

Steps describe specific projects and tasks required to navigate that path - your "who", "what", "when", "where", "why", and "how".

I developed the class after reviewing the path I had navigated thus far while implementing my own vision.

My path began with a one-page business plan - written in the Summer of 1993 - that outlined my approach to being a computer consultant.

I was 23 when I wrote it, but even by then I understood that using a computer was my strongest skill set.

Educating and empowering people by learning to use computers efficiently was my strongest interest (my passion).

In 1996, I wrote a more formal business plan that helped launch an African-related Internet directory called The Universal Black Pages (UBP).

My current venture, KnowledgeBase, was first UBP's marketing and outreach arm - then we went "solo" in 1998.

All of this was defined and outlined in that formal plan - which received a lot of positive feedback, and allowed us to run our business "on paper".

This helped us avoid a lot of costly mistakes (I mean financial ones).

We still made more than our fair share (especially management & leadership ones), and earned some painful wisdom through lessons learned.

Through it all, though, I remembered that one-page plan, and the confidence, clarity, and calm it brought when I finished it.

I wanted to outline a process that would help others achieve that same confidence, clarity, and calm.

Then I wanted to walk through that process with them.

Let me show it to you ...

I led 250 people through this process from 2001 to 2002 in multiple 6-week sessions that I recorded on my laptop.

These recordings prepared me for podcasting before I even knew what podcasting was.

Listening to them also helped me grow as a man.

There is nothing more humbling than listening to yourself teach others while realizing how much you have left to LEarn.

Suffice it to say that I am still LEarning, still teaching, and still have a long way to go.

But I am confident that I know how to get there.

And I am faithful that I will.

Selah.



About Derrick Brown (Principal Consultant)
 

I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

My *other* passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill & will, analysis & synthesis, ideas & execution, and activity & achievement.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

I am a publisher, filmmaker, executive coach & registered mediator with engineering degrees from Clemson and Georgia Tech.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes the following classes ...

  • ministry (serving people)
  • entrepreneurship (developing solutions that serve people)
  • stewardship (taking care of relationships, possessions, talents, body, mind, and time)
  • literacy (reading & writing skills)
  • numeracy (math skills)
  • language (communication skills)
  • self-expression (sharing "who you are")
  • self-identity (knowing "who you are")
  • analysis & synthesis (solving problems & sharing solutions)

KnowledgeBase is a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Copyright © 2018 Derrick Brown and KnowledgeBase, Inc. All Rights Reserved.