A year of work in progress – day 75 (Xenophile)

Day 75 – 28 April 2014 and day 24 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

X was always going to be a difficult letter. I could have chosen a word with an x in it like extraordinary and started from there. I could have chosen a more obvious word like x-ray and used it as a metaphor for being able to see through things but I haven’t.

How many words begin with an X? Not many, not in my dictionary at least and that is because x is a recent addition to the English language. It is used in many other languages like Catalan and Greek where it gives the ch sound as in chocolate or church (think Xmas) but in English it is a foreigner, an in-comer, a migrant worker.

That’s why I have chosen xenophile. You may be more aware of this word’s evil twin, the xenophobe, a person who fears or hates foreigners, strange customs, etc. There are a lot of them about.

A xenophile is a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs. A xenophile is a person who likes to try new things, to explore and to experience change.

We need adventurers, those who dare to look elsewhere, search out new opportunities and go beyond the fringes of the known world. We need people who aren’t afraid to mix it up with other tribes, other cultures and bring new ideas and experiences together. We need go-betweens, translators and interpreters, those who can transfer ideas onto white boards, story tellers, integrators, visualizers, realists, pragmatists, pessimists and optimists. We need more xenophiles.

X is an exciting letter, after all x marks the spot and x is a stolen kiss.

I’ve started to read ‘Managing the Customer Experience’ by Bernard H Schmitt which is about turning customers into advocates. It is one of Neil’s books. Ever since I asked that all of the managers read the Virginia Mason book he has brought in a steady stream of interesting titles.

We had the Strategic ICT Group this morning and it was good to have the opportunity to talk about moving the business forward rather than the more operational issues we get stuck in. We’ve identified some key decisions that we need to get to very shortly and so the Core Group meeting in a couple of weeks is going to be fun.

Today was my second Dutch lunch with Irina. You think she would have had enough after the first but clearly not. I’ve tried hard since the last one having realised how few words I actually knew and made some learning cards (I know they were paper-based). I am approaching six hundred words now and some I get quite easily and some I can’t but the cards are helping.

Learning points for today: I’m told that Michael Dell is always so enthusiastic as if it’s his first day at work every day; taking a fork could lead to the breakdown of society; cake is a universal currency and; I need to practice, practice, practice.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – a good day other than some tail chasing.

2 thoughts on “A year of work in progress – day 75 (Xenophile)

  1. Once took a holiday Greek course and the teacher told us the literal translation of their word for Hotel (xenodochia); “container for strangers”. Nice.

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