Archive for October, 2009


The Mr. Hatch Award – Part 2

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. . . continued from The Mr. Hatch Award – Part 1

Pilot Review and Implementation

These two conversations made me want to continue my plans with the Mr. Hatch Award. Even though the company knew nothing about the program, I believed they would support it. If I can give an employee a $5,000 on-the-spot award for customer excellence, $40 is not going to break the bank. The pilot even taught me a few lessons:

1. Run the program on my own and forget about formal corporate support.

2. Keep the anonymity of the program intact.

3. Ditch the corporate florist.

The next Monday I moved into full implementation. I chose two more workers, but I didn’t go to the swanky florist. I walked a few blocks north into the combat zone of downtown Brooklyn and found an all-purpose store. The proprietor sells a lot of things, including flowers. I said to him, “Here’s my offer. Every week I want you to deliver two floral arrangements to my headquarters. I also want a thank you balloon attached along with a note that I’ll give you. You put the note in an envelope and deliver it all. I’ll pay cash. You don’t contact me; I only contact you. I’ll show up every Monday with the names, notes, and money.”

“OK with me” he said. Unlike the corporate florist, he had no problem with this arrangement. Apparently, he does a lot of his business this way.

“One final question,” I said. “What kind of flowers do I get for my $40?”

“Give me a minute,” he said and then he disappeared. What he brought back was a massive array of floral specimens: birds of paradise, tulips, roses, and babies’ breath. I think I got half of his storefront display.

“Looks fine to me. Do a good job and I’ll keep coming back every week,” I promised.

The Results

It’s a year later, and I’m still sending flowers, anonymous notes, and ballons. My company still knows nothing about it. So, have I changed our corporate culture? No. Was I able to get everyone together, tell them the business plan, and demand that they believe and implement the Mr. Hatch Award? Hell, no. But here’s what has happened:

1. I actually look forward to coming to work on Monday mornings.

2. A small number of employees go home Monday night with a smile or quizzical look on their faces.

3. Co-workers are having a blast trying to figure out who’s sending flowers to their friends and why. I suspect a few even dream of receiving flowers and a balloon for themselves.

4. One aging executive is making retirement preparations by meeting individually with employees. Although this is the least verifiable part of the program, I trust that the SVP is making the effort. (Did I actually say that I trust someone in authority? Who knows, maybe Mr. Hatch is getting to me, too.)

5. I’ve got a proprietor in downtown Brooklyn who smiles when he sees me coming and warmly shakes my hand. I also have the feeling that the storefront area is a bit more revitalized than it was a year ago.

That’s the present state of progress with the Mr. Hatch Award. I’ll probably keep it up until I read another kid’s book that leaves me feeling hopeful and alive. Then I’ll experiment with another idea. Maybe something based on The Velveteen Rabbit or Ira Sleeps Over.

I’m sure some well-meaning executive will read this article and try to formulate a corporate Mr. Hatch Award. Fuggedaboudit! Not everything needs to be imitated and mandated into business policy. Some things work just fine when they’re small, personal, and unique. There’s organizational strength in fermenting a mixture of the institutional along with the idiosyncratic. Executives would be better served by encouraging staff to hatch their own ways of nurturing the corporate common good.

Oh…one more thing. While I was finishing this article, I passed the woman who received the first Mr. Hatch Award when it was a pilot. She had fresh flowers on her desk.

“Is it your birthday?” I asked, “No,” she said. “Somebody still sending you anonymous flowers?” I whispered.

“Nope, not this time. They’re from my boss,” she said. “I got promoted, and she sent them as a present.”

“Sounds like you have a long list of admirers,” I said, and I walked away feeling a little renewed.

Who knows? Maybe Mr. Hatch will start a trend in corporate America! I can hear Tom Peters talking about it now.

Reprinted with kind permission of the man himself – Kenny Moore – President of Kenny Moore Consulting, LLC.  He’s a well-regarded Keynote speaker, executive coach and business consultant for Leadership Development, Change Management and Employee Engagement. He can be reached at kennythemonk at or (973) 956-8210.

Categories : Corporate Coaching
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The Mr. Hatch Award

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The Mr. Hatch Award: Anonymous Employee Recognition

by Kenny Moore

I’m tired of listening to Tom Peters. I refuse to buy Jack Welch’s book. I’ve grown weary of reading the latest management guru’s list of habits and business principles. I become depressed when I get to the part of the book that states, ….Get everyone together, tell them the business plan, and demand that they believe and implement it fully.” Then the book quickly ends with very little said on how to make this happen. I’ve started looking elsewhere for answers to my business needs.

The Story of Mr. Hatch
Of more help to me is Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli. It’s a children’s book about an isolated workingman, who lives, works, and sleeps alone. Neighbors say, “Mr. Hatch likes to keep to himself” 61X69KH93DL._SL160_ One Saturday, while cleaning his porch, the postman delivers a heart– shaped box of candy with an anonymous note signed, “Somebody loves you.” Mr. Hatch is confused because he interacts with no one. He finally concludes, “Why, I’ve got a secret admirer.” Mr. Hatch begins to change, dressing up and walking the streets of town, greeting and helping strangers -all with the hope of meeting the person who sent him the candy. Children are drawn to him. He bakes brownies, serves lemonade, and plays an old harmonica that he’s had from his boyhood. Everyone dances. Time passes. Mr. Hatch is having so much fun; he’s even forgotten about finding his secret admirer.

Then, the postman returns informing Mr. Hatch that he delivered the candy to the wrong address and takes back the now-empty box. The “Somebody loves you” note falls out in the transfer, reminding Mr. Hatch that he was correct at the outset; nobody really does love him. He withdraws back into his isolation, but the kids won’t allow that to happen. The neighborhood revolts. “We can’t let this happen to Mr. Hatch,” they say, and they don’t. Their response is truly prodigal. My seven-year-old son made me promise not to tell how it all ends, so go read the book. But the story left me thinking. What would happen if Mr. Hatch showed up in corporate America? What havoc might be wrought by small gifts, anonymously given to an ordinary worker– possibly even the wrong person? How might our corporate neighbors respond? I decided to find out.

Designing a Program

My plan was to anonymously send a $40 floral arrangement to two unsuspecting employees every Monday morning-a Mr. Hatch Award. They would be chosen subjectively-sometimes based on their commitment to the corporate common good or just because they happened to be at the right place at the right time. Attached to the flowers would be a note saying, “Don’t ever think your good efforts go unnoticed.” It would be signed, “From someone who cares.”

The business world has taught me always to do a pilot before jumping into full implementation. I’ve also learned that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission, so I kept the idea to myself and received no formal approval. For my trial run, I picked one employee from the opposite side of my floor, as well as my senior vice president (SVP). Although I personally hate anyone in authority, I’ve noticed that no one ever says thank you to executives. Granted, they do make mistakes, but they also do some good things-for which they seldom get credit. Besides, my therapist would be proud to hear me even consider doing something positive for someone in authority. So the SVP was scheduled to get flowers too.

On Monday morning, I walked down to the florist who handles our corporate account and asked what I could get for $40. She showed me a small bowl with five petite flowers in it. (Their overhead must be high.) I told her I wanted to send two arrangements and to ensure anonymity, I would pay cash, and I would not sign my name or leave

my phone number. The florist was extremely uncomfortable with this. I wasn’t feeling too happy about the transaction either. Maybe this is how all pilot projects feel? By that afternoon, the flowers arrived. I said nothing to anybody.

On Tuesday I made it a point to pass by the desk of the woman who worked on my floor. I said, “Hey, nice flowers. Is it your birthday?”

“No,” she said. “Somebody sent them to me. Look. Here’s the note.”

By this time, all her co-workers were crowded around, telling me the layout of events. They also knew that an executive had gotten the same flowers delivered. One of them even called the florist to find out who sent it. Nobody seemed to know. They all continued to speak in utter giddiness about the strangeness of the delivery and what made this woman so special. They also spent considerable time trying to figure out what she had in common with the executive, as well as who might have sent them both the flowers. Even as I left, they continued on in frenzied conversation and merriment.

A few days later I had a project-update meeting with my SVP. I planned to tell him about my pilot as well as get his reaction as a recipient. Before I even got to my part of the conversation, he said, “You know, Kenny, last week some employee sent me a bunch of flowers, thanking me for something I did. I’m not even sure who it was or what I did. But it got me thinking. I only have a few more years before I retire, and I think I’d like to use that time focusing on individual employees, their needs, and their concerns. I know it’s impractical; we’ve got 13,000 employees, but I’d like to give it a try.”

Gulp! Now I felt both entrapped and embarrassed. How could I tell him that I sent the flowers or that he was only part of a program I was testing out? He had come up with a worthwhile executive goal that I wasn’t going to knock off track. I kept my mouth shut, gave my project update, and exited as fast as I could.

The Mr Hatch Award – Part 2

Categories : Corporate Coaching
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Kenny The Renegade Monk

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One of the things I love about having a blog is I get to write about anything and anyone I like. And Kenny Moore has been in my favourites list since I came first came across him, some years back, when I was creating my site Leadership Matters (no longer in existence).  I was intrigued by his story – he’d been a monk for 15 years and, at that time, was working as Corporate Ombudsman and Human Resources Director for a corporate organisation  in NYC. He’d survived “incurable” cancer and open heart surgery and later went on to write ‘The CEO and the Monk: One Company’s Journey to Profit and Purpose‘, with his Company Chairman.

61X69KH93DL._SL160_The article that first drew me to him was one on employee recognition which you will find in the following post The Mr. Hatch Award. He created a scheme that was inspired by the children’s book “Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch”. And I was very inspired by his creativity and courage to try something radically different in a large corporation. I was also intrigued to discover the ending to the book, which isn’t revealed in the article so I went out and bought it and it became a firm family favourite – ‘Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (paperback)‘ I mean, not ‘The CEO and the Monk’ although I’m sure that’s very good too!

Anyway, during that time, Kenny and I emailed back and forth a few times and then I stopped focussing on leadership coaching and our correspondence went quiet. Then, a couple of months ago, I came across his new website and signed up to his email list. This morning I received his latest letter to The Times and decided to post it on my blog because, again I found it inspiring. I love his creativity and his rebel nature.

If you enjoy it you want want to visit his site and sign up for his newsletter or attend one of his free teleseminars.

Here’s the letter in it’s entirety:


Beloved Friends;

The Pope has recently invited members of the Anglican Church who are unhappy with women Bishops and Gay priest to join the Catholic Church. Below is my recent letter to the Editor of the New York Times. Enjoy.


Catholics and Anglicans: Some Unintended Consequences
By Kenny Moore

(Moore is a former Catholic priest and co-author of “The CEO and the Monk: One Company’s Journey to Profit and Purpose”)

For the last twenty years, I’ve worked in corporate America. Prior to that, I spent fifteen years in a monastic order as a Catholic priest. Oddly enough, the work has proven to be quite similar, though the Incentive Plans varied greatly. I left the monastery because I wanted to get married. Now that I’m married and raising two teenagers … I’d like to go back. And presently it seems all I need do is join the Anglican Church. According to the recent announcement from Rome, I’ll even be able to bring my wife along. Unfortunately, there’s still the problem of the kids. The monks often said that the Almighty has a wicked sense of humor.

With one wave of the Vatican’s almighty hand, Anglicans who don’t like women bishops or gay priests are now welcome in the Catholic Church. Even their married clergy can come along. But there might be one small difficultly. These disenfranchised Anglicans will now be sharing the pew with a growing number of disenfranchised Catholics: folks who are increasingly pushing for women’s ordination and a more Christian response to the gay community. And don’t be surprised if the priest celebrating Mass is himself gay. They haven’t disappeared, you know. They’ve only gone underground to survive the Witch Hunt of the present Administration.

When the Bishops recently requested that Catholics start returning to the confessional, it didn’t seem to improve the numbers. Likewise, their PR program “Welcome Home” hasn’t moved the masses to return to the fold. Perhaps the broader Catholic community knows more than the hierarchy. The Church leadership continues to be hostile to gays, indifferent to women and intolerant of the meddling laity. The recent sex scandals have only confirmed the people’s suspicions: the hierarchy is not to be trusted. Bishops believe it’s better to have a diocese declare bankruptcy, as Wilmington, Delaware and others have recently done, than release documents revealing their ethical malfeasance. A growing number of the laity is looking to leave, but hasen’t had a place to go. This may all be changing.

What the Vatican may not have realized is that in opening the door to the Anglican Church, that door swings both ways. Why wouldn’t our gay Catholic priests switch to a religious group that treats them with dignity and respect? Even the straight priests might be willing to cast their lot with a liturgical tradition that at least allows them to marry and have the support of their wives, since they seem to get so little of it from their Bishops. Women, who continue to make up the vast majority of church-goers, might also stop complaining to an all-male clergy for equal rights, and embrace the Anglican way of celebrating their gifts as a valid ministry? The Pope’s recent decision could just prove to be the “Law of Unintended Consequences” played out in a divinely mischievous way.

And wouldn’t it be refreshing for Catholic couples to finally find a religion that allows them to be in harmony with their Church’s teaching on birth control without having to wait for the onset of menopause?

While Rome’s at it, how about inviting those disenfranchised Mormon polygamists over to our side as well? The number of their kids alone would boost Catholic school enrollment tremendously.

And what about extending another free pass to those bonus-laden Wall Street Execs? The Vatican could always use some help with its cash flow, and buying Indulgences might be just what’s needed to reinvigorate our faltering global economy.

I’m sure we could get President Obama to endorse it as part of his Stimulus Package. Even Tom Friedman might cast a favorable vote. I’m less sure about the Dalai Lama.

While I’ve never been a big fan of Rome, I’m already liking this Anglican thing a lot. It may be one of the few Papal pronouncements I’m willing to support.

Kenny Moore
Kenny Moore Consulting, LLC
Author of ‘The CEO and the Monk’
41 Battle Ridge Trail
Totowa, NJ 07512


Follow the link above to find more of Kenny Moore’s stuff.

Categories : Inspirational
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Tap into Your Sense Of Wonder

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I’ve enjoyed watching Tim Freke’s videos this week and pondering the wonder of life. In this one Tim describes how the Hubble telescope was focussed on a little spot, at random, in the night sky that looked like it was empty. But inside the spot,  the size of a pin prick, they found 14 galaxies, each one containing millions of stars.

And, he says, “if you live to be 80 you’ve got about 4000 weeks to work that out so what’s the most insane thing that anyone can believe – that they know what’s going on”.

Most of us are so unconscious we dont’ notice the most obvious thing about our predicament . . . that it’s profoundly mysterious. Whether or not Tim’s views make sense to you or seem like complete gobbledygook it’s worth taking some time out just to ponder on and appreciate the miracle that is life.

Have you armoured yourself against the mystery? Can you watch with an open mind?


I Meant To Do That

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Received this email from my coach yesterday. I have put it in my “remember this” file which I use to remind me of what’s truly important to me, when I get bogged down in details, or my story, or start to feel low. Hope you enjoy the message and the song. I’m off to write my “I meant to do that” list . . .

Dear club members,

For years, I thought of creating this club for people.

For years. I meant to do it, but didn’t.

Then there was a moment in my life when I was just raised up…like my father would lift me up as a tiny boy…

I was raised up, almost into the air. By a single thought.

The thought was: “no more”: … no more will I ever have anything I meant to do but didn’t. No expression of love. No secret longing to write a mystery novel. No more “I meant to do it but never did.” Never again. Ever.

So imagine my feelings when I played this song sent to me by a club member last week. A song called “I Meant To Do That.” Please listen to it.

Love to you all,


Categories : Inspirational
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Life Moves Archives

Gillian Pearce – Life Moves


About Life Moves

Life Moves is an unfolding story of my journey to discover and create what I truly want from life. I hope you will find my writings helpful, inspirational, encouraging, amusing or, at the very least, usually worth reading. Please feel free to comment on any posts about which you have an opinion. Or make one up. I do it all the time and it can be very dull, alone in cyberspace.

Bon Voyage!