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Viewing entries tagged with 'change'

From diversity to inclusion

Posted by Philip on 16 June 2015, 7:41 am in , , , , , ,

Update:
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The question of diversity and inclusion in schools is by no means a new one. Some do it well, some refuse and most, I would say, are just not sure where to start.

Preparing a keynote for Auckland Careers and Transition Educators –whose "main focus is on the career education of youth and their transition into the wider world of employment, training and/or further education", I began by reflecting on the question, "Can we get straight from diversity to inclusion?" It occurred to me that, no, we can't.

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Gender neutral education recommendations a huge step forward

Posted by Philip on 1 June 2015, 11:13 am in , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Ministry of Education's new curriculum guidelines released last week, aimed at improving sex education and diversity for students, seem almost too good to be true. Actually they are, because they are not mandatory.

Recommendations for non-gendered uniforms, same-sex partners at school balls, reviewing toilet spaces and making sport less gender-specific are no-brainers in our day and age — actually they've been no-brainers for decades.

These guidelines show surprisingly courageous change leadership from the Ministry. But there's always some right-wing plonker, who purports to represent the moral majority, ready to go into bat for the status quo (as I posted about recently).

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Leadership vs representation

Posted by Philip on 27 May 2015, 10:10 am in , , , , ,

What is the distinction between leadership and representation? If I were to draw a diagram it would be a triangle with leadership at the pointed end and representation at the flat end.

I'm not sure which way up the triangle is – it may change from time to time and from situation to situation, with the point being at the top, bottom or even on the side.

It seems to me leadership has sharp focus and works best with fewer people. The more leadership becomes representative, diversity increases, the softer the focus and the more people, issues and opinions there are to accommodate.

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When everything goes wrong rightly

Posted by Philip on 24 May 2015, 11:25 am in , , , , , ,

"Incorrect" with "in" crossed outKathryn Shultz quotes Ira Glass in her excellent TED Talk, On Being Wrong. She does so to add another example of how we go through life in "a bubble of feeling right" when, in fact, we seldom are.

"I thought this one thing was going to happen and something else happened instead. And the thing is, we need this. We need these moments of surprise and reversal and wrongness to make [our] stories work." — Ira Glass, Host, This American Life.

Leadership, diversity, complexity and change, the spaces in which my work most often falls, are bastions of wrongness.

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Should entrepreneurs close things down?

Posted by Philip on 9 May 2015, 11:37 am in , , , , ,

closed signThe easiest way to define an entrepreneur is "someone who starts things". I've been given the mantels of both creative and social entrepreneur (it's one of those things you are recognised for – you don't decide for yourself). Entrepreneurship might be explained as "start-up leadership".

So as a creative and social start-up leader, I've started lots of things – organisations, projects, websites – in the realm of creativity and social issues or change. Many have concluded of their own accord (projects, for instance, because they have a beginning, middle and end); and others I've walked intentfully away from (organisations where people have taken them in directions I've disagreed with, or I've realised I with my penchant and skills for starting things, need to be replaced by someone who can maintain and grow the entity).

In 2005 I started Diversityworks Trust Inc., the only start-up I have stayed with (as trustee and Executive Director) since its inception. I originally started the Trust to fundraise for Momentum'09, an international symposium on creative diversity. Due to the financial crash in 2008, we lost critical funding and had to downscale from the planned four-day event at SkyCity to one day in Royal Oak.

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Kids, meaning and agility

Posted by Philip on 4 April 2015, 1:03 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

Recently I spent an hour at Rosebank Primary School in Avondale, speaking as a Duffy Books in Homes Role Model. It’s something I’ve done a couple of times each year since connecting with Linda Vagana, Duffy’s GM, when we both did the Leadership New Zealand programme in 2012.

It’s a tough but rewarding gig. Primary-aged kids pull no punches as an audience. I’m not the usual and as I begin to speak, the giggles start.

I resist the urge to ask, “What are you laughing at?” To begin with anyway. Instead I ask all 500 to introduce themselves to me – their name, where they come from and a secret about them – all at once. The hall erupts with noise and laughter.

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Fringe leadership – what are the alternatives?

Posted by Philip on 1 April 2015, 2:43 pm in , , , , , ,

When it comes to leading change and creating social movements, particularly when it involves people on the margins of society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming success means “widening” the mainstream to accept a new group of previously excluded citizens.

Reverence may be paid to new rituals and customs. Changes may be made to environments to make them more accessible or representative. Language may be scrutinised and modified to create a more welcoming lexicon. Laws may change to increase rights and entitlements.

In themselves these acknowledgements are important and meaningful. They achieve their intent – to decrease exclusion and increase participation.

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What loos need to lose

Posted by Philip on 6 March 2015, 5:21 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My friend Jeannie over at Bikes for Fish posted an article from Huffpost Gay Voices about "bills [that] have been filed in three [US] states to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity." Described as "last gasp attempts to hurt LGBT people", legal acts like this illuminate a more deeply entrenched assumption about dunnies:

That they need to be gender-specific at all.

I'm not your average bloke, but I've always wondered why public toilets are separated by gender. And what's with urinals? We don't have either in private dwellings.

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Resignations & employment relationships — what gives?

Posted by Philip on 7 February 2015, 1:39 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I quit! noteI’ve been reflecting on the complex dynamics of employment relationships — let’s call them ERs because of the acronym’s somewhat appropriate onomatopoeia — and what it means when an employee resigns without giving notice.

ERs are tricky things, without a doubt. They are usually initially awkward, in that most ERs begin with a stranger needing to get to know others — at a more than leisurely pace — at least well enough to work toward common goals and outcomes.

An ER, unlike most relationships, is a legal relationship. It shares a latent litigiousness with two other common types of relationship: that between a client/customer and supplier; and, ironically, a marriage. Like the former but unlike the latter, an ER involves an exchange of money — although, well…no, let’s not go there.

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Q2 Debate: Society Would Flourish Under Female Rule

Posted by Philip on 26 January 2015, 2:52 pm in , , , , , , , ,

This debate is part of a series called Big Ideas from Australia's ABC. It's very funny; makes some great points about leadership, diversity, complexity and change; and features my new, favourite person Helen Razer, co-author of A Short History of Stupid: The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream, available on Kindle and hard copy. Enjoy! (Apologies for absence of sub-titles.)

Watch the debate here »

Published 21 November 2014 | Source: ABC Big Ideas

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