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Viewing entries tagged with 'diversity'

Diversity is hard work

Posted by Philip on 16 June 2017, 3:17 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

When I began working for myself in 1998 I read a book — I can't remember which — that made an important distinction between hard work and difficult work. I've never forgotten it.

Hard work is about being persistent, disciplined, committed and, sometimes, working long hours (especially in the case of starting a business). Difficult work is complicated, confusing or highly technical — it takes a certain level of intellectual or specialist "grunt" to achieve the desired outcome.

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Turning inclusion inside out

Posted by Philip on 14 June 2017, 6:46 pm in , , , , ,

Inclusion. Such a buzzword of our time. But, as I've written before, inclusion is but a whisper away from assimilation and colonisation. Currently, inclusion asks, "How can we include others in the mainstream? But, what if we asked, "How can we include the mainstream in others?" instead?

One of my clients, Be. Accessible, is achieving this inside-out version of inclusion admirably by referring to disabled people as access citizens and pointing out that, at some time in our lives (whether due to ageing, temporary or permanent injury or illness), everyone will be an access citizen. This disrupts the conversation about one in four people having 'special' needs (them) and the rest (us). It reframes the conversation — we're all in the same boat in regards to needing spaces and places to be accessible. This framing invites the mainstream into the access community.

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The other side of common

Posted by Philip on 6 June 2017, 4:27 pm in , , , , , ,

In my last post I provocatively suggested using the word 'common' instead of 'similar', saying that, "Using 'common' removes the positive leaning of 'similar' and suggests a more ordinary, even boring connotation" (my emphasis).

My frolleague* in leadership, Lesley, reminded me that author Margaret Wheatley often writes about the importance of common interests in leadership and social change. A couple of quotes:

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What makes people fear difference

Posted by Philip on 1 June 2017, 4:36 pm in , , , , ,

I often write and talk about my simple definition of diversity: the synergy of our uniqueness and commonality.

In other words, the combined effect or interaction based on our differences and similarities. And we're all both similar to and different from each other, all 7.508 billion of us.

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The courage (and opportunity) to not know

Posted by Philip on 29 May 2017, 3:25 pm in , , , , , , , ,

When it comes to the future, we're pretty conditioned to expect certainty. Whether it's what we're going to say next, what's happening tomorrow, what the outcome of a project is going to be, or what life will be like in five years time, we want to know beforehand. We crave certainty.

Expectations are the outcome of this need to know what's going to happen before it does — and anxiety about things not going to plan.

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I am more

Posted by Philip on 23 April 2017, 1:22 pm in , , , , , ,

Life has phases, I think, which are seven years long. There are annoying awkward times in between each one. I’m in one of those now, I realise. It’s been quite long, too.

You know, like coming across food in the fridge and it's passed its 'best by' date. This version of myself has passed it's 'best by' date. But not yet expired.

guy looking into a fride wit a shocked look

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Trapped by the prospect of my new-found freedom

Posted by Philip on 15 April 2017, 1:26 pm in , , , , , , , ,

As I posted on Facebook, yesterday I got trapped in my new car. I literally couldn't get out. My wheelchair was secured to the floor of the car and the boot wouldn't open to allow the ramp to deploy.

rear view of white skoda yeti in driveway

After being freed by the AA, who were amazing, I reflected on the emotional toll it took on me, even though I was in my own driveway with my friend Jude there for support. It was really quite scary. And given the prospect of freedom it offered me, I can't help feeling a sense of betrayal, especially as it was such a large investment of money.

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Assessment – where it works and why it doesn't

Posted by Philip on 8 April 2017, 11:32 am in , , , , ,

The issue of assessing students has come under fire in recent weeks, with international tests revealing student performance is plummeting. Science presenter and particle physicist Professor Brian Cox has said, "if the measurement of ... a student’s progress ... is removing time from practical science, then it had better be bloody useful because practical science is bloody useful."

Students taking a test

The problem I see with assessing students in the uniform way in which most schools do — most usually through written assignments and tests — is that it's a one size fits all approach to measuring performance. It doesn't work for many because students are complex, dynamic and  diverse.

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How CP has made me tolerant but not patient — and what that's taught me about success and diversity

Posted by Philip on 20 March 2017, 4:48 pm in , , , ,

This morning I woke up to find a notification on my iMac screen telling me my trackpad battery was very low and to charge it. Further investigation by clicking the Bluetooth icon confirmed the battery was at 2%. I set to the task of plugging the lightning charger plug into the trackpad.

What would have taken most people two or three seconds took me over five minutes. One of the effects of CP (Cerebral Palsy) is that I have poor fine motor co-ordination (and only slightly better gross motor co-ordination). So the process of getting the half-centimetre-wide plug into the same size socket was, literally, hit and miss until I hit it.

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2017 — a year of change

Posted by Philip on 20 January 2017, 11:06 am in , , , , , ,

We're twenty days into 2017 and I can't believe how much change has happened in my life. I've started a new relationship. I've had a young rabbit turn up, which I looked after for a couple of weeks before finding another home for him. My boarder has moved out after four years, so I have my house to myself again, and I've created a whole new "chill-out" space with the extra room.

A cosy room with tv, couch and pittosporum hedge out the window

My new cosy nook — a work in progress

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