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Viewing entries tagged with 'diversity'

The greatest obstacle to diversity and inclusion

Posted by Philip on 18 October 2017, 4:43 pm in , ,

I recently received a request from a graduate student at Purdue University in the U.S.A. They are currently researching inclusion and diversity and wanted to interview me. Here are my responses...

man pushing large rock

What was your “why” for entering diversity as a career?

Because I wanted to deepen awareness of diversity in creative, fun, non-threatening ways. My passion is leading change that embraces curiosity and inquiry into diversity, complexity and uncertainty. My vision is a society where all people freely share and celebrate identity and self-expression.

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Casual racism? Er, no

Posted by Philip on 28 September 2017, 10:38 am in , , , , , , ,

Long time no blog. My wrist is slowly healing, however, typing is still arduous. I was recently asked to contribute to an article on casual racism for an Australian publisher, so I thought I'd make the most of it and paste my responses. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging regularly in a few weeks.

Do you think casual racism still exists in many Kiwi workplaces?

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Limp wrist

Posted by Philip on 17 July 2017, 3:15 pm in , , , ,

I woke up on Saturday morning to find I couldn't lift my hand up with my when my palm was facing downwards. No pain, no numbness, just intermittent pins and needles or tingling and no power in the upper side of my wrist.

Limp wrist

I can move my fingers and grip, though not as powerfully as usual. If I put my palm facing upwards I can lift my hand up. My coordination is not as good as normal, which isn't saying much.

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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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