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Viewing entries tagged with 'function'

Thinking about the box, rather than outside it

Posted by Philip on 13 April 2014, 2:01 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

box with question marksWe often hear people utter the mantra, “Think outside the box.” It’s become the hold-all for creative thinking, problem solving and even good leadership.

But how often do we often think about the box itself? How often do we consider that, by thinking outside it, we stray away from the box — even ignore it completely — and miss the truth of the matter:

The box is the problem. It’s too big, too small, the wrong shape, the wrong colour.

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Diversity — are you trying to get it right?

Posted by Philip on 12 November 2013, 4:04 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,


If you are, you're very likely to get it wrong.

Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they'll be scared of getting it wrong.

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Diversity dilemma - function (aka disability)

Posted by Philip on 7 December 2011, 7:28 am in , , , ,

Disability awareness is slowly becoming more commonplace in workplaces around New Zealand, though it hasn't really taken off like other diversity issues. You find it sometimes in community organisations, particularly disability service providers, and some Government agencies.

In most cases the corporate world asks, "What does disability have to do with us?" 

So here's the dilemma: Awareness of disability is a red herring. Everyone is aware on some level that what we call "disability" exists in some people (medical model). Some are even aware that "disability" can be seen as a social construct of environmental, attitudinal and policy barriers that exclude 20% of society (social model).

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Pragmatically responding to functional change

Posted by Philip on 14 November 2011, 9:19 am in , , ,

In my early 20s I made a conscious decision to start using a wheelchair when I was out in public, even though I could walk, albeit unsteadily.

There were many reasons for my choice. Using a chair stopped me being anxious about falling over. It allowed me to communicate in a more relaxed and articulate manner. And it stopped strangers thinking I was drunk or deranged.

The wheelchair acted as a recognisable symbol that I was "disabled". People got it, they didn't need to cope with ambiguity and I didn't need to respond to their uncomfortable, confused reactions.

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We're all missing out on a great experience

Posted by Philip on 9 November 2011, 7:05 am in , , , , ,

We are obsessed with function. Doing things. Doing them well, best, perfectly. Winning at what we do.

Our world would be very different if we were obsessed with experience instead. Experience is much more inclusive than function. Anyone can experience anything, through function, presence or imagination.

Research shows our brains don't know the difference, whether we do something, remember doing it, or imagine doing it.

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