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Viewing entries tagged with 'opportunity'

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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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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The certainty trap

Posted by Philip on 6 March 2012, 8:52 pm in , , , ,

Last night I got a call about developing and delivering some diversity training for an international organisation in eastern Europe. My initial reaction was to decline the work — too far to travel, too difficult to organise access etc.

But on second thought I created a contingency. I spoke to a colleague about delivering the training. I now have the option to develop and deliver the training if I can negotiate my access needs, or develop the training and send my colleague to deliver it.

It would have been easy to fall into the certainty trap: saying that I definitely would or wouldn't do it. Instead I said maybe.

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On being creative and organised

Posted by Philip on 2 March 2012, 7:00 am in , , ,

Many people I've talked to this year are in agreement: 2012 is busier than ever. It seems to have started at a pace faster than ever.

Certainly it's so for me. As many opportunities continue and more present themselves, I'm reflecting on the balance between being creative and organised. I don't want my creativity to overwhelm my organisation; but equally I don't want to be so organised that I forfeit my creative way of working.

So, how to maintain such a balance? Here's my thinking followed by a diagram I drew in my journal:

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The blog - keynote connection

Posted by Philip on 28 November 2011, 7:46 pm in , , ,

This is the blog post you post when you've got nothing better to post.

Today at 9:45am I'm presenting as an "invited guest" at the EOPHEA (Equal Opportunity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia) Conference 2011 at AUT.

My presentation will be a conglomeration of blog posts. It took me, at most, 30 mins to compile.

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Congratulations, you’re wrong!

Posted by Philip on 30 April 2011, 4:08 pm in , , , , ,

photo of hand with thumb downThis year I’m heavily involved in some exciting new and creative social change projects. I’ve been running the inaugural “Be. Leadership” programme since February; I’m designing an online social change toolkit with the Ministry of Social Development as part of the NZ Government's Campaign to Improve Attitudes and Behaviours Towards Disabled People; and I’m a member of a Ministry of Health National Reference Group to support a new model of delivering disability support. To top it off I’m a judge of Arts Access Aotearoa’s Big 'A’ Awards and have a huge bound volume of 22 applications sitting on my desk, begging me to wade through it.

The common denominator in these things is that, not only are most of the projects themselves firsts, but they are all areas of work in which, to a large extent, I’ve never been involved before. Hence there is the huge likelihood that things will go wrong. That’s had me feeling slightly on edge.

As luck – or destiny depending on your frame of mind – would have it, I happened upon a fantastic TEDTalk a couple of weeks ago by Kathryn Schulz, entitled “On being wrong” (embedded below). Schultz confronts directly the human need to be right all the time, exposing it as a fundamental flaw in logic. She acknowledges that, though we often grudgingly admit we learn from our mistakes, we still feel bad, embarrassed, even a failure, when we are wrong.

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Youth potential for constructive creativity: an example

Posted by Philip on 28 April 2011, 3:27 pm in , , , , ,

As I prepare to work on the NZ Government's Campaign to Improve Attitudes and Behaviours Towards Disabled People, I'm inspired by this US youth initiative. This video proves to me that young people often surpass adult's enthusiasm and capacity for understanding diversity and promoting change in creative and innovative ways.

Contrast the behaviour of these young people with the alternative bullying culture and it seems that what adults fail to understand is our responsibility to create the opportunity for young people to express their constructive potential amidst the myriad of media and political demonstrations of violence, competition and negativity.

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A certain uncertainty

Posted by Philip on 1 March 2011, 9:53 am in , , ,

Most societies in the modern world invest a lot of time, money and importance in creating certainty*. Religious leaders preach about a certain god. Politicians debate over certain policy. Businesses plan for certain outcomes and profits. The media provides certain commentary. Accountants assure us of certain financial strategies.

Then Nature, in the form of weather, earthquakes and other events, says, "Just a second, let's get one thing straight. Nothing is certain."

We respond in shock, terror, disbelief and, sometimes, even outrage. How could this happen? What will we do? All our planning gone to waste. How dare our security be ripped from us, without warning, planning, consultation!

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Creating legitimate impact through influence

Posted by Philip on 17 January 2011, 6:56 am in , , , ,

This year feels different, don't you reckon? A bit lighter, freer, easier. Things seem to be happening without effort.

Ok, I'll own it. I feel different, lighter, freer, easier. Personal and business opportunities are flowing. I'm intrigued and excited about what this year will offer.

I've been telling people since the year begun that, in some ways it seems like this year is representing some sort of pay-off, a "coming-together" of everything I've been working for. I feel, more than ever, like the dots are really connecting.

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