Oh how splendid! Can’t hardly wait to see this little bit of decadence:
Oh how splendid! Can’t hardly wait to see this little bit of decadence:
“Pure Imagination” sung by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, is one of my all time favourite inspirational songs. It speaks to me and it’s all in these simple lines:
“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.
Anything you want to, do it – Want to change the world?
There’s nothing to it…..”
Watch it here for goosebumpy inspiration.
Similarly, Rob Ryan’s artwork below has the same meaning: the key is that it all comes down to perspective. Beauty and amazingness is everywhere. You just need to look for it..
I have mixed feelings at the moment as I prepare to transition from the City of Holdfast Bay to my new role at City of Unley. I’m overjoyed and elated, a tad bit sad and entirely moved to my core for what has been an outpouring of support, gratitude and mutual admiration. I cannot thank the people I have worked with over the last two years enough. Marvellous, talented and dedicated bunch of legends, the lot of them.
As is my way, I sent to my nearest and dearest work peeps a list of parting tips: advice and inspiration to help them navigate and master the challenges that leadership brings. These received such lovely comments, that I have felt encouraged to share these more widely, noting that it is not a complete list (because when would it ever be?) and are abridged for relevance as they are very local government founded.
People (and this is the first and largest section because, frankly, it’s the most important)
Strategy & Project Management
See it’s simple (easy peasy right?!?) 🙂 There are more top tips of course (I could go on forever), but want these to be useful, rather than bore everyone silly.
I hope you find these useful too and I’d love to hear any of your top tips for leadership and thoughts on the above…
Just came across this fabulous HBR article titled “Four Reasons Any Action is Better than None” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter and thought it was well worth sharing. I love her reasoning that high performance cultures have people with high levels of initiative and innovation: looking to simplify problems and projects into small, manageable chunks, recognise the value of small wins, have a go and push through uninspired moments by creating energy through action.
Along the same lines, this lovely quote came from this week’s Brain Pickings, with musician Jack White quoted as saying “Inspiration and work ethic – they ride right next to each other…. Not every day you’re gonna wake up and the clouds are gonna part and rays from heaven are gonna come down and you’re gonna write a song from it. Sometimes, you just get in there and just force yourself to work, and maybe something good will come out”.
I’m sure we all can relate to moments of low inspiration and energy, and/or being mentally constipated from analysis paralysis, indecision and lack of clarity. It resonates with me that, in these moments where flow and inspiration are lacking, the best way to push through and drum up energy and drive is by doing something. Force yourself to keep going. Just keep moving.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend a masterclass (yes fancy) on Place Making by Creative Communities guru, David Engwich. From where I sit this was pure genius and what made it extra spech was that so much of the theory and discussion is firmly planted in sociology and behavioural science. What David talks of makes complete and utter sense to me and, not surprisingly being the freaky receiver that I am at times, several things have revealed themselves this week that match these learnings (I give thanks).
The first gold nugget of an idea I want to share is related to the ideal environments for evolution and change. Essentially, David’s revelation is that sustainable, ground breaking evolution rarely occurs in clear, cool, sterile water. These conditions are just not optimal for growth. Instead major change generally takes place when the conditions are muddy, dirty, sticky, stinky, bubbly, hot and gloopy. Amphibians didn’t grow legs and journey out of the water in nice, clean surrounds. They mutated and evolved in quagmires, bogs and marshes.
So too, with organisational and social change. It should be expected that during times of change people may respond with heightened sensitivities, be more easily upset and/or defensive. Naturally this may be an uncomfortable time with temporary divisions, people may choose to be unhappy, have a bit of a winge, resist what is proposed and, possibly, they may decide the change is not for them and leave (which should be seen as totally okay too). Or they may just love it, thrive on what is proposed and think “’bout time” and “where has this been all my life”. The crowd is often divided during these times and, as David points out, you can’t have difference without expecting on upsetting 50% of people.
So with all this in mind, it seems rather strange to expect social and organisational change to be all squeaky clean and nice. It’s a bit putting like plastic covers on sofas expecting people to feel comfortable. Not really gonna happen. The perception that everybody should be overjoyed, playing nicely and getting along, with consensus revealing the ideal direction is both unrealistic and unattainable. Muddy times are not a reflection that the organisation or community is broken, but more that a shift is in play.
Also, I’ll be clear – it’s not that I’m saying that we should intend to upset or disenfranchise people (absolutely not). We still need to be respectful, plan to bring people along with us as well as plan for an approach to respond when people aren’t happy. It’s more about recognising that you can’t please everyone all the time and the progress train must chug on.
On a similar note, I posted the article “Wonder Weeks” just over a year ago, in which I paralleled those difficult times at work with the CAFS concept for those tough, trying weeks kids have which inevitably lead to quantum shifts in their growth. Essentially the moral of the metaphor is that with pain comes great gain and growth. Same deal.
So what I put to you is this: If you are in the position of shaping change consider that, instead of going all chicken little on the situation or crying foul play (excuse the double chicken entendre), it may make more sense to embrace and work with the muddy vibe, knowing that what will result will be spectacular and bring immense value compared to what is currently on offer. And the reality is when the dust settles, most people will find that they like the new and improved a whole lot better than they’d ever imagined. The quagmire is not a negative, but a positive, full of rich opportunity.
More on David’s “gold nuggets” to follow soon….
Long time between drinks in the blogosphere for me. Sorry about that, but I’ve been a busy bee.
One of the things that has kept me so totally engrossed is the development of a new Community Engagement framework. This has been a real labour of love – a product of applied knowledge, hard work, continuous improvement and many good times. It’s terribly exciting to now be at a point where we have now finished the first draft ready for the gentle edits of my peers *punches the air, followed by an air guitar riff, followed by a self rewarding high five* Awesome!
Anyhow, was remembering back to where it all began and the hilarious video (by the brilliant Mitchell and Webb) that has helped shape my view of what engagement shouldn’t be. Wanted to share because it is bloody funny and describes many of the experiences people have of providing feedback.