Thursday, 2 December 2021

Keith Abraham on Abundance in a post pandemic world

I was thrilled to have my colleague of 25 years Keith Abraham as my very special guest in this sparkenation conversation.

More about Keith here. 

If 2020 was unprecedented and 2021 unpredictable, then could it be that 2022 is uncharted?

What an opportunity. An "ocean of opportunity" as Keith says.

Many gems from Keith and guests in this conversation. 

My favourite from Keith is "Are we starving our distractions and feeding our focus?"

Kind regards

Ian

PS The Enough book mentioned is here.

PSS Keith's best selling books here.

Monday, 29 November 2021

Three practices to shift to possibility when the status quo is no longer serving you

We have a federal government in Australia in my view stuck in inertia about most things. 

Of particular interest to me is their failure to establish a federal integrity commission. 

This is despite the fact that a bill introduced by Independent member Helen Haines is endorsed by the Centre for Public Integrity as the best model in the country.

I've a long held view (held lightly) that politics is part of the status quo that no longer serves us. I will not be voting for this government.

In my own life, and you in yours, we don't have to wait for election cycles or any cycle for that matter to shift to possibility when the status quo is no longer serving us.

Three practices I recommend:

1) Once a month think about inertia "a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged," and take immediate action

Are you guilty?

Were there moments in the past month where you did nothing and would have been better to do something?

Are there processes (includes policies, practices, procedures, structures and systems) that remain unchanged despite the fact that they don't mean its simple for people to bring everything they are to everything they do every day?

Think about this well worn yet often ignored adage:

The definition of stupidity is to expect different results by doing the same old thing.

2) Make after-action-reviews integral to everything you do

I recommend the following 5 stage format:

1) Review one action at a time and answer the following questions what happened and why? what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? Who will we become? What will we do next?

2) Determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you.

3) Upgrade your individual, team and organisational plans and co-promises on a page accordingly.

4) Reflect new perceptions in appropriate standard operating procedures, policies and practices.

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.

3) Get serious about learning and development

I know from recent conversations that many people still tick boxes when it comes to training and learning and development. Many believe that the actual event (the seminar, course, or whatever) is the thing. It's not. The most important factors and what happens before and after the event.

Research in 2004 by Dr Brent Peterson proved that 26% of success happens before and 50% after an event. 


Should your actions not be in alignment with this evidence take immediate action today. If you'd like some help please give me a call. I've made this approach integral to my work for over a decade.

The lessons of the Covid pandemic are numerous. A stand out learning for me is that the status quo is no longer serving us across a myriad of areas. The good news is that in all areas where we have influence we can shift to possibility today.

According to quantum physics we live in a world of infinite possibility. Benjamin Zander shines a wonderful light on the art of possibility is this wonderful 14 minute video.


What's possible today for you?

Ian

Monday, 22 November 2021

The new world of work - fully alive human beings, doing personally meaningful work that is valuable for others, supported by technology

As I highlighted in the post Could 'The Great Resignation' actually be the great shift in why and how we work? the keys to making the shift to the new world of work are three-fold

1) being and becoming the most remarkable human beings we can be.

2) doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for others.

3) ensuring technology is adding value to the human experience.

Remarkable Human Beings Are Those Who Are Fully Alive

We are all one-of-a-kind human beings.

As many have observed we have become human doings.

The five faces of a human being fully alive

At this post there's insights into the five faces and a link to a short podcast. Here's the direct link to the podcast. The video below summarises the five.

Workplaces that do not enable people to be fully alive human beings face a precarious future.

Doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for others

The key to doing meaningful for you work is to "follow your bliss."

In my book Heart-Leadership I say "The very best explanation that I have ever come across for “follow your bliss” comes from the film ‘Finding Joe’ which is a documentary about Joseph Campbell’s work. 

In the film the President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation describes bliss as “doing what you can’t not do.” I love this!

Joseph Campbell is one of my heroes.

What is it that you can't not do?

According to Joseph Campbell its “identifying that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it.

In so doing, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent.”

In my Heart-Leadership book I recommend many ways to discover your bliss which can also be called nature, voice, essence, quiddity, ikigai, element, vitality, love, gift, music, passion.

One of these recommendations is creating a one-page visual called a Career and Life-Calling Card where you would feature your answers the following questions:

Can Do

What do I know?
What are my key skills?
What is my real expertise?
How do I practice what I know?

Will do

What is my attitude to living?
What am I really committed to?
How can I be more disciplined in taking action?
How I am really different from others who do what I do?

Love to do

My purpose in life is?
I am passionate about?
I find Joy in?
My art is?
My essence is?

People who love what I do

How do I:
Serve others?
Help people achieve what is important to them?
Solve people’s problems?
Offer solutions to people’s challenges?
Exchange value with other people?
Deliver value to other people?

The Career and Life-Calling Card is a checklist. More about its development (and bliss) in this post and podcast.

What is it that you can't not do?

To make a difference doing work that is meaningful for you must also be valuable for others


Five factors to consider about providing value to others

1) In your role clarity statement are the people your role has relationships with listed and the value expected by them overviewed?

2) Are you engaged in regular after-action-reviews with these people, both formally and informally, so that you are engaging in ongoing conversation about your value exchange and delivery?

3) Do the value behaviours of your organisation (not the words, the behaviours) support you in doing work that is meaningful for you and highly valuable for others?

4) Do your processes (this includes policies, procedures, practices, systems and structures) mean that meaningful for you/valuable for others work is simple to do?

5) Is the organisation you work for profit-driven or human or society driven? The future is not about profit-driven organisations.

Ensuring technology is adding value to the human experience


The book 'Technology vs. Humanity The coming clash between man and machine' by Gerd Leonhard makes my top 21 recommended reading list. Read my full thoughts about the book here. Three aspects that I love in particular are:

1) The idea of exponential humanism "the philosophy to find a way forward that will allow us to embrace technology but not become technology, to use it as a tool not as purpose."

2) The concept of "key human indicators" as a far better way forward than the traditional and tired KPI's.

3) The insight of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

For me personally I am not at all interested in technology that doesn't enhance the human experience. A lot of technology actually hinders the human experience like machines that answer the phone for example!

There's no doubt that many advances in technology add value to our lives, indeed help our well-being. We get to decide not the makers of technology. I closed my Facebook account recently because I will not be the product.

What is your stance? A human front and centre in your organisation or is technology dictating?


The new world of work for me is all about fully alive human beings, doing personally meaningful work that is valuable for others, supported by technology.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Kind regards
Ian

Friday, 19 November 2021

Could 'The Great Resignation' actually be the great shift in why and how we work?

There's a lot of talk about 'The Great Resignation' where people are leaving current roles for ones that better fit their personal lives.

In my experience this is not a new phenomena. Personally I've being working with my clients on a new world of work for about fifteen years. In my book Heart-Leadership I provide the following

In earlier works I summarised this new world of work with this diagram


Here's a 2019 post were I explored the skills needed for this new world of work from various experts perspectives.

The keys to making the shift to this new world of work are three-fold 


1) being and becoming the most remarkable human beings we can be.
2) doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for others.
3) ensuring technology is adding value to the human experience.

There's long standing evidence to support these keys.

Google is famous for their 2012 Aristotle project. Their quest was to answer the questions 'What makes teams successful?' Here are the full findings.

The following outcomes are all worth considering for your team, peer or community or sporting group.


In my work with clients I have used these as a guide with a particular focus on people doing work that is meaningful for them as well as being highly valuable for others.

There's 'meaning quotient' too, a term coined my McKinsey in 2013. I haven't yet seen this become mainstream. I do feel it will become increasingly important for people.

So, why the apparent mass exodus of people leaving their current roles for new ones in 2021? 

For me the pandemic has highlighted starkly that most people want greater respect and better and more flexible working conditions.


What say you?

Kind regards
Ian

PS The Wise Leaders Workshop is my signature offering for helping you and your team to become the best humans you can be, and to do work that is meaningful for you and highly valuable for others. The workshop is now available complimentary five times p.a. for subscribers to my monthly newsletter.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Local is our future

This 2019 published book is a great work. 




I'm also a fan of the Local Futures website including this guide to what we call all do locally. 

I feel very fortunate to live in a place (The Bellarine Peninsula) where everything we need is just around the corner, and that the small city of Geelong, twenty kilometres away, provides us with our out of the ordinary needs.

I'm also pleased that the big city (by Australian standards) of Melbourne is just that twenty minutes and then an hour by train away. And that from the main train station we can walk or take a tram to many places that provide a unique experience.

The pandemic has freshly highlighted these blessings and also the curse of globalisation.

My wish is that the majority of people never go back to commuting to big cities to work, rather that CBD's are successfully reinvented as go to places for one-of-kind experiences as well as places to live.

Below is an update I received recently from the folk at Local Futures

The COP26 meetings in Glasgow this month represent a step in the wrong direction. While the presence of fossil fuel barons has received criticism, the involvement of big tech, big agriculture, big banks and other global corporations has gone largely unchallenged, while a critical discussion of the free-trade rules that drive escalating resource use and emissions has been all but completely omitted.

By further cementing the alliance between big government and big money, the COP negotiations have consistently served to steer the agenda of the environmental movement away from fundamental structural change, towards pseudo-solutions like carbon trading, synthetic food, and investment in technological expansion. And COP26 is no different. 

However, all is not lost. At the grassroots, people are taking genuine steps to face up to the climate crisis. The call for systemic change is becoming mainstream, while localization projects across the globe already demonstrate the potential to drastically reduce emissions and support biodiversity while increasing human wellbeing."

One of the massive problems of our time in my view is "the alliance between big government and big money..."

Local Futures offer an alternative in this short film.

I'm doing my best in my own way to move on from a world controlled by corporations and politicians.

I've been weaning myself off exposure to media too, both mainstream and social, as a part of my quest. In my view the media as a collective is a massive part of the problem.

With few exceptions my feeling is that the majority of mainstream journalists are fanning the flame of corporate and political dominance over our lives. 

I don't feel that social media is helping us move in a better direction either. Too much division and duality for me. 

Over the weekend I deactivated my Twitter and Facebook accounts as a part of my journey to hold my beliefs and opinions lightly. I will still be offering them when asked, just in settings where I feel safe and welcome to do so.

In future my focus will be on LinkedIn, my YouTube channel, my blog and podcasts where my aim is to be helpful and valuable to the people who value my research findings and also learnings gleaned from the weekly peer group gatherings I host for my clients and the regular story telling and conversations.

I have more clarity than I've ever had to just focus on my small circles of influence (about 150 people).

I've been helped with this by revisiting Dunbar's Law which I've embraced since anthropologist Robin Dunbar published his research in the 1990's. I see this in new light lately.

For me Dunbar's Law works like this: my Inner Circle is about 5 people, and the next group of people that I have close relationships with is about 15. My Peer Groups are growing to about 35 people. I have meaningful connections with approximately 150 people. These are the folk I stay in touch with regularly. All are on my small monthly newsletter list. Then there are Acquaintances (about 500 people) and People I recognise (about 1500). Interestingly my LinkedIn connections number 2407. I reckon I only recognise about 1500!

Carol and I have discovered many great things locally during the pandemic including a great sourdough bread place called Ket Bakery we were always going to visit, just never did.

In Geelong the It's Our Backyard has been a great initiative to inspire people to think local first for goods and services.

A great insight I received while researching this article is that local is a great metaphor for life too

Local is our inner life and what we allow in to our hearts, minds and bodies.

Local is family.

Local is friends.

Local is our neighbourhood. 

Local is our home town or village.

Local is those we work with.

Local is those who engage with us in meaningful ways on the whatever platforms you choose.

Local is the cohorts, community and sporting groups we are involved in.

What is happening for you?
How is local a key to your future?

Please email me ian@ianberry.biz I'd love to hear your stories.

Kind regards

Ian

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Enough: Unlock your life of abundance starting right where you are

Thrilled to let you now that this book is now published and available worldwide on Kindle and in paperback.

This was the greatest collaborative project that I've ever worked on. 

My gratitude to fellow authors Claudia Brose, Con Christensen, Jacqueline Davis, Jeremy Deedes, Mark Dyck, Caroline Harvey, Sue Heatherington, Joel Hughes, Jacquie Landeman, Kim LeClair, Darcy Lee, Pete Michaels, Cat Preston, Ulla Raaf, Tricia Van Vleit.

My gratitude also to Bernadette Jiwa founder of The Right Company. It is the best cohort that I've been engaged in of my professional life.

More at the Enough website.

Kind regards

Ian

"If people interest you, and the distilled wisdom of peoples' experiences fascinate you, then you will cherish this collection.”

Terry McGivern, Regional Managing Director (CEER ME APAC) Kingspan light +Air, Cavan, Ireland

"Enough forms an assembly of wise souls and trusted mentors, distilling their best advice into a powerful call-to-action.  It combines practical tips and compelling stories, forming a beautifully paced piece of work. ‘Enough’ reassures that your own unique talents and perspective mean you already have the tools you need to curate the life you want. It then gently takes you by the hand and says, “now let’s try this…” Think of ‘Enough’ as a user guide for creatives - especially those who feel stuck, rudderless or weighed down with imposter syndrome. 

It swerves well-worn platitudes and instead presents a generous edit of new ideas, habits and ways of working. It’s a book that’s as hopeful as it is wise."

Fiona Mattesini, journalist and writer, United Kingdom

“Book shops and libraries are full of self-help volumes for people in business who may be frustrated and who desire to change and improve their situation. Why this book then? Enough, is different in that it features sixteen diverse first-person accounts of how experienced managers and entrepreneurs from many different parts of the world have successfully confronted these very issues and transformed their professional lives. 

It is not a book which offers a single formula or strategy but, rather, provides different real-life examples and, hopefully inspiration, on how to move forward on your own unique path. You will be informed and also entertained. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to blaze their own trail but who might be having some difficulty defining the way.”

John McDermott, internationally recognised photographer and writer, USA/Italy