Monday, 25 March 2019

Harmony Matters was my first email address. It still works albeit being a tad unreliable and so I'm fazing out its use.

My very first newsletter for my clients, way back in 1991, was called 'Harmony Matters.'

For me harmony matters. It's the foundation for being the best version of myself and living my best life.

Like you I sometimes feel surrounded by disharmony a noun simply meaning lack of harmony or agreement.

I find the many synonyms for disharmony revealing. They include discord, friction, strife, conflict, hostility, acrimony, bad blood, bad feeling, enmity, dissension, disagreement, feuding, quarrelling, disunity, division, divisiveness, informal falling-out, disaccord, discordance.

Think politics, religion and most of the institutions the conservatives are desperately trying to hang onto because they are the source of their power.

I picture disharmony thus

In his great book 'Metaskills' Marty Neumeier says "Reject the tyranny of or and embrace the genius of and. Leave the sides behind, Look for a third alternative based on common-ground instead of compromise."

You only need to think of BREXIT for a second to realise the futility of compromise. 

Co-promise on the other hand fills us with the joy of infinite possibilities which of course is the land of quantum physics. In a word it's harmony!

Co-promise is the final sparkenation in my book 'Remarkable Workplaces'.

I picture harmony thus

We need to sustain shared-view in seven areas of significance. View the seven short videos and complete the diagnostic here.

In 'Metaskills' Marty Neumeier says "Politics, goes the conventional wisdom, is the art of compromise. Unfortunately, this is true. With dichotomous decisions, there are only three possible outcomes: win-lose, lose-win, or compromise. None of these is optimal, and all can lead to gridlock."

Disharmony is the no man's land between what is and what can be. 

See this tension, confusion, doubt, danger, conflict, difficulty or disagreement as your great opportunity.

What are the lessons of all the above for your workplace?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Harmony Matters!

Be remarkable.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Communication part 1. Asking the great questions essential for sustaining shared-view

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Communication sparkenation of my Remarkable Workplaces book.

Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

In a nutshell

Most of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here (my view), our issues with the world out there (other people's views), and, our failure to focus more on the world we share (ours).

The exciting news is that when we find and sustain shared-view (ours) we can triumph over all our troubles.

In business it's essential to sustain shared-view in 7 areas of significance. 

Do so and I can guarantee you better business results at less human and operating costs.

Below are the 7.  

Here's short videos on each of the 7 and more including a simple diagnostic

1. Where are you now (reality)?
2. Where are you going (possibility)?
3. Why are you going there (purpose)?
4. How will you get there (strategy)?
5. Who will do what and when (execution)?
6. How will you know you're on track (progress)?
7. How will you behave along the way (culture)?

To best answer these questions I recommend a process which in part means asking more questions.

The fertile ground is determining what question to ask through carefully assessing the situation and therefore ensuring your question is in the right context.  The right question in the wrong context can cause trouble!  Ploughing the ground is then to ask the question. Seeding is being silent yet completely attentive while the person or people answer your question. The nurturing lies in how well you acknowledge their answers.

The cycle is complete (harvest) when you align answers with who people will become and what they will do next to implement their answers and/or integrate their answers with what is already working for them.

3 recommended actions

1) Download and complete the 7 areas of shared-view diagnostic here.

Undertaking this exercise yourself will give context to all that follows. A strong suggestion would be to ask each member of your team to complete the diagnostic and indicate each of their answers on one form. This will pave the way for great conversation leading to shared-view.

2) Participants in the master-class that I conducted to develop some of this material participants answered the following two questions:

What’s the greatest question you’ve ever been asked?

And what’s the greatest question you’ve asked somebody else?

What are your answers?

My favourite answer was one from a female participant who challenged one of her bosses with Would you talk like that to your sister?

3) We also had great conversation in the master-class around the following quote: 

"In leadership the conversation isn't about the work,
the conversation is the work."
David Whyte

What are your thoughts? Who can you become and what will you do next to embrace these concepts?

Recommended deep work

1) Access the companion resources web page to my Remarkable Workplaces book and download and use 'The great questions remarkable leaders often ask' ebook.

2) Over time develop a set of questions you can ask at appropriate times. I have a list of over 100 questions that I have tried, tested and proven. I simply wait for the right context to use them. 

Usually I invest a great deal of time and energy contemplating which is the best question that will help this person be the best version of themselves.

3) Regularly take courses or participate in programs that will help you to continuously better your language, communication, presentation and conversation skills and attitudes.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Stop saying burnout

I love this video.

What are the lessons for you and your business from this video.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Faith without works is dead

"I think the nation is traumatised, I think Catholics are traumatised. I have long lost faith in the institution of the Catholic Church. And I mourn the loss of my faith community. But I made a decision a few years ago that I could not, as a lay person, continue to prop up a failing and decaying institution with my voluntary labour and my money.”
Labor senator Kristina Keneally, as quoted By Neil McMahon March 5, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald

In the light of the criminal conviction of Australia’s most senior Catholic I suspect a lot of people feel like Kristina Keneally.

For me I haven’t changed my view. I’m still totally against religion.

I am supportive though of people who wish to have a faith. I think the institutions and organisations associated with them are the problem.

Religion is the man made (literally men and usually old men) dogma and doctrines.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Book of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1 New King James Version of the Bible

In the case of the Catholic Church they have had 21 major meetings of their hierarchy over the past 1900 years. You could fill a major library with the written decisions of these meetings. These are in stark contrast to the approximately 2000 words of Jesus Christ recorded in the bible.

I am against religion because of the associated violence over hundreds of years and sexual and emotional abuse as well as the cover up of it.

I am against religion because of the influence their men are allowed to have on our politicians many of whom support the institutions.

I believe it is time to end the church as an institution and return the unbelievable wealth and properties to people of faith.

Let the church be self-governed by laity and get rid of all the hierarchy and people who make up the dogma and doctrine to suit themselves.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Book of James chapter 2 verse 26 New King James Version of the Bible

The church has fallen on its own sword. Time to end it.

“Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky
Imagine all the people living for today.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace”
John Lennon

Be remarkable.

Friday, 15 March 2019

You get what you focus on

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Concentration sparkenation of my Remarkable Workplaces book. Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

I was raised with the principle "you reap what you sow". One of my grandfathers taught me that the law of the farm is a very valuable metaphor and operating system for all of life.

For getting what you want Fertile Ground - Embrace 'essentialism', Ploughing - Choose one-thing, Seeding -Stretch your mind, Nurturing - Create and Take, Harvest - Integrate.

I’m often asked what do I focus on or how do I maintain focus. The context is usually a conversation about all the distractions, shiny objects and the myriad of choices we are all confronted with. 

My answer is always to concentrate on being better, wiser and more valuable and helping other people to do likewise in their own best way.

When I’m faced with a choice I quickly (mostly silently) ask will this lead to being better, wiser or more valuable? If the answer is no then the choice is obvious. I recommend this practice to you..

I engaged Nick Haines and Matthew Newnham from Five Institute as my mentors for about a year in 2015/16.

'Essentialism' was a book they recommended. There’s a link to this book at the companion resources web page to Remarkable Workplaces.

I have since integrated the central philosophy of "less but better" into my whole life (it's a work in progress!) in conjunction with Cal Newport’s deep work as previously referenced.

Working with Nick and Matthew also highlighted the fact that I was offering too much at once to my clients and particularly prospective clients. They suggested a "less but better" way was only offering one-thing at a time. This fitted perfectly with my use of the science of quantum leaps.

Fascinatingly I was blinded to this in my work offerings and so this became a very large FBO (flash of the bloody obvious).

The above work helped to quiet my mind and as well as stretch it. I also began to revisit some of Glenn Capelli’s thinking insights.

All of the above has been instrumental too in helping me to integrate change in my own life as well as help my clients to integrate their learnings with what is already working well for them.

3 recommended actions

1) Choose one of the 'Essentialist' ways of being every month and integrate each into your life and work.

2) Do some activity every day that will stretch your mind.

3) Fully embrace the science of quantum leaps and The Aggregation of Marginal Gains in all your becoming and all your doing.

The great thing about living your life as a series of quantum leaps and then combining them for overall improvement is that when you have missteps, make mistakes and encounter mayhem, you can move on armed with new learning literally in the next moment.

Recommended Deep work

1) Contact Glenn Capelli and get your personal copy of his book 'Thinking Caps' and work your way through each section.

In the context of pursuing daily being better, wiser and more valuable (Concentration) I recommend the concepts of kaizen and widezen, pages 81 - 89, as a great place to start.

2) Make it your personal mission to keep your mind agile. And nurture taking an agile mindset into everything you do in your life.

The ‘How Leaders Can Improve Their Thinking Agility’ article by Jesse Sostrin for Strategy + Business may help. I personally like their model used.

3) Create a process where you will always integrate new learning with what you're already doing that is working well for you.

Your use of the Plan and co-promises on a page referenced at the end of this workbook is a great tool for this. Download here.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Book review of 'No More Feedback' by Carol Sanford

This book makes my top 21 recommended business books because it is a very well argued case against the very common and defended practice of feedback.

For many years now I have called feedback the least most valuable of conversation and communication tools.

I personally only value feedback when it comes from people I trust and when I have asked for it.

Carol Sanford goes a lot further saying and demonstrating why feedback is actually a toxic practice that comes from a machine rather than human standpoint.

I love Carol's book and the many practices it suggests. In particular I loved the idea of self-governance, what I call compete with yourself, as a way forward to greater accountability and purpose driven organisations.

Carol suggests self-governance comes from the development of three core capacities. These are pictured below along with Carol's explanation of each one.

"Locus of control
…the degree to which we experience and exercise control over our own lives, particularly on direction of our self-development and our resilience to adversity.

Scope of considering
… what we take into account in our actions and endeavours, especially in relation to other people and living beings.

Source of agency
… where we find authority for our initiative or actions. The more we are able to direct ourselves, the better our capability to connect to larger systems and help actualise them."

I highly recommend the development of the above as part of your ongoing work.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Reasons, Relationships, and Routines Guarantee Results

I recently updated my one page rituals document. Please download it.

Rituals is another word for routines or standards. I update mine a least every quarter.

Reasons, Relationships, and Routines Guarantee Results.

I created a short complimentary online course for you on this with videos and a workbook.
Start the course.

Be remarkable.