Friday 22 April 2022

An Australia and a world I want to see and help to build (with gratitude to Craig Foster AM)

I posted below on LinkedIn on 7th of April. It's by Craig Foster AM and his address to the National Press Club in Australia. It's so good I'm posting here again. For the full transcript of Craig's address go here.

What I posted on LinkedIn

A passionate and provocative address I loved every minute of it Thank You Craig Foster AM

I'm interested in your thoughts why are the refugees of The Park Hotel (how great for them) being released on election eve and not a long time ago?

I agree wholeheartedly with you that leadership is about sacrifice, not the sacrifice of others.

I'm also interested in why some of us still call refugees regardless of their method to get here "illegal immigrants" a denigrating term (and illegal it seems) if ever there was one.

I love and long for and am doing my bit for the Australia you describe:

"where race is no longer a weapon to divide,

the aged is not a profit centre,

the economy serves the people,

we promote the dignity of each per person irrespective of where they're from or how they arrived,

and Australia is a beacon of integrity, human rights compliance, and leadership in the world."

and what an insight "we choose equality as out national faith."

and you are absolutely spot on when you say that the boat in the PM's office "symbolises suffering, death, racism, xenophobia, deception, lies and profiteering, propaganda, myopia, and the degradation of Australia's humanity."

Wednesday 20 April 2022

The wonder of living in a world of infinite possibilities

I love this diagram from Gihan Perera. Read Gihan's article Be a possibility thinker here.

There are so many things when you think about it that were once thought to be impossible that today are inevitable. or already a reality.

I'm with Gihan 'Be a possibility thinker'.

Quantum physicists have been letting us know for a long time that we live in world of infinite possibility.

I often picture it like below (with thanks to my wife Carol who first drew this). Imagine an infinite number of possibilities around the reality circle. Then imagine every time you choose one you get another lot of an infinite number of possibilities!

Because at any given moment we have an infinite number of choices there are principles to that help us to choose wisely for us.

The greatest is our Response Ability, which I believe is a keystone character trait of wise leaders. Response Ability is your ability and willingness to make the wisest choices for your own and other people's well-being in the moment, as well as in the short and long term.

Please go to my LinkedIn profile and you will see that there is an article on each of the above nine.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

A great place to begin is to be a possibility thinker.


Monday 18 April 2022

Unearthing our essence with Caroline Harvey, Joanna Maberly and Sue Heatherington

I was thrilled to have this conversation with three of the wise women in my life Caroline Harvey, Joanna Maberly and Sue Heatherington.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Tuesday 12 April 2022

What are your top five skills that you need to enhance to thrive?

The DeakinCo. report on the business development return on learning and development is well worth reading. You can download it here. 

As learning and development is a field I'm in daily, and have been for over a generation, some of the findings surprised me. This from the report perhaps surprised me the most:

Adaptability and flexibility, yep, customer service, yes yet what about the employee, customer/client, and overall stakeholders experience. Customer service is a 20th century concept now seen as the minimum requirement.

I get the other three from the report, yet are they really the top five skills gap?

In my own view the top skill is ability and willingness to have and host human being centred conversations. The following are essential for such conversations:

What are your top five skills that you need to enhance to thrive?

I 100% agree with the axiom employ people for their attitude and teach them the skills. My questions are what skills?, what is the context? and what are your cultural needs dictating?

I posted the following here on this blog in August 2019. It's all still relevant to understanding essential skills for thriving in the 21st century.

This is the new world of work as I see it.

My belief is that as machines take on more and more of the algorithmic work - the simple, routine and repetitive, the more opportunity we humans have to be remarkable and to do work that is meaningful to us and highly valuable to other people.

In a wonderful book Technology vs Humanity (see my review of this book here) Gerd Leonhard refers to this as andorithms "those qualities that makes us human" have more meaning than algorithms.

Embracing this in your own best way is a key to every human's happiest future.

Each of us needs to decide what skills we need to thrive in this new world. There are many to choose from.

Here's some from Seth Godin. Original post of his

"Discipline, rigor, patience, self-control, dignity, respect, knowledge, curiosity, wisdom, ethics, honor, empathy, resilience, honesty, long-term, possibility, bravery, kindness and awareness.

All of these are real skills, soft skills, learnable skills.

But if they’re skills, that means that they are decisions. A choice we get to make. Even if it’s not easy or satisfying in the short term.

These skills are in short supply sometimes, which makes them even more valuable."

I liked this blog post from Mark Hodgson about new world of work skills. Here's Mark's list:

Influence, Communication, Creativity, Agility, Resilience, Proactivity, Teachability, Curiosity, Empathy, Collaboration, Vulnerability, Humour, Humanity, Self-leadership.

In his wonderful book Metaskills Marty Neumeier says that the following are the 5 most valuable skills you will need to thrive in the new world of work. More about Marty's book here.

In another wonderful book (learn more about it here) Geoff Colvin suggests the following as the 5 most valuable skills of the 21st century: empathizing, collaborating, creating, leading and building relationships.

What are your top five skills that you need to enhance to thrive?

Bonus seven significant actions you can take to further enhance the skills you have chosen

1) Eliminate performance appraisals

Humans beings don't want to be appraised. We want to be appreciated.
When we feel appreciated we become more accountable and better performance follows.

2) Have candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations about performance with each other that are integral to daily work.

3) Realising management is about PPPPSS's (policies, procedures, practices, processes, systems and structures, see also below on One More Thing)

My clients ask the following question several times a day about PPPPSS's - Does this make it simple for people to bring their best to their work? If the answer is no changes are made. This is every day innovation at its best. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify while heeding Albert Einstein's great advice "Everything should be a simple as possible, yet no simpler."

All other management is dead for my clients. The days of planning, organising and controlling people are over, finito, expired.

4) Learning and development is for everyone not a select few

There is no war on talent. That idea is BS. Learning opportunities are everywhere and for everyone. My clients are taking all opportunities and ensuring that anything from outside (including my work!) is tailored and integrated.

My clients also embrace the fact that learning opportunities don't cease when times are tough. For my clients learning and development is not a discretionary investment when times are good, rather an ongoing commitment to ensure the business thrives in good times and the not so good times.

5) Leadership development is for everyone too

Self-leadership is everyone's business. My clients know intimately that the only real test of leadership is whether or not more people are leading.

6) Profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business

Purpose driven organisations are the present and the future. My clients know their why and are pursuing it with passion.

7) The future of business is 100% human. 

B2B or B2C are buzz words. What really matters, and no matter how great technology becomes, is human to human.

Need help with one or more of these? Please give me a call.

One more thing. Please stop seeing and treating people as resources, assets, or capital

Human beings are not resources, assets or capital. Please stop treating them as such!

You have probably heard the talk about humans being your most valuable resources or assets.  Human capital is also a commonly used expression, sadly in my view.

You might even be using this kind of talk. Stop please.

Here’s what I feel:

I think such talk is trash.

Referring to human beings as resources, assets or capital is arguably a clever analogy or metaphor.  For me it demeans human beings, for beings we are.  And not just any old being that can be labeled. Every one of one-of-a-human being.  

Some research suggests 100 billion people have walked the earth.  Get this - there has never been a duplicate.  Everyone is a one-of-a-kind.  Therefore to label people and treat them the same misses the point and has dreadful consequences.

Your purpose as a leader, assuming you’re a real leader, is to inspire people to bring everything remarkable that they are (that unique being each of us is) to everything they do.

And you will need some serious 21st century management skills.  Leadership falters without management and usually badly.

Management is the practice of making it simple for people to bring everything remarkable that they are (that unique being each of us is, I am repeating this deliberately) to everything they do.

Get it?  Leadership is about people and inspiration.  Management is about processes which policies, practices, procedures, and systems and structures.

The key role of great leadership (supported by great management) is talent optimisation i.e. inspiring people to discover their unique talents or gifts as as I prefer essence (unique personal wisdom) song or music. You might say voice, element, nature or even quiddity. Other wonderful descriptors are bliss and ikiagi.

Carefully consider this great paradox - give people massive freedom to do their own thing within very clearly defined boundaries.  Of course boundaries is the stuff of management.

Our world needs great leaders and managers more than ever. If not you, then who?

Wednesday 6 April 2022

What media I utilise and why. You?

I've reflected deeply on my use of the media. It was a valuable exercise.

My main reasons for using media are to be helpful to other people and to exercise my right to freedom of speech.

I play in three main areas

1) helping people to excel in life and work without comprising your personal values.

I provide meticulously researched content through blog posts here on Blogger, videos via YouTube, podcasts via Libsyn and Spotify. I pay for Libsyn and Spotify whose music I also use personally and in my work.

I pay Mailerlite monthly to distribute my monthly Wise Leaders Newsletter. You can subscribe here. Subscribing means an exclusive monthly article plus you get to participate in my monthly events complimentary.

I pay a yearly subscription the Guardian. I find them the most non-biased of mainstream media. I also use the ABC News app. I accept News means 'Never Ever Whole Story'.

The only social media platform I use is LinkedIn. I accept I am their product.

All content is accessible via this page.

2) I seek to be an activist for change where I see the status quo no longer serving us human beings.

I believe politics across the board is letting us down badly and so I use my voice to speak out and speak up. I also believe that the collusion between big business, politics and the military is not in our best interests as human beings.

Primarily I am against industrialisation and all forms of dehumanisation. I explore some of this in this video:

3) I publish books and ebooks and online courses, primarily for my clients, with some available in the mainstream here.

What media do you utilise and why?

Become the wise leader you want to be.


PS Here's the transcript of the video

This video/podcast is the most technical I get. I’m sharing research here rather than my usual storytelling preference.

I invest about 20% of my time in research, and have done for over 30 years. I’m particularly interested in what’s actually happening on the ground, in the trenches as it were, in workplaces. I’m also very interested in the future of work, as well as the history of work, and history in general, and what lessons we can take heed of from the past that will enable a fully humanised world and workplace now and in the future. 

Recently my friend and colleague Peter Milligan, an organisational psychologist in the UK, shared a Ray Dalio video with me. It’s 43 minutes and 42 seconds. 

It’s called Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order.

One thing that really struck me in the video (at the 23 minute mark) is how capitalism, government and the military all work together, and not for good. 

All three are very industrialised and not helping in my view when it comes to ensuring the world including the workplace is about humans first.

A great consequence of capitalism, government and the military collaborating is inequality.

Here in Australia we have a fascinating scenario playing out with a federal election soon to be held. For the first time in quite awhile the PM and the opposition leader are neck and neck in the polls as preferred PM.

I find this astonishing given the incumbent and his government have failed on any measure you want to look at to represent us citizens, rather they represent vested interests. This is a common story around the world of course. The political system is failing us pretty much everywhere.

The government here is also talking up military spending and expansion with a hardline rhetoric about China. They have weaponised national security as a tactic to differentiate themselves from the alternative government.

There’s a very interesting interview by Friendly Jordies with former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about 10 dirty tactics he predicts the government will use to try and win the election. One of the dirty tricks is about national security.

An excellent book I’ve read recently is Regeneration: Ending the climate crisis in one generation, a 2021 publication by Paul Hawken. 

In it he references a 1953 speech by US President Dwight D. Einsenhower, himself a former 5 star general in the military, where he talks about the industrialisation of the military. Worth noting here that according to Dalio’s research America had the worlds 19th largest army at the time of ww11. It’s a very different story today where they have 800 military bases in 80 countries.

In the book Hawken says “The politics industry is not designed or intended to serve voters. Like all industries it serves itself.”

I think understanding this is key to humanising the world and the workplace. We need to get that in the background capitalism, government and the military are all working to serve their own interests rather than our interests.

This is likely influencing your work, whatever you do.

Who are you serving? Your employees, your customers and other stakeholders interests? Or your own.

The best organisations and service providers serve others because they know this is the best way to take care of yourself.

In the second season of We Need To Talk, my signature program, our focus is not capitalism, politics and the military or any other industrialisation, think Big Pharma, Big  Food, Big Tech, Big Health, Big Religion, just to name a few other industralisation's that are harming us.

Yet we cannot ignore their influence as they are in the way of humanising the workplace let alone in the way of peace and harmony in the world.

We will be exploring a concept by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman referenced in Hawken’s book. Huberman upends the idea that beliefs determine what we do or what we can do, rather beliefs do not change actions, actions change beliefs.

I hope you can join me for season two commencing on Tuesday June 14th for Europe, UK, Asia, and June 21st for Australia, New Zealand and USA. Places are limited so please register early. Do so from here.

Monday 4 April 2022

What is your ROI on your L & D?


The above graphic is from the DeakinCo report into ROI on Learning & Development. You can download the report here.

This from the report:

"Based on bespoke economic modelling, this report finds that on average a 1% increase in L&D expenditure per employee is associated with an 0.2% increase in business revenue in the same year. In dollar terms, this is equivalent to every $1 invested in L&D per employee being associated with an additional $4.70 in business revenue (per employee)."

Embracing the pre and post factor increases ROI even more

In 2005 I began applying research completed in 2004 by Dr. Brent Peterson from Columbia University. 

He found that 50% of learning happens after an event and 26% prior to an event.

The consequences of applying this research have been profound for my clients. I can confidently guarantee to you that working together will mean a minimum of 10 times return on your investment when you undertake pre and post work.

In my signature We Need To Talk Experience between episodes and after episode four there is a telephone and Zoom help line available meaning you can schedule a call for help with implementation of your insights, inspirations and ideas or with integrating your new learnings with what is already working well for you. This is key post work.

Download the We Need To Talk infographic here. It shows the full pre and post work and how they bookend the experience and guarantee your ROI.

Want the greatest possible ROI on your L & D.? Please consider The We Need To Talk Experience. At this link is everything you need to know about season two.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

PS Two old axioms apply here. "True leaders create leaders. Fake leaders create followers." Anon

Your heartful disposition and a mindset about creating more leaders is the intention piece of ROI on L & D.

"Success depends on where intention is." Gita Bellin

PSS Below contains key insights into essentials for great learning and development from the DeakinCo research. How do you rate yourself against these criteria?

Friday 1 April 2022

Pain happens. Suffering is a choice

Image courtesy of Canva

Buddhism teaches that through being dissatisfied with your life or craving things, you suffer.

This is true in my life experience.

The most important lesson I have learned though is that we can have pain yet adding suffering is a choice we make.

I’ve been in chronic pain for about two months due to a complication with my melanoma. I’m on a pain killing package and receiving treatment. There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

My wife too has cancer and has had considerable pain for longer than me.

Initially I resented these set backs for both of us and I chose to suffer as well as be in pain. Carol chose not to suffer.

Knowing that I was on a wrong path for me I eventually surrendered and refreshed my understanding of Buddhist teachings and concluded I was indeed choosing to suffer.

Response Ability is the keystone character trait of #wiseleaders. I had chosen badly.

Response Ability is your ability and willingness to make the wisest choices for your own and other people's well-being in the moment, as well as in the short and long term. 

I realised that I made an unwise choice in deciding to suffer. It’s been a big lesson. 

I hope sharing it is of value to you. 

Become the wise leader you want to be.