Serendipitous Synchronisation of Worldly Events: Enabling the evolution of humanity

Serendipitous Synchronisation of Worldly Events: Enabling the evolution of humanity

Over the past five to ten years our world has thrown up a myriad of cataclysmic events, all seeming to demand conflicting strategies:  the Global Financial Crisis in the mid-2000s, the myriad natural disasters, from tsunamis, wildfires, floods and droughts; aging population and popular uprisings.  The time is ripe for a seismic shift in the way work is done, and by whom.  The operation of successful businesses, how they manage their people and how we work are forever and fundamentally altered because of the serendipitous synchronization of environmental, technological, social and economic changes we have experienced over the last decade. The unsuccessful ones will not change so they won’t succeed! But the key to surviving in the turmoil requires us to let go of conventional wisdoms and embrace a paradox.  As Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, taught in the Tao Te Ching some 2600 years ago: “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”   (Heider, 1985) Tao’s teachings are all about embracing the paradox, discovering the seed of one thing in its opposite. In our world, it means working together remotely; being afraid, but doing it anyway; acting autonomously and at the same time collaboratively. The tension is where the great stuff happens. If you are not uncomfortable – nothing is changing. If we reconcile the paradoxes, then the solutions to both the short-term budgetary crisis, medium-term population and workforce aging and long-term (or not) environmental challenges may be complementary rather than competing or opposing. It is my fervent...
The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox

The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox

In today’s world, we are faced with changes and problems that require massive action – not incremental adjustments to the way we work.  But whatever your mission impossible, make no mistake you can push through with a team of autonomous individuals working collaboratively. The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox draws together the conditions needed to enable individuals to operate at their highest levels in collaboration with others.  Like a fine Swiss timepiece, achieving autonomous collaboration requires the full integration and alignment of the individual, teams and organisation. The Autonomous Collaboration Paradox  Organisations achieve greatest individual engagement by ensuring the individual’s roles and responsibilities tap into their passions and demand full use of their strengths.  The most productive, synergistic and creative teams emerged from genuinely collaborative interactions and supported by empowering organisational structures.  But to make the transformational shifts that are needed to thrive in this new world, individuals, teams and organisations must display enormous courage.  Today is not the day to be risk averse, and sit back hoping that things will settle down. They won’t; and they never will again. The world cannot afford passengers; humanity cannot afford indecision; action is needed now.  To unlock the power the Autonomous Collaboration: 1.    Be empowering. 2.    Practice enabling management. 3.    Establish empowering organisational structures. 4.    Foster collaborative...

Balance – It’s a Mindset

Balance – it is the Holy Grail of our 21 century life.  We have so much choice, so many possessions, so many things to do, so much work that we feel totally overwhelmed by it all.  If you think about it, it’s not a bad problem to have really.  But that is our problem.  we never stop and think about it; reflect on how much we have.  Or reflect on whether in fact we actually need it all – or need to do it all.   The way I see it, our life is like a glass.  The stuff we put in it can either invigorate and nourish us, or it can drain us, leave us wanting more, or, worse, make us sick.  And for many of us, we are simply poring too much of the wrong stuff into our glass.  But what if balance was not so much what you did in your life and what you had, but how you thought? What if the whole stress thing is just how you look at what you have in your life and the demands that are being placed on you?  What if you could design your best life and then just say no to everything that does not fit the picture? I believe that we put the wrong things in our glass, we say yes when we should say no, we feel overwhelmed and stressed, because of how we habitually think: Whether we feel we can make a difference to our lives (internal locus of control) or whether we feel that we have no choice (external locus of control. ...

Unity – In Name and In Deed

This week I presented a paper at the LS Tri-state conference in Albury. I set out why it was critical to embed consumer directed care into residential aged care, and the 15 steps to achieve this. There is a link below to the white paper upon which the talk was based. I presented a challenge to the audience that who-ever was genuinely delivering CDC in their residential aged care services, I’d love to meet them and promote their facility.  As I left the theatre, Charmaine Waugh from Australian Unity, came up to me with a few members of her team and very excitedly announced that they were doing it – they were building and delivering aged care in a genuinely person centred way.  She gave me the latest Australian Aging Agenda(Jan-Feb 2014) and implored me to read the article on their model of care and then she faded into the crowd like Zoro. I almost imaged her saying (Antonio Banderas’ voice please) “my work here is done. I am now off to save another village”.  Now I have since read the article but I’ll get to that in a minute. That evening is the obligatory conference dinner – the theme was Jail House Rock. I didn’t put my name down at any particular table, preferring to leave it to fate as to where I ended up.   I find it is always the right one and this night was no exception.  Table number 1 was the only table with spare chairs so off I trot and was greeted with genuine friendliness and interest by those occupying it.  Coincidence would have...