Keynoting Speaker 

at 

AGILE USA 2019

 

 

 

CPA Congress 2019 

 October 2019 

Perth

Brisbane

Melbourne

Canberra

Sydney

Adelaide

 

~  ~ ~ 

 

 

 

 


~ ~ ~ 

OCTOBER 23

Mya Tiger in St Kilda 

Melbourne Australia 

12 - 2pm

 

Get tix via Eventbrite


 

 

 

 

ish:

The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’

 

 

~ ~ ~ 



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Comprehensive 2 day program runs next:

 

 

SYDNEY

December 3 & 4, 2019

 

MELBOURNE

March 2 & 3, 2020

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 It's not 'drawing'...

It's 

SENSEMAKING

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using The Visual Mojo Method
 
1 day practical workshop for your team
Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations
  

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    Entries in leadership development (6)

    Wednesday
    Sep182019

    We’ve all experienced ‘average' facilitation 

    Facilitation: someone at the front of room, leading a meeting/workshop, helping make things easier. (Whether it's the right definition or not isn't what this is about.)

    My point is: there's an abysmal standard of facilitation in workplaces today.

    You might think it’s not ‘that bad' or workshops you’ve attended have been mostly ok.

    Not so quick. Know that facilitation is something you learn: like making an omelette, riding a horse, flying a kite. You’re not born with facilitation skills, you learn. It's not long at work before we experience average facilitation.

    Think of all the sh*tful meetings you’ve been in.

    Meetings that:

    😖ran over time

    🤯were dull and disengaging

    😠achieved few outcomes

    🤢were dominated by a few/same voices

    😱were unsafe or awkward ... the list goes on.

    Bad workplace meetings contribute to bad workplaces and working environments. They're time wasting, energy-draining, enthusiasm-robbing ... feeding cynicism, negativity and disengagement.

    Yuk!

    If you're a leader or want to be, it starts with you at every meeting.

    You can learn contemporary facilitation skills. Then you won't lead sh*tful meetings. 

    Wednesday
    Sep182019

    'The consultant’s facilitation skills were average' 

    I heard this comment from a big company ... reporting on a big consulting firm’s management consultant... and how average their facilitation skills had been at a significant workshop event.

    The fee that consulting firm charged for their services DID NOT MEET the value or expectation of the calibre of facilitation skills that were required.

    And it was one of the BIG consulting firms.

    You’d think - or assume - that the facilitation capabilities of management consultants would be contemporary, collaborative, impactful. They're always leading meetings and workshops as part of company transformations and consulting engagements.

    But nope. It was average. Most average.

    Time on your feet does not equal quality. Most of us think we're better at facilitating meetings and workshops than we are. It's like driving. Most of us think we're above average drivers. We're not. Some of us suck. We think we’re good but we’re average. Most average.

    Wednesday
    Sep182019

    An easier skill for the future

    Futurists and foresight genies tell us the skills we need for the future. 

    But what if we had a skill that just made things easier, less difficult? How good would that be!

    There’s a mix of skills that are a stand out in the world of work - they're about collaboration, safety, inclusion and progress. They help get things done, in ways that help people work together, and make them feel safer and included.

    Great leaders know that facilitation - not the hippy ‘what do others think’, bell-dinging moderator, wafting about a room - but an outcome-focused, engagement-driven enabler who helps people do better work together - is a power-house competency. Facilitation helps support a team to achieve the 'magic four'.

    To be:

    1️⃣effective

    2️⃣productive

    3️⃣collaborative, and

    4️⃣creative.

    All at once! Drop one and the team, project or work suffers, crumbles.

    Facilitation means 'ease'. It’s no wonder it’s the skill of the moment.

     

    Tuesday
    Apr302019

    Learning and Development

    L&D: does it stand for learning and development or long and drawn-out.

    Is it time for L&D to be more responsive, to lead the way in agility, experiments and lean solutions?

    I was speaking with an L&D team about running my ‘ish' workshop for the organisation - where people learn to challenge perfectionist tendencies and work until it's 'good enough', working in increments and iterations. The L&D team said, "Actually, WE need that!"

    Often an organisation’s learning program is embedded in an annual calendar; by the time the dates come around there’s other/better/more responsive things out there, the market has shifted, and the skills need has shifted. Does your organisation still work on an annual calendar? (Sure, a calendar works for availability, logistics and managing budget).

    Is it time to get more agility into L&D? How responsive is something that’s planned a year or more out? How does a team or project and the skills and capabilities they need change in that time?

    Could L&D run on shorter 90-day cycles for example, responding to the needs in the business and what’s happening in the market, offering stuff swiftly to build skills now, not in 365 days time?


    Wednesday
    Jan022019

    That New Year 'stink' of perfectionism and expectations

    If you’re reflecting and resetting goals with a new year upon you and then reading all those posts about needing to make things measurable and achievable and to do this and that, please… hang on a moment. It’s being reported more frequently in those 'new year/new you' types of articles and stories that many of us don’t quite hit or stick with the resolutions as we’d like to. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt a reset or a new way of thinking, living or working. 

    But can you smell it? Lots of things stink of perfectionism and expectations at this time of year. 

    Perfectionism isn’t a one size fits all; there are different types of perfectionism, but the one that I see running rampant at this time of year with resolutions and drives for new habits and resetting on our hopes and dreams, is what’s known as ‘socially prescribed perfectionism’. 

    Hey, don’t get me wrong. I want to change my life too; get fitter, eat better, live better, etc. We can all have aspirations and goals and the start of a new year is a great time to do that. 

    But my point is, perfectionism is poison. I’ve been researching it over the past year or so as I’ve been writing the book ‘ish: The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’.

    The book tackles the problems we face when we chase the elusive ‘perfect’ - whether we’re preparing a report or presentation at work, making something or working on any of our projects in life, including ourself. Excellence, quality and continuous improvement are important. But the pursuit of perfection …not so much.

    Our drive to make things (including ourselves) look, feel or seem perfect is dangerously on the rise and has dire consequences for how we feel about ourselves and how well we live, work and collaborate with others.

    New year’s resolutions included. 

    Perfectionism is on the rise

    So back to this socially prescribed perfectionism; it’s when we (usually, wrongly) believe or perceive that ‘other people’ hold high standards for us… and we will indeed struggle to achieve them. Who are these other people, anyway? And none of us can achieve perfection because it doesn’t exist!

    You see, of all the types of perfectionism, this is the one that's on the rise. Up 33% over the years between 1989 - 2016 when 41,000-ish people were studied. We are increasingly believing that others set or hold high standards and expectations for us that we need to achieve… or else. 

    The other types of perfectionism - where we hold high standards for ourselves (up 10%), and where we have high standards for others (up 16%) - are also both on the rise, but only at half the rate or less of this one, the socially prescribed perfectionism. 

    The research associated with the increases in perfectionism reveal that yes, the environment is more competitive. The environment we see and experience on social media, the job and career environment, the mainstream media, our local community, at school or university, at the beach, on the sports arena, on the road, in the air and at the holiday destination. It’s all more competitive. 

    Coupled with this, expectations are more unrealistic. Someone showing you their super-fit body, their multi-million dollar startup or their make-up free selfie sets an expectation that we too can achieve that if we’d only do the program, use the product or like and share the post. 

     

    Beware The Curse of Discernment

    Just remember that the Curse of Discernment is at play here too. This is the idea, the reality, the science - from Barry Schwartz’s ’The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less' - that as we have ‘contact with items of high quality’, we begin to suffer the ‘curse of discernment’. Lower quality things that used to be acceptable to us are no longer good enough. The base point keeps rising and ‘expectations and aspirations rise with it.’ Higher experiences are met with higher expectations and we want higher experiences which drive higher expectations. It’s an endless loop. Unless…

    Unless you be aware of it. 

     

    You ain't broken

    Just take every Instagram post, social media share and mainstream media article encouraging you to ‘live bolder’ and ‘be better’ and ‘change this’ or ‘become that’ with a splash of reality and science. 

    We’re being conned that we need to 'be better' or ‘get more' or to fix our broken selves. And it’s just not true. We are wonderful as we are; imperfectly human, changing, growing and living. 

    There are many other movements underway that are showing us how we can snap out of this push for more/better/perfect and go for things like slower living, detoxing, tidying, minimising, simplifying, switching off from technology and reconnecting with humans … and other trends and ways of living and working. There’s an awakening going on. Are you on to it or are you still on the drug of more, better, perfect at all costs? 

    There are many problems of going for perfect; we’d do better to care less and be a bit more ‘ish’ – ish means somewhat, more or less, to some extent - because it's a w-a-y more flexible, helpful and happier way to think and work.

    ish. Near enough is so often good enough on the things that don’t matter as much as we think they do. I think we need to care less about more, and care more about less. Across the board, in so many aspects of life. (Ok if you’re a surgeon, an engineer, a pilot, or manufacture anything, please continue to adhere to your increasing standards of quality.)

    But if you’re going to make this the year of anything, make it the year of ish; where you ease the pressure off yourself - and others - and stop buying in to the perceived pressure for perfect anything. Relax the expectations of how things have to be or what they need to look like, feel like and when it needs to be done by. Live a life more ish-ly. 

    Reference: Psychologists Paul Hewitt and Gordon Flett’s - The ‘Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale’ and research by Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill.