Pt 10 – A kaleidoscope of change

A word and image that is coming up a lot for me currently are that of a kaleidoscope.

We are experiencing a kaleidoscope of emotion as we navigate the current challenges.

We have a kaleidoscope of opportunities to reimagine how we show up, personally and collectively, as we emerge post-crisis.

I am grateful and excited to share the kaleidoscope of lived experience in the book of myself and 35 open-hearted, high-growth inspirations to me personally which I hope will serve you also.

As mentioned before this book is being written to hold the mirror up to your thinking and for you to see yourself in different parts of the book. It is not a magic bullet nor a right or best way, far from it.

Using a kaleidoscope as a metaphor for personal and organisational change feels vibrant, bright, natural, and messy.

I wonder what thoughts or feelings emerge for you as you read this first section, I would love to know if you were kind enough to hit reply and share or leave a comment below.

A kaleidoscope of experience

This week I am grateful to be taking part in the following:

  • Inspiration and friend Cornell Thomas is hosting his first virtual Positivity Summit across 28th-30th May 2020

You can buy tickets here but in case the current challenges make it more difficult to invest the $49 for the 3-day event, I am offering 2 x sponsorship place on a first-come, first-served basis.

I shall be speaking on Sat 30th and hope to see you there

  • I shall be joining Vivian Acquah and four others as we review our 2020 future of work predictions that were made at the end of 2019. Mine can be found here and I am looking forward to a lively discussion this Friday at 1015am UK / 1015am CET
  • I was also grateful to be asked to join Ash Roa on her Passion to Profession podcast, which was published today, as we delved into my career journey, lived experience and why I am focussing all of my energies on showing up and serving as an Interpersonal CatalystI would love to see and meet you inside one of these conversations this week if you have the time and interest.

My favourite quote of all time

What is the quote that means the most to you?

For me it is the following quote from chemist Buckminster Fuller:

I truly believe that we are all, either consciously or unconsciously, creating a new paradigm during this crisis and I truly hope and believe that collectively we can make the existing model obsolete.

Minda Harts, the author of the incredible book The Memo, shared the following insight with me during our primary research interview for the book which really does reinforce the above quote and the essence of why I am writing this book:

I think that there really does need to be this onus on individuals changing in order to shift the environment

Gandhi was really onto something when talking about being the change we want to see in the world. I wonder if you agree, disagree, or would add anything?

Primary research progress

Since the last update, I have been grateful to interview Brave Leadership author Kimberly Davis, The Memo author Minda Harts and today I recorded with Master Coach and Thinking Environment teacher Jane Adshead-Grant and with culture, marketing and change advocate, Hilton Barbour.

This takes the total number of interviews to 30 with just 5 more left to do before I spend the second half of June synthesising the feedback and data, to draw out commonalities and differences to help bring the book and messaging to life.

My aim, as things stand, is to have completed a full first draft by end of July – a tad ambitious but let’s see ! 🙂

Seeing the humanity in change

It was really interesting, during my interview with Innovation & Personal Disruption expert Whitney Johnson, when she shared:

“When change goes horribly wrong within an organisation it is because we have stopped treating people like people, we are treating them like objects and without dignity“

So when an organisation, which ‘inside’ is a collection of individuals at the end of the day, stops treating its people with dignity, change can go horribly wrong.

I wonder if this reflection alone is an interesting correlation between the fact that 70% of all change initiatives fail and that we have stubborn global engagement scores at only 1 in 3 being fully engaged.

What do you think, do you see any links or otherwise? Do hit reply and let me know what you are thinking and what can you and we do to change this?

Whitney also added that:

“As an individual it goes wrong when we’re trying to change but somehow shame slips in the door and hijacks the process.” 

My goodness, I have had my battles with shame in years gone by, especially after being bullied and lacking the emotional maturity to know how to deal with that. In fact recently as I shared in a previous newsletter, I had that shameful experience.

It was interesting watching one of Vivian Acquah’s live fireside chats yesterday evening when one of the viewers asked the question, “has emotional intelligence ever been taught in the workplace?” I wonder how you would answer that? I would categorically state no, but nor has it in school nor at home typically.

The shift is coming …….. and I wonder what my friend Jeff Ikler, author of the book ‘Shifting: How School Leaders Can Create a Culture of Change’ would say to that.

Change is iterative and not a ‘big bang’ event…….typically!

My friend and HumansFirst founder Mike Vacanti shared this wonderful insight as part of our recent primary research interview:

“They only have to believe it to a degree and take the next step forward, it does not have to be spelled out, say from point one through to ten, it just has to be clear enough to take the stride forward and then others move along that path at their own pace”

Juliana Kossler, an emerging leader for a major Swiss banking giant, shared this nugget:

“I think change is a process, not something that happens from one second to another.

The intention to view change as ‘normal,’ our innate state, rather than seek out ‘normal’ through excess activity, chasing and often fear, seems to be a more impactful place to be. Maybe?

This also reminds me of Dave Brailsford who led the Sky cycling team for many years and focused on ‘marginal gains.’

Change doesn’t always lead to growth

It has been really interesting collecting feedback on the answer to my primary research question “what links, if any, do you see between change and growth,”

In particular, I received three replies in quick succession as follows including one of my favourite responses to this question from Whitney Johnson:

“I think that change is requisite to growth, but I don’t know that every change leads to growth. They are definitely linked, but my initial thought would be that change does not necessarily signify or signal growth has taken place, and yet you can’t grow unless you change”

Building on this further, Mike Vacanti author of the book Believership shared that:

“If we can think of it as a growth exercise, then change is just a positive part of that.”

“We can create what we want in our lives by changing our beliefs and actions”

Finally, Minda Harts added:

“I think that things can change and you not grow. You have to decide which side of the spectrum you want to be on”

What comes up for you on reading the above quotes, I would love to hear from you.

I really appreciated Margaret Ochieng’s invitation to people that listen back to our primary research conversation at some point in the future in that:

“Change is not always neat and tidy, it is not linear, it is not always predictable.  Be compassionate to yourself, that recognition, that awareness that your change journey is valid and that your voice is valid.  Handle yourself carefully and gently”

A conversation about helping men, which change – A podcast with Purdeep Sangha

Episode 112 of the podcast was released recently and it was a rich exchange around the topic of helping men, in particular, navigate our current times.

One of the most powerful reflections for me was as follows:

“There are two parts to that. Initially, being able to get guys to drop their shield early on in the first couple of conversations is the toughest part.  Later on, there is another realisation, that’s almost the spiritual realisation. The first is more logical, the second is more spiritual. They are more than a bag of skin and bones; they are a source of energy”

I really enjoyed this rich exploration which took in a discussion around balancing feminine & masculine energy, vulnerability, spirituality, courage, leadership, family and so much more.

I feel grateful and hopeful that if Mike Vacanti, Purdeep and I, as three men can have this conversation, that we can help hold the mirror up to others that change as an inside job, and that it can be a really positive thing, even if challenging at times.

Can I help you at all?

If you or anybody in you know could benefit from virtual 1-1 support, virtual workshops (innovation, team effectiveness and sales), virtual strategy sessions or require any support with virtual keynote talks, please do let me know and/or I would be grateful for you sharing my new website.

In particular, the virtual team collaboration flow (as below), which is an iteration of the Regenerative Collaboration Flow which can be found in this brochure, was developed with my friend Imran Reham, co-founder of Kokoro.

Imran joined Mike Vacanti, me, and his brother Najib Rehamn on what will be episode 116 of the podcast which is published on 21st June 2020.

Keep safe and well and thank you for being on this journey with me, I hope that you are gaining some value and please do keep in touch.