Week 12, A. 12.3 Weekly Blogs Collaborative Work

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others.


For this week, I looked at Neil Croft's latest Holos article called "Power Dynamics and Sexual Abuse". Croft gave a nice refresher summary of what we've learned so far on our Creative Leadership journey, looking at Authenticity in leadership and why it is the true antidote and path to take versus the all to familiar leadership power dynamics associated with the styles of "Boss" and "Ruler", as he labels them. The motivation these leadership styles have are primarily motivated by status that can and might be satisified in ways such as sexual, obedience, violence or wealth -- or a combination of them all. Croft looks at us all having experiences being "Top", "Middle", and "Bottom" -- the top carrying the burden and responsibility, the Middles feeling torn between Tops and Bottoms loosing themselves as they try to satisfy both parties, and Bottoms in the powerless and oppressed position doing the bare minimum. As he concludes, Authentic Leadership's existence is first a journey of personal self discovery, experience learned from this journey and a result in solidifying a values foundation that is and always true to the person. As a reaction, this in turn enables and encourages others to also be authentic. As Croft reminds us, it is a slow yet sustainable build up that will be most successful in surviving long term as every stone is set in its purpose to reveal the functioning structure in its authentic glory. I don't see another way but this. 

Looking at John Thackara's post "What Makes a Change Lab Successful", he provides an example of the UK government's digital services platform, who won the Design of the Year award back in 2013. What I found interesting about this example is how small the team was (started with 12 and went up to a modest 150) who serviced UK's governmental platform where more than a billion transactions per year took place. The platform was built in just over a year, replacing in all 2000 current running websites. The message that came out for me in the team's comments on the process was a strong team culture. They were able to motivate each other consistently, having weekly deadlines for outcomes, and support through a quicker process from prototyping, feedback and live integration that bypassed paperwork and could be executed all on the same day. There is also diversity in conversations that the IT creators have, considering people first in the process of making an accessible and easy platform for a person who is a computer novice to others in mind that want accessibility to the site from a phone in the train. Also the immediate action taken from user feedback was really impressive. All in all this was a great reminder of a functioning team and working environment that puts user first and respects them by developing a functional space that wants to make it as easy as possible to get you in, finished and out as quick as possible. This is such a great idea to better a governmental service that most people dread wasting time on. 

In the Do Blog's, Tim Le Roy writes a post "It's About Love, Stupid". I think this was a nice blog to end on this week as it gets to the core of why we do what we do. He uses a quote from Tom Petty that went nicely with my legacy discussion from our Collaborative Inquiry session, "Life is too short for doing anything without love". When thinking about collaboration and listening, I now can put it in words that respecting others opinions and voice in a space is allowing them to share stories of their love -- "love of a craft, the love of a place, the love of people, the love of food", planet, music, endurance, curiosity, creativity, freedom, possibilities etc. as Le Roy writes. This is also helpful when moving forward with our portfolio project, reminded that the journey is because, for, and love, shaped in diverse names, paths and packages. This was a nice, simple and great summary from the week, fall break, Thanksgiving, and moving on into the start of a new week. 

Week 11, A. 11.3 Blogs, Understanding Others

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 


In this week of understanding others, I dove into the Holos blog by Neil Croft, and was surprised to see a new recent post "Spiritual Crisis" from two days ago! It has been a long time so that was the first post I was drawn to. One of the first things that stood out was Croft's honesty and openness as to why he didn't post for over a year, and spoke candidly to his followers and thanked the ones that contacted him, to motivate him to write something again. Croft then goes on to share the political content over the past years (what he had been avoiding to write about for the last months). Tying into our readings of understanding others, he makes a great observation on the "Independent" maturity level of more than half of the adult population, which means their view of the world include, rare if any, experiences of trust and vulnerability at this level. Trust and vulnerability are important for an interdependent and complex systems thinking type of leadership, evidence in the elections showing that this was not the case. Croft goes into the tensions exposed by these elections betwee interdependence "complex thinking" and independent linear thinking. Croft shows us that every crisis gets precisely how deep it needs to for us as a critical mass of people to learn the teaching that has been bestowed on us, and to move forward with action. As Warren Bennis mentioned, the underlying issue for leading from the voice is trust. This is a necessity for "movement" leadership, to get people on your side and have them stay there with you. If you look at our current leader in the U.S., you will see an example of the societal disease of our time called short-term thinking, mixed in with complete lack of consistency, congruity, reliability, and integrity, all forms of gaining trust. This was a good post to bring the content to real scenarios of today.


In John Thackara's post "The Ecozoic City", it looks at shifting a reintegration with the ecological systems, something that we've moved away from and are starting to return to. Talking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Thackara gives us perspective by sharing Earl Cook's measuring technique that showed are 60 times growth in energy 'captured from the environment' needs -- starting with a hunter gatherer who got by on  5,000 kilocalories a day compared with a New Yorker or Londoner today who 'needs' 300,000 kilocalories a day with all of the systems, networks and gadgets of modern life factored in. Our "needs" and our ideas of their necessity have become expanded from our human needs, looking at Maslow's conclusions of the basics: food, clothing, shelter. In Thackara's post it talks about a new movement that says "urban" and "rural"  no longer apply. The integration of nature and the biodiversity even in a city is needed. It looks like in our society today, we need to add another "basic" to the Maslow's list -- food, clothing, shelter, and NATURE.  

In the Do Lectures Blog, I can across a post called "What We Put In".Going with the leadership theme this week, this title statement has been reasonating for me. Strong and lasting relationships, as a leader and in life, ought to be real. Therefore, the metaphor of food in this post made sense to me in a leadership sense when working with others. "What we put in affects the end result". Looking at the quality of "produce", the best "tools", the "time" and the "energy" makes all the difference when you create an amazing yet simple home cooked meal vs. eating a restaurant meal or fast food. I applied this to Warren Bennis' listed leading advice, which involves consistency, congruity, reliability and integrity. It IS about direct involvement and energy contribution as a leader that gets others to follow and continue following you. Staying the course, walking the talk, being there when it counts, and honoring commitments and promises are the way to grow your voice into a network of purpose and trust. The post ends by saying, "If you don't decide to put anything meaningful in, you don't get anything meaningful out. If you don't decide to live better and be better, you can't do better". I would agree, why would you expect anything more than what you give? 

Week 10, A. 10.1 Blogs with SWOT

My SWOT

Strengths
What do I do well? What unique resources can I draw on? What do others see as your strengths?

  • Good at observing and noticing details/ aware
  • Good team player
  • Creative in my approach and communication: Conjure up direct in moment inspiration and improvisation 
  • Determined and Tunnel-Focused in my creative zone
  • Resourceful: thinking on my feet
  • Dreamer + Big Vision holder
  • Compassionate
  • Relatable in different cultural scenes and tribes
  • Passionate, holding "fire" energy
  • Thoughtful, Considerate and Respectful
  • Deep diving into all possibilities (considering the whole of what is)
  • Committed and Reliable
  • Grounded and Honest
  • Approachable and Friendly
  • Caring: I've been told I can "mother" in a respectful and caring way
  • Diverse + multi-faceted: in perspective and backgrounds "jack of all trades" 
  • Patient
  • Have a positive outlook
  • Cultural background + environment has set me up for understanding diverse perspectives, beliefs, practices and ways of living life.
  • Curiosity

Weaknesses
What could I improve? Where do I have fewer resources than others? What are others likely to see as weaknesses?

  • Time management (get too lost in the zone of projects/ideas/inspirations)
  • Can be easily distracted by the environment around me
  • Tendency of having too much to chew on: too many commitments and projects that can draw out my energies in all different directions
  • Too concerned with other people's moods, feelings, state of mind 
  • "Only child syndrom": When stressed or maxed out on time, I can resort to the world being centered around my missions/tasks and forget about others around me
  • Though outgoing, tend to work in isolation (lone wolf style). It helps to sooth my introverted side and gives me less distractions
  • I can get easily out of balance if not strict with myself and my routines
  • procrastinator
  • learning to better receive constructive criticism and "naysayers"
  • Self critical
  • The Dreamer can lead to too much thinking and less action

Opportunities
What opportunities are open to me? What trends could I take advantage of? How can I turn my strengths into opportunities?

  • The freedom to create my life the way I want to
  • Acting on Dreams: Turning dreams into goals with outcomes
  • Creating community - finding others that are like-minded and creatives (looking for tribe and breaking out of lone wolf tendencies) by volunteering and engaging in the community, also jumping on the coworking train - making a working space for such collaborations to come together
  • Opportunity to prioritize my commitments and make realistic choices with the time I have
  • Start making the work that I want to see in my community

Threats
What threats could harm me? What is my competition doing? What threats does my weaknesses expose me to? 

  • Not taking timely action, and jumping on opportunities. Others could be quicker
  •  Spreading myself too think in too many areas that does not give me headway in a direction
  • Point two, leading to Exhaustion, burning out
  • Isolation: others could be more public and involved than I look to be
  • People seeing my kindness and compassion as ways to take advantage of me
  • Working in communications in a society that is overrun with blasted content, how to get my message out to the right people I'm seeking

Week 10, A. 10.1 Blogs

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 

 

Looking at the blogs this week, I went with Neil Croft's "What is the truth?" post in relation to our topics for this week of knowing ourselves. In this post, Croft looks at Honesty as a Skill, the extreme value and power of communicating the truth. He mentions that being honest is an exercise of constant self analysis, and that honesty needs to start with ourselves first. He mentions the challenges that are present for some to objectively see their strengths and weaknesses and being honest about them. It is true that there is a challenge in presenting truth, as truth is subjective and has many versions matched to different perspectives, so knowing where you are coming from and what is true for you is an important start. Croft, referring to especially business perspectives, says that lying has become a skill for persuasion, a short term strategy to achieve aims and move past things. Honesty is also a discipline. This was interesting to come across as I made my SWOT list, and worked on being honest with myself about my behaviors. With time, I noticed that I casually say that I'll be there in 5, when I know I will take at least 10-15 minutes longer. These are realizations that can help me be aware of autopilot behavior, and also to take responsibility for the way I communicate. Being honest of our mistakes "leaving late" will pose less consequences in the end. Loosing trust is one of the worst things one can do for yourself and your reputation. This I take seriously, so it is good to be aware and keep my actions in check.

In Thackara's blog post overviewing reviews from his "In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World", a reader points out Thackara's 10 principles he believes in, one of them being Locality. Thackara points out that local context, local production and authenticity doing it are desirable attributes that people will buy and the service the will choose to use. He mentions how authenticity in products will make marketing easier when it is authentic and tied to identity and sense of place. I found this feedback really interesting, as it ties to our work this week with putting the mirror on us and getting to know ourselves better, as well as the work conducted in my other course where we are creating an in depth business plan that looks a lot at our values, mission, purpose as a company, outlying also living principles that will keep our companies authentic in our values towards sustainability and our causes. 

In the post from The Do Network, I reviewed a repost from The Side Project Report, A Do Report from the Do Network. The title of the post was "Which Wolf Will Win?". I found this story of the battle between the wolf of good thoughts and the wolf of bad thoughts to be a nice metaphor and story written that describes the conflict each one of us has within ourselves, regardless of our work positions or who we are. The dark and the light are present in all, and it is this recognition that both are there and accessible at any time. We hold the choice in each thought and action, which is humbling, empowering or even frightening depending on your perspective. This post was helpful in bringing mindfulness to the truth of ourselves, as we are getting to know ourselves more this week, looking at all aspects of who we are in this moment, and what we can define as strengths as well as weaknesses as opportunities for building unforseen strengths or gives us an edge to the work that we were intended to do. When the question arrises, "Which wolf will win?" It is the one you feed the most.

Week 9, A. 9.1 Blogs w/ Flip Manifesto

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 


I really enjoyed the short and funny read from Daniel Pink "The Flip Manifesto" that looks at the perspectives of individuals and organizations who chose to "go out on a whim" and do things completely opposite from the norm for a change, resulting in ideas that really do make a lot of sense. The reading section on "Establishing a Department of Why" tied well to Neil Croft's blog on "The Opposition of Obedience and the Source of Safety and Success". Pink humerously goes to explain the necessity of Why and how many companies get involved in the Who, What, Where, When and How (the 4 W's instead of 5 and a H). Why get's caught up in the answer, "for the stockholders" which Croft also mirrors. In the Holos article, Croft points out that "identifying and speciifying the 'something' is important". This "something" is the reflection of the why. Croft goes on to say that obedience kills thinking and empowerment, moving further away from achieving anything or enabling people to collaborate. Croft's Why language are found in the vocabulary "Cause", the combination of vision, mission and purpose, which leads to "Code", the combination of values, behaviors and habits that will articulate the "Cause". Like Pink mentoions, these "whys"-- purpose, mission and vision drive people to understand why they do what they do, and push them to do there best knowing that it is contributing to the greater whole. Pink also points out that clarity on the "Why" is really important for the individual and the company culture. Croft supports that statement by saying that organizations without a clear "Cause" are relying most on obedience and structure in marketing plaster rather thatn intentional cultural design. It is a true reminder to let the last W question shine!

For John Thackara's blog post "A Whole New Cloth: Politics and the Fashion System", he goes into reflection on the meeting he attended in Sweden that held 200 sustainability managers. He was mentioning this famous home furnishing company giant in Sweden that is making thousands of tested improvements towards sustainability, but was shocked on the manager's reply that "Growth is needed to finance the sustainability improvements we all want to make". Thackara makes a great point in his summary of this experience by questioning the company's decision of not asking the most important "Why" question. Why should the company grow? Growth would mean an increase of 650 million customer visitings to 1.5 billion a year. Is this sustainable? Why would growth support the value of sustainability in this situation? The value and clarity needed, stated in both Pink and Croft's readings, are missing from this example. Thackara goes on to say that the meaning of "sustainability" needs to be defined for the company, not just as a measurement of doing "less bad". This company could maybe benefit from Pink's manifesto in "Establish a Department of Why" and "Pass Your Problem Off to Someone Else". 

In a Do Blog post called "Generosity" by Denise Cornell, she writes about open generosity and testing an experiment with herself where she played with the idea of practicing generosity in her words and feedback, first starting out with voicing the positive things she say in her business environment. Then she moved further by speaking her heart to a colleague in "human language" with honesty, frightened of the results. Responses were gracious. Her mantra to instill the courage of her actions were, "If you've been given the ability to see something and your intentions are pure, you're obligated to share. Anything less is selfish". I really enjoyed this personal story of jumping out of a comfort zone and like Pink suggests, "Do the Reverse of Whatever You're Doing Now". Denise sure did with really great results that has transformed her way of communicating with others, trusting herself and her intentions to help others. This also ties to Pink's great manifesto section on "For Godsakes, Talk Like a Human Being". Speaking to others in the business realm just as you would honestly in a personal setting, makes it honest and believable. I agree this is the way to go, to be human, and not remove your human-ness from the way you communicate. 

Week 7, A. 7.2 Tribal Leadership with Blogs Points

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 


In Neil Croft's Holos Blog post, "Obedience is dangerous for organisations", he looks at what Tribal Leadership noted about "unlearning" the characteristics that were ingrained with us from parenting and schools. Obedience and an unwillingness to challenge authority is something we pick up, get good feedback for doing, but what ultimately kills a business. Croft believes that the most significant indicator of a major crisis in a culture is the unwillingness to challenge one another -- be it colleagues, line managers, bosses or processes. As both sources point out, to minimize the risk of catastrophic failure, stagnation and poor decisions is to encourage and enable people at ALL levels of the culture/organization to challenge the ways that things are done and are being done. This brings in a diverse perspective that, as given examples in the book have shown, clean out all the weeds found in any forward moving idea, and especially from all angles. This saves time, resources and energy by nipping the bud at the start, instead of waiting to deal with the bigger mass of issues later. Croft also adds a good point that nothing is "safe" in consistency and procedure as every sector in industries, if not actively "disrupting" is BEING disrupted. There is no stop to change, therefore change is an essential integration into the longevity and sustainability of a company and its longterm success. 

In Thackara's blog post "Interview: Signals of Transformation and How to Read Them"  on an interview he did for a new book How to Thrive, he is asked how he sees the world, the next economy and discussions of transformation of humanity into a new story. In this post, Thackara has many points that align with concepts written on in Tribal Leadership. Much like the book defining the difference between "goal" and "outcome", Thackara compares looking at the "present moment" versus "vision". I believe he holds the same idea of "present" as "outcome", as he notes the importance that current actions and outcomes are to making change happen now, not only the visions that can seem very utopian. It is for him about looking for the now solution into creating a new relationship, new "story" between the manmade world and the biosphere that we are a part of. He also mentions a similar concept to Tribal Leadership's value driven culture and business. Thackara looks at this from a design perspective, advocating the approach to design as one based on reconnection not just with us, but to others and the many living systems that depend on the life of our world. Both perspectives hold a shared purpose that is generated on the Stage Five working values, "life is great". Values are connecting all networks in place where they can contribute. It is bigger than the "I" and the "we", it just is. The last point is Thackara's take on the world "resilience", which seemed to match the idea of "triad networking" in Tribal Leadership. He says that resilience is about connections -- between others, and between people and places. He believes in these smaller actions that occur in networking that transform and "disrupt" the mainstream, guiding the bigger picture. Efforts that are connected together in networks make a huge difference. In the book it is also emphasized as so. Networking into triads (groups of three or more), is a more effective networking practice that brings in diverse perspectives and backgrounds that can contribute to the finding of overlapping values and common ground. I will leave Thackara's post with this quote in mind that he ended with, much in connection to the book, "A simple change of language is a good start! Every time we contemplate an action, ask whether this action will 'do less harm' or which is transformational 'leave things better than they are'" (Stage Five).  

In the Encouragement Network's Do Blog, "Culture Lessons From ustwo", it looks at the ustwo digital agency + more firm, which instills many of what Tribal Leadership talks about. They describe themselves in a "we" tone that reaches well into the realms of reaching Stage Five, considering themselves as a tight knit "fampany" that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in the true potential of digital and to explore it. They believe in creating experience that give genuine utility and value, and therefore can transform people's life for the better. They have an understanding of diversity in their culture and the benefits of encouraging entrepreneurial thinking from every member, as it helps attract and retain talent within the firm, and gives all a feeling of being a part of something bigger. The goal for the firm is to have every member driving the business forward, and to hold the purpose of "unleashing collective genius". This was a nice reflection to look at another example of a company that works on the principles of Tribal Leadership Stages Four and Five. It is also a post made yesterday, which shows that these values are still alive and applicable today.