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.