BIRTHRIGHT from Sean Mullens on Vimeo.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
BIRTHRIGHT from Sean Mullens on Vimeo.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
- If you’re really committed to achieving your change goal, go for it big-time! A bit of self conscious hand jiving just won’t do, - you have to get stripped down and put your soul into it! We don’t know if the dancing man felt embarrassed, but he certainly didn’t show it! Note too, that you don’t have to be a fantastic dancer – but you do have to commit, - and to show everyone just what great fun dancing is!
- Don’t intellectualise too much. I don’t suppose the dancing man crafted a compelling PowerPoint explaining the features and benefits of dancing. Nor did he commit too much time to persuading others to join in (he tried but it didn't work too well!). Yes, talking and explaining is good – but active demonstration is much more powerful!
- Find the right dance-floor. Yes, you want to be visable so you can have an impact, but dancing all over someone else's picnic is not going to make you many friends!
- Don’t give up. I suspect most of us, if we had been brave enough to start dancing on our own, would have given up after thirty seconds or so. It takes a long time for someone to grow the courage and enthusiasm to join in. While you’re dancing, and while you’re showing your commitment and enthusiasm is not easily damaged, you’re building up ‘trust-credits’, you’re showing yourself as the sort of person who it’s safe and good to follow.
- Make a big fuss of your early adopters! “Wow! You are the best dancer ever! So tasteful! So classy! You are so much better at it than me!” Allow your new-comer to enjoy the experience on their own terms and don’t try to control them too much. This is often difficult for a ‘change leader’. After all, it’s been your dance for so long it’s only natural you will want to show people how to do it and make sure they do it in the way you’ve been dreaming about for such a long time. Sustainable change needs to be organic. As soon as someone joins in it stops being ‘yours’ and starts being ‘ours’. Welcome the new creativity and energy and if you hadn’t envisaged handstands? – well get over it! Of course in practice there will need to be some rules but try and keep these to a minimum early on emphasising values and commitment instead.
- Don’t let up. It’s a great feeling when one turns into three and three turns into six but remember that these early adopters will probably not have the commitment or staying power that you have demonstrated. A less experienced dancing man might have stood back with delight and pride, taken a well earned rest….. and watched the support disappear! Notice the successes but be aware that change takes time to bed in. Others will not be as resilient as you have been. They need your inspiration and example, they need to see that you are just as committed to the change and just as passionate as you always were.
- Finally, can you imagine how our dancing man felt at the end of the sequence? That’s going to be you someday – maybe sooner than you think!
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
I have taken the decision to:
- support female entrepreneurs - because I believe that women remain systematically disempowered
- support groups - because I believe that communities offer support and sustainability
Friday, 4 June 2010
"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is today" Lao Tse
Monday, 17 May 2010
In the UK we’ve been focussing obsessively on Leadership for the last couple of weeks. But there’s no leader without a follower and as, in relation to the UK political environment, most of us have little option but to put ourselves in the ‘follower’ camp perhaps it would be worth thinking about followership for a while.
Isolates – these are people who care little for their leaders and will rarely respond to them regardless of who they are. These people tend to keep a low profile, they want to stay out of the way and just get on with their job without ‘interference from above’.
Bystanders on the other hand are the sorts of people who will offer little support to any leader. They will follow passively and really just observe things from the side lines, rarely getting involved in very much. They differ from isolates in that they tend not to hide from being led or managed nor do they resent it like the isolates can do.
Participants do care about the organisation and do usually want to make an impact. If they agree with the leader they will actively support them, however if they think that the leader is wrong they will actively oppose them, sometimes behind their backs.
Activists have strong beliefs both about the organisation and their leaders. They will actively engage depending on how they see both. If they like what they see they will engage and help create even better conditions. If they don’t they will actively try to get rid of the leader.
Diehards have the highest level of engagement in the organisation and with the leaders and have high passions. If the leader is going (in their opinion) in the right direction they will dedicate all to them and become a disciple. If they think that a leader needs some help to develop they will engage with them, however if they think that the leader is destructive they will set out to destroy the leader.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Hats off to Stuart who came up with a great idea for raising awareness of coaching and of the core skill of effective questionning:
Some people will be familiar with the concept of the "talk like a pirate day", - for the whole day, e everyone in the office is expected to fill all of their usual conversations with '"ARRh"s and "Me Hearties" and "Shiver me timbers" - and what ever pirate-like phrases and accents come to mind.
The coaching variation is the "Ask open questions day." With penalty donations to charity for anyone who forgets themself and asks "Would you like a coffee?" or any other closed question.
Wonderfully silly idea, - what a great way of raising avareness of coaching behaviour and the use of open questions to promote learning and developmental conversations.
What's even better, is Cartrefi Cymru are going to give it a go!
Monday, 19 April 2010
Willie Walsh has flown his plane through the dust and survived, and several other companys have done similar.
From an industry which proclaims that safety is paramount, we are now getting "It's all a big overreaction" type statements. Decide for yourself, but it seems strange how quickly the corporate mind has changed.
Meanwhile, the UK government is sending in the Navy, a flotilla of small boats has 'rescued' travellers Dunkirk-style, European football teams are driving to fixtures and the Channel Tunnel is having a really good April!
So you can take your choice about what's most interesting and revealing about the reactions:
Airlines: "Let's pretend it's not an issue and get back to normal"
Ferry Companies: "Whoopee!! we can clean up using our existing business model"
Government: "Send in the Navy!!!"
Individuals / small operators: "We can do something new & find a different way"
I wonder if any of the emergent solutions will sustain once the crisis is over.
I wonder what the reaction will be if summer travel were to be threatened.
Friday, 16 April 2010
However, the really creative thinking arrives when something happens suddenly. Whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, a driving ban or a dreadful trauma that leaves us without the physical capabilities we had yesterday, these are the times where our creativity and ingenuity have no bounds.
There’s an interesting exercise for any organisation facing a challenge!
“So we are faced with a 10% reduction in revenues. What would we do if we had to manage a 50% reduction?” (and giving up and going home were not an option!)
“Our prisons are bursting at the seams. How could we respond if the another 50,000 people were given a custodial sentence next week?”
“Fuel prices are rising past £1.20 a litre, what if they were not £1.20 but £12.00, or £120.00”
We have that growing realisation that the way we run our lives and our society has got to change, but we can still pretend that the moment’s not yet here. If we couldn’t keep up the pretence maybe we’d come up with something really exciting – or perhaps the obvious solution that’s been staring us in the face for ages. Well, there’s a whole load of thinkers sitting in airports and hotel rooms just now going nowhere and with nothing much to do. Which of them will be brave enough and creative enough to find a different way?
Friday, 19 March 2010
Two decades of politicians playing the law and order ‘arms race’ have brought a criminal justice crisis to the UK.
Especially when it comes to our young - where we're ultimately creating more of the very thing we fear... criminals.
Despite an all-time high for re-offending rates, despite prisons at bursting point - we plan to keep on building and continue to incarcerate more young people than any other country in Western Europe.
The public's fear of youth crime bears little relation to reality and the young are more demonised, more alienated and more easily caught in a self-fulfilling prophesy of our own making...
….The Fear Factory
With funding from The Nationwide Foundation, three Third Sector agencies came together to commission this film, Safer Wales Ltd, Construction Youth Trust and Addaction. We all work intensively with young people who are either offenders or at risk of offending, to break the cycles of vulnerabilities, and prevent re-offending.
As Chair of Trustees of Safer Wales Ltd. I am really proud of this film which is uniting a range of otherwise very diverse agencies and becoming a catalyst for long-overdue action.
Please take a look at The Fear Factory Website and Blog
- and add your weight to the campaign either by simply following the blog or, if you represent an interested organisation, by joining the Coalition.
We are currently discussing the broadcast of The Fear Factory with UK National Broadcasters.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Amongst the many programmes I heard on the radio (it's a long drive!) was the BBC's Americana http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00kpjpm. In the final segment, a group of Chicago primary school children imagined that Martin Luther King was still alive. What would they ask him if they had had the opportunity?
I'm not sure why this segment made such an impact on me, - but it did so, to the extent that I have transposed the audio from BBC i-player and reproduce it here. (Sorry BBC for reproducing without permission - but it's all good marketing!)
"How did you feel when you could not play with your white friends anymore?"
"How did it feel when people were mean to you?"
"When you were marching, did you think you might get killed or arrested?"
"Was it hard for you to protest against all the unfair laws?"
"Out of all the unfair things, if you could pick one, which one did you dislike the most?"
"When you were a child, did you know you were going to change the world?"
"Do you think that some laws should still be changed?"
"Why did you tell people not to ride the bus?"
"Do you think fighting with words is better than fighting with fists?"
"How did you get so many people to follow your example?"
"What was your very first speech & how old were you?"
"What was your favourite speech you wrote?"
"How did you get to make your speech in Washington DC?"
"When you marched in Washington, what did it feel like to be in front of millions of people?"
"How did you feel..."
"Were you afraid..."
"Were you nervous when you were out there?"
"What went through your head when you gave your 'I Have a Dream' speech?"
"What part of your 'I Have a Dream' speech do you think got people to listen the most?"
"After the speech, where did you go and what did you feel like?"
"What else are you going to change?"
Americana, BBC Radio 4 Sunday 17th Jan 2010