Hello Mavericks

Welcome to Maverick Minds first newsletter for 2017.  While the Christmas holiday season may feel like a distant memory we can remind ourselves throughout the demands of the year to slow down, take a breath, recharge and ensure your wellbeing and those around you remains part of the big picture. 

I’d love to share with you a few ideas and opportunities for the Year of the Rooster.  The start of a new year can bring a sense of hope and new possibilities.  You may have some new years resolutions or you may have decided not to make any. 

Whatever your approach for entering a new year it is worth considering where you will focus your energy, time and resources.  Just as the end of the year is one for reflection, the start of the year is a good time to intentionally imagine, plan and consider what you would like to create. 

We know that life presents all sorts of challenges and opportunities.  So how can we set ourselves up well to capitalise on what is already available or the unforeseen opportunities?  What are some of the strategies you have in place to cultivate new connections, follow up existing commitments and be prepared for anything in between? 

Ah… welcome to the VUCA world in which we live.

Working with a group at the start of the year it was one of the questions I posed.  Given everyone had just returned from holidays, sand, sea, snow, and sleep were still at the forefront for people as they began to shift gears for the year ahead.  It was a provocative question to get them to think about what qualities, from their recent break, they could or would bring with them into the year ahead.

So Mavericks I ask you the same question – what were the things you did over the break that nourished your sense of wellbeing.  And while the response might be ‘not working’ I’m not convinced that really is the major issue.

And I’ll tell you why.

Recently I’ve had a couple of conversations with people who had taken time off from work – a sabbatical of sorts either deliberately chosen or through their redundancy.  For various reasons both parties decided after a year or two it was time to return to work.  There were comparisons in their stories. 

This included having structure in their day, connections with others, and work providing some aspect of meaning or purpose.  Many of us have a complex relationship with work.  I love you!  I hate you!

This is not unusual or such a bad thing.  What it does offer is an opening to understand the aspects of work we find enjoyable and meaningful, and to consider the parts that create frustration and disappointment.  That professional reflection, questioning and inquiry may provide insight into discovering avenues that provide opportunities to do more of what we find meaningful.  Dissatisfaction can be a great catalyst to try something new.  It provides food for thought in deepening our understanding of what work does mean to us. Aspects of this are explored by writer and philosopher Alain De Botton’s in his book ‘The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work‘.

As we proceed into 2017 it’s easy to get swept up in the demands and busyness of work.  It’s easy to fall into the habit of complaining about work. It’s easy to forget the joy, creativity, meaning, mastery of skills and sense of accomplishment that work can bring. 

So before you let 2017 run away and fall into the scourge of ‘busyness’ and unhelpful habits why not allow yourself the time you deserve to consider the following.  This is something you can do on your own, for your own personal and professional inquiry and with others in your organisation.

1.    Purpose/Multiple Purposes: think about your sense of purpose or purposes. You might have multiple purposes.  What are they? Purpose is the big picture.  Why do you do what you?  Why do you do the work you do?  Do you have clarity around this? Why does your business do what it does? Do the people you work with hold similar views?   

2.    Intention: starting the day with intentions that support your purpose is useful.  Intention focuses on the things you do in relation to your purpose/s.  It focuses on what helps rather than hinders.  Setting intentions helps guide thoughts, attitude and action.  Teams can set intentions.

3.    Values and Meaning:  Do your values connect with your purpose?  Is there synergy here or is there a mismatch?  For instance if doing creative work is something you value does your big picture purpose align with this? Does your big picture purposes provide opportunity for this to happen? Are their shared values across your organsiation? Is meaning something you have the courage to talk about in your organisation?

Connection across these areas can lead to great satisfaction and outcomes. Disconnect provides creative tension for innovation and transformation.  Think of a pearl – it is through an irritant getting into the oyster that a pearl is formed.  Look at the exquisite beauty formed from an annoying disturbance or disruption.

It is the same for innovation. 

The areas that cause tension, disturbances and disruption are ripe for picking in terms of innovation.  Innovation is not necessarily about quantity or scale – both are important.  Think about where opportunity for innovation lies in your business or your personal life.  Does the purpose of your idea help improve things, create value, and benefit people.  If so then the innovation is significant and worth acknowledging.  If not what can you do to work towards this what changes can you make to add value.

Recently I designed and delivered innovation workshops for an engineering organisation.  A discussion unfolded about everyday innovation.  This is something we need to be mindful about.  It’s too easy to sweep or step over the daily innovations that go on in organisations.  It’s too easy to dismiss the significant daily changes and commitments with make in our personal lives.  We need to do both. Have the big picture purpose, explore innovations and support that with everyday intentions and values to help guide us.  There are multiple ways organsiations can shift from being average to being great.

These are just a few things to inspire change and innovation:

  • Imagination and Storytelling inspires us to dream and explore alternative ways of doing things and sharing that with others.
  • Play and Experimentation allows us to put ideas together in novel ways.
  • Courage and Action enables us to take those ideas, commit and go forth.

From this we – 

  • Gain a sense of what works, what works well, what is less successful,
  • Make adjustments,
  • Imagine again,

And so we continue – sometimes these changes and innovations might be big, exciting and disruptive sometimes they are small and elegant but no less significant.

The Global Influencer Effectiveness Summit 

I’d like to share some exciting news with you.

I’ve been invited to discuss my ‘Artful Inquiry for Creative Leadership’ at “The Global Influencer Effectiveness Summit” – a global master-class series that features over 20 thought provoking world leaders who will share unconventional approaches to ignite change in others.

The best part is that I get to share all the speakers’ information with you! 

You’ll hear from influencers (myself included) from Australia, Canada, Israel, Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Costa Rica and of course the United States about which the ground-breaking modalities that work for them and how you can benefit from their best practices. 

This is a unique opportunity to absorb all the latest, cutting edge knowledge and the event is 100% free.

The summit begins on March 6th, and will continue for 14 days, with 1 – 2 interviews released daily.

Here is the link to sign up to the free online summit. I encourage you to grab this opportunity and hear from over 20 global practitioners: http://globalinfluencermasterclass.online/calo

This is what you will discover at this transformational event:

  • Cutting edge computer programs that facilitate transformation
  • Unconventional thought concepts and modalities (including visual sense-making, fiber-nature-art based inquiry, expressive performance) that help with clarity and discovery
  • New European programs in the field of life-long-learning, that are getting great results
  • And much, much more!

The link again is:  http://globalinfluencermasterclass.online/calo

The start of this year has shown a commitment from individual and organisational clients to invest and make time for people development.  From my perspective there is nothing more important than investing in oneself and your team. 

I have been working with teams from 5 – 25 people focusing mainly around building stronger relationships with their colleagues, developing more effective communication strategies and approaching their work more creatively and strategically.  My 1-on-1 and small group coaching focuses on helping clients explore and identify the key issues and opportunities for where to put their energy, creativity, time and resources. All of these things are crucial when dealing in very complex environments.

To discuss my range of creative professional development opportunities for yourself, your managers and your organisation then contact me to discuss where you are currently and where you would like to be.

Talk soon,

Yours creatively

Cathryn Lloyd