Tag: responsibility

The power of connectedness

Values No Comments

Two top TED talks on the power of connectedness…this one emphasises the importance of living wholeheartedly. The second shares some unexpected results when asking for help.

Thanks Gema for pointing them out.

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Do you like Dilbert?

Reflect No Comments

The world of work is changing.

For many years Goran Carstedt, previously a senior leaders in IKEA and Volvo (and now part of many initiatives from the Society of Organisational Learning to The Clinton Climate Initiative), has encouraged CEOs to recognise the need for their organisations to be ‘worthy of the fullest commitment’ of those who work in them. Like rights and responsibilities, that are two sides of a coin, this piece picks up the need for individuals to think of what will make for worthy work for them.


Professions, the long view?

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Looking back to this Parliamentary debate on professions and professionalism from 20 years ago I am struck by both how much has changed, and also how similar things are.

The challenge to professionals has grown from those focused on social worker and teachers to doctors and lawyers. Across these elite tribes, there has been some reform emerging from within, with a new professionalism that emphasises accountability as much as autonomy.

Over the summer, I enjoyed reading US doctor, Atul Gawande’s book “The Checklist Manifesto”.           I think it speaks to many of the issues and tensions relevant to the new professionalism (handling discipline in the routine alongside freedom to innovate; the need for skilled team communication and individual skill; overcoming failures of ignorance – and especially ineptitude in complex as well as simple and complicated situations).

It is worth a read.

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The CSR buckets – using your head, heart and hands

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Broadly, there are 3 corporate social responsibilty ‘buckets’ that companies tend to invest their social concern into:

1. Climate

2. Bio-diversity

3. Human health and well-being (that includes the position of women, education/literacy, food security, infrastructure and fair trade as well as health, housing and education).

These buckets can be summarised as addressing carbon, flora/fauna or people.

And overall there are three sorts of ways companies can contribute to these areas:

1. Gifts to particular charities and projects, often close to the personal interest of certain company leaders

2. Founding social enterprises, often in partnership with others

3. Integrating their concerns into all decisions – trying to influence the DNA of the organisation. 

So, we have a sort of 3×3 grid.

Where is your heart (which of the 3 buckets motivates you the most)? 

What do you want your practical actions (hands) to be?

The challenge is to use your head to make that ‘what and where’ a success!

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Achieving the change

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Two and a bit weeks into the new year…do any of these sayings help? All draw inspiration from positive psychology.

“Motivation follows action”

“First you make your habits, then your habits make you”

“Fake it till you make it!”

“Put our behaviours where we want them, then our mind and heart will catch up”

“First hands, then head and heart”

Finally, from Ghandi…”be the change you wish to see in the world” (but that is possibly another story).

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Valuing corporate social responsibility

Reflect No Comments

Many companies are serious about their social responsibility…but find it hard to get to level 3 of this model:

1. Offering funding or staff time to worthy charitable projects

2. Entering into partnerships with social enteprises

3. Integrating ethical values (such as promoting biodiversity) into the heart of business decisions and reward structutures.

 Practising what is preached matters, it really does – see www.idenk.co.uk/values

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The independent organisation

Plan No Comments

Are you in an independent organisation? 

What does that mean?  Try this test:

1)    Do you own your own Brand – or can a boss (politician, Group CEO) take it away?

2)    Do you have a diversified Income Stream  – or are your ‘customers’ all in one sector or even mainly from one organisation?

3)    Do you have a choice about how you organise internally – or is that dictated by Governance?

Whilst many achieve 1 and 3, number 2 is the fundamental basis of organisational independence.

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The new leper’s bell

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The iconic image of people from the Far East wearing face masks at this time of colds and flu is made noticeable by the media and stands out on streets in the UK. 

But what is it about?  Having studied this in crowds in Hong Kong, it is clear that most are worn by people who are coughing and spluttering (as in this photo on Star Ferry). 

face mask

A bit like a modern leper’s bell.  Like a special badge to say “I will not shake your hand (or air kiss) – I have a cold!”

The lesson?  Beware of projecting assumptions from our neurosis onto others.  And take responsibility for our issues.

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Organisation choices

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3 modes of organisation – for conscious choices in organisational life:

a)   The sort of conversation – creative and opening up, yes/and plus appreciative OR debate and critique, yes/but and challenge

b)   The approach to personal responsibility – taking charge or making a request; give or get

c)    The nature of line management – direct or devolve

There is not a good and bad, rather the need to signal and agree which moment by moment.

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Taking responsibility

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Nature or nurture.  That is it.  That’s the choice.  As well as being a cliché it misses something really important.  In explaining something, the other option is “no, it is me”.  Looking back for explanations leads so easily to excuses.  Living in the now, in the present, the moment, demands personal responsibility.  Stopping and reflecting on personal choices is hard, but helpful.

So when you next hear that little phrase to do with biology or socialisation, think “Now, how might deciding to see the issues as about personal choice change things?”

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