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Viewing entries tagged with 'commitment'

Diversity is hard work

Posted by Philip on 16 June 2017, 3:17 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

When I began working for myself in 1998 I read a book — I can't remember which — that made an important distinction between hard work and difficult work. I've never forgotten it.

Hard work is about being persistent, disciplined, committed and, sometimes, working long hours (especially in the case of starting a business). Difficult work is complicated, confusing or highly technical — it takes a certain level of intellectual or specialist "grunt" to achieve the desired outcome.

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Fringe leadership – what are the alternatives?

Posted by Philip on 1 April 2015, 2:43 pm in , , , , , ,

When it comes to leading change and creating social movements, particularly when it involves people on the margins of society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming success means “widening” the mainstream to accept a new group of previously excluded citizens.

Reverence may be paid to new rituals and customs. Changes may be made to environments to make them more accessible or representative. Language may be scrutinised and modified to create a more welcoming lexicon. Laws may change to increase rights and entitlements.

In themselves these acknowledgements are important and meaningful. They achieve their intent – to decrease exclusion and increase participation.

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I said no and the world didn't end

Posted by Philip on 16 September 2013, 7:14 pm in , ,


Today I said no to two commitments. One was a focus group, scheduled today, at 1.00-3.30pm. I had errands to run before and a meeting at 11am which ran late. I had at least half an hour travel each way and another meeting at 4pm.

I also cancelled a meeting at 11am tomorrow as I have meetings in the city at 1 and then 3pm.

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Charlotte's Web: a tale of superb leadership

Posted by Philip on 24 September 2012, 12:57 pm in , , , , , ,

"Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen." (IMDb)

I read Charlotte's Web when I was just a kid, but it has always stuck in my mind as a great story. Watching the 2006 version of the movie, I realised why: it's a great story of leadership.

Charlotte, the retiring spider who seeks no recognition for her part in saving Wilbur from his fate, epiomises the architypical servant leader. "This term, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. [She] leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of her team..." (VectorStudy.com)

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When caring isn't quite enough

Posted by Philip on 5 September 2012, 4:20 pm in , , ,

Last week I went to the Tenancy Tribunal because, once again, Housing New Zealand placed a tenant next door to me who was known to Police for violent and anti-social behaviour. He was arrested in late May for disturbing the peace and threatening other neighbours in my street; luckily I was away.

Since June I have been working with HNZ to reach a creative solution to stop this repeated flaw in their placement process happening again. I suggested they convert the duplex I live in into one dwelling. They refused my suggestion once and then again when I asked for a review of decision.

They did, however, move the nextdoor tenant. But this resulted in him abusing me verbally from outside, leaving me feeling threatened enough to call the Police. Though he's been gone for ten days, I am still aware that he is aggrieved and knows where I live.

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Why bureaucracy fails

Posted by Philip on 10 May 2012, 3:27 pm in , , , ,

It's fascinating to observe the NZ Government's decision to create the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Mobie), which will come in to formal existence on July 1, merging the existing Economic Development and Science and Innovation ministries with the Department of Labour and the Department of Building and Housing. (Stuff.co.nz 24 April 2012)

Minister in charge Steven Joyce claimed the so-called super ministry will result in "efficiency benefits".

My experience has led me to believe that the larger an organisation is, meaning the more people who work there and the more layers of management that exists, the more the following things decay and drop away:

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