Leadership Development. Team Development. Personal Development.

"Consider The Alternatives..."

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Actualise Pty Ltd

"Thus the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about - that which everybody sees."

Schopenhauer

"All individuals attending Actualise programs are intelligent, capable and motivated to improve their own lives and the lives of others"

Based on "The Essential Premise - Harvard Centre for Medical Simulation"

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein

Philosophy

What are the philosophies that underpin my work?

When preparing to update this website, I wanted to ensure it reflected what I thought, not what I thought would please others. The following philosophies are the result of years of experience, reflection, reading and talking with many people.

These philosophies are not an adjunct to my work; they inform and are reflected in everything I say and do in my life and in my programs - personal, team or leadership.

They are listed in no particular order and the list is incomplete.
  • Organisations are complex, changing systems - not machines - To appreciate the true complexity of organisations today we need a paradigm shift in how we view them.  Organisations are often managed as though they are a machine, comprised of many parts that make up the whole, are predictable, can be made more efficient and need to be managed.   Organisations are anything but machine like.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, they are not predictable, thrive when relationships and service are valued and need leaders who nurture trust and autonomy.
  • Focus on the whole, not the parts - When dealing with issues or problems, I was taught to identify the source, drill down into the detail until the true cause was identified and then fix it.  I would dutifully do this and wonder why my "fix" either didn't work, was not accepted or both.  In hindsight, by focusing on a "part" such as a process, I ignored significant other influences - I had removed the "problem" from its context and as such often missed the real problem entirely.  By focusing on the whole, I can avoid single mindedness, I avoid limiting problem solving behaviours.  I now see problems in the broader context and new solutions present themselves.
  • Mutual benefit will always outperform self interest. If you need something from others, look for mutual benefit. By developing mutual benefit, we create a positive, reinforcing cycle. Self-interest, while always present, has limited currency. As such, by helping others, we help ourselves.
  • The giving and taking of advice limits self-determination. While there is occasion for asking for and acting on advice, relying on the advice of others interferes with our need for self-determination. Making and enacting choices is empowering - even when things don't turn out as expected.
  • Work / Life Balance is a misleading and artifical construct. The term Work/Life Balance infers a separateness that does not exist. I only have one life and I am the centre of it. Trying to separate my work from my life is like trying to separate my head from my body - possible but very limiting. Work is an integral part of our lives, not separate from it.
  • Work helps us understand who we are. Work tends to get a lot of bad press and yet for many of us our work is one of the great definers of who we are. Instead of denying the importance of our work, lets embrace it. Looking for meaning in your life? What did you want to be when you were growing up? What are you doing now?
  • Relationships make the world go around - not gravity. We are a social species and as such the quality of our relationships are a fundamental determinant of our success.
  • We cannot control anything other than ourselves. Control is an illusion, what we really do is influence. If we want to change something permanently, we have to continually influence it. If we stop influencing, it reverts to its old form - sound familiar?
  • Exercising individual choice is our greatest power - more powerful and effective than influence.  By taking full responsibility for our choices and our impact on others we can resolve anything. Only once we stop waiting for others to do something, can we move forward.
  • There is no "best way", only your way! - If there was one best way for anything, why are there so many self-help books on the same topic? Surely, if someone had actually determined the best way for ever lasting happiness, wouldn't there only be one book on the shelves? But there isn't one - it doesn't exist and it will never exist. Why? Because we all need to write our own book (and our book will be in constant revision).
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