Sometimes this is all you need

November 24th, 2008

After a full day of listening, questioning, processing, analysing, holding space, humouring and travelling this is just the tonic I need. Maybe you do too? Enjoy.


Beautiful places on our world. 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: landscapes travel)

I love this time of year

September 24th, 2008

We’re coming out of winter. The days are getting longer (bring on daylight saving) and it’s often sunny and warm. For a few minutes, anyway. It can also still be quite cold, windy, wet and stormy. The birds are building nests and the blue wrens are in the full breeding colours. And many of the plants in the garden are at their best. Makes me think of new ventures – even new adventures.









































Cause and effect

June 6th, 2008

This has been playing on my mind recently, and maybe it’s gelling just enough for me to write about it. Three things happened:

1. I was researching Communities of Practice and complexity and came across a Sketchcast by Shawn at Anecdote, where he talked about the Cynefin framework and the relationship between cause and effect. I’d not thought so much about the cause and effect part before. The big ah-ha! moment for me was realising that when things are complex, the effect is known (via patterns) before the cause (as in climate change for example).

2. I was listening to a particularly dense (as in ‘chock full of big words’ not ‘dumb’) ppt presentation on climate change and the speaker was struggling to describe complexity 

3. I’ve been pondering the need to be seen to be DOING, the need to produce OUTPUTS or PRODUCTS and the dilemma of the intrinsic worth of simply BEING with others and having conversations.

This third situation often arises when I talk about or facilitate open space meetings. “It was good to talk, to have some time to explore, to slow down, BUT what did we achieve?” I wonder why talking, exploring and slowing down are not generally seen as achievements in their own right?

Which brings me back to my everyday work – facilitating. Planning (in organisations etc) used to be relatively straightforward, and although I never particularly enjoyed planning processes, they worked quite well and did the job. I tend to avoid planning-type jobs these days in favour of approaches that generate conversation and learning, particularly around complexity. I’m happy enough if people can just be together and be in conversation. Products are not so important – sometimes not at all important.

At this point I got distracted and went off to try and figure out how to do a Sketchcast on the Cynefin framework, then I got to practicing using my pen tablet (not very successfully), then I made a couple of phone calls – and then ended up cruising a few blogs. Where I came across this on Johnnie Moore’s site. Now this is really spooky cos it says (much better) what I’ve been thinking. So go and have a look at it now , only lasts a few minutes. Go on – I’ll still be here when you return.

So, the thing is, how do we rediscover the art of being? And when we rediscover the art of being, how do we make it valued? Probably start with ourselves – value it in ourselves and spread the word.

Amazing people

May 26th, 2008

One of the joys of my work is the opportunity to meet so many amazing people.

One of them is photographer Tristan Clements.

Check out his pics on flickr.


The Web’s Secrets

January 9th, 2008

This TED talk by Jonathan Harris brings together technology, story, social science, evaluation, art and is entertaining to boot.

Surf’s Up

December 28th, 2007

This is where I’ll spending the next couple of weeks.
This beach is called Southside and it’s a stone’s throw from where I live. It’s right next to the famous surf beach Bells Beach. Bells is not really a swimming beach – it’s surf central. Southside is also a Marine National Park so there’s plenty to see and do on the beach, in the water and under the water. The marine life in the Southern Ocean is unique – diverse, beautiful and mostly undiscovered. Like this leafy sea dragon. images.jpgI kinda like it that way.

I’m giving myself time to rediscover my passion, to maybe unearth new directions, and just to be.

So Happy New Year and thanks for your support during 2007. Who knows where 2008 will lead?

A few random thoughts from Banff

November 18th, 2007

The AIN (improv) conference in Banff was a source of many ideas and connections. Here’s just a few.

• Ecoductions – introducing yourself using place as the focus; a way to avoid the trap of defining yourself based on what you do and to revisit the way the environment shapes who we are.

• The Medici Effect – intersectional innovation: bringing together diverse perspectives to the centre. This is one of the ways the Banff Centre helps people discover their leadership potential. Practically, it means bringing art to the centre – sculpting clay, singing, movement, improv, being in the environment – as ways to discover personal truths about leadership.

• From ‘de-storyation’ to ‘re-storyation’: “Just as clear cutting of forests leads to deforrestation, our culture has also been devastated by the loss of storytelling.” (Richard Stone). Story seems to have lost some credibility over the years. Re-storyation is about rediscovering the power of story in our personal and professional lives.

• Alistair McIntyre: “I can’t answer the question what am I to do till I answer the prior question of what am I a part.” via Nick Nissley, Executive Director, Banff Centre.

• Strategic ambiguity – allows space for…anything really.

• Notice your first thought and act on your second. (Patti Digh & David Robinson) In other words, be pro-active rather than re-active. Slow down.

• Also from Patti & David: Wicked problems and tame solutions… When wicked problems are unearthed, deal with them, rather than impose a tame solution. Tame solutions provide immediate gratification but don’t effectively deal with the wicked problem which will re-emerge.

• Do one less thing – thanks to Johnnie Moore for again reminding me how powerful this can be.

From the artist

November 3rd, 2007

Today we were at a gallery to check out paintings by Robert Holcombe. Luckily for us, we not only saw some of his paintings but met the artist as well.


This is one of Robert’s contemporary paintings, strongly influenced by Fred Williams. He described his artistic journey from realist to contemporary and now abstract. He described his painting style and how he actually constructs the painting.He also talked about the subtle, but important, environmental messages embedded in his art. This conversation reinforced for me the value of moving from the superficial to depth – and how easy that can be when you are open to the possibilities.

Feel good

November 2nd, 2007

This week our new solar panels were switched on. We now draw about half of our electricity needs from the sun. It feels good.