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Opportunities – workshops and courses

Workshops, events and courses coming up in 2018:

Upcoming courses: Facilitation Essentials (one day course), Sydney

Friday, March 9
Tuesday, May 22,
Wednesday, July 4
Thursday,Sep 13
Wednesday, Nov 21

Book here

The dollars in biodiversity

It is important to cut through the simple oppositionism of economy versus ecology. Pavan Sukhdev, head of the UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, argues that the greening of economies is a new engine for growth, employment and the reduction of persistent poverty. He has put numbers on it. It is possible to demonstrate that a wetlands outside Kampala is creating more value in water treatment for the city, than converting it to agricultural land. Pavan provides a powerful economic argument for preserving natural capital. He is pretty funny, too. At the Opera House last week, he showed a slide
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Making a hobby of communication

For the past couple of weeks I have attended a training session in Marshall Rosenberg’s non-violent communication skills. I was attracted by the idea of doing it every Monday night for five weeks, in the next suburb. Like going off to a community choir, but instead of doing scales we practice fundamental communication skills. I had a good time the first night, feeling quite moved by an exercise (“empathy poker”) where other people identify one’s basic needs in response to a few hints about a recent experience. The next week, feeling cocky, I bowled along to be confronted by my own inabil
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Finding what works and why

Knowing is not the same as doing. That’s Rule Number 18 from Alan M. Webber’s recent book, Rules of Thumb.[1] Webber was the founding editor/owner of Fast Company, the hip business magazine he established after a long stint at the much more staid Harvard Business Review. Rules of Thumb lists 52 business insights, all written in Webber’s engaging journalistic style and peppered with great stories about how to make sense of the tumultuous world in which we live. Of Rule 18#, Webber says: “There are two ways of knowing. One comes from the head. It’s the kind of knowing that comes from reading and
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The two sides of collaboration

collaboration: act of working jointly act of cooperating traitorously with an enemy that is occupying your country I once worked with a woman who refused to use the word collaboration or collaborator. The Nazi occupation of European countries during the second world war relied on the venality and fear of local ‘collaborators’ and, for my work colleague, this invocation of the word had contaminated it forever. While collaboration has recently undergone something of a renaissance, it’s worth noting that dictionaries still contain its dual meaning. It may be a big stretch to link the optimism tha
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Towards a Viable Australia

Early in March, I joined a three day workshop with an incredibly ambitious aim: “Creative Thinking Forum on Creating a Viable Australia”. The event drew some 60-70 people together from around Australia. I wondered if we were all crazy. Yet the process, ‘Design Shop’ created and facilitated by Matt Taylor and hosted at The Difference in Sydney was extraordinary and enlightening. Matt is an irrepressible 70 yr old, with a mind rich with concepts and processes worked out over a lifetime of engagement with creative practices, coming from an architecture background, but now applying his work across
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Performance Conversations

In the past year I have done quite a few training sessions on performance management. The sessions confirmed my suspicion that the Australian working culture is abysmal at performance feedback. Contrary to the popular stereotype of blunt, frank and open communication, in our workplaces we are, in the main, unassertive, indirect, ironic, passive and excessively accommodating. With some rare exceptions – the people who do the tough conversations for the rest of us. We are also reluctant to praise, and do it badly. “You are great” doesn’t work. “Thanks for staying on last night to get that
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Performance Conversations

In the past year I have done quite a few training sessions on performance management. The sessions confirmed my suspicion that the Australian working culture is abysmal at performance feedback. Contrary to the popular stereotype of blunt, frank and open communication, in our workplaces we are, in the main, unassertive, indirect, ironic, passive and excessively accommodating. With some rare exceptions – the people who do the tough conversations for the rest of us. We are also reluctant to praise, and do it badly. “You are great” doesn’t work. “Thanks for staying on last night to get that
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If you are stuck… do something, anything

Often our stuckness equates to procrastination. And at the heart of procrastination lies fear and inertia. So the answer can be simple: do something, do anything. Walk, run, dance, stand on your head, hang a picture; go to a museum, skating rink, climbing wall or a swimming pool. Why? Physical movement literally increases the amount of oxygen to your brain. As often as we ignore this fact, our mind and body are directly, physically and energetically connected. Sensory stimulation, input from the external environment can unlock stale thinking and the prison of logic and make you more alive to t
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Regional Development Australia: hit the ground running with us

The creation of Regional Development Australia has led to the establish of a streamlined structure replacing the former ACCs and regional development boards. Across the country, these new committees are now coming to grips with a reconfigured geographic area, diverse and newly acquainted committee members, and uncertainty about professional staff to support this transition. Besides, getting on their feet, there are high expectations to deliver results in the form of a business plan and a strategy for a regional plan. The Make Stuff Happen team is already working with one of these boards to mak
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