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Shared – dare I call it – WISDOM
by Stuart B. Hill

 
       
   

These points were compiled in 2005, based largely on my university and international development experience over the past 60+ years, as possible ‘testing questions’ for all theory & practice.

  • Ask of all theory & practice – what is it in the service of? – before supporting or copying it

  • Work mostly with ‘small meaningful achievable initiatives’ vs. ‘Olympic-scale projects’ (most of these are abandoned or fail, & have numerous negative side-effects)

  • Don’t get stuck in endless ‘measuring studies’ (‘monitoring our extinction’) –  these are often designed to postpone change that is perceived as threatening to existing power structures
  • To achieve sustainable progressive change, focus (at least first) on enabling the ‘benign’ agendas of others vs. trying to impose on them your own ‘benign’ agendas
  • Focus on enabling the potential of people, society & nature to express itself – so that wellbeing, social justice & sustainability can emerge (in integrated, synergistic ways)
  • Collaborate across difference to achieve broadly shared goals – don’t end up isolated, alone in a ‘sandbox’
  • Don’t let ‘end point’/goal differences prevent possibilities of early stage collaboration
  • Outcomes are only as good & sustainable as the people creating & implementing them – so start with the people; & remember that we are a relational/social species!
  • Use the media – let me repeat – use the media! – such ‘political’ communication is key to change
  • Work with business & the public/community; government will always follow, but rarely lead!
  • Celebrate publicly at every opportunity – to enable the good stuff  to become ‘contagious’
  • Keep working on & implementing – especially with others – your (shared) benign visions
  • Most of what is remains unknown – which is what wise people are able to work with; so devote most effort to developing your wisdom vs. your cleverness, which is just concerned with the very limited pool of what is known (Einstein was clear about this!)
  • Always be humble & provisional in your knowing, & always open to new experiences & insights
  • Take small meaningful risks to enable progress, transformational learning & development
  • Devote most effort to the design & management of systems that can enable wellbeing, social justice & sustainability, & that are problem-proof vs. maintaining unsustainable, problem-generating systems, & devoting time to ‘problem-solving’, control, & input management
  • Work sensitively with time & space, especially from the position of the ‘others’ (ask: who, what, which, where, when, how, why, if & if not?)
  • Act from your core/essential self – empowered, aware, visionary, principled, passionate, loving, spontaneous, fully in the present (contextual) – vs. your patterned, fearful, compensatory, compromising, de-contextual selves
  • See no ‘enemies’ – recognise such ‘triggers’ as indicators of woundedness, maldesign & mismanagement – everyone is always doing the best they can, given their potential, past experience & the present context – these are the three areas to work with
  • Be paradoxical: ask for help & get on with the job (don’t postpone); give when you want to receive; give love when you might need it, or when you might feel hate
  • Learn from everyone & everything, & seek mentors  & collaborators at every opportunity

       
   
 
       
   

The Author

Stuart B. Hill

Professor Stuart B. Hill is committed to working for change that improves ecological sustainability, community and personal wellbeing, and our psychosocial co-evolution. He is critical of the still dominant tinkering (shallow) responses to problems, as well as their endless measurement, and is a tireless campaigner for the proactive, fundamental (deep) redesign of our lifestyles, our institutional structures and processes, our managed ecosystems and our technologies. His background in ecology, soil biology, entomology, agriculture, psychotherapy, education, policy development and international development, and his experience of working with change, have enabled him to be an effective facilitator in complex situations that demand both collaboration across difference and a long-term transformative and co-evolutionary approach to situation improvement. As this is a focus of social ecology, he is currently in a euphoric state as a member of a dynamic learning and action community (of over 300 students and staff: [in 2000 when the first version of this article was written]) with overlapping values and mutually supportive projects.  Direct enquiries about the Social Ecology degree programs at the University of Western Sydney to School of Education, UWS-Kingswood Campus, Locked Bag 17971, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia. Phone: 61(0)2 4736-0334. Fax: - 0400.  Email:  l.pemble@uws.edu.au.

Visit http://www.stuartbhill.com/ for additional information.
 
       
   
 
       
   
Many more articles in Leading Change in The CEO Refresher Archives
 
       
   
 
       
   
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Copyright 2009 by Stuart B. Hill. All rights reserved.

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