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Sunday
Jul102011

First Principles

Some days I wake up in the morning and wonder what to do next. So I look at my my three definite aims and my principles and it focuses me.

The Principles are my guide and the Definite Aims my direction. The route may not always be the same, however well planned the path, but it's important for me to know both where I'm going and why. It makes the journey easier and more enjoyable.

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to

Alice: I don't much care where.

The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.

My skills are in analysis, questioning and understanding. I like the predictability of technology and the unpredictability of people, especially children and young people. My core work is threefold:

  • Developing environments which enable young people to empower themselves, take their opportunities and create better futures for themselves and the people around them
  • Helping people and organisations get more benefit from the application and use of methods, systems and appropriate technology
  • Understanding how technology and technology environments and ecosystems can benefit young people and lead to better outcomes through social work, youth work and schools

So why do I do this? - My three definite aims

  1. To be a great leader in youth empowerment, enabling and empowering, developing sustainable programmes and working one to one with young people.
  2. To be a valued, respected and loving husband, uncle and friend, supporting children in an exceptional environment without financial pressure or obligation.
  3. To catalyse and enable people and organisations to meet their passion and potential.

What makes this work

I'm a little bit odd. I have, like many people, a deep rooted commitment to social justice. So far so what? I can see a big picture and translate it - the secret of analysis and possibly a lot of thinking alone as an only child. And I have an attention, nay commitment, to fine detail. My schoolteachers didn't call me pedantic for nothing.

Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” - Einstein

You can call it avant garde, innovation, best practice, whatever you like. I like to call it doing the right things and doing things right. It’s ‘cooking up’ a masterful mix of leadership and execution, it doesn't always work but when it does, the synergies are beautiful. Sometimes it's more of a catalyst role, asking the right questions which lead to the right answers. Sometimes it's rolling your sleeves up and mucking in to get it done, knowing your strengths, weaknesses and your teams, when to lead, when to follow, when to stop. The solutions are as likely to be found on a sandy beach in 30 degree sunshine or a walk through the park or shops as in front of a screen, a pad of paper, a meeting of minds or a caffeine fuelled one to one in a coffee shop.

Wisdom is to know what can be made better and make it better, and to recognize what can only be made worse and walk away.” –Glen Duncan

Value and impact - what makes the difference?

It's about value and worth. People like to count by the hour, to feel they are getting their hard earned worth. But surely it's about benefits, impacts and outcomes not time served. Do numbers matter more than difference made? Do you want me to charge you more because I'm inefficient, slow and because every second counts or do you want to pay for a result, for resolving the challenge or problem and making something measurably better. Because if not then what is the point of getting up in the morning, just to do stuff, to idly pass the time, to count the hours, to make the money, counting down to when there are no more mornings.

Life matters. People matter. Change happens. Let's work together to continue to make the best we can be together and make sure we know why we are getting up each morning.

This is my manifesto.

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