26/8-10 at 13.41 Louise Metcalf
"Why don't you compete? It's so frustrating! You're easily better than the rest of those clowns. If you compete than we've got the damn trophy in the bag!" When I was in my signwriting apprenticeship (yes, I became a signwriter before I became a psych, many many years ago!) I remember my Tafe teacher frowning at me over my highly flexible metal canvas, trying to figure out why I wouldn't go into a trade competition for signwriting. I was the best in the class: fast, efficient, creative and terrific at only using just enough paint. ...
26/8-10 at 13.31 Louise Metcalf
Transforming a culture takes a long time. A long, long time. Don't be fooled by consultants who scoff at the idea. Cultures are all about habits and, if you've ever tried to take up an exercise regime or quit smoking, you know how hard they can be to break.  Only in organisational change, we are not talking about changing one person's habits, we are talking about changing the self reinforcing habits of groups of sometimes thousands of people. That's tough work and as a rule of thumb it's going to take 10 years to ...
26/8-10 at 13.05 Louise Metcalf
Anybody catch that Dick Smith population documentary on ABC the other week? I did, it was interesting, but I thought Dick skimmed over the biggest and most interesting issue: How do we create a better form of capitalism where an increasing workforce is no longer needed?  Add to that, how do we create a stable market economy that does not require constant growth? Add to that, how do we create a sustainable world for future generations in Australia, and the world over, while also addressing poverty and the needs of developing nations as well? ...
26/8-10 at 12.58 Louise Metcalf
I am being slightly cheeky and somewhat pinching this title from a Sydney Morning Herald journalist.  However, he somewhat pinched it from the "The Atlantic" article which was titled "The End of Men" so... that's journalism for you! The Atlantic article was pointing out a very interesting statistic in the US:   At the beginning of 2010... the number of female workers in the US labour market outnumbered the number of male workers in the US labour ...
26/8-10 at 12.41 Louise Metcalf
The benefits of self awareness have been touted by many... but not many who understand what it really means. Self awareness = being aware of self - internally and externally. It's something that most people can do every now and then, and no-one can do all the time, particularly when they've consumed a little too much wine or beer or whatever!   It's also the lynchpin to emotional intelligence. Without self awareness it's impossible to work with the emotions of those around you. You literally have to tap into yourself to understand others. ...
30/6-10 at 05.20 Louise Metcalf
I had the most interesting discussion the other day. It was with a brilliant leader who suddenly stopped performing and fell in to a slump. Performance is often a very personal thing and that's certainly what panned out in this coaching conversation. A terrible personal incident had occurred, his confidence had been shaken and he literally started dreading the phone ringing and his door being knocked on. He dreaded it so much he ignored his phone and locked his door.   In the space of a month he went from being the top performer to ...
30/6-10 at 05.14 Louise Metcalf
I am truly amazed that we have a female PM these days. I just never thought I would see that in my lifetime. As a leadership expert my first instinct is to focus on ability rather than gender, but as a sustainability expert I know that the achievement of a female PM is a major sign of an improvement in social sustainability in Australia.   I know there's been some humming and haring over the method Julia came to power, and I think there's little doubt that it wasn't the most transparent approach, however I do wonder whether ...
30/6-10 at 05.05 Louise Metcalf
One of the interesting outcomes of the recent terrible disasters of BP, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros etc is that all of these people had social responsibility or sustainability agendas that they apparently promoted like all their other policies.  All of them. And they still came unstuck.  As I predicted! Why?  Back in 2007 I presented a paper at the Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference in Adelaide that demonstrated the historical failure of corporations (yes I picked on corporations for that one) to be socially responsible and sustainable.   I highlighted ...
30/6-10 at 04.52 Louise Metcalf
Are you a leader of people? A team? A functional area? A whole organisation? Do you want to create a sustainable future? Are you looking for inspiration, opportunity for discussion and practical ways and means to create a sustainable future in the role you are currently in?   Then you should join our PAX Sustainability Leaders Program!    As I mentioned in my update in the June Newsletter, we have had to think hard about how to tackle the high demand for participation in our research programs....hence we are launching ...
29/4-10 at 23.45 Louise Metcalf
In a groundbreaking step, ING in Australia has now linked executive pay to sustainability! I am thrilled!! Unfortunately, it's just "green" sustainability, but it's a start. I'll take it! Real sustainability is much more than environmental responsibility, or being "green", it's an underpinning culture and philosophy that orients the organisation toward practical long term planning and thinking. Real sustainability includes the organisation's green environment, social environment and financial environment. All of these things have to work together or you will get some pretty tough ethical challenges in the future! Social - refers to employees (climate), ...