Who am I, and what do I care about? @antlerboy reflects

Benjamin wearing a light suit — the image has been obfuscated by the Deep Dreams algorithm so that images of animals emerge.
Benjamin wearing a light suit — the image has been obfuscated by the Deep Dreams algorithm so that images of animals emerge.
Deep dream

Like many people in these weird, liminal times, I’ve been doing some introspection. I’m not very good at it. I’m better at doing, challenging, thinking out loud, working. But a realisation of how little I am ‘essential’ to the world at these time of crisis has been evident even to me.

I want to help people to have better, more healing, more whole, and more rewarding experiences. Both RedQuadrant and the Public Service Transformation Academy, the organisations I lead, have had some real contribution to make (the former with some critical projects and placement of great project, programme, startup leads — all available through COVID and other frameworks — and the latter with our learning community to ‘build back better in the days after’). But having spent over twenty years, and sacrificed much, to become particularly good at helping public services with complex problems, not being at the heart of things certainly hurt my pride.

So my reflections are about what really matters to me, and why I made those sacrifices (which certainly nobody was demanding) — and what I want now.

What I really care about is making the experience of organisations, and of being in organisations, more joyful, human, and inclusive. This means getting deep into purpose, and measuring and meeting purpose. And what I really care about is insight — insight for change (personal or organisational), insight that shakes certainty, that puts meaning in its rightful, dependent place, that creates joy — basic cheerfulness in the face of uncertainty. And I really care about honesty, trying to dig beneath lies and platitudes and what can’t be said, bringing people together in powerful conversations for learning.

All my work, and all I can offer, comes from these roots.

Helping people to do better change / consulting / systems change, through that developing insight—

Looking directly at better organisations and better community and citizen outcomes:

Of course, all of these are inherent in what RedQuadrant and the Public Service Transformation Academy still offer.

And all of them, especially the insight, are focused in my passion for systems thinking — from curating the Systems Community of Inquiry to serving as a non-executive director for Systems and Practice in Organisation, the systems practitioner body, and professional body for the systems thinking practitioner level seven apprenticeship, which I’m also supporting.

Essential? No. But potentially valuable.

I’m looking to work with people with enthusiasm, energy, creativity — who’ll get real value from what I can share, teach, offer. Let me know if you’re one of them :-)

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