Purpose, Whose Purpose #12 #cong22

Synopsis:

Make sure the purpose you choose for your life is truly your own, not imposed by any other person or institution.
Be glad your economic circumstances allow you the freedom to choose the central, motivating aims of your life.

Total Words

725

Reading Time in Minutes

3

Key Takeaways:

  1. Look after yourself, so that you can engage with and enjoy a shared existence on this planet.
  2. Contribute with kindness and support to the wellbeing of your family members and friends in particular.
  3. Get involved creatively in community-building and politics which support Democracy, Human Rights, and…above all, the Sustainability of Life on Earth.
  4. Don’t take demeaning or destructive criticism from anyone, especially if their personality is self-focussed and self-important.

About Alec Taylor

After Radio in Germany and TV in the UK – working as an announcer, presenter, and interviewer – I switched to Corporate Video. This led to a career as a consultant, coach, and trainer in Communication Skills and Creativity.

My latest coaching-service “MAPIO” (Making A Professional Impact Online) seems to be meeting a widespread need.

Contacting Alec Taylor

You can connect with Alec via email.

By Alec Taylor

How many of us make a truly autonomous decision about our life’s purpose….and can afford the luxury of making it?

BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENT DECISION-MAKING
In the early years of our lives, for many of us growing up in Ireland, Religion played a big part in moulding our purpose for us, as did family and social customs, “Serve God and serve others, especially those in need”, was the imposed mantra. No mention of oneself.

THE LONG ROAD TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Speaking personally, it was many years, more than half a lifetime, before I felt in a position to draw an unfettered conclusion about what the purpose of my life might be. And, even then, did the purpose I was choosing for myself refer to both my personal and professional lives? What about Society and the Planet?

THE ROLE OF SUFFERING
To be prepared to sacrifice one’s own life for the sake of others, was drilled into many of us throughout our schooldays by religious zealots. In my case, it was only after a long period of personal distress (PTSD) and mental strain that I was forced to take account of the price I was paying for trying to reach ‘sainthood’.

At long last, “Take care of yourself…only then can you help others!” was urged upon me. Self-compassion was presented as the new wisdom. Some of us began to focus on a purpose of our own choosing.

THE LUXURY OF FINDING AND EMBRACING OUR OWN DESTINY
Meanwhile for those who struggle every day simply to survive….without a home, short of food and healthcare, often responsible for children and their needs in a time of distress…for such people establishing a purpose in their life is a choice they do not have.

WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION?
What are the criteria then for reaching a decision about our purpose – for those of us who are fortunate enough to be above the poverty line?
I suggest:
• We are one global community but not yet acting like one
• The fierce gaps in life-experience are there for all to see
• Time is running out to ensure the sustainability of life on Earth
• Conflicts are diverting vital resources
A CONCERTED, SHARED EFFORT NEEDED TO SURVIVE
So, let’s re-introduce the concept of the ‘Common Good’…. of sharing with all of Humanity, of Nature, of this Earth (to whom we belong, rather than the other way around.)

…AND NOW TO BE PERSONAL ABOUT ‘PURPOSE’
With me, it’s been a ‘work in progress’ for far too long. So, it’s time I achieved a breakthrough and the following definition via Google is helping: “Your life purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life,”
So, here’s my best shot at those central motivating aims:

1. Look after myself, so that I can engage with and enjoy a shared existence on this planet:

BETTER UP!

2. Contribute with kindness and support to the wellbeing of family members and friends in particular:

CPTSD

3. Get involved creatively in community-building and politics which support Democracy, Human Rights, and…above all, the Sustainability of Life on Earth:

350.ORG.

COMPASS

AVAAZ 

BIEN

Alec Taylor
November, 2022
Dublin

The Naked Truth: The Global Leadership Vacuum laid bare at COP26 #36 #cong21

Synopsis:

In a world, where leaders are too eager to compromise, Greta Thunberg moves from being, the one they found so easy to ridicule, to the one who ridicules them. To balance our leader’s acceptance of the corporate demand to return to business as usual, we need to send an equally loud and singular message that our future is not for sale, and that we wont fall for any more of what she calls their ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’.

Total Words

1,076

Reading Time in Minutes

4

Key Takeaways:

  1. COP 26 was a pantomime where the leaders showed just how weak they really are
  2. It takes great soundbites to lead in a world with a short attention span
  3. The global solidarity stemming from our shared covid experience must not be wasted
  4. People power will come from being more consistent as voters and consumers

About Damian Costello

Over lockdown, I downed tools as a consultant. I stopped dead. After 30 years I could no longer justify using my expertise in disruption to help global corporations avoid being disrupted. I joined a global voluntary group called Pivot Projects to help accelerate a global societal ‘Pivot’ to a fairer, more democratic, more environmentally sustainable society.

For years I had missed the hypocrisy, that all my Congregations were about me predicting and championing the very societal change that my work was delaying.

I will soon be in a position to share the next phase in my career, one where I will have the power to make real progress on my reinvigorated mission to replace the current ‘illness management industry’ with a proper preventative healthcare system.

Maybe now I’ll give myself a better answer to the predictable question from twenty or thirty years in the future ‘What did you do Granddad when you realised the world was going to shit?’

Contacting Damian Costello

You can connect with Damian on LinkedIn

By Damian Costello

During the first two weeks of November 2021 the world’s so-called ‘leaders’ entertained each other in the Blue Zone in Glasgow for COP26, the UN’s global climate change conference. Hopes were high that this one was going to achieve the hard commitments needed to keep the world’s average temperature under the Paris Agreement’s target of 1.5 degrees above preindustrial global temperature levels. And did it? Not even close. Experts predict that if countries were to stick to what they promise in the Glasgow Climate Pact, we would be lucky to keep climate change below a catastrophic 2.4 degrees. Glasgow 2021 seems to be the COP where our leaders gave up on pretending that they are even trying.

I attended this pantomime with ten colleagues from a voluntary global group called Pivot Projects, which came together virtually during the first Covid lockdowns in March 2020. We were at COP to launch a book called “The Pivot” for which my friend Steve Hamm has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. As the somewhat cynical leader of the group’s economics and politics work stream, even I didn’t expect things to be as bad as they turned out to be.

The event didn’t start off well for the hosts, the British Government led by one-time climate denier, Boris Johnson. Plans to take full PR advantage of the global spotlight were marred by a corruption scandal in Johnson’s cabinet and his ham-fisted attempt to sweep it under the carpet. Later in the week we found out that over 500 fossil fuel executives had been invited into the exclusive Blue Zone where they would’ve had unfettered access to global leaders, not that they needed any more access. While the corrupt mingled with their corrupters, many attendees lamented the lack of representation or access to leaders, afforded to younger people, or to indigenous voices from the communities already decimated by climate change.

Out on the streets Greta Thunberg repeated her new sound bite “No more Blah, Blah, Blah”. I suspect that looking back we will see it as having the same resonance as “Yes, we can” or “Make America great again” because it seemed to land a serious blow to those in their ivory towers. Unlike her previous meme “how dare you”, the sincerity of which our cynical world was only too ready to ridicule, this time round it was the teenager who was ridiculing the establishment. I couldn’t help but feel, watching the phrase take off on placards, in coffee shops and in railway carriages over the following few days, that we were witnessing an ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ moment. The phrase highlights that the untrustworthiness of the global establishment, both political and commercial, is something to be laughed at, rather than feared. Those in power only have it because we give it to them as citizens. Our leader’s corporate masters have power because as consumers we reward them for their lies. Maybe, if a child can show us that they are to be reviled rather than exalted, we will be able to summon the courage to challenge them more effectively.

COP26 suggests that global leaders are at best diplomats, toothless negotiators trying to strike a deal between the commercial giants in the Blue Zone and the children on the streets. They seem to be building a case for the mass acceptance of 2.4 degrees as a revised target. They feign concern on the global stage but fight against the required changes when they return home. Our leaders just want to get back to business as usual and to make sure that whatever they do on climate change doesn’t impact corporate profitability. They will continue to do so, until we stop allowing them to divide us. They ignored the fact that COVID-19 gave people all over the world a new sense of solidarity, but we now need to follow that up with consistency in the ballot box and in our shopping carts. We need to shout louder if we are to drown out the voices of their corporate lobbyists. We need them to believe us when we say we will no longer be satisfied with their ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’.

COP 26 turned out to be a PR disaster for the powers that be, but if it ushers in the final act of the current exploitative system, then I will be glad to say that I was there. There, when the world realised just how stupid it was to allow itself to be led by such small minded and greedy men.

GOODBYE, CEO! #35 #cong21

Synopsis:

In the next 3-5years many professionals and consultancies will join together to form ‘Group Consultancies’. These will be led by a shared, rotating group of three senior managers called a ‘Triune’.
The CEO’s days are numbered….

Total Words

616

Reading Time in Minutes

2

Key Takeaways:

  1. Driven by the Climate Crisis, the overarching focus will be SUSTAINABILITY.
  2. Companies and organisations will look to ‘GROUP CONSULTANCIES’ for help.
  3. One ‘SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT’, one fee.
  4. ‘Group Consultancies’ will be led by a shared, rotating group of 3 senior managers, called a ‘TRIUNE’.

About Alec Taylor

  • European citizen, born in Dublin, carry an Irish passport. Proud of all three.
  • Consultant, coach, and trainer in Communication Skills & Creativity.
  • 11 years in Radio (Germany) and TV (London) and Corporate Video.
  • Own consultancy company since 1985, in London, Vienna, and Dublin
  • Speak English and German

Contacting Alec Taylor

You can see Alec’s work on his website or reach him by email.

By Alec Taylor

GOODBYE, CEO!
A SHARED, ROTATING LEADERSHIP IS COMING…

WHAT LIES AHEAD?
A friend of mine in Public Relations in Dublin (with clients across technology, finance and STEM) challenged me to outline what developments are likely to take place in the next 3-5 years which will affect us all as individual professionals and consultancies (PR, Marketing, Risk Management, Quality Management, Advertising, Executive Search, Accountancy and Tax, Legal Affairs, IT/Digital Transformation, Management Consultancy, HR and Training, etc.).

THE EMERGENCE OF ‘CONSULTANCY GROUPS’ IN THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS
My prediction is that – driven by the Climate Crisis – we will see the emergence of ‘Consultancy Groups’. Their overarching focus will be ’Sustainability’ but they will incorporate many of the above-mentioned professionals as ’senior partners’ – maintaining their specialisms.

They will work in close collaboration with each other while acknowledging the primacy of ‘Sustainability’.

This means that client companies can approach a Consultancy Group – let’s call them “ONE PLANET” – and receive an assessment of what they need to do to ensure that their products and/or services meet present and future standards of Sustainability.
This ‘holistic’ Sustainability Assessment will include inputs from the ’senior partners’ (the relevant professionals).

One assessment, one fee.

EXAMPLES OF WHAT IS ALREADY HAPPENING

To get the ball rolling, here is an example of a consultancy developing in the manner I predict: Blurred London The professional ’silos’ are beginning to topple….

In the case of existing global consultancies, the primacy of Sustainability is very visible:

THE ADVENT OF A SHARED, ROTATING LEADERSHIP
Did you notice that at BLURRED there is a ‘Senior Team’ of four founders with a separate Managing Director? My prediction is that this arrangement will evolve into a ‘shared, rotating Leadership’ model.

THE SINGLE CEO TO BE REPLACED BY THE ‘TRIUNE’
There will be a ‘triune’ (in Roman times, a triumvirate) to provide leadership. A group of three senior executives who take it in turns to chair the triune. They will represent the following dimensions of the company or organisation:

1. A ‘CSO’ responsible for Sustainability (overall business strategy, focussing on environmental and human impact)
2. A ‘CFO’ responsible for Finance and business performance
3. A ‘CIO’ responsible for IT and the Digital Transformation

Their decisions will require a simple majority (2 to 1). The rotating chair of the triune will change every six months, in a continuing cycle.

THE CONSULTANCY GROUP “ONE PLANET” WILL BE LED BY A TRIUNE
The two new concepts will function alongside each other as follows: drawn from the pool of ‘senior partners’ (former freelance professionals/consultancies), “ONE PLANET” will be run by a shared, rotating triune. Watch this space….

Alec Taylor
November, 2021

There’s a lot Already Visible, if you Look Around #49 #cong20

Synopsis:

 Discussing new ideas is a very vital process for us all to take part in.  But, so is the search for living examples of Society 3.0 already taking shape.  Spreading the word is equally important.  Democracy and political parties need your support, so  please: DEFEND DEMOCRACY – GET INVOLVED!

Total Words

830

Reading Time in Minutes

3

Key Takeaways:

  1. Vienna is working-example of a 3.0 city
  2. Profit should not automatically be the primary motive in every project
  3. Social Democracy needs a fresh vision and impulse
  4. Start searching for those already experimenting with Society 3.0

About Alec Taylor:

 After a career in Radio and TV in Germany and in the UK, I set up a Communication Skills and Creativity training company.  I now work part-time as an individual  consultant, coach and trainer, in English and German. Currently I am working on a coaching-session to help those wanting to make a more professional impact online.

Contacting Alec Taylor:

You can contact Alec by email.

By Alec Taylor

A civic example of a form of “SOCIETY 3.0” exists already in our present world.  I am talking about the city of Vienna, the Austrian capital (and for centuries the heart of an empire encompassing a large part of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe.)  For the last 101 years the city has been run, planned, extended and maintained by Social Democrats – less of course the War years.

In recent years, it has been rated several times as the “best city in the World to live in”.

I can confirm that personally.  I have had the privilege of living there for a total of 25 years.  During that time, as a result of being a Media Trainer (something of a novelty in Austria back then), I gained access to most of the leading institutions at the highest level.  Back in the 90’s. this allowed me to observe the workings of its political and institutional systems close up, to see from the inside why it is that Vienna has gained its enviable reputation.  To sum up what I concluded, I would quote the title of Mary Robinson’s autobiography “Everybody Matters”.

Two Christmases in a row, I worked as a volunteer at a hostel for homeless women and witnessed at first hand how this is put into practice.

A month ago, Vienna’s Social Democrats won the local election again – not outright.  They will need a junior coalition partner but their dominance will remain.  Because of their long hold on power, it is sometimes the Junior partner who comes up with the “Society 3.0” idea.  For example,  a few years back the city’s impressive public transport system was extended and a new yearly tariff was being set.  As it was now a larger system with an investment to be re-couped, most voices  in the City Hall said the annual fee should go up to say € 350 (from €300).  However it was a Green politician (representing their then junior coalition partner) in the meeting who said “No, we should lower the price to make it more attractive, to get more people using it!”

She won the argument, the annual fee  was dropped to €250……and guess what?…..more people than ever before started using the ‘new’ public transport system and the net income for the local government was well above what had been budgeted.  Daring and counter-intuitive, but it worked.

I haven’t read Yanis Varouvakis’s new book “ANOTHER NOW” in which – in which as a reviewer says – “the economist Varouvakis imagines a future transformed by Covid-19 and sketches a daring vision of democratic socialism.”  However, I do intend to watch a Webinar next Monday evening organized by the GUARDIAN with a summary from him of what he says in the book.

Regarding Varouvakis, it’s interesting to note his close link to PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL.  To quote directly from their website:

“In December 2018, the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) and the Sanders Institute issued an open call to all progressive forces to form a common front.

“It is time for progressives of the world to unite.”

Progressive International takes up that call. We unite, organise, and mobilise progressive forces behind a shared vision of a world transformed.”

To finish, I’d like to draw attention to another new movement seeking to act in this spirit.  They call themselves the “ZEBRAS UNITE COOP ”– their vision is “Entrepreneurship that serves everyone”.  They see themselves as the direct opposite of the so-called ‘Unicorns’.

…and I’d like to mention an author, innovator and changemaker  (in all matters to do with social welfare).  Her name is Hilary Cottam, based in London.  She has developed design-led approaches to Public Service Reform.  For example, in 2006, Hilary started Participle a ten-year experiment to develop new models of welfare in collaboration with communities and local government across Britain.

In conclusion, the many attempts to create a SOCIETY 3.0 already underway get little publicity and that needs addressing.

Ideas for Sale #31 #cong18

Synopsis:

Some of us don’t know when to stop, when tempted to give life to yet another enticing idea.  We ignore the fact that above our heads are enough spinning plates on sticks already.  So, we end up with more than we can cope with.  We watch in deperation as some of the plates begin to wobble.

Passing on each plate (like a baton to a relay-runner who stretches out an upturned hand) is what we dream of.

Is there a way to “sell ideas”, to hand them over, to ensure a legacy we can proudly leave behind?

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. It ain’t easy to restrict our creativity, to focus.
  2. There may be no such thing as a “successful handover” of one of our ideas to someone else
  3. Waiting to be rescued (from a surfeit of good ideas) is not to be recommended
  4. ‘Licensing’ may be the only viable means of ensuring our tried and tested innovations have an impact – out there in the world as well as in our bank accounts

About Alec Taylor:

Alec has emigrated five times from his native Ireland.  He currently splits his time between a house in the north of Portugal and a flat in Vienna.

He has worked in Radio, TV, Corporate Video, Now he concentrates on Coaching/Training/Consultancy in Communication Skills and Creativity, mainly in Europe.  He works in the private and public sectors, with NGOs and politicians.

He believes we are all multi-talented and can benefit hugely by igniting our hidden talents. He also believes we need – all of us, now more than ever – to become politicians in our own way, to hold communities together rather than let them be divided, to close the wealth gap (not allow it to be widened further), to actively promote and spread the practice of open, inclusive democracy.

Contacting Alec Taylor:

You can contact Alec by email or view his work on AlecTaylor.

By Alec Taylor.

Welcome to my greenhouse.  All the potted plants you see around me represent ideas that have grown from a seed. The plants are healthy.  I keep them watered.  They’re already through R&D.  The trouble is that they will soon outgrow the pots they’re in, or they will shrivel and die.

That’s the challenge for those of us who – in our sixties and seventies – were flooded with ideas that beguiled us, sat outside the door and wailed at us until we let them in, seduced us in their boudoir of delights until we embraced them.  It was heady stuff.

Now, we’re stuck with them which is less heady, but deeply satisfying nonetheless.  The challenge is to engage a younger generation, to entice them into the greenhouse.  To leave behind a legacy.

On a personal note, for some of us, these ideas represented candles in the darkness.  We kept lighting them to balance the sadness and the isolation.  It turns out that trauma can be a potent fertilizer of ideas which, in turn, provide a powerful therapy.

Every idea starts as a vision of what could be.  Sometimes, I call it ‘the prize’.  It’s visible, a scene in a movie.  There’s nothing more thrilling.  It’s not quite an hallucination. Unreal and real at the same time.  Graspable.

In my greenhouse there are nine potted plants right now.  Ten if you count the networking event called “K18” (bringing together people from as many different sectors as possible and running innovation workshops in between the chat, amidst the food and the drink, in a basement in Vienna’s 18thdistrict).

Three earn money, good money, already:

  • a training, coaching and consultancy company called “Alec Taylor Learning” (offering Communication Skills and Creativity),
  • a video-production company called “Memoirs On Camera” (personal and corporate video-memoirs as well as knowledge- transfer memoirs),
  • a property-marketing website called “Hidden Sunshine” (‘online dating’ for property-owners and prospective buyers).

Two years ago, another project called “Field-grey and Khaki” almost shot through the roof of the greenhouse when a leading person in the Film and TV industry in London asked me: “Have you got the next seven years of your life to devote to this?  We want to see a movie made about this German man who served in the Kaiser’s army in WW1 and the British army in WW2.”  The leading person’s subsequent ill health sadly left this plant in its pot, waiting to be discovered all over again.  That’s showbiz.

What would I do if I won the lottery? I know what I’d do.  I’d take the potted plants out of the greenhouse, find a building and call it THE IGNITION INSTITUTE.  I’d fill it with multi-talented people and give them each a potted plant to tend, to grow.  I’d turn up from time time and sit around….until someone came over and asked for advice about getting the best out of the plant in their particular pot. I’d be glad to help them.