Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Better Late than Not #EdBlogNZ Challenge #1

I am a bit late coming to the #EdBlogNZ Challenge.  In my own defense, I have been busy.  Firstly, on holiday where I was tech free for 8 days (both a gift and a curse, but more about that another time) however, it meant I missed the whole challenge and only stumbled upon it by pure accident, and secondly, it is the first week of school after summer break and it has been pretty full.  Although it is now February, I thought I would do the January challenge around goals and plans for the year anyway.  After all, it is always better to start late than not to start at all. 

I am a very goal orientated person at the best of times, quite possibly because I may (emphasis on MAY) be a bit of a control freak, and setting goals, having plans and thinking about the ‘where to next’ helps me keep a lid on some of the many things that I am juggling!  It is interesting to note that when things get a little unbalanced it is usually because one of the ‘lids’ has come loose and the associated spirals of disorganization are having a field day!   In saying that, there is nothing wrong with a bit of spontaneity and frivolity in our lives, but like anything, that too needs to be balanced in order for me to operate with a semblance of sanity.

For 2016, my three key words are Innovation Collaboration, and Growth.  Interwoven through these is the word Balance.  The fact there are three words (technically four) and not one, means I have failed the #oneword2016 mandate, but as I have not ever been known for taking the easy or well-worn path by blindly following what everyone else is doing, I see this as my take on the challenge!

To best understand these three words, I created a quick infographic, posted above.  

However, the following is a summary of what they stand for.   


If you are a regular reader (if you are not you should be, so feel free to subscribe so you do not miss out) you will know that I am a lover of innovation.  It stands to reason that this year I will continue to support my staff to explore new roads, and new possibilities.  In many respects, I will be taking a leaf out of the Agile leadership handbook by making sure I provide the space, resources and time for people to innovate.  You can read more on Innovation here, and here


We all know the benefits of a collaborative environment, and this year I want to keep on supporting my team (and myself) to collaborate.  For myself, it is about utilising the networks I am involved with - globally and locally, digital and face to face, to benefit both my own development but also to contribute to the wider network.   It will be about looking out for opportunities to connect and to collaborate.   You can read more on Collaboration and Innovation here


Satisfaction and success comes when we grow.  Growing our staff is one of the key steps we have for continuous and ongoing improvement at our place, but it is much more than just that for me this year.  Naturally I am very committed to working alongside my team to help them find opportunities to grow, and coaching is one of the most powerful tools we have to assist this.  2016 will be about supporting more staff to be successful coaches, but it will also be about my own growth as a leader, professional and as a person.  I am by no means perfect, and each year I strive to be a little better than the one before.  Fortunately I still have plenty of scope for growth in this area, and like many others,  I am a 'work in progress'.  Growth will be about softening the hard edges, watching the 'off the cuff' moments and strengthening the interpersonal skills.  A little bit of navel gazing probably won't go amiss either! Professionally, I am enjoying the challenge that comes with the Postgraduate work with Mindlab, and I am looking forward to seeing my growth as a result.  It is also an amazing opportunity to strengthen the goals I have for Innovation and Collaboration as well.  You can read my thoughts on Mindlab and growing as a professional here


None of the three words above have any hope of fruition without balance.  My own wellbeing - professional, personal and physical will fail if I am not cognisant of the importance of balance.   It is very true, that old adage that first you must look after yourself, if you are to be of use to anyone else.  Myself, my family and the people I work with deserve me to be the best me I can be.  With that in mind, time to wrap up this post.  

So, three key words with the overarching goal of balance, are my areas of focus.  Of course,  there are smaller things, projects and passions that I will be tackling, but these will also be from under the above umbrella.  

What is your 2016 focus areas?  Do any of these resonate with you?  What are your thoughts?

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