How to use Collective Inquiry to take effective action

Collective Inquiry is the name I use for the process to help people manage complex challenges and identify practical actions they can apply to either resolve or lessen the impact of the challenge.

The process enables the collective wisdom of the participants to be surfaced, which builds trust and facilitates ownership of the eventual actions. Please give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments.

Collective Inquiry is summarised in the following seven steps, each of which are explained in more detail, below:

  1. Get the “right” people in the room
  2. Identify existing challenges and select the one that will create the most significant benefit if resolved or lessened
  3. Consider why the challenge exists
  4. Consider “what if...” scenarios and select the one that will have the most significant positive effect on the challenge
  5. Identify how you will bring your preferred “what if…” scenario to life
  6. Identify actions
  7. Take action

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A counterintuitive plan for 2022

There are many names for what is described as The Great Resignation.

Michele Hunt from DreamMakers.Org calls it The Great Soul Searching. Employees are asking, “Is this organisation worthy of my commitment?” When the answer is, “No”, they are leaving (up to 50% of these folk are doing so even if they don’t have a job to go to). A record 3.98 million Americans per month quit their jobs in 2021, up from the previous record of 3.5 million per month in 2019. This figure does not include redundancies or people “sacked” from their job, and many other countries are experiencing a similar phenomenon.

 

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Why do we continue to use the term, “human resources”?

Why, in 2022, do we continue to accept the terms “human resources”, “human capital” and “human assets”? The last time I checked, we are all human beings.

You may say, “They are only words and aren’t you getting a little too politically correct!” The fact is, words have meanings.

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2020 – The fork in the road: make it count

In 2004 actor Ewen McGregor and TV presenter Charlie Boorman created a tv series called Long Way Round, where they rode motorbikes from London to New York, covering more than 31,000 kilometres in the process.

Half-way through the trip, they were in Mongolia. Riding conditions had become extremely difficult and one of their support vehicles was involved in a serious crash where, thankfully, the crew only sustained minor injuries. They had a decision to make. Do we turn left and escape Mongolia for better roads in Russia, or do we proceed as planned? They literally faced a fork in the road and made a decision that would change Ewen McGregor’s life, forever.

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Why pragmatic optimism matters

This is my 93yo mother. She lives in an aged care facility in Melbourne, Australia. We are currently in lockdown. This is only her 4th home she has ever lived in. She raised 11 children and has over 45 grand, great-grand and great-great-grandchildren.

Throughout her life, she has served her church, our schools, our sporting clubs, scouts and other community organisations. And she never drove a car. Last week, she was asked if she would give up her room, her home so that the centre could create an isolation unit should COVID19 enter the facility. She loves her current room, her home.

Please read more if you’d like to discover what she did.

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You’re not going to like this message – go deep!

Over the past two days, I have invested 91 minutes watching Simon Sinek’s YouTube video “The Infinite Game: How to Lead in the 21st Century”. In truth, I have spent more than 91 minutes. I have paused the video, replayed parts, taken notes and asked questions.

I have already read the book. Twice. Given I am extremely busy with my clients and raising my five children in challenging times, why would I invest this time?

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The true value of the move to working from home

Within a matter of days, millions of workers transitioned from on-site offices to working from home. In many instances, people overcame extraordinary obstacles to be able to continue to contribute to their organisation. It’s time we paused and recognised the value of that effort by so many people.

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Enabling organisations to be worthy of the commitment of employees