Building the Courage to Change

There is no doubt we are in the midst of one of the most challenging, complex and confusing times in recorded history. Regardless of the size or nature of our roles, what used to work either no longer works or works differently than it used to. Predictability is virtually non-existent. We must change to adapt to new technology, regulations, customer expectations and external pressures. Some are global in nature, such as 9/11, an increase in terrorist attacks, natural disasters, BREXIT, etc.

Then add into the mix “closer to home” issues such as racial tension and violence in the U.S., increases in gun violence and pending elections of one sort or another.

In Canada we are influenced directly or indirectly by these, as well as our own issues locally with poverty, housing affordability and homelessness, inadequate mental health care and environmental concerns. As if this isn’t enough, throw in business challenges that include changes in markets, customer base, business systems, software, corporate politics and succession planning—and let’s not even mention changes in one’s personal life. WHEW!!!

Most of us would not willingly choose to work in the context of these circumstances. However, we must. This puts an incredible strain on all of us–professionals, staff and family alike.

There are literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of books written on how to be effective and fulfilled, each offering some very useful advice on how to build the personal skills necessary to work with others. The focus of this presentation is on what I believe is one of the most critical of these personal traits—courage. There is little written specifically on this topic, so the purpose of our time together is to examine courage in depth and explore the areas where exercising personal courage in the midst of this multitude of changes will have the greatest potential impact.

What is courage? When and why do we exercise it? What conditions are required for us to act courageously? How does courage provide a foundation for our curiosity, creativity and commitment? How can we encourage others to act with courage, too? These questions and others will be part of our exploration. There are no “right answers”, however there will be plenty of “possible answers”. Come prepared to engage, explore and enjoy in this highly interactive and excitingly personal session.

And for Something Entirely Different…

You Learn Faster if You’re Willing to Blow It:
Reflections of a Nosefluting Troubadour!
David Gouthro Noseflute
Nosefluting Troubadour

You can learn without growing but you can’t grow without learning. Simply Put: For any person or organization wishing to grow, learning is not an option. Obvious? Perhaps. Easy? Definitely not! If so, everyone would be learning as much and as fast as possible – yet this is not the case. Adults are paid a premium for “knowing” whereas “learning” is something done in one’s spare time and is rarely encouraged or supported. So what’s holding everybody back? In this topic we explore and explode one of the main barriers to learning: our unwillingness to “blow it” through a desire to save face, either publicly or privately. This highly engaging (and marginally musical) presentation invokes the noseflute as a unique metaphor, reminding and encouraging us to get back in touch with our joy of learning. Let’s “blow it” faster and seize the gifts and opportunities that mistakes offer us!

Membership in the Vancouver Noseflute Ensemble is optional (yet encouraged!) for graduating participants of every Nosefluting session. Hmmmmm!

Fun Without Guilt: Putting Joy Back in Your Work!

So, are you having fun or are you getting your work done? Wait! Don’t answer – it’s a trap! It’s not one or the other and don’t be tricked into thinking it is! An unfortunate consequence of our productivity-driven society is the myth that “if you’re having a good time, you can’t be doing much of value”. Given the choice of working with someone who is effective, efficient and having fun over someone who is effective, efficient and miserable, with whom would YOU rather work? This fast-paced exploration of having fun at work bursts through some of the barriers that prevent us from enjoying ourselves while keeping our organizations happy (sorry, make that productive ….. or profitable)!