>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

2008 and all that…

Posted: 22 Dec 2008 07:15 AM CST

2008 turned out to be quite a year.

What I find striking is what we learn about the different ways we choose to deal with crises.

On the one hand we have the climate and environmental crisis. Awareness has grown over decades, but it was in 2007/8 that it really became a mainstream issue.

On the other hand we have the economic crisis. The warning signs were definitely there in summer 2007, but it did not really hit until last September.

For those who have been aware of the environmental crisis for some time, mainstream response has been achingly slow and politically charged. In fact is is taking a generational change of political leadership in the UK and the US for any really significant response, and even that is not really dramatic yet.

The response to the economic crisis has, by contrast been dramatically swift, largely apolitical and substantial, with trillions of dollars being pumped into the system. Some of it propping up businesses and business models that are beyond their prime.

The irony of this difference is that while both crises threaten our lifestyle, political stability and will cause suffering; the financial crisis only exists in the entirely artificial world of economics, where the environmental crisis threatens the ability of our only planet to sustain life.

It is tempting to wonder if the economic crisis would have happened at all if governments had pumped some of those trillions into innovation in green technologies (and maintained stricter regulatory vigilance over financial systems) over the last five years.

Last week in Mallorca we had 48 hours of solid rain. Between 3 and 4pm on Monday the rain turned to hail in Biblical quantities. Over the course of 48 hours around 240 litres rain fell per square meter. Three years of average rainfall in two days! The climate has changed. You can see the video of what this did to the road to our house on my web site.

Crises are inevitable it is our response to them that defines our lives and our future.

The first phase involves becoming aware that something is going on and that it could be a problem.

The second phase is denial. On the whole if it is a crisis, the longer we deny that it is, the worse it will get, until we figure out what is going on.

The third phase is acceptance – that it is a crisis.

The fourth phase is confusion, panic or fear – with practice this can be quite short.

The fifth phase is deciding to act and seeing the opportunity.

The sixth is is planning.

The seventh is action, change and innovation.

If we make the right choices we transcend the crisis and move on to the next level. If not, in most cases we get another try or in the worst cases we don’t.

This process happens every day at different scales throughout our lives.

The really clever way to live is preemptively. If we can be sufficiently in tune with what is going on, we can read the signs and take the decisions before the crisis.

The reason that we don’t is that we get into a comfort zone where we feel that change might inhibit our ability to enjoy the comfort. We can also choose to be grumpy or gracious about the changes that occur.

The lesson of the crisis is to stay focussed. Learn to listen to the subtle signs and trust what you hear – even if it might involve some challenge or change, and keep learning, moving and stretching.

Let us take a little time over these Christmas holidays to really think proactively about how we want our year to be next year. How we want our work to be, how we want our relationships to be and how we want our businesses to be. Then in 2009, let’s set about making it so.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to a proactive, innovative and rewarding New Year.

If you want help with creating a culture of innovation for yourself or your business Authenticis can offer low carbon and low cost training programs for teams using phone conference based sessions without the need for everyone to travel and stay in hotels lets have a chat.

I am now doing more frequent and much shorter bursts of inspiration on Twitter – you can join in here www.neilcrofts.com

With love

nx

Neil Crofts
Inspirer
authenticis
inspiration innovation motivation

+44 (0)7775 658534
neil@authenticis.com
www.authenticis.com

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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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