2014: Good to Great

2013 was good. 2014 is going to be great.

Whether you liked the book “Good to Great” or not, I’m not starting the new year by plagiarising Jim Collins, but presenting you with a couple of questions that I’ve asked myself recently.

What good things do you want to make great? How will you do it?

Stop, Start, Continue

With the new year comes the opportunity to stop, start and continue.

Stop doing things that may be taking away our time or energy from areas we want to really focus on.

Start doing new things that may allow us to grow into the people we want to be.

Continue to behave, act and move in a direction that lifts us from the good morass of mediocrity into the stratosphere of greatness.

Me, Myself, I…….You, Yourself, You……..They, Themselves, Them

I’m passionate about helping others achieve greatness through the facilitation of learning and development activities, and my goal this year is to help two thousand people move from good to great. What is your goal?

Good, Great and  the ‘Flow’ Zone

What does “Good” look like and what will “Great” be………everybody is different. Each situation will have challenges and opportunities for connection, with the final goal being a higher level of awareness and confidence to sustain any changes to skills or knowledge obtained from my efforts. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives, and I aim to be more creative in using my ‘flow’ to help others becoming more motivated through learning and communication.

What is Flow? I’ll let the expert explain it himself (Link to TED Talk below)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

Mentors: No Mayonnaise in Ireland

I remember reading a Readers Digest article many years ago about everyday phrases that were sometimes misheard. The author described how his friend interpreted “No mayonnaise in Ireland” from the phrase “No man is an island” and proceeded to deliberate on why the Irish people were missing out on the global salad dressing phenomenon that was a kitchen staple in most western households.

Using this as a basis, I’ll be seeking to connect with other similar professionals for coaching and mentoring opportunities, to give and receive help, guidance and support. If you are looking for a mentor, here are a couple of links for Australian L & D professionals to connect with likeminded individuals who may be able to help you make your facilitation salad a little tastier.



Facilitation & Presentation: Good To Great

For my facilitation ilk, here are a couple of links for you to peruse to start you on the journey from good to great facilitation. I’m sure there are many more, and consider these the as only two steps on your 2014 journey.



These are some of my ‘action items’ for 2014 and if you are interested in connecting for facilitation and professional development opportunities please feel free to get in touch by clicking on the image below.


Good luck for 2014. It’s going to be a great year!

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‘Help Me Help You’

Ever had a conversation that left you thinking differently about something you assumed was true?

A colleague and I were speaking recently about Movie Quotes which progressed eventually to Jerry Maguire, then Sports Agents and eventually the conversation moved toward networking. I asked him to sum networking up in one word and he said ‘parasite’. He asked me and I said ‘service’.

Like every robust debate, there were varying perspectives on the concept. My colleague considered networking as people in windowless rooms handing people contact details and business cards for the express purpose of getting some kind of financial gain and was surprised when I disagreed.

I told my colleague I see networking as the opportunity to meet interesting people, establish authentic connections, and grow together. I believe networking gives us the opportunity to help other people grow. The positive ripple effects of networking are numerous and positive, but I did not see them as the primary reason for networking.

I heard it said once that there are should be no receipts or unspoken IOU’s hidden away in the verbal contracts of our everyday actions. Sometimes we should just do something because it is nice to do nice things for others. Be authentic. This echoed well with me through many years as a reminder that there are other perspectives to the timely adage ‘when something is too good to be true, it usually is’ and that we are not alone in wanting to help others.

There is strength in passionately doing what you believe, even if it goes against the grain.

Blog Be Different

My colleague argued that his inner cynic is always scanning for the hidden agenda, and disputed the idea there are people who have the ability and agency to do good things for others with no expectation of reciprocity. I agreed that he had merit in saying that we should not blindly accept every good deed as its own situation, and to walk the path of trust and caution – accepting that some people still connect with each other without the problem of hidden agendas.

We parted ways with a mutual insight and a stronger connection. He left with an open mind to possibly entertaining the idea that networking as a concept is not a problem, but a solution, and his doubts were based on the different purposes people undertake networking.


I left with an open mind to entertaining the idea that I need to show more people the importance of authentic networking that doesn’t carry an agenda of ‘show me the money’

SWGLearning: Connecting

This week I am

  • Connecting with people in my L & D network to redefine their business strategies
  • Connecting with businesses to design induction pathways and facilitate workshops for new employees
  • Connecting former banking colleagues and future executive coaches from a career management company workshop to finalise career development
  • Connecting colleagues in the legal industry with other network contacts for family-friendly employment and work experience opportunities
  • Connecting other colleagues with banking contacts for life solutions on loans, life insurance, and investment planning
  • Connecting somebody in pharmaceuticals with somebody from the aviation industry to explore a career change.
  • Connecting with professionals from IT and Hospitality industries for coaching around recruitment and selection techniques.

I’d like to see how many more people I can connect with to ‘help me help them’ in the next week, the next month, the next year.


Closing Query:  Share your thoughts (and solutions) on this question:

What mental barriers or belief systems prevent us from being able to connect with other people if we all possess the potential ability to do so?

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In The Beginning

The Case of the Unblogging Blogger

I’ve always known my purpose. I am passionate about helping other people.

Blogs are a great way to connect and express common passions with others, which in my world is the gift of learning and communication. As an active member and contributor to blogs, forums and other professional networks I was paying it forward……..or was I?

Professional colleagues asked me why I hadn’t started the blog for SWG Learning yet and I came up with quite a few legitimate excuses , deny/blame/justify, reasons:

(see how many you have used)

  • I’m an employee: I’m too busy, work is crazy….or some other variation involving the concepts of underesourced/overworked/time poor
  • I’m a travelling professional: Traveling too much at the moment/My hotels don’t have Wi-Fi/I have First World Problems
  • I’m a creative procrastinator: The instant gratification monkey* has grabbed me

Instant Gratification Monkey

  • I’m a parent: I’ve got school activities on during the week
  • I’m married: I’ve got social activities on during the weekend
  • I’m a pet-owner: My dog ate my computer/My computer ate my dog
  • I’m unlucky: I broke both my arms (which I actually did in 2012, not exactly a bucket list item)

In the limbic court of subconscious decision-making, I can hear the prosecutor of personal beliefs and values challenge the defence attorney of rationalization.

“Objection your honour!…….The evidence presented is circumstantial at best”

To which the court judge has replied: “Sustained”

The prosecutor presented Simon Sinek’s mantra of “Start with Why”…….noting that Why is not about making money. There is a higher purpose for each of us.

Start WIth Why TEDx Talk

The defence had no rebuttal and the case was won.

Here is the blog now, finally and as I move forward helping others to grow and learn, I look forward to learning and growing with them too.

SWG Learning Update: November 2013

I’m currently consulting with businesses to improve their planning strategy and also developing induction programs for sales based organisations here in Queensland. Additionally I’m engaging in some MOOCs to design and build some learning pathways that have been back of mind recently. Finally, I’m having a Twitter meet and greet with other L&D specialists to enrich my PLN. Next steps are to catch up with IAF and ILP colleagues and also put together some packages for Graphic Recording.

On a personal note, I’ve done some graphic recording for my wife’s company, and here is a link from the amazing people at RSA Animate showing how graphic recording can work.

I’ve introduced my six year old son to non-classroom learning via the vsauce channel on Youtube which focus on concepts of “How Do Things Work” and “What If…….”.

His post-video reactions and our talks on amazing topics such as ‘why people get bored’, ‘firing a gun in space’ and the ‘hottest thing in the universe’ are great reminder of the pure joy that learning brings.

Watch this space and join me on the journey.

Posted in November 2013 | Leave a comment