Margot Cairnes Blog

Jun

20

2013

The challenge of reinventing ourselves

As our world gets smaller and as the balance of power shifts from Europe and the US to India and China we find ourselves needing to learn and accept more about our cultures that might seem foreign to our own. Culture is such a subtle and unique thing. What is acceptable in one culture can be insulting in another. I have been advised in Asia…

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Jun

17

2013

Don’t dismiss radical view of capitalism

 Eisenstein in his book Sacred Capitalism argues that, because we have an economic system based on money, our labour, relationships, emotions and even our spirits have become commoditised. For example, he suggests that if we as members of a community engage in a working bee for the local school, we value each other and the gifts of time and effort we offer. However, if we…

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Jun

12

2013

Harnessing the power of free conversation

Steven Johnson in his TED Talk “Where good ideas come from” tells us the coffee house changed history. Prior to the advent of the British coffee house, alcohol was the healthy drink of choice. As water was contaminated, people had beer for breakfast, wine for lunch and gin for dinner. This meant that most of the time, people were drunk. With the importation of coffee…

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Jun

9

2013

Top down alcohol and drug testing

    Drug and alcohol testing is now a normal part of life at many industrial sites. Employers (from the board down) don’t want to be held responsible for the repercussions of an industrial accident. Noting there is a link between people being affected by drugs and alcohol and industrial safety, organisations are putting into place precautions to save people (and companies) from their detrimental…

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Jun

5

2013

Art of transformation

At a recent lecture, Dr Jennifer Garvey Berger explained that the difference between change and transformation was that change is learning information that fits into your current world view. Transformation is learning to change the form of what you know so as to open up a new world view. Change is learning as you know it-transformation is changing your habits of mind. She highlighted 3…

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Jun

3

2013

Why verbal abuse is bad for business

In her book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”,Patricia Evans tells us that the abuser and the abused come from quite different realities. Reality I, that of the abuser, is a “power over reality” from which the abuser seeks to gain control and dominance over the other. The “power over reality” mostly stems from a toxic childhood where power was exerted over the infant to be and…

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May

31

2013

You can have it all

Over one year has passed since 1000 people occupied Wall Street in September 2011-several hundred staying for days. This simple protest led to a chain reaction around the globe with tens of thousands of people on every continent occupying local business districts. In Australia we had 3000 in Sydney and 4000 in Melbourne. Like the canary in the mine that served as an early warning…

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May

30

2013

What is change?

What is change? Organisational change used to be about implementing something new (an IT system for example) or restructuring (up-sizing, downsizing or reorganising the organisational components) or “changing a culture” (which seems to mean very different things to different people). All of these changes are incremental changes. They can be defined and dealt with as tame problems(ie we know where we are starting, we know…

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May

21

2013

The advantage of doing nothing

During my MBA I learnt that if you get results you will be rewarded. I expected that when I helped companies become world leaders, people would come to me and ask how I did it-wrong. All too often I saw that when a leader performed two or three times better than his or her peers-a huge range of political forces where turned against that leader….

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May

20

2013

The Empathy Deficit

Two Australian women are producing a “social change film” on empathy. The idea for the film ‘Stand in my shoes’ came about when Viv Somers and Anna Reeves did research that indicated as a society we are becoming ever less empathetic. Barak Obama called it an “empathy deficit”. We just don’t care enough about each other. Sociologists tell us that the success or failure of…

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