Setting an intent: 2021

Chanctonbury ring from stopham

This is my check in with myself for the year.  It links to other stuff that I do/write in this annual week of reflection / intention setting and cupboard sorting. You can see last years post here and if you interested here is the one from 2019.

How did 2020 go?

Mmmmm…..dare I say unprecedented?  Looking back over what I wrote this time last year I am struck by what has stuck and what has been completely blown out of the water by events in the wider world.  It’s difficult not to look at this year with respect to the small bit of it before Covid and then the rest of the year.  It’s wrapped up in a lot of change for me personally as I changed jobs in the middle of it all. This is an inner world not a wider world post but the interplay between the two feels important.

Looking back, a lot of the things that I need to thrive personally, a theme from last year, are now present for me.  The absence of the commute is still a daily joy and the fact I have been able to spend more time outside, do more exercise and spend time locally is something I wanted so much that I do feel rather sheepish – until I realise that more of this change is down to my change of role rather than simply a Covid lifestyle bonus.  Overall I do feel a better sense of balance and that not just about work/life stuff – it also feels very right to be be doing the work I am doing now with the people I am working with and that brings its own sense of balance and rightness.  I feel very very privileged.

There are two habits, reading and writing, which are still not where I want them to be.  The 500 words was actually going well but ironically less easy without the commute as that was my time boxed time for it.  I’ll pick that up this year.  The reading is actually better but clearly I didn’t do the monthly book write up that I intended to hold me to that one – but I will try and pick this up.  I usually think that these intentions have a bit of a half life and if you haven’t managed them you need to reflect on why – but with these I will give them another go as they are important to me and seem like a puzzle worth solving.

I also looked back at the thinking/practice work I did last year with respect to leadership – this has taken a significant bit of energy over the last year as I shifted roles and while I am am aware of change and development its really brought home to me how leadership must be seen as a craft to be practiced and not a skill to be learned – you have to use your skills to make sure they don’t atrophy.

Lots to report on the actual meat of the year with respect to democratic systems – will pick that up in other posts.

I still haven’t finish that sock….but I have done a lot of things I am not good at in the craft department so the intention was met!

What about 2021

As I sat down to think about this year I was drawn to a need to explore the relationships between creation, production and consumption.  This is, I think, rooted in two things;  a increased focus on a belief in a need for regenerative systems and also thinking about the relationship between how you (and the system you are in) can thrive and the abundance needed to make that happen.  This is just a thumbnail but the kinds of questions here are about the focus of time, how we shift that balance in a system wide way away from consumption and how we at the same time avoid creating a system full of noise.  I’ve attempted to put some early thoughts down in this here but spoiler alert I am looking for a wider definition of consumption that the industrial economic model.

I also want this year to be about the intersection of theory and practice.  I am in the rare and privileged position of being able to take action on a lot of the things I have read, written and thought about and I don’t want to waste this.

Leadership will again be a focus for me – it would feel wrong for that not to be the case given what I do.  I want to work on some specific areas and polarities this year which I will pick up in separate posts:

  • How to make sure I show up for the team when I can’t actually show up a lot of this lockdown time
  • The tension between overt and covert power
  • The different roles for hierarchical and networked power
  • How to be a system leader when lots of people don’t actually know they are in a system

As previously trailed those old favourites the 500 words a day and more reading will ride the intention train again – but to be more specific I am going to try and use the extra time I get in the morning not to Do Work but instead to work on these things.  This will involve a return to the mindful diary which is has still not been achieved

I want to spend time on my wider network.  Its easy to get consumed by the main system you are part of – but so much richness comes from without it so I want to be out on the world as well at least virtually.

And finishing that sock of course…..

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