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Community-based protocol in Business

On a recent trip to Hawaii I became part of a new, diverse community; one that bonded over a shared interest and experience – the Molokai Hula Bliss and Huaka’i 2018.

It got me thinking…What makes a community? Why is community important? How can business benefit from community-based protocol?

What makes a community?

A community is built on relationships and can naturally form from one or many of the following ways:

  • Shared location – a city, a neighbourhood, a country e.g. I was born in Adelaide
  • Shared attribute – “I am _____” e.g. I am female or I am vegetarian
  • Shared lineage – birth, marriage or choice e.g. I am Australian, Scottish and German
  • Shared interest or passion -“I like _____” e.g. I like dancing or I like travelling
  • Shared action or practice – “”I do ______” e.g. I participate in social change conversations or I practice Change Management

But what makes a community?

In my experience, it’s commitment; and the level of commitment to sharing and to one another is what determines the strength and impact of that community.

In Hawaii, we made a commitment to not only learn but experience the traditional Hawaiian teachings and Aloha way of life and, in turn, we learnt about ourselves and each other.

Why is community important?

A community provides an opportunity for people to connect and belong. It’s also the mechanism for creating social norms. A community of action or practice, with a high level of commitment, even has the ability to develop self-managing and sustainable systems that enable us to keep working together towards a collective vision or goal.

In Hawaii, I connected with people from around Australia and the world. We developed a sense of belonging through a shared experience “We’ll always have Molokai!”.

At the beginning, we were given a set of simple rules – e.g. be on time. Throughout our experience, however, a set of social norms also started to develop, sourced from our own personal culture and from the teachings we were rediscovering. What I came to know, through this (and past) experience, was the importance of the following principles:

  • Invitation and Consent – from inviting someone into our personal head or heart space to inviting someone onto the land, our home or office. Upon entering, the act of checking in and asking for agreement; which in Hawaii could mean a specific chant or hymn. And upon leaving, giving thanks. Always showing respect for ourselves, one another and our surroundings.
  • Responsibility and Trust – taking ownership of our own contribution, actions, reactions and responses. It’s about creating a safe and secure environment, being reliable, keeping each other accountable and considering the needs of the group; knowing when it’s time to fill up our own cup so that it’s over flowing and we are able to contribute for the benefit of others.
  • Nature and Nurture – understanding the nature within us and the nature that surrounds us. Demonstrating care and compassion to what is and how this can grow or be destroyed – dependent upon our thoughts and actions and our ability to balance the needs of the people and the sustainability of natural resources.

As a group, we operated by a roster system that outlined what needed to be done, when and by who. The lesson here was to let go of control, remain flexible and trust the natural order of things to emerge and evolve. Inevitably circumstances and challenges present themselves that forces a change, and when you are in it together, committed, and following these three principles, emergence takes place and transformation occurs.

How can business benefit from community-based protocol?

A community has the power to

  • Cultivate respect and team effectiveness
  • Encourage contribution and participation, without force or control
  • Inspire ideas and innovation, without self-orientation
  • Support one another through challenging times and share the success

In business, we can benefit from community-based protocol. We are a community, after all! And it’s the elements of a community that I consider when applying the Triple S Planning© model:

  • Strategy – a focus point established by a shared or collective purpose, vision or goal
  • Synergy – the level of cohesive interaction created from social norms, values and principles
  • Systems – flexible and new ways of working developed by one another with one another

 

The essential catalyst being commitment – to the collective and for the greater good.

Close your eyes and imagine a community you know. What is the commonality? Is it a good feeling with a sense of safety and strength? Or does it give you a cold sense of uncertainty? What are the guiding principles? How do you work together? What is the level of commitment?

Consider these elements and go forth to strengthen your community or your tribe – it’s what we were born to do….

Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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Why our Native Culture is Key

I recently returned from a 13-day retreat in Hawaii, on the island of Molokai. My intention was to immerse myself into the traditional Hawaiian culture and to see what happens….

In the lead up and during the retreat, I familiarised myself with the language, through learning chants and hymns that we would sing as part of protocol; I observed, listened and participated in ceremonies; I was transformed through storytelling expressed through elders sharing and the graceful practice of hula; I was moved by visiting ancient sacred sites; and I asked questions, quickly learning this was only at the appropriate time!

Words can’t explain what happened, it changed my whole worldview. Yet, here is what I can share about Hawaii and what I will take forward in my day-to-day life, both personally and professionally:

  1. Always believe in something larger than ourselves

This could be anything from a universal energy, the cosmos, the power of nature, a god, gods or goddesses, or simply the collective vision of your organisation, team or family.

Our ability to believe in something larger than ourselves can transform our world from “me” to “we” and move us into living a life of unity and gratitude ~ Mahalo Ke Akua

  1. Listen, Observe and Pray

We’ve heard it before “Seek first to understand. Then to be understood”, Stephen Covey. It’s true! I ‘re-cognised’ the true value of observation and listening, despite wanting to ask questions (which can be intrusive) and being the most talkative (which can be arrogant). I rediscovered my faith in knowing that the answers will be revealed, the great truths will be uncovered and the will and courage to speak will be received and given, at precisely the right time. ~ Pule

  1. Stay centred and laugh often

Our native culture reminds us about finding the balance between our intellect and intuition. It’s about having integrity. It’s about letting our conscious be our guide. Imagine how different our thoughts, words and behaviours would be if we operated from a place of knowing as opposed to telling. And when the going gets tough (go back to #2!) or if you simply need a smile, it’s amazing how our sense of humour can bring light and laughter back into our spirit, mind and body ~ Pono

  1. Be ready for anything

A Greek philosopher once said “The only constant in life is change”. I live and breathe change, now I have a word for it ~ Mākaukau

Most importantly, this adventure reminded me about Australia’s indigenous culture, my connection to our land and broader community, the need to apologise and forgive on behalf of ourselves and ancestors, and the insight to revere those who are brave enough to build a bridge between the old and the new.

Most surprisingly, this adventure reminded me that WE ALL have a native culture to rediscover, especially if we are to go forward, together.

A hui hou, Aloha

Mahalo nui Kumu Pa’a Lawrence Aki, Kyrian Van Vliet, Kumu Pa’a Kawika Foster, Jessica Foster, Anakala (Uncle) Pilipo Solatorio, Anake (Aunt) Diane Solatorio, Kumu Hula DJ Pelekai, Aunt Souki, Uncle Bobby Alcain, Aunt Julia Hoe, Uncle Herb Hoe, Uncle Harry Kuupio Aki, Haumana of Mana o Molokai Hawaii and Mana o Kahiko, Sue (pictured above) and all my fellow Molokai Hula Bliss and Huaka’i 2018 participants.

Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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Turning Competition into Co-operation

There’s a lot of talk about COLLABORATION but what stops us, what gets in the way?

After some personal reflection, for me, it’s probably my competitive nature!

So here’s my top 3 tips for changing a mindset and turning COMPETITION into CO-OPERATION

Tip No. 1 – BUILD TRUST AND OPENNESS

Firstly learn to trust yourself, know what you stand for and then cultivate genuine connections with those who have aligned values, visions or passions; and when you do connect, take the time to create and commit to a collective vision. This provides brightness of the future and actually supports you to remain open and flexible to others input and ideas; making it a lot easier to co-operate and co-create the unexpected.

Tip No. 2 – DEMONSTRATE ADMIRATION TOWARDS OTHERS

It’s impossible to know or be everything; and it’s really important to remember we wouldn’t be who we are without the people that surround us. Remember the story, The Wizard of Oz? The lesson here is to know and master your capability, talent or skill and at the same time admire the diversity that others offer. We each bring a unique perspective that adds value; and together you will have everything you need.

Frequent interaction and admiration towards others is uplifting and motivating and it’s a must when co-operating, especially to keep our egos in check!

Tip No. 3 – BE INNOVATIVE

Rather than thinking about the resources you have, consider the resources you can access, together. Allow yourself to think outside the box; be provokable and ask the impossible questions that propels you into problem solving and kick starts and turbo charges your creativity. Rather than saying ‘I can’t’, start the sentence with ‘what if we can’…

So when you’re building trust and openness, demonstrating admiration towards others and being innovative; co-operation happens, synergy occurs and the magic of collaboration transforms us. What you come away with is something far greater than what one person could have achieved on their own; and that’s worth collaborating for!

Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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Living Social and Spiritual – Why are we here?

Last night I had the privilege of being in the presence of one of the world’s greatest teachers. An inspirational icon and example of what it takes to live a life on purpose. A woman who follows her passion and whose every move and decision is dictated by her heart’s desire to offer up her gift to the world and to be of service to others.

Oprah, such a power house of a woman who speaks to you in many ways and at every level, left me with one defining moment that resonated at my core and that lingers with me as I wake this morning. She said (something along the lines of) ‘There is no life without a spiritual life. And by spiritual I don’t mean religious. You can be spiritual without being religious and the reverse is also true, you can be religious without being spiritual. Spiritual, in this context, is the connection you have with the spirit within you – the core of who you are’.

A famous quote to follow up her point-“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

So I ask myself these two simple, yet loaded, questions.

  1. Do I live a spiritual life?
  2. What do I do that connects me to my spirit?

I started to explore.…

  • I meditate every day to center myself and to listen to my inner voice (if only for 5 mins)
  • I practice Ashtanga yoga, to connect my body, mind and spirit (even when I’m tired or resist)
  • I dance to feel and to harness the power of music and movement (and to literally stop thinking)
  • I walk along the beach to bathe in the abundance of the ocean (and sense the bigger picture)
  • I watch movies to discover meaning and the power of story (recognising my own story)
  • I check in with myself when I need to make a decision or respond (even after I may have reacted unintentionally)
  • I hug and sit by trees to connect and honour the wisdom of the land (knowing nature has it all worked out)
  • I connect with others and travel to experience diversity and appreciate other cultures/view points (validating the different aspects of my consciousness to avoid sitting in judgement too long)
  • I surround myself with people that are aligned in values and who ask more of me (despite my moments of resentment or reluctance)
  • I follow my passion through the work that I choose to do with and for others (even in the face of uncertainty)
  • I hold an intention to add value in everything I do (in spite of a world telling me to take all that I can get)

In exploring these relatively simple questions, I discover what I need, what it is that excites me, what brings me happiness – and we all want to be happy!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the social side of life, where we want to fit in with the latest trends and fashion and where its hassle free to follow the crowd and simply do what everyone else is doing or thinks we should be doing.

But what last night’s defining moment made me realise is that in order to live a meaningful and happy life it is simply dependent on being you – the spirit of you – the best version of you. The level of happiness you experience is directly related to the connection you have with your spirit within and the choices you make every day to honour your spirit. It is our ability to bring together and be Social and Spiritual – a new way of living.

So my question to you is this…

What do you do every day that connects you to your spirit, your passion, your personal calling?

As you ponder this question, I leave you with a few of my favourite quotes from Oprah Winfrey…

“Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you’re going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.”

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

‘Turn up the volume of your life!’ – Living Social and Spiritual

Oprah Biscuits

Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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What is the meaning of CONNECTION?

Such a great question, especially given my business name, but one that I’ve not fully explored in great depth, funnily enough, until now! Yet this simple question has given me so much more insight into the passion and vision of Cultivate Connections. It’s true what they say; sometimes it’s the simple things….

Here is what I discovered by asking the question:

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued” – Brene Browm

“What we are all striving for is authenticity, a spirit to spirit connection” – Oprah Winfrey

“Connection is bringing a value, emotion or quality to the surface and allowing it to create a “connection” with another, others or something of similar value, emotion or quality” – Elizabeth Ellames, Living Attributes

“Connection is when your energy and that of another(s) resonate enabling communication that is in rhythm with one another and has the ability to be a resounding influence on their situation, surrounds and other energies” – Alison Rogers, Pulse Advertising

“Connection is being present in the moment and being real enough to enter your heart space and express and receive communication from that place – a very powerful ingredient for unity” – Cherie Rowett, Heart Choice Enterprises

“Connection is sharing resonance…being in alignment with similar visions and goals and above all a Heart Connection” – Myriam Sampson, The H’Art of Living

Even Dictionary.com provided some valuable insight:

  • The act or state of connecting “The connection between cause and effect”
  • Association; relationship: “the connection between crime and poverty”
  • Anything that connects, joins or relates; link or bond
  • A circle of friends or associates or a member of such a circle
  • Association with or development of something observed, imagined, discussed, etc “I have a few thoughts in connection with your last remark”
  • A source of supply for goods, material, etc.,
  • A channel of communication.

Upon reflection, all I can say is that I certainly chose the right name for a business that promotes Active Team Building. Connection is what builds relationship and creates trust between people to enable collaboration, contribution and the co-creation of quality solutions. So next time you are collaborating or working in a Team, consider the CONNECTION;

Is the CONNECTION

  1. Authentic;
  2. Heart to heart;
  3. Fully present in the moment and
  4. Adding value?

Until next time, stay connected and as promised, stay tuned for opportunities to connect and collaborate in Brazil…

Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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Do we practice Creative Collaboration?

After an amazing 3 week holiday in Brazil, February not only brought a time of reflection and relaxation but also surprising connections and opportunities abroad. And to top it all off, February concluded with the 2nd CC Event, where we continued to build relationship with one another while exploring The Circle of Collaboration©…. a tool to guide active team building through clarifying and aligning values and visions.

I will share more about my Brazilian connections and collaboration opportunities in my next post, so stay tuned.  Right now, I wanted to share the highlights of the February CC Event…

As we all continued to take networking to the next level, we opened our minds to what is possible and created trust amongst the group by discussing current issues and exploring ways to overcome them. It was very evident through the conversations that what we all valued authentic relationships at home and in the workplace – not only with others but also with ourselves. It simply reinforced that absolutely, without a doubt, building relationship and creating trust is the first step in establishing effective team work and reducing competition.

This finding fit in perfectly with the knowledge sharing of the morning. As we consider coming together to collaborate and co-create on projects, I encouraged a change in the way we think about and perceive Collaboration; to align with Creative Collaboration as opposed to the familiar ‘Corporate’ Collaboration so many of us are used to working within.

When we creatively collaborate we need to move from:

  • A hierarchy based approach that is directive in nature to a role based approach that fosters cooperation;
  • A profit driven venture that places higher importance on profit over people to a purpose driven venture that nurtures its people and honours their true value (which ultimately serves the bottom line because the truth is it’s the people who build the business and the profit);
  • An egocentric consumer focus that stays true to the old saying ‘What’s In It For Me’ (WIIFM) to an altruistic contribution focus aligning with a the new and improved saying, that I like to call, ‘What Can I Contribute’ (WCIC). In doing so, we overcome scarcity and add value through sharing knowledge.

Creative Collaboration is rewarding for everyone and the way forward for all workplaces, businesses and projects, alike. Furthermore, visualise Creative Collaboration as a way to becoming interdependent, like a collective community where each member has an important role to play in the whole, and we address and reduce the fear of losing autonomy and/or becoming co-dependent. Follow these 7 essential ingredients and achieve success through creative collaboration:

Ultimately we each need to make the COMMITMENT to ourselves, our role and the team; to creativity, diversity and sharing knowledge; and to contributing towards the collective vision!

This is what it will take for us to come together and purposefully #ActOnPassionsandVisions.

So the next time you find yourself teaming up with others, ask yourself do we practice Creative Collaboration? Consider these concepts and watch your team flourish!

The next CC Event will be held on Friday March 27th – I hope to see you there!!!!! Details coming soon…

You can also connect with the CC Community via the CC Page and/or CC Group on Facebook to contribute, share knowledge and participate in upcoming events.

Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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It all started with a Bang!

Wow! What a month…. I performed for the first time at the Sydney Latin Festival with a team of amazing Zouk dancers AND launched my business, Cultivate Connections, with the first ever CC Event. Talk about start the New Year off with a bang! 2015 is definitely the year for no holding back!!

The launch of CC Events was terrifying and amazing all at the same time. It was a long time coming and a journey like no other. I was so grateful people aligned with my passion and vision and showed up, not to mention provided so much positive feedback, more than I could have hoped for. The morning brought Leaders, Influencers and Visionaries, from an array of backgrounds, together in one room. It was an opportunity for us to meet, connect, share knowledge and build relationship.

The context was Teamwork centred on the Circle of Collaboration. It is my dream that together we embrace, define, develop and innovate around the Circle of Collaboration – co-creating a brighter future for ourselves and those to come. 20 years ago Health and Well-Being was merely a concept, now it’s a way of life. Imagine a world where we know to be true and are living and doing business aligned with all the petals of the Circle of Collaboration….

Thought provoking and controversial conversations arose around the following petals of the circle: Causes and Community, Social and Spiritual (now Social and Sustainability), Professional and Personal and Profit and People (now Public & Policy). The word Spiritual in particular was at first, by some, difficult to relate to but then once any preconceived ideas about religion was set aside, the true meaning of the word emerged and people could relate to their eternal spirit within. It was a joy to witness, to participate in and to contribute towards. The energy of the room certainly took on its name ‘Thinking Space’ – it couldn’t have been more aligned if I tried! I really look forward to seeing where the events, connections and conversations lead the community as the year continues….

What do the petals of the Circle of Collaboration mean to you?

The next event will be held on Friday morning 27th February and I’m calling out to all Leaders, Influencers, Visionaries or Collaborators who want to connect, team up and help grow a new humanity. The conversations with continue and further connections will be made as we explore the Circle of Collaboration and the benefits of Creative Collaboration and Synergy.

Register and book your seat now via Eventbrite and contribute towards a brighter future https://cultivateconnetions.eventbrite.com.au

I hope to see you there!

Courtney ‘C0-Creator’ Wilson

m: +61 (0)417 107 888e: courtney.connect@outlook.com

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