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December | Thought Leadership | Read time: calculating...

#Rethink ISO – Simplify and Support

When I last moved house, I started the packing process with my bookshelf. After loading my books into heavy-duty cardboard tea chests, and picking up the first box to move it to the ‘storage’ room, I pulled a muscle in my back. 

The thing is, while I love books, most of what I owned were either so well-read I could just about recite them from memory, or books that haven’t piqued my interest enough to give anything but a cursory look. Should I keep them? 

My thought now, as then with my aching back, is no. 

My rationale became: “which books would I actually pay money for to keep on my Kindle reader?” I only kept those. The rest I sold, passed on or gave to charity. In the end, only two small banana boxes of books came with me to the new place.

Decluttering is a big part of moving from one space to another – including from one year into the next. The second part of our ISO aims for 2021 is on the S’s, including: Simplify

Simplifying allows us to focus on what’s essential; the signal and not the noise. What are you carrying around (the carcasses of projects, grievances, things you’ll ‘get to one day’) that are usurping your energy? Learn what and when to let go. 

“Instead of thinking, I am losing something when I clear clutter, I dwell on what I might gain.” – Lisa J. Shultz


Our other S word for 2021 is Support.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

– Mahatma Gandhi


I believe that in business and life, helping people is the key to success. The word ‘karma’ literally translates from Hindi as ‘action, work or deed’. If we show kindness and act with good intent, we will reap goodness.

Through this year, we have seen some of the noblest acts of support from all levels, from volunteer firefighters risking it all in the Black Summer bushfires to neighbours dropping groceries off for their elderly neighbours. These acts and many more prove that when we work together with the right people and support each other, we all win.

Support comes in many forms but is often not called upon when needed. One of our major roles in the organisation is to support lasting positive change in business and in people. At our workplace in Subiaco, we also support each other – we’ll continue to look out for each other’s intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

One activity worth trialling in your teams is purposefully carving out a meeting time to highlight each members’ wins, learnings and work in progress. The other tradition we’ll be taking into the new year is pinpointing ‘values moments’. That is: noticing the actions of others and connecting them to our organisational values – then highlighting those to the wider team.

Before these meetings, and many others, we’ll also continue the short, easy physical exercises (taught to us by Aspen Consulting; partners in our Extend program) to balance energy levels and connect with the body. Especially before a blue-sky brainstorm, it is a freeing moment to get into the zone, just like an athlete.

Lastly, a question: What are some areas that you need support in for 2021, and where can you offer it to others?

“The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.”
– Deepak Chopra

Action: Write down your “S” words for 2021