The Change Exploratory :

- is at the leading edge of conversational leadership practice in Ireland
- is exceptionally well networked nationally and globally with leading change and leadership development practitioners
- is committed to forming new partnerships and networks that make a sustainable difference

How can we best help people come together to create the future they want ?

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It’s nice sometimes to come back a good while later to somewhere you have done a good bit of work.

Borrisokane is a small town in the north of the north of Tipperary.  It’s one of those places that makes you think – if you could do it there, surely you could do it anywhere !

It all started with a few women talking in the school playground about why more wasn’t happening in their town …


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Things feel like they are moving quickly – record arctic sea ice melt – activist groups linking up like they’ve never linked up before (e.g.  Awaken Ireland network connecting with Pachamama Alliance !) – I’ve even had a journal article published !  If for a moment, we ‘go slower, in order to move faster’, then what is it we need to be paying attention to ?

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We live in a fascinating time.  Lots of people are recognising deep systemic problems (e.g. that infinite growth can’t work forever on a finite planet, that excessive concentrations of wealth in the hands of ‘the few’ won’t be tolerated forever by the many, that the most common ‘way of being’ in the world isn’t serving to make a majority of people happy etc etc).  Lots of people want to do something to contribute to big change, but they realise that the depth and complexity of the problem(s) require(s) a collective shift and not just individual actions.

How can people best come together to create the future they want ?


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I’ve long had a difficulty with names and labels – they feel like an invitation to other people to stereotype and project whatever they associate with that label on to you.

So, if I call myself a ‘coach’ or a ‘facilitator’, you are likely to think ‘Ah yes, I know what they are like …. ‘

And we do it to ourselves too ….


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“Trapped in silos we miss opportunities to share the wisdom and expertise that already exists in our people and organisations. Knee deep in doing, we fail to notice the real opportunities that can create sustainable change.”

For further details of this great event read on ….


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I think we know by now that we live in interesting times – an old system is in decline and at risk of collapse and to quote Arundhati Roy;

‘Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing’.

This other world is being made more possible by people who have walked out and walked on.  The stories of these people are at the centre of a new book by Deborah Frieze and Margaret Wheatley: ‘Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now’ and I am delighted that Deborah Frieze is coming to Ireland to co-host with us a deep-dive learning adventure !


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Connecting elephants

I just loved this quotation from Kenny Ausubel co-CEO and founder of Bioneers – currently being used to promote an event called ‘Being the Change’ in London this weekend :

“It is no longer a matter of connecting the dots, it is a matter of connecting the elephants in the room”

I don’t think it is totally true, for me dots do matter – but we certainly do need to view them within the context of the interconnectedness of the elephants !

We tend to have a pretty good idea of where we would really like to get to; i.e. whole systems of diverse people inspired by a common unifying purpose, playing to each others’ strengths and finding a healthy balance between action and the learning that will improve future actions.

One question I have been reflecting on this summer is ‘Why don’t more of us get to such places more often ?’ …

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I have had two major experiences lately that have got me reflecting on what it is to be a change agent and the kind of change agent I want to be.  The first is the General Election in Ireland – full of people saying they want change (i.e. they don’t like what they have) and very little cohesiveness about what exactly the change is that is wanted – it all seems sadly predictable that the new lot will soon be pretty much as unpopular as the old lot as people say ‘no, no when we said we wanted change, it wasn’t that …’.  The second experience has been co-facilitating for the amazing Ireland : Iceland project (www.irelandicelandproject.com) – lots of wonderful people, but many still, it seems, with a great temptation to say ‘this is what we think someone else should do …’

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A 2nd Republic ?

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There are so many things bubbling up at the moment – some of them are still a bit fuzzy and indistinct – some will coalesce with others- it is impossible to say which will make it to the top.

A lot of people in Ireland are taking inspiration from Iceland – more on that theme soon …

On January 29th in the Gresham Hotel, I am helping with the facilitation of the first AGM of  ‘Second Republic’ ….


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