Blown away

I woke early this morning. It was windy and noisy as well as warm. I stepped outside and looked up at the stars – it was a clear sky. I read this from Brain Pickings and the poem by Joseph Pintauro, about the wind, seemed made for the moment. It’s a beautiful post.

I was asleep by 8:30pm last night after an eventful day that included a short burst of chasing my grandson around on my knees. I am out of shape for crawling, but it was so much fun that I kept doing it, rewarded with giggles and cuddles from him.

I did a jewellery making workshop at The Bee and the Spider yesterday ran by Sarah Munnings Jewellery and I made myself a ring (pic) and some earrings. It was really fun to smash on the metal and we smiled about channelling blacksmiths as we soldered and put the heated metal in the water to cool it with a hiss. My friend Jane Darling made some stunning pieces as well, that I forgot to photograph because I rushed off at to visit my daughter.

When I searched for the link to Matilda’s business I came across this fable – so clever!

This week I let go of the Gippsland Woman project and handed it over to a team of good women who have stepped up to be responsible for the resource. My involvement has been a series of great learning experience for me. I don’t feel that it is any way nearly complete, it’s just started and I look forward to the improvements the team will bring.

The Modern Techniques of Sales and Negotiation

A local company, In2 Project Management hosted Jack Corbett to deliver sales training and I was fortunate to win a ticket to the event. Neil Betts and Chris Allford from In2 have been supportive of our project – The VRI – and worked with me in 2014 to help me realise the vision we had for a community space. They are an appreciated part of our whole community approach that has made The VRI what it is.

Jack Corbett practises what he preaches. I got a pre-event call from his sales team to ask what I was most seeking from the training and this was well and truly covered with humour and humility by Jack in the training. He packed a lot into the 5 hour session, covering the process of sales and negotiations as well as sharing a lot of learning, presenting and business improvement tips. I received a call after the event and had the opportunity to work on my elevator pitch with one of ISR’s team members, which was a bonus.

Jack’s company ISR gave participants access to his LMS allowing us a vast range of resources to interact with. The training session was packed with value and my friends who attended were impressed. One of the bonuses he offered was a live call on overcoming objections a couple of mornings later, lots of us showed up.

The last sales training I did, was in the 90’s with Money & You, when I was on the sales team. When the opportunity to do this training came up I reflected on what I needed to improve. That’s where the learning process begins isn’t it? Looking at yourself and thinking about the results you are getting and what could be better. This was reinforced by the call from ISR.

What I most wanted to improve was closing a sale. One of the distinctions I got was to stop talking and give the client/customer/person the opportunity to think. Interestingly I’ve been doing the Lifeline training this year and the learning has been similar. It is more powerful to listen and to allow people to think for themselves.

I’m very grateful to the In2 team for sharing this learning opportunity with our region. The training was very affordable and improved sales is something we can all benefit from. The investment of time (and $$ if I hadn’t been a winner!) was entirely worth it.

21 July 2019

I finished ‘Everybody Lies – What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are‘ by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz this week. It was about how, as you might imagine, when we are speaking to a person, we tell them what we think they want to hear, or base our response on who we want them to think we are. Our searches and big data from sites like Google, Facebook and the multitude of sources that we leave evidence about who we are on, as well as what we do, that is tracked by our devices, will reveal a different truth.

Some of the examples he uses to demonstrate his knowledge are not what I would focus on if I had the knowledge to access the data, but the methodology is what I found inspiring. There are so many great questions that data could answer. When you add AI to the mix, the potentials are boundless. In Stephens-Davidowitz’s conclusion he says

“Social science is becoming a real science, and this new real science is poised to improve our lives.”

I started trying to learn data analysis and only completed one unit. The maths and the language were difficult, but I can’t help but feel if I learnt this language and the formulas it would be helpful to respond more thoughtfully and meaningfully to our community. At the very least it would give me more direction to further test in.

Is data analysis a part of social science study at our Universities? Perhaps it would be a valuable addition. I found this MOOC and have enrolled but I may have to finish the other other one I started to have the skills to do it.

I had a little play with Google Trends . I think I could lose many hours on that site and may in the future. You can look up searches based on years, geography and compare search terms – see below.

There have been trials and errors in the time I’ve worked in my current role. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to learn as much as I’ve learnt in this last six years. There is so much more to learn.

One of the tools he discussed was data doppelgangers, which led me to read this – https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/data-doppelgangers-and-the-uncanny-valley-of-personalization/372780/ and who hasn’t wondered about the ad targeting. This article is 5 years old so I imagine a lot of progress has been made since then.

There are existing resources like – https://data.gov.au/ which is open data from the government. I had a look at the Latrobe Valley sources available. There was nothing there from Department of Education, DSS or DHHS. There is a lot of other information available, some of it quite old. I will take more time to see what I can learn.

This book was recommended on the Impact Boom podcast – Bradley Clair & Nicholas Kamols On How To Power On With Your Social Enterprise. These two guys have been doing amazing work around the planet with recycled electronics and it’s a great story. There’s references in the podcast to some great social enterprise projects in schools that Tom Allen has worked on. I’ve previously read Bold and have started Abundance by Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler, so the final recommended book to read from this podcast is 21 Lessons For The 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari.

Impact Boom posted this week 60 Recommended books that global changemakers are reading in 2019 , there are some great books I’ve read on it but many many more to read.

On Friday night I saw this post from Rob Rees, who is a mentor I have had access to this year. He delivered the Kitchen Challenge program at The VRI earlier this year and I have seen a lot of growth in the participants that did the course. I have been thinking about it and reflecting on how we can shift our projects from hybrid non-profit to social enterprise. It’s not a new thought but the clarity of this image cut through some confusion I feel when I hear the term ‘social enterprise’ applied to government funded projects.