First blog evah

Posted on December 31, 2011

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2012 beckons, exhilarating and daunting, like a new year in a new school in a new town.

Soon I’ll be walking along a new path.  The public sector has been my second home but change is afoot.  I’ve been challenged to choose, geographically speaking, career, or my wider family circle and the special southern (read Otago) lifestyle.  It’s not been easy to do so, but I’m confident I’ve reached the correct conclusion (don’t ask at 3am).
So, the new path… I’m recreatingmyself as a consultant, contractor and coach in my areas of high skill and experience – online collaboration, online service delivery, interactive onlinedialogue (otherwise known as social media), web content, domain name management, (and project management thereof)… (12 years in this world, the previous 12 in the library/online information service world).
But also, I’m going to share my strengths nin new ways.  I’m notably good at enabling groups and individuals to bring their unarticulated thoughts, concerns and creative ideas to the surface.  It’s instinctive to me, so I have underplayed it in the past – not any more!
Lots of people know me (I’ve been described as a “hub” 😉 ), but not necessarily about me, so I need to bring my strengths to life for people.  One good place to start might be the resultsof Gallup’s CliftonStrengthsFinder process I did a few years ago.  There are some rather first-rate affirmations of my own free-form introspections in the Personal Themes descriptions*.
For me, working in the online world is about INPUT, CONNECTEDNESS and COMMUNICATION.  Some basic instructions might be:

#1 – The online world is fabulous for connecting in oh-so-many ways, but there’s a fine line between letting it justhappen, and herding it in the right direction to achieve what you want. Crucial ingredient = proactive management, overtly or otherwise… 
#2 – Collecting information (INPUT) is also fabulous, but OLD information is not a good look on a website – again with the proactive management, little and often…
#3 – Customers/users/clients are likely to need help – assume that, rather than assume they are comfortable in self help mode.

The “bringing important thinking and feeling to the surface” world is about CONNECTEDNESS, CONTEXT, EMPATHY and COMMUNICATION.  I recommend:

Finding ways to support open and constructive communication in organisations –it makes them and their people healthier and happier, or in other words, more effective. Doing this allows people and organisations to flourish.  My strong belief and experience is that open communication, articulated well and appropriately, is liberating and empowering.

Flowing from this is the crucial need for leaders of organisations to “get” it, to hear and act appropriately as a result of the messages that come to them. As I develop this new area of work I’ll be following up on leadership studies I undertook in my recent Masters programme, where the matter of authentic leadership struck me especially.  Organisations flourish when they are led so that the people in them are engaged with each other, with their stakeholders and with what they are doing. We’ve all experienced being led (or not), and I’ll use that to focus my thinking – feel free to comment!

That’s my upcoming 2012 – I’ll soon be known as elucidate and you can now email me at sara@elucidate.co.nz. I would really appreciate your INPUT and getting CONNECTED 🙂


*Input – inquisitive, so many things are interesting, the world is exciting in its variety and complexity, store things up, one day they’ll be useful
Connectedness – things happen for a reason,we’re part of the collective unconscious, considerate, caring and accepting, a bridge builder
Context – look back to understand the present, blueprints and initial intentions are important, sense the underlying structure, ask questions and allow the blueprints to emerge
Empathy – sense emotions of those around me, share perspective, powerful instinctive ability to understand, hear the unvoiced questions, help people give voice to their emotional life
Communication – explain, describe, host, speak in public, write, bring ideas and events to life
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