A Dash of Inspiration


At the end of last month, I attended a conference called Percolate in Melbourne. It was definitely a couple of days of thoughtful provocation for me! The venue and the branding of the event set a fantastic scene for the event. And the key speakers – an eclectic mix of enterprise leaders, thought leaders, authors and artists – delivered an inspiring programme on how to make meaningful progress. Three of these speakers stood out for me and I thought it would be valuable to share my key insights with you. So here goes:
Dr Jason Fox
Dr Jason Fox, the host of Percolate, introduced a concept he calls ‘choosing One word’. Fox believes that by choosing one word for the whole year we can create something to guide and rally ourselves through any upcoming projects or endeavours that matter.
The words that work best usually fall within one of the following categories:

  • Abstract words, such as balance, style, mindful
  • Active words, such as ignite, consolidate, invigorate
  • Aspects/Archetype words, such as tiger, explorer, wizard, or king

Here are a few quick tips from Fox to help you find your right word:

  • Don’t rush it
  • Don’t anchor it to outcomes
  • Don’t care too much about what other people think


  • Do test it out
  • Do choose a word that makes you a bit uncomfortable
  • Do make it fun for your friends

Good luck finding your word for 2017!
Rohan Gunatillake
Rohan Gunatillake designed a meditation app five years ago, and talked about a manifesto he calls Designing Mindfulness. Designing Mindfulness is focused on how we can make technology that takes care of the wellbeing of the people who use it. Interest in mindfulness is growing exponentially, but in relation to the landscape of mobile technology mindfulness products are relatively tiny. As a possible solution to this situation, Gunatillake posited the following question: What if the principles and practices of mindfulness and wellbeing were built into absolutely everything?
The common narrative that mobile technology is bad for us has led to the idea of a digital detox. This solution may have short-term benefits, but long term it is unsustainable and virtually impossible to achieve in our ever more technologically dependent lives. Another possible solution is to learn how to use our technologies ‘mindfully’. This approach centres each of us, the addicted user, as the problem. However, the truth is not so simple; we live in an attention economy and capturing our attention is big business.
In a world where our attention is so valuable, Designing Mindfulness has a number of practical ways that all makers, designers and organisations can build more mindfulness into their products and services.
Oscar Trimboli
Oscar Trimboli believes that the lack of hearing is one of the main contributors to ineffective teams and unproductive products. Whether its people, teams or organisations, we routinely do not comprehend what the other party needs.
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”
~ M. Scott Peck
In our millions-miles-a-minute society there is a constant rush to get to an outcome as fast as possible. In the process, many of us do not take the time required to listening carefully, completely and thoroughly. There is a huge gap of difference between listening to what someone is saying and hearing what they mean.
Trimboli’s mission is to help people, teams and organisations move from listening to hearing. Subtle shifts in the questions we ask can make a powerful difference in our conversations and the meanings we draw from them. These shifts may slow down some of our communications with others, but they will ultimately reward both parties with greater productivity. Here are a couple of examples to help you become better at hearing:

  •  “Are you asking questions to deepen your understanding or are you simply answering the question you thought they asked?”
  • “Do you ask questions to clarify your understanding or do you ask questions to help them understand their thinking better?”