Blog

How to create the right conditions for crazy ideas

When I heard Safi Bahcall on Harvard Ideacast talking about his new book “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries”, there was no turning back. A book about how to foster innovation and breakthrough ideas is simply a must have. A loonshot is an innovation that essentially changes… Continue reading How to create the right conditions for crazy ideas

How to attract the hidden funding opportunities

I spent a day this week at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's conference (CASE ASAP conference) in Brisbane where I attended the role of academic leadership and its linkage to philanthropic funding. CASE focuses on "advancement professionals" who are often the unnoticed group of professionals in organisations who are tasked in leveraging… Continue reading How to attract the hidden funding opportunities

How to achieve unique coherence

Anyone in a leadership or managerial position knows how difficult it is to manage teams. You need to take into account the different skill sets and specific expertise, the personalities, and also different understandings of what needs to be prioritised and when. Yet, at the same time, we are increasingly told that we need to… Continue reading How to achieve unique coherence

How to immediately boost organisational performance

Countless books, podcasts and articles tackle this fundamental question: how do you boost an organisation’s performance and do it quickly and effectively. Google gives 7,430,000 results for "how to boost organisational performance". We often look for different metrics across organisations, and make decisions how to run things more effectively in the hope of increasing performance.… Continue reading How to immediately boost organisational performance

How to guard your time (and be smart about it)

Do you ever get contacted by people outside your organisation asking you to donate your time and expertise for free but you end up feeling like they are doing you a favour? I do a lot of media engagement and communication in my current role because I am passionate about what I do, and I… Continue reading How to guard your time (and be smart about it)

Leadership and alter egos: making peer review more humane?

I have been attending this week sessions Manager as a Coach, a support program provided by the university for the staff in trying to get us to think more coach-like in how we manage people. My key takeaway messages are that power is something that is shared, that good leaders and managers focus on giving positive… Continue reading Leadership and alter egos: making peer review more humane?

Finding your voice

This week has marked the International Women’s Day and it seems timely again to reflect on some of the issues that are coming up in media. This year I was invited to join our university table at the Gold Coast Women of the Year Awards with some of our most influential women from Griffith University.… Continue reading Finding your voice

How to know when you have ‘arrived’

This week I’ve been inspired by several different ideas. Listening to the latest episode of Learning Leader (#299 with Kyle Maynard) one of the things struck me is the question when we have ‘arrived’. 'Arrived' in this context means about reaching a point or end goal, and recognising that moment as significant. I have also… Continue reading How to know when you have ‘arrived’

How to challenge norms (in a good way)

I am halfway reading Priya Parker’s book “The Art of Gathering” and it has really made me question a lot of the norms that we have all around us how to gather. For example, the piece I wrote last week about how to create more meaningful gatherings really struck a cord with many of my… Continue reading How to challenge norms (in a good way)

How to organise more meaningful gatherings

In the past week I have listened to a number of podcasts and one of them in particular has stuck with me, The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker who appeared in Coaching for Leaders (episode 395). (and yes, of course I’ve already ordered the book). In this episode, Dave and Priya discuss her new… Continue reading How to organise more meaningful gatherings

Be Magical: how to create true impact

In the last week I have kept reading Ben Rhodes’ “The World as It is”, given two radio interviews, and also discussed things like what counts as impact with the WonderWomen. Much of this has left me with questions as to what we count as impact, how do we see ourselves in bringing change or… Continue reading Be Magical: how to create true impact

How triage can help to make decisions

We all know the harsh reality of having to make decisions on how to spend such resources as our time and focus. Last week I co-wrote an article with Ben Preston for The Conversation on climate adaptation and triage. Triage as a concept emerged in World War I and is: “a process of prioritizing actions… Continue reading How triage can help to make decisions

Normalising ideas

I am still reading Seth Godin’s book 'This is marketing" how ideas spread and ideas develop, and it still keeps giving me great ideas and inspiration. What Seth really emphasis is the role of narratives and the importance of paying attention to these: “You can’t get someone to do something that they don’t want to… Continue reading Normalising ideas

This is marketing: how to add true value and succeed

 This week I have been reading Seth Godin’s newest book “This is Marketing: You can’t be Seen until You Learn to See”. What has been so refreshing about the book is Seth’s way of simply explaining how ideas work, which issues we should be thinking about when we embark on the journey in discovering and… Continue reading This is marketing: how to add true value and succeed

How to leverage effectively career and adaptation

Many of us are starting to plan for the 2019. I have made numerous lists, mindmaps, and collections of ideas as to what I am obligated to deliver, what I’d like to deliver, and what I can deliver. At some point, looking at my lists, I was starting to despair. I started questioning as to… Continue reading How to leverage effectively career and adaptation

Why tracking decisions matters both for health and climate  

Much can be said about our individual decisions, and the way we make them. The world is full of advice on this: countless books, webinars, podcasts, online courses and workshops on how you can learn to make better decisions. When it comes to climate related decision-making, some have argued that framing climate change about individual… Continue reading Why tracking decisions matters both for health and climate  

What good leadership really looks like

As the year 2018 is drawing to a close, it’s an excellent time to reflect on what has been going on in the world, and specifically in the climate change space. 2018 has seen both leadership that is frankly just bad but also positive that has been inspiring.   The good and the bad A… Continue reading What good leadership really looks like

Re-defining climate leadership

One person that has not escaped the public eye during, before, and after the COP24 has been Greta Thunberg. The 15-year-old Swedish climate activist has popularised the notion of “school strike for climate” and has been sitting on the Swedish parliamentary steps every Friday. She’s just done a TED talk on her thoughts on what… Continue reading Re-defining climate leadership

And then there were COP24 outcomes (kind of).

The Paris Agreement was and remains a milestone agreement in climate change policy. Never before have countries spoken in so united voice about what their aspirations are for climate change outcomes, what kinds of commitments they aspired to, and how we can address climate change at a global scale. Yet, strangely these last two weeks… Continue reading And then there were COP24 outcomes (kind of).

Finding direction at the COP24

This week the countries have tried to find a shared direction on a number of issues, including how to agree on the "Paris Rulebook" (more about that here). Yesterday night the countries finally came together to make decisions based on the discussions and meetings during the week. The two big ticket items have been the… Continue reading Finding direction at the COP24

Will COP24 deliver the great expectations?

This week in Queensland, temperatures are soaring, with temperature records consistently breaking this week, with potential for fire tornadoes with the strong winds, and also potentially a devastating season for our coral reefs as the summer heat begins. Meanwhile, school children and youth in Australia are staging a campaign and not going to school as… Continue reading Will COP24 deliver the great expectations?

Adult development theory and climate governance

These past weeks are all turning into some sort of a nightmare story specifically for those of us who work on climate change. The World Meteorological Organisation just announced that 2017 is now on record with the highest levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, despite countries committing to cut their emissions. To put it… Continue reading Adult development theory and climate governance

Random acts of initiatives: how to grasp an opportunity

I listened recently to Ryan Hawk’s Learning Leader podcast episode with Seth Godin who is, as anyone in the branding industry knows, an absolute guru when it comes to branding and marketing. The two discussed the concept of random act of initiative where you see an opportunity, grasp it and see what happens. This is… Continue reading Random acts of initiatives: how to grasp an opportunity

Women’s branding: this is how to roar and get results

This week I had the opportunity to attend a Women in Technology event on personal branding and career development for women. Outspoken Women taught us the different aspects of branding, including communication, the role and use of body language, the importance of breathing properly while using your voice, and how to handle “manels”. I was particularly… Continue reading Women’s branding: this is how to roar and get results

How to always make good decisions

This week a friend of mine posted a question in Facebook about decisions: what do you do when you are faced with a decision, how do you know you pick the "right" fork in the road? It was somewhat amusing to read the advice and answers (my own included) about how we know we have… Continue reading How to always make good decisions

How to use social marketing to create impact and change

This week I attended the Change Conference 2018 in Brisbane that focused on social marketing and behavioural change, organised by Griffith Social@Marketing from our Business School. Social marketing is (and yes I had to google this...) "the use of marketing theory, skills and practices to achieve social change". The conference featured a great line up of… Continue reading How to use social marketing to create impact and change

How to build identity-based habits

This week I was really struck by James Clear who was on the Coaching for Leaders podcast (episode 376). He has just published the book Atomic Habits where he discusses simple yet effective strategies in how we can change our habits, how to break the bad ones and how to excel in good ones. I… Continue reading How to build identity-based habits

What you need to know about temperature targets

This week marked the release of the long-awaited Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the chances of the world limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. The report has been covered by many prominent scholars already (you can read here Professor Mark Howden’s and Rebecca Colvin’s excellent piece) so I won’t cover… Continue reading What you need to know about temperature targets

Core guiding principles you cannot afford to miss if your goal is ultimate success

My current book is Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen. I am consistently impressed by their data driven and empirically sound findings on why particular companies succeed, excel and why some simply perish. The book is based on rigorous research of 10X companies and their counterparts. 10X companies are companies that have… Continue reading Core guiding principles you cannot afford to miss if your goal is ultimate success

Why leadership development is about consistency extraordinaire  

This week marks the end of my participation in the Coaching for Leaders Academy 2017-2018 cohort. I was accepted to the Academy last October for 12-month training program and I just cannot believe that those 12 months have already passed. It has been 12-months of waking up 4.30 a.m. every second Wednesday to make sure… Continue reading Why leadership development is about consistency extraordinaire  

Building blocks in drafting a winning strategy

 I have been moving to a new house and this process has opened up a Pandora’s box of customer experiences with very different kinds of companies. This has come down to choosing electricity providers, trying to get the roof fixed, internet connected, you name it. The beauty of moving houses is that it really provides… Continue reading Building blocks in drafting a winning strategy

3 mistakes most people do in career transitions

Those of you following me in Twitter or LinkedIn already know that only last week I began a new job at my university, transitioning from research role to a role of lecturer in environmental policy where my job will consist of teaching, research and service. Given many people have flagged to me how teaching often takes… Continue reading 3 mistakes most people do in career transitions

The 4 kinds of people you need for breakthrough success

So for those of you who read my last blog post on creativity, it might have seemed somewhat superficial. Some of you might be asking so what if there are assumptions about creativity and the lone genius, how is that going to help me to get more creative? Well the good news is that now… Continue reading The 4 kinds of people you need for breakthrough success

De-mystifying Creativity: the real strategy to empower the creative you

My latest book purchase is Allen Gannett’s “The Creative Curve: How to Develop the right idea at the right time” . I came across this book first on one of my favourite podcasts “Learning Leader” (episode 268) where Ryan Hawk interviews guests and tries to help us to understand how to reach and attain excellence… Continue reading De-mystifying Creativity: the real strategy to empower the creative you

How climate adaptation is moving forward

This week it has been upheaval one after another. Australian politics at the moment seems to be in full disarray with climate change again being at the centre of controversy as a policy issue.  Yet, the good news is that climate adaptation is still moving forward in many ways. Yesterday we organised as part of… Continue reading How climate adaptation is moving forward

Why sound decision-making is ultimately about how you deal with surprises

 We often focus on key decisions and are interested in how top performers, such as CEOs and top athletes, make decisions. Apparently, all we need to do is to model their behaviour, glean into their secrets and then implement these in our lives. Research into decision points in particular (what major decisions people have taken)… Continue reading Why sound decision-making is ultimately about how you deal with surprises

Unprecedented yet so close: why heatwaves and flooding could be here to stay

This past week the news have sizzled with news about extreme fire events, large ranging bushfires in Sweden and Greece. Japan declared last week the heatwave a disasters while being faced with an “unprecedented” heatwave. 22 000 people were taken to hospital and this has impacted the elderly in particular. Portugal is set to face… Continue reading Unprecedented yet so close: why heatwaves and flooding could be here to stay

How to create leadership and innovation at work place 

I have just finished reading Richard Feynman’s book “Surely you are joking Mr Feynman!" It’s a unique book in explaining how one of the great minds in physics thought about life, and more importantly how he maintained an innate curiosity and often questioned the very basic assumptions of physics in order to better understand the… Continue reading How to create leadership and innovation at work place 

Why peer review should be fun but can make you cry

The life of an academic is very much focused on and surrounded by the process of peer review. With peer review, I mean making and receiving comments on manuscripts that we have written or have been asked to read and assess for scientific journals. Most of us review papers for scientific journals in the hope… Continue reading Why peer review should be fun but can make you cry

Is 1.5 degree goal an illusion?

This past week has been quite eventful given that major issues have been either discovered or experienced when it comes to climatic changes. Japan has been experiencing significant floods with never before seen rain events while cities around the word have reported having broken all time heat records. A new study published in Nature used paleoclimatic… Continue reading Is 1.5 degree goal an illusion?

How to measure leadership and adaptation in 3 dimensions

  This past week I had the chance to spend time with some really amazing women who are the next generation of great minds, critical yet equipped with a good sense of humour. In one of our conversations we spoke about leadership and self-perception, and how when we embark on self-development (or start dating), we… Continue reading How to measure leadership and adaptation in 3 dimensions

3 defining features of Adaptation Futures 2018

This week I attended Adaptation Futures conference, a bi-annual conference that is attended by people who work in climate adaptation science, policy and practice. This conference was particularly interesting given that it was held in Cape Town, South Africa, that is going through a severe drought. At some point it was not even clear whether… Continue reading 3 defining features of Adaptation Futures 2018

Is conservation missing the boat on climate adaptation?

This week I have attended the 5th European Congress on Conservation, organised by Society of Conservation Biology. My reason attending this conference is that I am curious as to how climate adaptation is treated/examined in other fields (it's also in Finland, which of course is a plus). In general, I want to have a better understanding… Continue reading Is conservation missing the boat on climate adaptation?

Rebuilding in a changing world

This week, several news items have focused on rebuilding and relocation. There are many areas that have experienced devastating disasters where people still rebuild, often because they do not necessarily have a choice. Others are willing to take more risks and assess for example living in a flood prone area as a gamble that they… Continue reading Rebuilding in a changing world

Trends in the making? Finance and Climate

In the past week, several trends again are emerging, which to me are clear signals that we are seeing change. One of these is the continuing list of banks that are going to stop lending to activities and organisations that damage the environment. The latest bank to join others is the Royal Bank of Scotland,… Continue reading Trends in the making? Finance and Climate

Time for a new paradigm in capacity building? 

This week a news item caught my attention, an interview piece with Saleem Huq, the director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development. The commentary focused on the issue of capacity building, climate finance and how this is being dealt with in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is often a… Continue reading Time for a new paradigm in capacity building? 

How to buy a property in a changing climate

I have been toying with the idea of finally having something of my own rather than paying someone else’s mortgage with my rent. This seems to make sense from investment point of view and I am inherently interested in the kind of information people need to make smart decisions in this space. When I have… Continue reading How to buy a property in a changing climate

Communicating climate adaptation: what could go wrong?

This past week I have attended the Climate Adaptation 2018: Learn, Collaborate, Act Conference in Melbourne that gathers scientists, policymakers and non-governmental organisations to hear the latest discussions and science on climate change adaptation. I was asked to chair a panel session on Communicating around Climate Adaptation with four super stars: Karl Braganza, Doug Parsons, Hallie… Continue reading Communicating climate adaptation: what could go wrong?

Is climate adaptation a science?

This is my pet topic, it has been ever since I started my PhD in 2009 and dived head on  into the world of climate change adaptation. I identify as an adaptation scientist much to the dismay of some as there is an on-going debate as to whether climate change adaptation is simply a topic… Continue reading Is climate adaptation a science?

leadership, organisations, memory, institutions, principles, decisions

How to maintain and access organisational memory

It struck me the other day when I was speaking with a colleague that institutional knowledge and memory is really retained in people. With institutional knowledge and memory I mean the knowledge about who does what, how things really work, who you need to talk to to get access to particular information. It is the… Continue reading How to maintain and access organisational memory

How risk framing, climate and leadership are linked

This past week there was a piece of news that has caught many people’s imagination: the slowing down of Atlantic Ocean circulation. The Atlantic Ocean circulation is a stream that brings warmer water towards north and is the reason why Western Europe can enjoy warm weather during summer. But a new study has found that… Continue reading How risk framing, climate and leadership are linked

What makes and counts as “impact”?

 All of us aspire to make a difference in something, whether it is in our profession, with our family, with friends, or at a broader scale. But how do we know that we are actually getting there, and our work is having an impact and changing the way things are done or the way people… Continue reading What makes and counts as “impact”?

3 daily steps that will make you a more mindful leader

In the past few weeks the universe has bombarded me with different postings about leadership and mindfulness. This does not seem like such a trivial matter that it would warrant a separate blog posting. But it turns out being a mindful leader is not a common practice and it’s hard to maintain especially in a… Continue reading 3 daily steps that will make you a more mindful leader

Can we keep a score on climate?

Last week I attended Climate Update 2018 event in Brisbane where we heard from various eminent speakers on the state of climate and what different organisations, such as the Queensland government, are doing in this space. In his presentation at Climate Update 2018, Mark Howden from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focused on the latest climate science:… Continue reading Can we keep a score on climate?

Why finding a bouncing-ideas-buddy will pay off: the secrets of collaboration

In science and in many related fields, the lone genius assumption persists: that individuals act and think alone, pour themselves over data in solitude and emerge with a solution that is revolutionary and inspirational. Many do buy into this story. Yet, the stories we actually hear are often those of insights that have emerged through… Continue reading Why finding a bouncing-ideas-buddy will pay off: the secrets of collaboration

Why inclusivity should be the new game in town: Women, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and leadership

We often hear about the glass ceiling that stops women in advancing their careers and how that ceiling, in the era of gender equality, is easier to break through. More and more women are becoming directors, earning degrees, and making significant contributions in science, politics, and everywhere else. Given last week was the International Women’s… Continue reading Why inclusivity should be the new game in town: Women, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and leadership

The fine line between productive habits and stalling points

 I came across recently Morten Hansen in Coaching for Leaders episode 337 where Morten discussed his recent book Great at work. Morten’s five year study shows that the most successful people who excel at their work do not work more but less. They are more focused when they work and they also are agile learners:… Continue reading The fine line between productive habits and stalling points

Cyclone Gita and the perils of organising conferences in a changing climate

This past week hundreds of people gathered to Wellington, New Zealand  , to attend the second Pacific Climate Change Conference 2018. The conference, organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Regional Program (SPREP) and University of Victoria, focused on showcasing the latest research in the Pacific Islands and featured several international keynote speakers from… Continue reading Cyclone Gita and the perils of organising conferences in a changing climate

Why “failure dodging” is hurting your career

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to fail. Most of the advice out there in leadership and management is about success: how to have a successful career, how to build a successful company, and how to become a success full stop. Who would not want to know why Oprah has… Continue reading Why “failure dodging” is hurting your career

6 essentials in developing an academic career

 I’ve recently been approached by several early career researchers (ECRs) about how to network, how to focus their careers and how to start building their profile while they are still in an early phase in their career. In the university system, there is often not much advice on personal branding for academics or how to… Continue reading 6 essentials in developing an academic career

What’s in a decision?

This week’s two key news items have stuck with me: Cape Town running out of water and UK Met Office announcing we might already see an annual global temperature increase of 1.5 in the next five years. Both are good reminders that even though we have models and science to project future changes, the global… Continue reading What’s in a decision?

Don’t think of a (damaged) reef

A rather fierce debate has been circulating in recent weeks in Australia about the state of the Great Barrier Reef, “the largest living thing on Earth”  and what should be done about it. Great Barrier Reef in the state of Queensland is one of the seven wonders of the world and pulls in large number… Continue reading Don’t think of a (damaged) reef

The 3 mindsets in making constraints beautiful

Most of us have a tendency to keep a mental list of all those things in our lives that are stopping us from doing what we really want to do or that are constraining us from reaching our full potential. But although there is much advice out there how every situation has a positive side,… Continue reading The 3 mindsets in making constraints beautiful

Bats are boiling and green turtles are turning female: how close are we to adaptation limits?

This week’s Twitter feed has been particularly concerning, some would say crazy, regarding the changes and shifts in weather and climate trends that are occurring worldwide. In Australia, bats are boiling in the sky  and the asphalt is literally melting as heatwaves have come through in various parts of the country. In the US, NOAA has… Continue reading Bats are boiling and green turtles are turning female: how close are we to adaptation limits?

Entrepreneurial Editor: How to edit a book more or less gracefully

I have been reading Dorie Clark’s Entrepreneurial You , which is an amazing collection of hands on advice from podcasting to writing blogs to authoring books. Dorie’s main message is that there are multiple ways that we can contribute and develop our careers. What makes the book fascinating is that much of the advice is grounded in… Continue reading Entrepreneurial Editor: How to edit a book more or less gracefully

Finding Your Mindset: Fleas in a jar

What do you get when you put together fleas jumping in a jar, epigenetics, and Michael Jordan? Surprisingly you don’t get scientific evidence for innate talent (you were born with wings) but a mix of mindset-environment interaction, which can either break or make you. In a recent article in Forbes about how people excel and help… Continue reading Finding Your Mindset: Fleas in a jar