"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Every organisation needs a heart beat

After enjoying the spoils of the festive season I feel refreshed, revitalised and ready to go again. So with this in mind it is back to my blog for 2014. Hugh MacKay has commented on numerous occasions that we all feel the desire to be part of a tribe. Over Christmas there were many tribal moments with my family. Some good, some bad however being part of a family tribe means you have to stick to it long term through thick and thin. 

This idea has been festering in my brain over the last few weeks as I really want to nut out why I enjoy working so much and what it is that keeps me connected to this 'tribe' more so than any other organisation I have worked for. If you think of a family unit each member plays a role. Doesn't matter what sort of family you have each person will bring to it their unique personality quirks and interests. So too with organisations. Organisations are made of up people with different skills sets, experiences, ages, gender and personality types. So if all organisations contain these things how is it that some organisation appear to do things exceptionally well and others do it really badly?  I have come to the conclusion that it is the heartbeat that matters. People who care about integrity, hard work and have some sense of a moral compass are the ones who drive passion, innovation and are fearless about change and push ahead to improve the lives of their customers, employees and the society they live in. 

Image by Deborah Copper-Asbury
Now these ideas are not new to anyone and one would think they contain a fair amount of common sense however I see that there is a great cost involved in order for these values to be maintained in an organisation. After reading the article TAFE in the era of skills reform by Pat Forward it has kindled in me a desire to see what is the motivation behind what I do in my job. I share many of the frustrations outlined by Leesa Wheelahan in her interview but wonder how one person like myself can ever make a difference? It is middle class teachers and students who are the heartbeat of the organisation. TAFE would be responsible for a huge percentage of the population gaining employment and skills for the duration of their working lifetime and yet it is having a triple bypass at the moment and will never be as it was. So in the face of such sadness I seek out the heartbeat at the start of a new year. 

With a new year comes new opportunities, new students and the same passionate, professional, intelligent and innovative teachers I get to work with each and everyday. Each semester I have worked at TAFE I have been inspired by my students to be a better teacher and am continuously reminded that the social justice role TAFE plays in my community is met through dedicated, experienced and highly qualified teachers who seek to nurture and encourage all aspects of our students and it's not all about delivering a product. 

The heartbeat of an organisation is not always measured by a $ sign. Those who value the strengths of this organisation need to be vocal, professional  and consistent in showing those who do make decisions that the heartbeat of TAFE has had long term success and prosperity to our society and continuous cost cutting will have a long term impact on our society. 

Whilst I am not in the habit of writing political blogs I can't remain silent because I am part of the change. I want to be part of the change and in my own way I am part of the heartbeat that educates adults in our nation to be confident and courageous life long learners who contribute effectively in our society. 

So be the change in your organisation and be the change each and everyday. 

Until next week,

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