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One year Anniversary- WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our One Year Anniversary Competition is Vongai Chirengwa. Congratulations!

Vongai was successful in securing a few followers for PenTheVision. For her outstanding support she will receive the book “Democracy and Delusion” book authored by Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh.

The book debunks ten prevalent myths in South African politics, offering solutions to the country’s most intractable problems. The first of its kind, Democracy and Delusion is set to spark a fresh and intense debate about the future of South Africa.

Our next competition begins in early 2018. Get ready, the next winner maybe you

One year Anniversary- WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our One Year Anniversary Competition is Vongai Chirengwa. Congratulations!

Vongai was successful in securing a few followers for PenTheVision. For her outstanding support she will receive the book “Democracy and Delusion” book authored by Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh.

The book debunks ten prevalent myths in South African politics, offering solutions to the country’s most intractable problems. The first of its kind, Democracy and Delusion is set to spark a fresh and intense debate about the future of South Africa.

Our next competition begins in early 2018. Get ready, the next winner maybe you.

Image result for democracy and delusion book

 

 

Challenge the thought not the thinker!

For those of us who don’t exchange a product (e.g. food, insurance, clothes) or provide a tangible service like (Hairdressing; healthcare; hospitality etc.) for money what we essentially sell is ideas in exchange for an income. Those in the business of selling “ideas” can testify that sometimes this task can be a daunting one because you don’t necessarily have something tangible that you can convince people about all the time.

What makes the exchange of ideas also more difficult is that, those who consume and engage with them have their own subjective biases. I will give an example about the latter point. I was in a meeting recently and the Sponsor of the project was not impressed with the proposal we had submitted. When he was giving us his feedback, I felt like I was in high school with all the red pen marks that he made on almost every page. Post that meeting, the old me would have left that room distraught and would have felt down and made the comments about me (the thinker) and not the proposal (the thought). My ability to be mature about such matters came a while back when I was reading the book of Proverbs. As I was reading the writer shared the below commentary:

“Mental Sharpness comes from being around good people. And a meeting of minds can help people see their ideas with new clarity, refine them and shape them into brilliant insights. This requires partners who can challenge one another and stimulate thought- people who focus on the idea without involving their egos in the discussion; people who know how to attack the thought and not the thinker. Two friends who bring their ideas together can help each other become sharper.” Unknown

I was completely blown away by this statement “know how to attack the thought and not the thinker.” The ability to be able to separate what you DO and WHO YOU ARE is truly an extraordinary accomplishment.

We need to get comfortable with our ideas being challenged because the more they are challenged, the more refined an idea becomes. Sometimes one’s perception of your “ideas” or “your work” may have nothing to do with you. What we must remember is that when we come together in our various social settings, we come as individuals fully loaded with all sorts of prejudices and convictions about the world.

We need to get comfortable with this philosophy of the attack the thought not the thinker because we live in a society where people have brilliant ideas, but they never vocalise them for fear of what people may think about them.

We need to create spaces for people to feel completely comfortable to share their thoughts, knowing that they will not be made to feel stupid or silly but rather an opportunity to further refine that idea for the betterment of whatever outcome they may be intending to achieve.

My metamorphosis…

As I write this, I just got off the phone about a very interesting opportunity. The gentleman who called me had seen my CV on a career site on the internet. He shared with me that one of the big research companies are looking for a combination of skills sets for a 3-month project. One of the skill sets needed to deliver this project was Change Management, which happens to be my area of expertise.

What is interesting about this project is that, it is not your typical “corporate” project but rather a research project and the findings of the research will feed into what becomes part of Organisational design and culture transformation literature.

As I sit here writing, I am just reflecting about my life and how in 2015 I was convinced that consulting was not for me. I had tried it for about 4 months and things just didn’t go according to plan. At that time and where I was, it felt like the money mattered more than the person.

As they often say in the corporate world, I really felt like just a “resource”. Though I was part of a team, it just didn’t feel like home and I yearned for a sense of belonging. And I was convinced that a “proper” corporate job will give me that sense of belonging and thus enable me to thrive in my job whilst contributing to the organisational success.

I must say, the opportunity I received after that short consulting “trial”, gave me more than that. I am so blessed by that opportunity and when I reflect, it has thus far been the highlight of my short working career.

Fast forward to November 2017, I have developed a much deeper love for consulting. Which was a surprising discovery even for myself. To me consulting had always been a big risk! I had a bad experience with it in the past and honestly, I had always viewed myself as a very “corporate” person, until the greater part of this year.

I suppose there were many factors that lead me to see consulting this way. Firstly, it came at a time when I needed it and I believe I am much more mature and much more comfortable in my Change Management expertise than I was in 2015. And for some reason, I just don’t have the appetite to report for duty from 8-5 pm, Monday to Friday. Another big plus about consulting is that the money is good. ?

Over and above that, I am loving the flexibility to do some of my stuff, the late nights of being focused on only project-related work and giving it my all. The thing with big corporates sometimes is that you can get lost in all the “millions” of activities which don’t always help us achieve great results and there is no day-to-day politics. As a consultant my focus each day is to deliver great results. Because if I don’t work, I don’t get paid! Hahaha…

I am not saying this is how things will always be, but right now, at this stage of my life I am embracing every opportunity that the Lord brings my way. I am allowing peace to guide me each day and I have this scripture that’s always in my heart “Commit everything you do to the Lord, trust him and he will help you.” Psalm 37- 5.

I realise that for as long as I live, I will be where the Lord wants me to be and I will do what he wills. So, if it’s consulting for now, then so be it. The next 5 years of my life could unfold very differently, and you know what I am looking forward to the amazing adventure knowing that all things will work out for my good…

Let activism live beyond the BIG campaigns…

I was watching one of my favourite talk shows recently and one of the guest speakers said something profound. I won’t get into the detail of his statement but the key thing he was trying to raise awareness about was that, collective societal transformation is more powerful and sustainable when we recognise that it starts as an internal individual journey.

I loved his rendition and felt he gave language to some thoughts that have been on my mind around activism.

I think we can agree to a certain extent that, the influence of social media platforms in our generation has created more leeway for people to be ‘activists’ in the comfort of their own homes. Whether this form of activism is effective or not, is still a question that needs answers.

I really love the following definition of what activism is- “Activism is quite simply taking action to effect social change; this can occur in a myriad of ways and in a variety of forms. Often it is concerned with ‘how to change the world’ through social, political, economic or environmental change. This can be led by individuals but is often done collectively through social movements” (http://www.permanentculturenow.com/what-is-activism/).

I think in the world there is a general sense that people really do want to see “change” and by this, I mean, people want good change that enhances their humanity and doesn’t violate their human rights. The one major concern is that, in bringing about this change in most cases, the focus is heavily external. E.g. people embark on these massive marches and run various social media campaigns to create awareness about a social ill with the ultimate end goal of bringing about change in that social ill.

Social media has made activism more profound also in that as we become more of a global village, we begin to stand for the same social causes regardless of where we are in the world. This has been translated in the form of social media campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter; #PrayForParis; #BringBackOurGirls; #16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

These social activism campaigns are good but I think wisdom keeps shouting at us that real change is an internal journey of multiple interventions happening over a consistent and long period of time. It’s not a one-time event but a deliberate continuous process.

I am aware of a few people who consistently post impressive and philosophical things on social media to a point where that’s all they do. They don’t embark on any social action about what they post.

My enjoy life tip is this- Yes, it’s good to be a member of some society transforming organisation, it’s good to be part of social media campaigns and raise all sort of awareness about various economic, political, social and work issues, but I also think it’s not only about what you say and post but what you DO!

A true activist is somebody that puts their zeal/passion into action. If you really want to redress an issue, in the spaces that you find yourself in, do something. But more importantly, let it start with you, don’t say one thing and live another. Lead by example and let activism first start in you and eventually it will pour externally- AMANDLA!

In my neighbour’s shoes…

A few days ago, someone did something that completely contradicted what they had said about themselves months before. They continued to reaffirm the positive statement they had made about themselves even after the contradicting behaviour and I was taken aback by this. To a point where I judged them. Whilst in that zone of judging this person, I was reminded of something powerful my friend always used to say.

In our conversations about individuals, she used to say, “You know Bongs, if someone says they are something, believe them because maybe that’s what they are aspiring to be”.

I have not heard my friend say this in a long time but I thank God that I was reminded of it. I started reflecting that many times we judge people based on their current character, which is not always fair.

So, for example, if someone says about themselves “I am a kind person” we judge them on the moments where they have not been kind to us and we look at them through the “lens” of how we interact or have interacted with them. But we should be sensitive to realise that, maybe they are really aspiring to be a kind or kinder person even if they not that yet.

I think maybe we ought to believe people more and not necessarily judge them on their “current” flaws.

Maybe the person believes that the more they say out loud what they aim to be, the more it will trigger a chain reaction in their brain and eventually they will hold themselves accountable to be a kind person. Maybe we should start believing that people genuinely want to change for the better. I acknowledge that sometimes this can be an extremely long process and very difficult. But put yourself in your neighbours shoes, don’t you also want to change and be better? Don’t you want to be easily forgiven and for people not to judge you for every little mistake you make? I am a fundamental believer that whatever seeds you sow, you will reap. So, the more we able to put ourselves in our neighbours shoes and believe that people can change and become better, the more that will become a reality in our lives through how other people will treat us.

 
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