Program Bites: Igniting Leadership Day 4

26 July 2017 By Alison Leahy

If you’ve ever been stumped as to the exact nature of the challenge you are facing at work, I would recommend Day 4 of the Igniting Leadership course. For me, the day was a series of lightbulb moments.

James Garriok started the day by pointing out that culture is ‘the way we do things around here’ while climate is ‘the way things feel around here’. I found this distinction extremely helpful. If you’re having a tough time, is it because you don’t like the culture - for example, way your organisation makes decisions - or is it because the climate has gotten a bit toxic. Figuring this out will influence what you do about it.

During the world café activity we got to enjoy the benefit of an empowering culture and a productive climate, as each table thought of a burning question to challenge the wisdom of the group. Each group had only ten minutes per question, but amply demonstrated the experience and insight in the room.

I think that the conversations that day will help me to identify my real challenges, avoid distractions and appreciate what's going well. They certainly greatly informed my discussion with my buddy at the end of the day, as we strategised how to conquer our workplace challenges and prepped our personal leadership commitments for Day 5.


Alison Leahy works in Research Governance at RMIT University and volunteers at Friends of the Earth.