Insights and reflections from the last year in business
2 min read
From technology companies shaping online education and government championing community engagement, to tackling skills and careers shortages, and working alongside boards and executive teams, our projects over the last 12 months have been diverse and complex.
And most importantly, aligned to the driving force behind Shape & Impact – helping purpose-led organisations and leaders deliver strategy and change with long-lasting positive impact.
Here are three cross-cutting industry insights and three personal reflections from the last year in business.
Scale and level of engagement – the size and scope of stakeholders that leaders have to consider and engage with is only growing in volume and complexity. Alignment continues to be a great challenge and the importance of authenticity, and truly listening and learning from stakeholders (or customers depending on your industry) cannot be understated.
Importance of “soft” skills that aren’t really soft - there isn’t a leadership forum that I’ve been in this year where AI and ChatGPT hasn’t been brought up. But there’s also acknowledgement that it won’t fully replace being able to communicate, and the gaps continuing to emerge in the workplace and within teams around these core skills needing to be addressed.
Power of partnership and collaboration – it’s not a new revelation that impact can be scaled through collaboration, but increasingly partnership and community is being demonstrated as critical in addressing systemic strategic issues such as skills shortages, affordability of education and equality in leadership.
Embrace the career portfolio - The movement behind building up skills and experience across different areas and roles, including on boards, makes me so excited. I find it hard to describe what my job is in a couple of words and I can see more people, particularly women, embracing this opportunity and expanding the trajectory of their careers.
Know your boundaries and grow through discomfort - Early on, I was advised working for yourself is really just wading through discomfort and trying to stay out of panic stations. Naturally this can be about cash flow and the time you have available. For me, it also related to struggles with putting myself out there. Having new photos* - a couple of which are copied above - is something I actively avoided for 12 months and waded through discomfort to share!
Remember your why and stay true to your values - If you know me well, you will know my parents left everything to move to Australia from Zimbabwe when I was 11. I’ve been motivated to make the most of this opportunity every day since. On the tough days, I remind myself of the privilege of playing a very small part in helping exceptional organisations and leaders have great impact.