Here we are !

Let’s thump the table about the positives that people with disability bring to our communities.

Hard to believe that this was over three years ago when I first published this – but like so much about disability, things don’t change very quickly (if at all).

It may only be a short post (one of the first I ever wrote) but it’s a powerful message that we need to keep repeating.

Unless we talk and argue, nothing is going to change.

We like to moan and feel like we’re victims. Maybe it’s time we take our positives, slam them onto the table and say…


Businessman, Man, Afraid, Angry

Your suppliers, your partners

Currently there is a lot of business advice around establishing genuine relationships with your customers.

Really this is a no-brainer as customers are the very life blood of your company. If you have no customers, you have no business.

If this advice is so sensible, why not take it a step further and look to proactively form meaningful relationships with your suppliers? As you are their customer, they have an incentive to join with you in this process.

Just as we all believe that we can offer more to our customers than just competing on price, so our suppliers have much they can offer us.

Good relationships can lead to:
• Sharing of innovation
• Advice on the best use of their products or services
• Improved reliability of supply (ie if there is a shortage/delay, they will first look after those they have good relationships with)
• Leads and referrals
• Early information on changes in markets, products, regulation etc

What can make a good relationship?
• Open and transparent: Sharing strategic plans, market information, new initiatives and the needs of the end customer.
• Innovative: Sharing ideas, new processes or new directions.
• Trust: Good communication and openness can lead to mutual trust. Act in ways that show your suppliers than you can be trusted, and in turn, be prepared to trust them.
Collaboration: Fundamentally, it is all about working together for the benefit of all parties.
• Behavioural maturity: I simply define this as professional, warm and honest

Hand, Keep, Puzzle, Finger, Match

Transforming the world for a better future

Really pleased to have received my ExO Foundations Certification.

Digitise, disrupt, demonetise and democracies – it’s all about exponential growth.

Working through the process certainly made me stop and think about the way we currently do things, and how we really do need to change our thinking if we want to seriously see exponential growth.

Even us old buggers need to up-date our thinking and find new ways to make a difference. Scale has long been an issue with social enterprise in New Zealand so we really do need to find way we can support them to grow the business, so in turn they can grow the difference that they make.

“OpenExO is the global transformation ecosystem with more than 6,000 coaches, investors, consultants and innovation specialists helping organizations, institutions and people unlock abundance to change the world”.

3d bar chart of exponential growth rate

Speak Out! Take Action!

While only a brief mention here on our television news, the football team San Diego Loyal’s move to walk off the pitch midway through a game following a alleged homophobic slur against one of their players certainly brought international attention to the issue.

Allegations of racist and homophobic insults have of course been made before, however, are quickly forgotten. What makes it different this time was the fact that the team acted. I can’t remember a permanent walk off happening anywhere previously (though I assume it has).

This team forfeited a game, a game crucial to their playoff hopes and a game they were winning easily. That was a big call.

Now I don’t want to get too involved in talking about the actual slur – for the simple reason the player absolutely denied saying it (though he was found guilty in a disciplinary hearing). There are also so many other points that could be discussed, like the fact that homosexual sports people tend not to come out while playing – especially in male sports.

What I do want to talk about, and in fact celebrate, is the values behind the San Diego players feeling strongly enough and comfortable enough to make such a stand.

Landon Donovan, their coach, explained that their values state: Speak out. Take Action.

I find these simple words to be quite awe inspiring. If you think something is wrong, take the responsibility to SPEAK OUT. Speaking out is never enough, you also need to take the responsibility to ACT.

If you want to make a difference, a real difference, have the courage to speak out and take action.

It can be hard and it can really hurt but if professional footballers can basically throw away their whole season, then surely we can follow their lead?

  • OK I didn’t want to talk about the whole homophobia thing in sport but it would be remiss of me not to congratulate the many women’s sports in NZ where, from a spectator view at least, this simply isn’t an issue. Well doesn’t seem an issue at the top levels, I’m sure individuals have still had their struggles, though probably more with non-elite sports people rather than peers/opposition. It really should be a non-issue but we do live in a funny world!

When the system punishes – a never ending story

I don’t usually do a follow up post but in this case I really want to share the ongoing frustrations our systems put people through.

So in the first post we got to the stage where a benefit was cut because someone with an intellectual disability hadn’t completed a form that was never sent to him, meaning he hadn’t proved that his disability hadn’t suddenly disappeared.

Sadly that is not the end of this little saga…

WINZ said the GP would have the required form. The GP said they had no idea what the form was and that WINZ would have it.

We searched the WINZ website for forms, nothing. So I browsed through the instructions for GP’s and buried within, there it was – no not the form, rather where the GP can find it. It is only available on pads supplied to GP’s by WINZ or electronically via the GP system.  As I couldn’t provide a copy or link for the GP, all I could do was print out this wee paragraph and let them see that.

In the meantime we’ve now seen the size of the form required to get back onto the benefit he should be on. Gob-smacked is the only way to describe our reaction.

WINZ, according to their website, are meant to be helping their clients. Call me cynical but I really don’t see it.

This whole debacle is due to:

The system not being flexible enough to handle people with a disability having normal relationships, and ending those relationships (ie being normal).

The system being the most important thing. WINZ needs to relook at why they are there – they should be about client outcomes but in reality it appears not.

The sad fact is that whatever the rhetoric and good intentions espoused, people with an intellectual disability are continuously being marginalised. No other demographic could be treated this way with a huge backlash from the media and community.

As a society, we need to hang our heads in shame.