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LfG 17/18 Seminar 8 blog

Community Leaders - Influence the future of regional Victoria

In the four-year history of the joint conference, this was the first time that all 10 of the regional leadership programs attended. Minister Pulford urged all that attended to 'get involved' and 'suck the life' out of the strong, rich and diverse programs being undertaken across the state. She highlighted that the major challenges facing our regional communities remained overcoming youth disengagement, unemployment and lack of skill, as well as touching on the growing digital divide between regional and urban areas.

Delloitte Access economists, Frank Kelloway & Dr Daniel Terrill, addressed the buzzing room on the topic of 'The Purpose of Place Reconsidered' - a thinking framework - where they discussed several factors that impact the decision-making process of why we choose where we live, work and play. Interestingly, Dr Dan explained that once unpacked and analysed, data can be used to overcome stigma. Frank left the group asking the increasingly valid question: 'What are the actions I am going to take to make my place flourish?'

The eternally engaging Jason Clarke injected life into the audience and alluded to the fact that everyone has three core beliefs: 'I do the work', 'if I'm not at work then this will fail', and 'I am surrounded by idiots'. Leading on from this was the introduction of the I.D.E.A framework - the notion that there are four types of thinking processes (Imagine, Develop, Evaluate, Action) that bring an IDEA from nothing to something. By developing an understanding and empathy of different types of thinkers, we can bridge the gap between being true to the idea but also delivering something that is able to be bounded by the real restrictions.

Shawn Callahan walked the leadership group through the necessities of telling a great story and how this can be implemented in a business sense, for example: Re-arranging a story to allow an easy way to write it as opposed to chronological sequencing when telling a story. Shawn discussed ways that story telling (facts with context delivered with emotion), listening and triggering can be used to develop ownership in an idea.

Shawn's session rounded out a big day of community leadership where the group was challenged to discuss an array of scenarios which, among other things, revolved around developing emotional attachment to place, how to bridge the gap between thinkers and how the emotional attachment can be used in a business story to develop a sense of empathy. These skills, that no doubt require further honing, help to deepen the groups understanding of the secret language of community leadership.



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