23 quotations that I posted with
tweets during 2020
[Quotations from other people] are sources of
guidance in times of need, they can give us
inspiration in times of struggle, they can motivate us
in times of tribulations--success is not final and
failure is not forever.
@HelenBevan A year of Twitter quotations
About this slide deck
Each page in this slide deck contains a quotation
that I posted as a visual with a tweet during 2020. I
used them to illustrate the point I was making in
I have attempted to group the quotations by similar
themes in this deck.
You may not agree with all of the quotations but I
hope they might inspire, motivate and/or challenge
you as they have me during this challenging year.
@HelenBevan A year of Twitter quotations
Diversity: a powerful lever for change in an
ambiguous, complex world
Diversity is how we can become collectively smarter.
Diversity is the foundation for creativity. There are no best
practices for creativity, only unique practices, of which we
need many. We need to stop looking for the next best practice
and create our own emergent practices through our diverse
connections. Therefore, organisations have to become
knowledge networks. An effective knowledge network
cultivates the diversity and autonomy of each worker. Those in
leadership positions should foster deeper connections,
developed through ongoing and meaningful conversations.
These leaders know they are just nodes in the knowledge
network and not a special position in a hierarchy. They
ensure variety and diversity, not control.
Why belonging at work counts more
than inclusion or diversity
Diversity is a fact (the numbers are what they are),
inclusion is a choice (you decide whether to include
someone or not), but belonging is a feeling that can be
enforced by a culture that you can purposefully create.
The best thought-out diversity and inclusion strategies
will go so much further in cultures where people feel
they belong because when we’re seen and valued for
who we really are — our own unique and authentic
selves — we thrive, and so do the people around us.
There is a critical relationship between
diversity, inclusion, belonging and
Leaders who care about diversity must care
about psychological safety, just as those who
care about psychological safety must also care
about diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Why we should always make the
effort to pronounce someone’s
name correctly and if we don’t
know, ask them
Mutilating someone’s name
is a tiny act of bigotry
@HelenBevan Twitter quotations 2020
Being kind and compassionate has far
The positive ripple effect that comes from being
kind doesn't just impact our health, but it can also
impact our interactions with others and set off a
positive chain reaction with far-reaching benefits
across entire communities…...
In a world where you can be pretty much anything,
be kind. It's good for your health.
@HelenBevan A year of Twitter quotations
Emotional rescue: Songs for our times
As countries all around the world enter the most restrictive peacetime
measures they may have experienced, people everywhere will experience a range
of moods and emotions that will impact on their lives. Such emotional swings and
changes are not to be discounted lightly; they will shape how countries,
communities and citizens respond to the requirements of the situation we
collectively face. It is important that we understand them, see the collective
pattern and ascertain where we are individually and collectively in order to
determine appropriate responses.
We foresee that after the initial burst of energy associated with the
introduction of tough new measures, we may enter a period of despondency and
disillusionment as the reality of the situation takes hold before we begin to emerge
into a new world. We need to be conscious of how our moods change: this will help
us as we navigate through uncharted territory together in an epic struggle that has
profound implications for us all. We’ve characterised three changes of mood
through song titles that can help us to appreciate what is happening to us and
millions of others at this time: No regrets, Stuck in the Middle and I can see clearly
Dr David Nabarro
Facilitation and facilitative leadership is a
capability that every leader should invest in
Facilitation, or facilitative leadership is the dynamic
and effective ability to move a process along in the most
inclusive, focused, energised and alive way possible.
Facilitation [is] a way of being that offers safe space,
creates a container for exploration, makes way for
emergence, enables collaboration and co-creation, builds
a culture of inclusion, and helps to align discrete actions
with and towards a larger purpose. I believe it’s as
necessary a leadership skill today as planning, organising,
and controlling was fifty or seventy years ago.
We need to move from “parent-child”
to “adult-adult” relationships at work
This shift from parenthood to partnership in work is
relevant to us all.
It won’t be easy – our parent and child ways of being
are so ingrained in us, learned habits from school and
When we have a truly adult-adult culture, it liberates
each individual’s full intelligence and creativity, creating
workplaces that are nourishing rather than depleting.
In delivering change, actions
matter more than words
New language explains new ways of
working. The ways of working give meaning to
the words and are the most powerful symbol of
the changes. If you want to explain your new
language and develop a consistent meaning for
your people, match the words with consistent
and visible practice.
Change starts with me: the fastest and
easiest way to create movement in what’s
going on around you is to focus on what
going on inside you
[Our research] indicated that over half the
reason why big change either succeeds or fails is
down to how skilled leaders are at being able to
tune into and regulate their inner emotional and
mental response to experience.
How to get started with change
The most important thing you
can do to bring change about is
simply to get started.
If not now, when? If not you, who?
To take ownership of a new strategy, teams
need more than information or inspiration —
they need a specific, personalised license to act
The real work of strategy execution lies in teams, not in
the leaders. And that no organisation can afford a single
day in which employees do not have a working
hypothesis about where they contribute most. It is easy
to default into cascade mode — passing on information,
and declaring priorities, insights, and expectations — and
miss the opportunity to build the commitment and
ownership the organisation and the strategy require.
How to manage mavericks
Geniuses aren’t always easy people
to live with, but their contributions
produce such a jump in quality that
they deserve the collective hard work
and support [that’s required].
a definition of connection
Connection is the energy that is
created between people when they feel
seen, heard and valued - when they can
give and receive without judgement.
How to make organisational/system
You have to attract, not try to overpower. Change
can’t be a corporate mandate. People have to want to
join in. There has to be an element of fun and joy to it all.
While managers often plan initiatives to be linear,
hierarchical, and based on persuasion, initiatives actually
succeed by growing through informal networks, which are
non-linear. This allows them to start slowly, but then scale
very quickly [by giving power to] advocates to share their
excitement with others, who can then bring in others still.
Inclusive leadership is a critical
competence in a time of crisis
Now is a time for leaders to think about what
type of leader they need to be for all of their
workers, especially the most vulnerable and
As we move from rapid response to short- to long-
term recovery, community, connection, and allyship
— including deep awareness about how implicit
bias shows up in decision making — will become
even more important critical leadership
The mutual aid movement is helping
to create a different future
Many pathways toward a better world are being laid bare by
the altruistic mutual aid efforts arising in cities around the globe.
These locally designed and collaboratively built acts of
solidarity—which view the vulnerable as participants in their
survival rather than passive consumers of assistance—inform a
model of community resilience and collective empowerment with
implications far beyond their immediate impact.
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the globe, and it is
likely that things will never return to the way they once were.
While we fight to mitigate the damage the crisis has wrought, we
should learn lessons from the mutual solidarity and community
resilience that it has unveiled. It will ensure the world that comes
after the crisis is a better one for all.
Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic with a
focus on living our mission and values
Don’t shy away from how this crisis has
changed your [organisational] culture, or if your
workplace has long needed an overhaul. Find out
how to positively impact employees during this
crisis and do that thing immediately. Use this as an
opportunity to realign your mission, vision, or
values with employee happiness and morale.
Challenges in taking the learning from the
Covid 19 response to the next stage in the
health and care system
The gratifying psychology of feeling necessary, and even
heroic, in addressing the day-to-day challenges…. implicitly
devalues the work of creating a standard system that can be
replicated. Frontline clinicians have been shown to prefer
firefighting and workarounds over taking time out to
implement process improvements. It takes creativity to design,
and discipline to implement, management systems. This is the
challenge that today’s health care systems are facing.
It’s time to rethink extroversion vs.
It’s often said that extroverts get their energy from
people, while introverts are energised by solitude. The data
show that’s a myth. In a pair of studies, people rated their
energy hourly or weekly. Extroverts felt more energised when
they were being talkative and outgoing - but introverts did,
too. Then, in an experiment, people were randomly assigned
to act like extroverts or introverts in a group discussion. Acting
extroverted energised even the introverts.
Being introverted has nothing to do with liking alone time. It
turns out that the desire for solitude comes from a different
trait altogether: independence.
Adam M Grant
On the value of small meetings
Breakouts are the superfood of innovation.
In small groups, you have inclusion, you
have risk taking, you have psychological
safety and you have people willing to say
stupid stuff that might be the tipping point
of extraordinary things
Your virtual meetings need a Yoda
Candour is difficult even for co-located
teams, but it’s the number one gauge of
team productivity. To keep people
engaged during virtual meetings, appoint
a “Yoda.” Like the wise Jedi master in Star
Wars, the Yoda keeps team members in
line and makes sure everyone stays active
and on topic. The Yoda keeps honesty
from boiling over into disrespect by being
courageous and calling out any
inappropriate behaviours. At critical
points during the meeting, the leader
should turn to the Yoda and ask, “So,
what’s going on here that nobody’s
talking about?” This allows the Yoda to
express the candour of the group and
Some wisdom about making the most
of our time
If you find you're breathing but not
living, it's not time you need, but love.
If you find you're not as productive as you
want to be, it's not time you're lacking, but
We all have the same amount of time in a
given week. What matters is HOW we use
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