“Izzy”by Izzy

That hand drawn process map on the wall – that is my Native Genius.  It is also the biggest pain in my a*%s. 

A simple task assigned to me by my fearless (and incredibly patient) leader, was to figure out and collate which reports needed to come out of a new platform we are using. These reports needed to show gaps in information in the platform as well as add value to our Senior Consultant’s capacity planning. BUT no no no, I could not just do that, I had to go in and create this entire brain dump, to be able to see holistically where the best points for us are to extract information. 

I, at this point in my career, do not have the ability to jump in at any point and decide what is the best report to show what we need to see.  I need to see the whole entire picture. From beginning to the very end.  Why are we doing this? Why do we start here?  If we are doing this, why are we still doing that? Why does no one else ask 69 questions about every task they complete? Etc etc etc.  and my tiny brain boggles. 

I guess the upside of this, is that we now have an entire workflow from when a lead enters our incubator to when we shoot them out the other side as a big old fluffy chook (i.e. client).  I have thought about what information is key to collect a teach checkpoint, what reports should be created from this, what actions there are to delegate to the team and the platforms we will use to complete all of the above.   

The downside is the time it takes to complete as well as the frustration that is felt during the process.  I am hoping with years of experience, the time between these two tasks will shorten and I won’t have to draw an entire A2 sheet of arrows and shapes to find my answers (am I still in Kindergarten?)… or maybe this is my reality for the rest of forever and this ridiculous blog has made me realise the extent to which I am going to drive myself crazy. 

 

'Izzy' by Jane – The Map Maker

Isobell (aka Izzy) is our Systems and Processes Consultant – but also very much the Brain of FiveSeven. Not in the way you would probably think (although she may well have the highest IQ!).

Izzy is the piece of the Team that brings it all together –that makes all the moving parts, move and all the balls, bounce. She walked into our life – took one look at our process (*very very time-consuming processes*) and immediately remapped EVERYTHING.

Sounds like change. Sounds like new systems to learn. Sounds downright awful? Wrong

You see Izzy’s Native Genius is Processing.  She can step back and look at 3 different systems and 15 different process –then her mind does some kind of magic – and maps them all into a simpler, clear – USER FRIENDLY – outcome.

Her Genius lies in being able to infinitely improve systems and processes that are already there. To see connections and opportunity for improvement that no one has noticed. And the best part (as a business owner!) –this Genius is actually #user focused improvement. The Team actually engage with the processes she designs – consistently.

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“Candice”by Candice

When our fearless Leader and all-round amazing ‘Boss Lady’ sent us a video link to advise that our challenge for the Month of April was to write about our Native Genius I was honestly not excited. There is no doubt that if 2020 were a herb, it would be coriander. We have experienced a month like no other, many of us have never seen anything like this, and hopefully we will never see anything like this again.  How in all this crazy can I think about my native genius? What is my native genius?  

Whilst I like to think one of my strengths is understanding others and their strengths, the one thing I find really challenging is to self-reflect. So, I did what any normal person did, I asked my colleagues (note to self,asking your partner – or in my case my husband and children – what your strengths are, is not always helpful). The feedback from these amazing ladies was that apparently my strength is Time Management.  

Apparently,I can fit a lot into my day, but in all honesty, I am not going to sugarcoat it, between my personal and professional life getting the balance right is HARD. Like so many I am a wife, a mother, a professional, a university student, a friend, a daughter, a sister and an adult (at times).  I had to really think about how my day would look any different to anyone else.Ultimately, I concluded that the only way I am able to achieve what I do in a day is to utilise each available moment.  

I know that there are different priorities for each of us as individuals, so there are a few key focus areas that I find help me get through all I need to achieve in a day. These are:  

  1. I get up early and do not go to bed until late. A reasonably simplistic theory, my mind and body function well with fewer hours of sleep than many others,obviously giving me more hours in my day. I am not talking about anything too crazy, but I get up around 5:00am and go to bed around 11:00pm. 
  2. I am very structured using my phone. When my children were very small, I found it easy to fall into the habit of uselessly checking social media platforms. For this reason, whether I am at work or home I very seldom access social media, I turn off notifications and give myself 10 minutes twice a day to check in to see what is happening in the world. This is my attempt to avoid the vortex (you know what I am talking about). 
  3. I set times for tasks. By setting times and deadlines for tasks to be completed, I generally tend to avoid procrastinating. This has been particularly useful whilst navigating my way through the COVID-19 social isolation #routine.   
  4. I have a confession… I do not watch television through the week and only very little on the weekend #unrelatable. Whilst I often have the television, or music, on throughout the day to create back ground noise while I work (as an extrovert the silence is not conducive), in a house that is sport and movie mad there are very few shows that generate my interest. When many are watching television I study,read and spend time with my children outside.  
  5. I have a great Boss who embraces ‘smart time’. What that means is that, provided I work the hours in line with my Employment Contract, it does not matter if I commence at 5:00am or 10:00am or whether I am in the office, at home or at a café. I can work from anywhere – this is an amazing perk and can often means that I cut almost 2 hours of travel from my day. 
  6. Finally,regardless of how you manage your time it is important to remember that at the end of the day, we are all human and some days I allow my children to spend more time than I would like in front of a screen; also I don’t beat myself up over not preparing a restaurant quality meal at dinner each night.Sometimes it is okay to order pizza #balance.  

We all have different priorities that we identify as critical and need to ‘fit’ into our lives. I think, more important than any thing else, effective Time Management for each of us means the ability to do the things that you deem most important. Whilst structure is important, embracing some flexibility, possibly wine or an afternoon nap, will hopefully mitigate any resentful feeling. 

Until the day we find a device that will allow me to add more hours to each of my days, I will continue to embrace my organised chaos and working to achieve as much as I can squeeze in. 

 

“Candice” by Jane – Time Management Queen

At some point, ‘Time Management’ turned into a buzz word and it was the ‘hot skill’ to have.

Well Candice was on trend with this one! You know how you hear people say ‘how does she fit it all in’ - yep they are probably talking about Candice (aka Our Time Management QUEEN).  

I know she won’t think it’s a glamorous Native Genius to poses, but Genius it is. Candice’s brain somehow sees her day in blocks of time. She has an innate ability to know exactly how much she can fit in, how long things will take – then the JUST DOES IT.

I have seen Candice’s Native Genius in operation for years now. I know exactly how she fits it all in. Her mind time blocks, she then sprints through the work in that set time, resets and starts again. It’s actually pretty damn impressive to watch and it makes her an amazing consultant.

Without even knowing it – I have watched her coach others through the skill – our Team, our Clients, the Executives she works with (and her children!). This Native Genius is a force to be reckoned with.

 

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“Rach” by Rachel

I don’t claim to be the smartest, or the funniest, or the most organised person on the team (mind you, I do have some pretty stiff competition!) But what I do have to offer is a genuine heart and true sense of loyalty, an open mind and a deep-seated desire to be all that I can be. So how does this translate to my role as a Consultant you may ask?

Well, I actually really care about the work that I do and the results I achieve. More importantly, I really care about the people I work with and I genuinely want the best for everyone. I am a great listener and I love to work collaboratively with others to critically analyse complex issues to deliver winning solutions. I like things to be done well. I’m a quality over quantity type person. I am willing to work hard for a mission or a cause,especially when the work aligns with my values. I prefer to work with people,not against them. I use patience, poise and objective reasoning to effectively negotiate cooperation from others. I keep a level head because I always look for the bigger picture and see all people’s perspectives which assists in finding peaceful solutions and avoiding unnecessary conflict.

I love to learn, and I am forever on a journey of self-discovery and mastery of both personal growth and professional development.Why stop at average when you can be extraordinary.

 

You were born with potential.

You were born with goodness and trust.

You were born with ideals and dreams.

You were born with greatness.

You were born with wings.

You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.

You have wings.

Learn to use them and fly.

~ Rumi

 

Optimism, compassion and kindness is my natural state of being. I don’t do drama (ain’t got no time for that!) I am generally just a happy person, no fuss, no muss. Let’s just all be happy ok! Life is good. Let’s make the best of it.

 

“Rachel” by Jane – The Heart in the Team

Rachel is the heart of the Solve Team. I don’t mean that in the sense that she is the centre of it – I mean she is the centre of its kindness, its honesty and its calm.

Rachel has the ability to lead people (including our clients) to a calm place. Her gift is not in what she communicates (her*amazing* technical expertise) – it is in how she does it. You see Rachel’s Native Genius is in fact Calm. It lets her really hear what the other person is saying and work with them not against them – to help them in a way that is genuine and authentic.  This Genius brings relief to what is often a very emotional and stressful time for the other person.

The Calm is unconscious. There is no Off Button.

Rachel’s Native Genius means that she is loyal to our Team and our Clients. It make’s her precise. A perfectionist – and most importantly it makes her a fabulous Teacher: Speaking the Calm to others!

 

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“Alison”by Alison!

- Finding my native Genius – A Lockdown Challenge – written in week 11 of being in #iso with my loving family.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate a good Team Building Challenge as much as the next person. And this one was no exception. But I was explicitly told I had to do it, and, I was not allowed to quit. So, you know, as I say to my 5 year old: You are out of options.

So it is with a deep, deep, breath (and an eye roll) that I launch into the delightful Team Building exercise that has been foist upon me: discovering my Native Genius.

What is Native Genius? Well, I will be honest I have not read the book (Diminishers and Multipliers by Liz Wiseman) so instead I went to good old google to find out (it reminded me very much of my Uni days!).

It seems that my Native Genius is apparently something I do naturally, exceptionally well, easily,and freely.

I read this and thought: – Nup. I don’t have one of those.

But because I knew that my brief (and very accurate) assessment of the situation would not cut it, I went through the process of attempting to discover what it is that I am a genius of. Naturally. Without effort.

It appears that I am not the only one who does not instantly know what they are a natural genius at. So they developed some questions that are meant to make it all become crystal clear.

So here we go(wish me luck!):  

1. What do you do better than anyone else?

Let me ask this: If I can answer this question, do I really need to answer any of the other questions? I feel like if I can say hands down that I do X better than anyone else I may have found my Native Genius? Yes?  

I don’t know what I do better than anyone else.  I thought I was doing ok at the parenting thing, but then I read some books…. and that clearly is not what I do better than anyone else.

2. What do you do better than the people around you?  

Well right now the people around me are:

·      a five year old boy;

·      a nine month baby girl; and

·      my husband.

I do everything better than the people around me*…….with maybe the exception of killing cockroaches.

*joking – my husband is amazing! I totally married the perfect man.

3.      What do you do without effort?:

On the amount of sleep I get – everything is an effort. Breathing some days is a Herculean challenge.

 4.      What do you do without being asked?

I feel I need to refer you to the answer to question 2 for this answer. But the answer is: Everything. I do everything without being asked. Because I do everything**.

**Again - Married.The.Perfect.Man!

5.      What would you do without being paid?

Yeah, ok – I feel like these questions are really not helping with the whole: Finding my Native Genius task.

In all seriousness, and all jokes aside. This is a hard question.

There are many things I think I do well:

  • I think I am good at researching information (when I like the subject);
  • I think I am good at editing (when I am interested in the topic);
  • I think my attention to detail is good (if I like the subject and the topic);
  • I think I am good at critical thinking (when the mood strikes me);
  • I think I am good at getting to the crux of this issue quickly and efficiently;
  • People tell me that my Sarcasm is off the charts. Although I am not sure that is something that you are necessarily “good at”?  
  • I think I can be funny (sometimes…. If you like sarcastic humour); 

I am good at things, but there is nothing that I truly believe that I am better at than others. There are lots of things that I would like to do, if I could do anything,I would become a Philanthropist and support worthy causes around the world and in my own back yard. But that is not my Native Genius, that is just what I want to do.

So, at the end of my great search. Following hours (and hours!) of badgering to finish this. I come to this grand conclusion:

I don’t have a Native Genius. I am a good all rounder (as long as I am interested in the conversation, subject or the topic).

 

"Alison" by Jane - The Carer

Let’s be honest. It will be a miracle if Alison actually completes this challenge. Why? Because she loathes writing about herself!

Her genius lies is in her ability to adapt and quickly work out what those around her need.  Support. Structure. Humour. Someone to listen. Solutions. Snacks/Cake! She can find a way to help in any situation.

Don’t get me wrong. One of my very favourite things about Alison is her sarcasm. It is 100% a super power like no other. But it is just one of the many characteristics that makers her such a great Consultant and human. It is her sarcasm that diffuses intense situations, that builds team moral, and keeps everyone sane.

This need to make the world a better place drives a unique set of skills as a Consultant. She is a world class investigator because she cares about the outcome. Her passion for Quality & Risk, is fuelled by her ability to look for improvement in every scenario and see simple solutions.

Alison’s Native Genius is not one thing that she does better than anyone. It’s her ability to see everyone else’s needs clearly that that sets her apart. She genuinely cares about other people, and helping them be better and do better.

Alison is the Carer in the team.

Jane McConville

With a passion for strategic thinking, Jane believes ardently in collaborating with clients to solve their problems through specific, tailored, and realistic advice that supports....

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