#56: Humanity walking on the moon

It has been an interesting point in time for reflection as the 50th anniversary celebrations of humanity walking on the moon have been occurring all over the globe. I feel quite honoured to be part of the members of civilisation (albeit an aging trajectory) who actually remember this ground breaking event!

There are many world events that are powerful enough to stop nations with memories etched in the minds of all alive at the time. Unfortunately, such recollections tend to have more of a negative experience such as when Princess Diana tragically died 31st August 1997 or attacks on the United States 11 September 2011. In the case of the moon walk this was not so and even though there was a fight to be the first to claim such an honour of positioning the national flag (and a few conspiracies over the years) the moon walk has been seen as a celebration of progress.

My reflection of this grand day was actually combined with some frustration. I remember I had just started ‘big preschool’ and was getting ready for real school. I had mastered such important skills as tying my own shoe laces and could even write my own name. My love of learning had been well and truly instilled in these early years. In fact, this is partly why I remember the grand event taking place as it simply interrupted my preschool session. Yes, it became a day at home along with my family crowed around the black and white TV – even my Father taking some time away from work.

My father making a decision to take some time away from the family business was in itself a major moment as being ‘ten-pound poms’ (yes I am first generation Australian) we had arrived in Australia with very little and with English being our first language as the only benefit we had as a family. My parents were drawn to Australia to start a new life for their family and having started their own business (upholstery) this meant working every hour possible to make ends meet.

My interest in the moon walk reflection goes beyond the decisions of my parents or the steps that were taken in space it is more about transformation and how much life has changed in this 50-year window. Throughout this time my learning curiosity has continued and in this Consequences Blog#56 I am keen to deconstruct the decisions making of the 1960’s compared with the decision making that is required for the 21st century. In addition, I am interested in exploring the kind of decision making that will be relevant for turn of the next millennia. As society prepares for another millennium 2100 what kind of differences can we expect. Just even writing 2100 seems strange but it doesn’t seem that long ago when the same was for the shift between 1999 – 2000.

Strange or different are helpful words and to assist with this thinking about decision making past, present and future, I refer to a 1960’s precursor to ‘youtube’. The Australian government created Life in Australia as a marketing tool to sell to potential new Australians from Europe (like my parents) the idea of a prosperous happy life down under. The films were made to show the aspects of life in Australia (now 50 years ago) and by default capture the transformation of a nation aspiring to fulfil its potential.

All 12 films focus on our capital cities and regional centres, and follow the same formula, showcasing employment and industry, education, sport, health care, shopping, religion, night life, and art. Traditional genre roles determine how the members of the films’ fictional families occupy their time: father was the head of the house, and although women studied and worked, they only did so until they were ready to become devoted housewives. https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/life-australia

I have highlighted the last sentence in bold as there has been a sizeable transformational shift in decision making between the roles of a father and women i.e. father being head of the house and/or women becoming devoted housewives. In fact, these phrases, 50 years on, are possible fodder or content for the script of a comedy show. Likewise, another notable transformation of such decisions over the past 50 years is the way the moon walk is being celebrated. For example, many of the global celebrations have made conscious decisions to refer to the event as ‘humanity walking on the moon’ and not man.

My intention of this blog is to not expand the gender role debate but to clearly demonstrate that decisions that were made in the 1960’s do not always have the same gravitas as decisions of the now. Equally it is also foolish to believe that decisions that are being made in 2019 will have the same relevance for 2069 (50 years from now). It is the shift in decision making that has influenced my career and the area I have spent much of my research.

I often refer to ADWAG being an important decision making analogy and one to be prevented– always doing what always got. ADWAG is one of those phrases that will do exactly what is written on the can. The life that was demonstrated in the Australia 1960’s does not offer the same visual that would attract families to Australia in 2019. Likewise, nor would the 2019 version be the right visual for 2069. I am sure the point I am making around ‘always doing what always got’ and ensuring decisions and actions are fit for purpose is subconsciously understood with the challenge being turning this into conscious purposeful action.  In this understanding, I challenge the everyday decisions that are made in either your personal or professional life. How do you ensure that you are making decisions that are fit for purpose especially whilst experiencing much uncertainty?

The topic of uncertainty is the only real known and change must be expected. My area of interest is in how you make decisions that STRADDLE uncertainty (yes the EBook on finding your Balance Point to STRADDLE uncertainty is soon to be released). I am interested in your STRADDLE journey and plan to spread the news that human beings who make better decisions by default become great advocates within organisations that in return make decisions that ‘do no harm’.

Over the years, whether it be 50 years in the past or future many sentiments stay the same, but it is always the decision making process that will change. This has been the case for centuries and Adam Smith (1723-1790) a Scottish philosopher and economist who was best known as the author of ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth Of Nations’ (1776), one of the most influential books ever written:

No society can be flourishing and happy of which the far greater part of the members are poor or miserable (Adam Smith 1776)

Interesting to note this statement was also made around the same time many countries around the world were being colonised (Australia being one) and as history has shown many of the decision making process are being challenged – rightfully so.

My final thought takes me back to my personal life and my most fortunate beginning in Australia. As part of the Australian 1960’s marketing campaign another ‘youtube look a like’ represents the Australian town where I was born (Mount Gambier South Australia) and this film was made the exact year I was born – five years before the moon walking! It runs for nearly 18 minutes so in today’s ‘now now’ society (even TED talks have time reductions) possibly too long to be of popular interest. For any of my Mount Gambier or South Australia colleagues you may find it as amusing as I did. Most importantly it is a reminder of the importance of not letting your decision making processes stay static – find the Balance Point and STRADDLE!



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