ILN Background:

Intentional Living Network – Some of the back story

To help in understanding what this network group is about, I am sharing some of the thinking and key steps that led to its establishment.

From my earliest work experiences I found that what motivated me most was the sense of achievement that came from successfully completing something I felt was worthwhile. So, when I linked this with my love of working with people, it wasn’t a real surprise when my career direction found its way into the field of project management. I have been privileged to work in many of the project disciplines, most recently focussed in learning, training and sharing knowledge.

And then came the frustrations…

Despite the best intentions of people involved in developing and delivering successful projects, I have found that too often the expected success was not achieved. The consequential losses have been significant. Even though the processes, techniques and experience were available, the biggest weakness seemed to be a failure to adequately learn from past failures and other “benchmark” data available.

From my experience, the Project Management learning process can be summarised in the following four steps:
    1. Identify project learning opportunities
    2. Document these opportunities for application to future projects
    3. Apply relevant learning opportunities to new projects
    4. Ensure accountability for delivering improvement

The biggest frustration was that while effort produced good outcomes from steps 1 and 2, there regularly appeared to be a lack of intentionality and discipline around steps 3 and 4. Until these last two steps are completed there can be no guarantee that any learning actually occurs – only the potential for learning. This therefore can be regarded as merely good intentions.

Followed by the opportunity…

From a personal perspective; about twenty years ago, I began developing and using a simple “Life Planning” tool to help implement a structured and disciplined approach to personal life improvement.

This has now developed into a very usable process for identifying life-stage directions and plans for moving forward for those people who have been brave enough to give it a try!

The amazing thing I have discovered is that the same learning process I have been grappling with in my project management career is now an integral part of the Life Planning process. I have had the opportunity to address the areas that are such a frustration in the project management learning steps 2 and 3. For the Life Planning process to be effective there needs to be a disciplined implementation of improvement actions that is supported by an environment that allows for a good level of accountability. It is anticipated that our Intentional Living Network will be able to provide such a supportive environment for those who are interested and want to live more intentional lives. This includes all those who complete a Life Plan.

Life Planning workshops as well as individual Life Planning sessions are now an important part of our network activities.

Col Grant


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