Welcome! fisc is an abreviation of 'flexibility is cool'. The site is a collection of blogs to promote the use of flexibility in our personal and professional lives, to help manage uncertainty and achieve growth.
Wikipedia defines ‘imposter syndrome’ as ‘a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.’
For those who work in areas where there is a relatively smooth, easy journey to celebrity status – models, TV presenters, interviewers, lead singers (who don’t do the song writing) and natural disaster survivors, it’s not hard to see why they might have such feelings.
Apparently many people of both genders have feelings of imposter syndrome from time to time. But because it makes people feel more anxious and vulnerable, it’s not something we’re likely to share freely. The trick is to see imposter syndrome as a choice we make. Not a mantle given to us.
Just as some people amplify their achievements to gain advantage, others take an opposite approach (under promise and over deliver). Merit takes time to form. And reputations are built on a string of milestones (but lost after a single adverse event).
Every day, people encounter novel situations, testing their leadership skills, imagination and adaptability. Therefore, if we can’t shake the monkey sitting on one shoulder whispering ‘you’re an imposter at this’, it’s up to us to encourage another monkey to sit on our other shoulder. One that says, ‘so what if you’re new to this. Flexibility rules. Do your best and see where that takes you!’
‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.’ Thomas Edison
‘Fall seven times and stand up eight.’ Japanese proverb
‘Success is not final, failure is not final. It is the courage to continue that counts.’ Winston Churchill
2018 is almost over. I hope it’s been a great year for you. For my part, it’s been a mixed bag.
With the new year about to start, is making some new year resolutions a good thing? And why do we make them?
I guess it’s inherently human to want to make a fresh start. To set a new goal. To look for some variety. To make an improvement. Or do some self-development. Nothing wrong with that. Which of the following groups we fit into and the extent to which we move between them (at different points in our lives) is partly down to our PersonalFlexibility (PFL).
Some people make resolutions the way they make a daily ‘to do’ list. Something to focus on and achieve, bit by bit. They are truebelievers and simply allocate their new year resolutions into their daily lists and get on with it. Some of this group are probably perfectionists as well as true believers. Always chasing perfection. But having to constantly redefine it too. Why? They realise that doing more things, or doing some things to a higher standard, isn’t the same thing as achieving perfection in everything.
Other people (I suspect the vast majority), make some new year resolutions, some of which are relatively quick & easy to achieve. With some of their other goals being are really difficult. Or requiring a lot of luck, outside the person’s direct control.
People might join a gym, give up smoking, enrol in a course, or take up a new hobby. But their commitment to do the activity gets overtaken by other life events (and temptations), breaking the momentum. In this group, some learn to change the goals to ones that are more achievable and join the perfectionist/true believer group. Others learn to cope with mixed success, sometimes thriving on it (adventurers and managers are usually pragmatic people). They may become society’s leaders, because they succeed in the big things. Yet small failure helps them stay grounded and accessible. Some become disillusioned and turn into non believers.
Finally, there are people who refuse to jump on the new year resolution band wagon – nonbelievers from the start. The wagon moves forward and they stay in the field, watching it go. They may be perfectly happy and know what makes them happy. Like the seasons, they have a rhythm to their life. And don’t need harsh judgement from the other groups.
In the end and in the round, it probably matters less which ‘resolutions group’ you fit into. But more, whether you live your own life according to a decent set of standards.
‘Failure is not falling down, it is not getting up again.’ Mary Pickford
‘Sometimes I think women are lucky because they can develop in ways men can’t. The old boy network may be oppressive to women, but it actually stunts men in terms of personal growth.’ Willem Dafoe
‘Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.’ Douglas MacArthur
Flexitypes are useful for directing your personal growth. While Flexiscribes are helpful for emotional health & strength. What’s the difference? Flexitypes are simply types of flexibility – dimensions of freedom, if you will. Flexiscribes code for flexibility. But more about them in other blogs.
When it comes to business flexibility, there are at least 14 flexitypes that this blogger has discovered and analysed. An improvement in any of them leads to greater business flexibility. For the record, the 14 business flexitypes are; design flexibility, communications flexibility, resource flexibility, product flexibility, service flexibility, process flexibility, system flexibility, project flexibility, channel flexibility, procurement flexibility, contract flexibility, management flexibility, business model flexibility and stakeholder (including customer) flexibility.
But what about personal flexibility? A similar set of flexitypes are present. And again, improvement in any of them leads to greater personal flexibility.
1. Personal plans are a bit like business design flexibility. Just don’t be rigid on the plans!
2. Choosing to change our style & how we talk to specific people, is similar to business communications flexibility.
3. We are but one person. So choosing how, how much and when we make an impact, is like business resource flexibility & business channel flexibility.
4. What we do, based on our opportunities, our talents, our influence & our reputation is like business product & service flexibility.
5. Creating flexibility concerning our ways & methods, is like business process flexibility.
6. How we enlist support to help others, who we approach and what we concede in return, is like business procurement flexibility & contract flexibility.
7. Our moral frameworks & the scope of our efforts (our sensitivity to giving) resemble business model flexibility.
8. How we operate within our relationships and our expectations of friends & family resemble business stakeholder flexibility.
In summary, if we take say 20 minutes once in a while, to work our way through various flexitypes relating to our own personal flexibility, we can uncover and discover more ways to embrace PFL for personal growth & problem solving.
As always, if you find these blogs useful, feel free to spread the word.
I’m an adventurer at heart. I’m comfortable in big cities of the World, but it’s fair to say that the outdoors are my second home.
People who aren’t adventurers, think adventurers must be miserable. And never content with what they have. My view, and I know I don’t necessarily speak for other adventurers, is that adventurers do appreciate the novel and the familiar. We love our families and our friends. So much so that we try to make both groups bigger. We invite others to make new adventures with us. If we’re wise, we accept it, when they don’t necessarily say yes.
The spouses and children of military or emergency services workers, come to accept that part of what makes their father or mother that military or emergency services person, isn’t to get away from those they love. Instead, it’s a deep-seated part of the adventurer’s life to do other things. For their country, for their community, for themselves.
In the last few years, I feel lucky enough to have walked a novel path along the flexibility (FL) journey. Like those who travel to experience other cultures. What I can say is that the further I’ve travelled on the FL journey, the more I’ve found out about flexibility that there is to be discovered, made sense of and described to others who might be interested.
I discovered soon after I started along the FL journey, that it seems to come in two types, twice over. There is business flexibility (BFL) and personal flexibility (PFL). There is also mental and physical flexibility.
I also quickly came to the realisation that flexibility is like maths for an engineer. Language for a lawyer. Health and strength for an athlete. Or a Swiss Army knife for the army and civilian alike. In other words, it’s a useful toolkit to solve multiple problems. Ones that relate to (personal) growth and uncertainty (resilience & risk management) especially. Hopefully, lots of other people have come to, or are coming to this realisation too.
It follows that flexibility thinking is about how you use the FL toolkit. FL thinking can help you get out of a rut. To bypass an impasse. Or to redirect a moving vehicle away from driving over the cliff edge.
By getting into the habit of consciously practising personal flexibility (PFL), it can help you in business. And visa versa. Because many of today’s problems are complex, because the costs of complexity are high, because markets are complex and because bureaucracy often gets in the way of well-intentioned growth, we need to move from not using flexibility or flexibility thinking. To instead use both FL and FL thinking together to solve problems.
Lastly, the Fisccollection collection of blogs concentrates on personal flexibility in its various forms & applications. Just like with a multi-page food menu at a restaurant, if you’re hungry every day and you like to explore new choices, the ‘flexibility menu’ of these blogs, ought to help.
‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible’ Audrey Hepburn
As an adult, each day we influence the World. And the World influences us back. On the bad days, it all seems a bit David and Goliath. On the good days, a simple walk in a public park, shows us the big, open skies. Something amusing, the beauty of nature. Some clever landscape design. Some businesses & brands selling us yummy food and drink. A bit of structure and boundaries. And a diverse bunch of people of all ages having fun together. A microcosm of the wider World.
On the David and Goliath days, it’s natural to think we have little lasting influence over others. Meanwhile, the World bombards us with endless messages. We personally see bad things happen to good people. And the media focus on negative, sensational news, makes us weary of human behaviour. And the future generally.
Perhaps our own influence (the power of one and the power of self belief) is bigger than we think. While the World’s ability to sap our spirit & bend our goals, isn’t as strong as it first appears.
Life is full of surprises. And the rate of progress uneven – exponential is the new linear. A part of PersonalFlexibility (PFL) is about running with a baton in each hand – the plans in one hand and the means to cope with surprises in the other.
Personal Flexibility should be more than free will. Or more than free will put into action. We owe it to ourselves to create choices. To do worthwhile and worthy projects in our lives (create meaning).
If we build strong relationships and solve significant problems, the rewards will buy us the freedom to determine our own futures, within reason – in a word, self determination.
Self determination exists at the level of the person and at the level of the family. In the same way the family’s identity is the sum of the identities of its members, a family’s self determination is also the sum of the self determinations of its family members. For family self determination; the family traditions, referencing your roots, the guidance passed down from one generation to another, all clash and contrast with the headstrong actions of individual family members, to break free from the past. To copy their friends. And change with the times.
Self determination also exists at the level of the community (think neighbourhood watch schemes, block parties, local business actions, recycling ventures, local stadium events, community festivals). And it exists at the level of the state (in the UK, think Brexit. Elsewhere, think independence from colonial rule).
For self determination, if the whole is the sum of the parts, PFL takes on a vital role in one respect. Balancing off individual self interest (greed & self benefit) versus achieving benefits for a wider good. Even the richest people know their money is of little value; if the air is toxic, if rising oceans flow over their land, if too many people populate the Earth. If there is no future for their own children.
A final thought. At the person level and even at the family level, if self determination is somewhere on the road to happiness, PFL is a warm, friendly vehicle to offer us a faster ride in that direction. What do you think?
As always, if you find these blogs interesting, feel free to tell others.