Jo and Monique on finding their way of responding to this era of disruption

With the COP26 upon us, it’s making us all more acutely aware that we are living in a moment of profound disruption.

And I think it’s fair to say, we are all looking for our way to respond.

In today’s episode, Jo Higgins and Monique Barns talk about just this.

Monique is Brand Manager at Australia’s largest not-for-profit health insurer. And Jo is responsible for designing and building IAG’s future consent experience and bringing to life their purpose through her role as Customer Consent Strategy Lead.

They met through being on UN Women Australia's Sydney International Women's Day Committee, and since then have been on a mission to realize their purpose in a number of different ways. These two have been busy!

We talk about how they are contributing to the global conversation around female empowerment.

We talk about how they helped the President of Malawi position the messaging for a high-profile UN meeting and the COP26 with TIE Accelerator.

And we hear about the types of growth experiences they are after and why they engaged with TIE.

There are some pretty great stories here.

So grab your favorite beverage. Or throw on those running shoes and enjoy this wonderful chat with Jo and Monique.

00:00:02:04 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving light around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:00:32:13
Philippa White
My name is Philippa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed.

00:00:34:21 – 00:01:01:18
Philippa White
Hello, Philippa here and welcome to episode 37 of TIE Unearthed. With COP26 upon us, it’s making us all more acutely aware that we are living in a moment of profound disruption. It’s a moment that is changing the way we work and putting unique demands on leaders. And as a result, we’re all looking for our way to respond. In today’s episode, Joe Higgins and Monique Barnes talk about just this.

00:01:02:06 – 00:01:24:16
Philippa White
Now, these two met at UN Women Australia a handful of years ago, and since then they’ve been involved in numerous initiatives that have used their leadership to impact the world. Monique is a brand manager at Australia’s largest, not for profit health insurer. And her career has seen her move from legal publishing and government communications to wider brand management and is supported by bachelor degrees in law and communications.

00:01:24:16 – 00:01:54:08
Philippa White
And she has an MBA focused on innovation and leadership. And Joe is responsible for designing and building IAG’s future consent experience and bringing to light their purpose through her role as customer consent strategy lead. She describes herself as a true generalist throughout a career which has spanned three continents. She’s chosen and constructed roles to address emerging challenges or opportunities with the aim of making a positive difference for people.

00:01:54:21 – 00:02:22:02
Philippa White
So I was really lucky to have both Jo and Monique on a TIE accelerator program a few months back. Their project involved the president of Malawi in helping the country prepare for a high profile UN energy meeting. And the COP26 also focused on cleaner cooking, so cleaner air versus clean cooking human rights and decreasing emissions by improving the lives of the poorest 3 billion people around the world.

00:02:22:11 – 00:02:39:16
Philippa White
In today’s episode, we talk about why they got involved the TIE accelerator, the learnings, their growth and what came out of the experience. There are some pretty great stories here. So grab your favorite beverage or throw on those running shoes and enjoy this wonderful chat with Joe and Monique.

00:02:42:03 – 00:02:48:23
Philippa White
Joe and Monique, it is so great to have you both here with me today. Thank you so much for joining me. How are you both.

00:02:49:05 – 00:02:49:21
Jo
Really well.

00:02:49:21 – 00:02:50:14
Monique
Thank you.

00:02:50:19 – 00:03:06:06
Philippa White
Yeah. Now, this is just for our listeners, just for our listeners to understand. This is the first time that I’ve done a podcast with two, two people. There’s three of us, which is super exciting. Now they’re both still in lockdown. Maybe you guys can just explain to our listeners where you are.

00:03:07:04 – 00:03:25:11
Monique
We are in Sydney, Australia, and yeah, it’s been, I think around 100 days of lockdown for us now. So well before this project finished. It’s been and gone. It’s wrapped up. We’re making podcasts and we’re still in our apartments or our houses.

00:03:25:21 – 00:03:39:15
Jo
But what a way to get out of lockdown is to to work on a project looking at looking at Malawi. I think it was an amazing opportunity to get out of out of our front rooms and out of our living rooms and into the rest of the world, even if we couldn’t couldn’t get there physically.

00:03:39:22 – 00:03:52:04
Philippa White
Yeah, definitely. Sort of burst open the lockdown bubble for sure. Yeah. Tell us about maybe start Joe and then money. Do you want to just tell us about you? Tell our listeners just bring you to life.

00:03:52:05 – 00:04:20:19
Jo
Sure. I’ll go first. So, Jo Higgins, I’m English originally, but I’ve been living in Australia for I think I worked out it’s almost 14 years, so I very much feels like home these days and I work in the customer experience space for Australia’s largest general insurer, specifically looking at customer consents. And I guess it’s a really it’s a really interesting role taking background and lore and marketing into more of that customer experience space.

00:04:20:20 – 00:04:30:12
Jo
So looking to kind of build trust and build better relationships with customers over time and improving customer data trust, which is really, really interesting, cool money.

00:04:30:15 – 00:05:02:09
Monique
I am a brand manager, so I’m for I’m working with a large, not for profit health insurer here in Australia. So my role is around connecting audiences with the brand, telling the brand story, using storytelling and just making sure that everyone has a consistent, wonderful brand experience and ultimately the same for our wonderful members. So that I’m really after audiences looking after themselves and their health and making sure they have the right level of insurance to make sure they’re taking care of themselves and their health.

00:05:02:10 – 00:05:03:04
Monique
Cool.

00:05:03:09 – 00:05:21:24
Philippa White
You both knew each other before TIE Accelerator. Just so we did. Yeah. Tell. Tell our listeners just how you know each other in hell. Yeah. How you both came to work together on this as well. But obviously there’s a bit of a backstory. So I think on.

00:05:21:24 – 00:05:44:16
Jo
That many, I think I was trying to work out three, three or four years ago. So I think I joined the UN Women Australia’s Sydney International Women’s Day Committee and, and, and I think we were sort of a friendship was, was formed in the fire of running this, this huge or helping to run this huge lunch that UN Women Australia put on for International Women’s Day.

00:05:44:16 – 00:06:02:22
Jo
Oh, it’s breakfast actually, wasn’t it originally. But it’s almost it was six, six, 600 people and we were responsible for making sure the event went off without a hitch and really helping to raise the profile of of the event and secure prizes and donors and all sorts of fabulous things.

00:06:02:22 – 00:06:33:21
Monique
And to add to that, yeah, Jo has now left the committee and spreading her her goodness and social impact spirit around everywhere but I often see what she’s doing and asked to get involved. So yeah, thanks to Joe for her being on this project and which is how I saw the verdict as well. And yeah, we often find ourselves particularly recently working on a not for profit work together and seeing how we can contribute and do back, which is really not so cool.

00:06:33:24 – 00:06:47:19
Philippa White
Yeah, it’s really cool. And UN women, I didn’t know that. That’s how you met. I knew that you were both involved, but I didn’t realize that that’s actually what brought you together. Tell us to talk to us about UN women. What? What do you do? What is it? Maybe you could find other people who are listening.

00:06:48:00 – 00:07:15:04
Monique
Yeah, that’s right. Well, we certainly told the committee all about this project. And yeah, they’re obviously like minded and we’re really excited to hear about it, and I think they’ll be excited for future projects. Joe mentioned a little bit, but basically being on the committee involves, you know, supporting the UN Women National Office in Australia to sort of plan, prepare and execute the big events around International Women’s Day.

00:07:15:04 – 00:07:36:24
Monique
So that’s in March each year. So that’s, you know, event management, fundraising, getting prizes, speaker events, thinking of local speakers, media, that sort of thing. And when that’s not all and that takes up a big chunk of the now downtime, we’re looking just to support UN Women, Australia and worldwide how we can through brand awareness and fundraising where we can.

00:07:37:07 – 00:07:38:02
Monique
Wow.

00:07:38:02 – 00:08:04:10
Jo
And so I think it’s just such an amazing, amazing cause, right? Because essentially, you know, women Australia’s mission is female empowerment and gender equality. And I think the more, the more we can, you know, further that cause, you know, the better the world will be. And I think Australia has got a really interesting remit because it does a lot of work in the Pacific Islands and very much also looking to make more of a difference I think with Indigenous communities within Australia as well.

00:08:04:10 – 00:08:14:16
Jo
So I think it’s a space where we can make quite localized difference as well as obviously contributing to the global conversation around female empowerment, which is fabulous.

00:08:14:21 – 00:08:42:10
Philippa White
These two were part of our last TIE accelerator Experience program which kicked off in June. Yeah, let you now perhaps before we talk about what you did, perhaps you can maybe just explain to our listeners kind of what what was it that you applied for? Why did you apply for it? What was it that drew you to TIEaccelerator?

00:08:43:02 – 00:09:02:14
Jo
I’m happy to to kick off on that one. So I think I’m always on the lookout for experiential learning. I think because as I’ve got older, the realization I have is where I really learn and what really sticks is when I learn through doing and and I saw this opportunity come up as part of the Marketing Academy Australia.

00:09:03:00 – 00:09:23:22
Jo
It was an opportunity that was what was, was socialized with the group and it had not just that experiential learning at its core. I mean that’s essentially what it was, it was, you know, literally make a difference and learn while you’re doing it. But it was the opportunity to do that in a really purposeful way on, on a, on a project that was going to have social impact, which is another big tick for me.

00:09:23:22 – 00:09:45:18
Jo
I did some work with a coach a number of years ago around what my purpose was. And my purpose is very much to make a difference because I can. And so then I was like, right, cool. This is experiential learning tick. It’s got a purposeful piece associated with it. Tick. And then it was also then the opportunity to work with a team of I think had then only at size of of six.

00:09:46:00 – 00:10:06:15
Jo
So it was going to be working with 4 to 5 people who had a similar passion but potentially incredibly different background, different skill set and and just see, see what we could make happen in six weeks. And that just seemed like the most amazing, amazingly exciting opportunity to to bring all of that together and kind of go for the right.

00:10:06:17 – 00:10:07:08
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:10:07:11 – 00:10:08:20
Monique
Money. Yes, it’s.

00:10:08:20 – 00:10:47:09
Monique
Similar. I, I was in a period of the year, I was kind of yearning to mix things up a bit and also very driven by social impact. So things like this really sort of piqued my interest and also using the skills I have to give back in some way, but also learning at the same time. So feeling like I could add value but then also yeah, learned a lot and become more experienced and more aware of different things and also looking to increase my confidence and knowledge and skill set across new areas and just really tap into that diversity of thought and background and minds and experience.

00:10:47:09 – 00:11:13:02
Monique
It just felt really exciting and the product just sounded incredible. And normally I would normally I would lean towards that sort of gender, that gender impact project. So I thought, Oh, is this it? But then I thought, No, this is so critical at this point in time, and I really need to know more about these. And we can learn fast and really get under the hood of what’s going on and, you know, around coaching and climate change.

00:11:13:02 – 00:11:21:16
Monique
And it just sounds so appealing. And I spoke with you, Phillip Island was completely inspired and signed up with the next day.

00:11:21:16 – 00:11:22:11
Monique
Thank you.

00:11:22:11 – 00:11:39:12
Philippa White
That’s great. Well, listen, I’m aware that our listeners are like, okay, so what was it that you worked on? What? Cooking, clean or cooking? So I’ll leave it to one of you. Both of you. You could sort of tag team, but just explain like what was the what was this project.

00:11:39:15 – 00:11:40:23
Monique
Do you to kick off Joe?

00:11:40:23 – 00:12:02:22
Jo
So I’ll give it that. I’ll give it a crack. So I’m going to say the organization we were supporting is an organization based in Malawi called the Cleaner Cooking Coalition. And and they play a critical role in, I guess, driving awareness and also advocacy for the need for clean cooking solutions on a way to a clean energy future.

00:12:02:24 – 00:12:17:12
Jo
So I think it was funny how you did the intro around people not knowing anything about cleaner cooking and cooking and clean and cleaner. It was definitely a steep learning curve for us. I don’t think I’d ever realized that clean versus cleaner is such a difference.

00:12:17:12 – 00:12:17:16
Monique
And.

00:12:17:22 – 00:12:22:11
Philippa White
Even a thing it does, and it’s actually it is. It is a big.

00:12:22:23 – 00:12:26:13
Monique
Ah, yes. And and I guess what was.

00:12:26:13 – 00:12:56:10
Jo
What was fabulous is I believe tide supported the clean up cooking coalition and the work done in Malawi a number of years ago to essentially raise awareness and distribution of these clean cooking stoves that they’ve created. And this opportunity was really to support them. And the Malawi government, who had an opportunity to present at the UN high level dialog on energy in New York based on the success of the distribution of those stoves.

00:12:56:10 – 00:13:11:10
Jo
To really take this story into into the mainstream and into the public. And I guess through that story, draw attention and awareness to the need for these clean up cooking solutions on the way to achieving sustainable, sustainable development goals.

00:13:11:10 – 00:13:14:15
Philippa White
Yeah. Gosh, yeah. It was really.

00:13:15:08 – 00:13:15:18
Monique
Funny.

00:13:15:21 – 00:13:19:14
Philippa White
Do you have anything to add to that?

00:13:19:14 – 00:13:46:10
Monique
I think you’ve articulated that amazingly, but in terms of why the project resonated as well. And what we were doing was that I think we’re so lucky here where we are like everyone is affected by energy, but we don’t really have to think about it too much. You know, we turn on the lights or turn on the stove, but really everyone eats and around cooks and everyone deserves to do this in a safe way and all and, you know, working together to do this in a sustainable way.

00:13:46:10 – 00:13:54:21
Monique
And that’s sort of what, you know, working with the Clean and Cooking Coalition was all about and what the project was centered around, which was really important.

00:13:55:02 – 00:13:56:04
Philippa White
I think what driving.

00:13:56:04 – 00:14:20:11
Jo
That human element was really, really interesting. I think that was probably the moment when that the brief kind of came off the page to us and when we were then thinking about the kind of assets that we created, I think that was something that was really central to that was we had the opportunity to take these amazing photos of a woman called Lioness, who lives in Malawi, uses these stoves.

00:14:20:11 – 00:14:41:16
Jo
And it was it was the photos and the stories and the the understanding I think we got of the reality for a number of these people, which which is that, as many said, you know, cooking, cooking isn’t a choice. And so how can we help those people cook in the best way possible for them and their families? And that human element was really, really, really powerful.

00:14:42:01 – 00:15:14:03
Philippa White
I think the stats for me when I was talking to Conor again, because as you say, in 2014 or something, we did a our initial project with Trevor from within and Kennedy actually in that, you know, he went out there and helped get these 2 million stoves, you know, by 2020 into circulation, which is obviously what got Malawi chosen to represent these 2.8 billion people around the world that don’t have access to it.

00:15:14:03 – 00:15:34:02
Philippa White
And as know, you know, surprise throwing that number like 2.8 billion people and you’re like 2.8 billion people. What do you mean by 2.8 billion people around the world? He said, Yeah, 2.8 or possibly more. But this is our sort of this is our number that we feel is a is a fair number. These are the people who don’t have a voice.

00:15:34:02 – 00:16:04:05
Philippa White
These are the people who are the poorest people in the world who, you know, when you look at the big energy decisions that are made at these types of meetings at the UN, obviously they want a return on investment. They are talking to people who can afford gas or electric city or solar. And these inventions and also these investments are talking to, you know, basically not talking to the poorest people in the world.

00:16:04:06 – 00:16:27:03
Philippa White
But then you think, okay, but these these individuals need to cook. They are the leading causes. The other thing, the leading cause of death for children under five is related to smoke inhalation, lower risk strokes and the second leading cause of death. I think it’s more than malaria and HIV combined are large vectors for infections due to smoke inhalation.

00:16:27:03 – 00:16:40:23
Philippa White
And actually back to what money you were talking about your interest in gender. I think what also kind of brought you over the line was hold on a second. The people who are being impacted most by this actually are the women because they’re in the kitchens.

00:16:41:01 – 00:17:12:14
Monique
Yeah, 100%. And it’s, you know, the wilderness, the lionesses of the world that are spending hours every day trying to gather the the wood or the bamboo, whatever they’re trying to use in their stories or, you know, with precious time away from their family or not allowing them to do other things. So it was pretty quickly that we did find that gender lens because so often that, yeah, the woman is the center of the household in terms of, you know, the cooking and the chores and the caregiving of the children.

00:17:12:14 – 00:17:25:06
Monique
And I was just having such a big impact on their lives and what they would like to do with their time. So that was another area to consider. And that really came through in the storytelling around this project as well.

00:17:25:11 – 00:17:44:09
Philippa White
What what did you guys come up with? How many people were involved there? Six people. What what was it? It was six weeks, right? About 2 hours a day. But what God, what happened? What did you guys do? And then what came out in all of this? You know, what didn’t you come up with the contents?

00:17:44:09 – 00:18:10:00
Jo
But every now and again, in a really good way, I think what I think that what the program does, which is really good, is, is for the first couple of weeks, I know that we were probably quite uncomfortable with it at the time, but the TIE does a great job of getting us into the right mindset, I think, and starting to allow us to form as a team before we get really on to the the not for profit that we’re going to going to help.

00:18:10:17 – 00:18:20:22
Jo
And I think that’s really critical. I think some of the training around the, I guess, international development arena really contextualized them. What we would choose.

00:18:20:23 – 00:18:21:10
Philippa White
To.

00:18:21:22 – 00:18:42:12
Jo
Do or help inform our choices and help us really seek to understand what was going to work best for the Clean Cooking Coalition. I think the other thing was we had this I guess you as you said, we’ve got a brief that outlines some this huge challenge, I guess, or equally opportunity. And then we had this really unique audience, an opportunity to present, which was at the UN.

00:18:43:08 – 00:19:01:16
Jo
But, but it was interesting. There was a complexity around we were supporting the Clean the cooking coalition, but the voice that the UN would be the Malawi government. So we were really starting to work out sort of who’s whose narrative was it that needed to be told and were there any sort of differences in the kind of the messaging that we would choose to convey that narrative?

00:19:01:16 – 00:19:23:00
Jo
And and then what else could we do? So we’re aware as well. I think the Times lost a high level dialog on energies 3 minutes long and I think it runs for a number of days. So in the grand scheme of things, it’s a it’s a tiny but obviously very significant moment and so it was a we started to think about, well, what else could we do to help amplify that message?

00:19:23:01 – 00:19:36:09
Jo
Could we create that message in a way that would would live beyond, I guess, the time in New York where it was shared? And what else could we do to support the Clean Up Cooking coalition? Continue to relay that important message over time.

00:19:36:13 – 00:19:53:10
Monique
I think to it, it expanded. It was still within scope. But as we kind of dug into it, you know, we first thought, okay, we have to support this faith to support the government through the Clean Cooking Coalition. But then you thought, okay, for that, we need to direct them somewhere. What are we going to ask them to do?

00:19:53:10 – 00:20:14:01
Monique
Okay, we need to put them to the website. So we need to look at the website, make sure that got what we need in regards to, you know, the pledge, what we’re asking people to do. And then we saw how they would get people to understand. So we need a common strategy. So, you know, as we work through the brief, you kind of fleshed out into quite a few different deliverables that it’s Andrew’s point.

00:20:14:01 – 00:20:37:19
Monique
The first two weeks were the excellent training, which really kept us single minded on, you know, local solutions and, you know, being very mindful of the local communities and what was best for them and how we’d work as a group. But then delivering all of those things in four weeks, essentially, which was incredible. It was exhilarating. I loved.

00:20:37:19 – 00:20:39:05
Philippa White
It. Yeah, there are a couple.

00:20:39:08 – 00:21:07:11
Jo
Of the other. The other thing was that the solutions very much, I guess, came from the diversity of thought of the group. So I think that was what was really interesting in our group of six, we had, I guess sort of four marketeers about one climate change CEOs start up a project manager, but then even within the like kind of the full marketers, we had brand strategy, we had come strategy, we had Luca, who’s just Luca.

00:21:08:01 – 00:21:33:18
Jo
You have to listen to his podcast to understand what we mean by his fabulously Luca. And then we had Sebastian, who was in absolutely strong on media and marketing and all of that richness and that. And I think that was where it was. It was what we all brought to the table to solve the solution and then dividing and conquering to deliver on this sort of huge spectrum of things that we really thought would help make a difference.

00:21:33:23 – 00:21:54:10
Philippa White
I thought it was beautiful to watch that, actually, because it’s so it’s and it’s this is what I love about just seeing different people coming together across borders, I mean, literally and also just not even just your team, because obviously there was Christa, there was Connor, Christa based in Malawi. Connor and sort of bridging Spain and Ireland. But I think it was mostly in Ireland.

00:21:54:10 – 00:22:09:16
Philippa White
They’re from the the the Cleaner Cooking Coalition. But just, you know, this WhatsApp group, it was just a life. It was sort of like know also you guys in say diesel instead of Venus. I’m going, hey, guys, I’ve just seen the ferry. I’ve just see this, you know? Okay, you then presented to.

00:22:10:01 – 00:22:13:04
Monique
Me something I think that.

00:22:13:04 – 00:22:17:11
Jo
Was actually that one hour, one hour and the entire 24 hours where every.

00:22:17:11 – 00:22:18:05
Philippa White
Country.

00:22:18:13 – 00:22:23:24
Jo
That had someone is part of this project team wasn’t either. It sort of four in the morning or midnight.

00:22:23:24 – 00:22:24:06
Monique
Yeah.

00:22:24:22 – 00:22:26:22
Jo
So to work out what time is it with you?

00:22:27:04 – 00:22:31:08
Philippa White
What did you and the team create and who delivered this message?

00:22:31:11 – 00:22:54:12
Monique
I’m happy to give you the character and you can fill in any gaps. Basically, we in the end delivered a common strategy and as part of that we developed the key brand messaging and that was for the various audiences as mentioned. So develop the narrative. So what do you want to stay? What? What did we want to stand for and be communicating over hold?

00:22:54:12 – 00:23:00:09
Monique
The website organized an event which was an added bonus. Oh, yes, of course.

00:23:00:18 – 00:23:02:04
Monique
Yeah, of course.

00:23:02:24 – 00:23:29:22
Monique
The high level dialogs. So we could dip into his little black book of knowing absolutely everyone. And David’s in speakers, which is incredible, including Christa from the C and in the end yeah. Really proud to say that the messaging that we worked on there actually found its way into the video, which made it into the speech by the President of Malawi and was mentioned and said at the High-Level Dialog.

00:23:29:23 – 00:23:35:09
Monique
So that was a pretty special moment. I think we’re still high on that because that was only a couple of days ago.

00:23:35:16 – 00:23:58:20
Philippa White
I think everyone’s high on that and what was really exciting is just having the odd kind of message with Connor, because as you can imagine, I think life is very, very busy. Still, as there is, they’re kind of navigating. I think the meetings are still happening. So there’s a lot going on. I think it’s so important for us to just remember that this is this is the first time in 40 years that this meeting has even taken place.

00:23:58:20 – 00:24:18:21
Philippa White
So the fact that this meeting is happening is because we’re not reaching what needs to happen from an energy point of view around the world. The fact that Malawi was chosen to represent these 2.8 billion people, that’s never happened before, that this is not even something that a lot of people even knew. No one really even knew that this was an had even stop.

00:24:18:21 – 00:24:37:08
Philippa White
To think that this is an issue how the poorest people in the world are cooking their food and how that can impact their health, but also the health of the planet and so many people that work in this area. So, Gabriela so Gabby is one that I mean, she works in this area, Luca as well. And they they didn’t even know that this was an issue.

00:24:37:11 – 00:25:00:09
Philippa White
And I think what is so exciting is knowing that Malawi was going to be at this meeting, but they didn’t have the support with the you know, the cleaner cooking coalition is doing extra ordinary work. But as far as understanding how to position this messaging, how to how to talk about this issue, how to organize this issue so the general person would even understand it.

00:25:00:09 – 00:25:27:00
Philippa White
They just don’t have the resources for that and they don’t they don’t have the time. And the government of Malawi doesn’t have the time or the resources to really kind of work out this messaging. So it’s such an extraordinary thing that you guys came together and has done that. And they I mean, Connor has said everybody is so sort of over the moon really with the result of this, because, one, it’s a message that people at the UN, at this energy meeting, it’s not something that people even knew about.

00:25:27:00 – 00:25:45:06
Philippa White
Your messaging was so perfect because it really resonated on people’s register. Like it’s there. You know, there’s lots more that needs to happen. And actually for our listeners, we will be doing another project, whether it’s type CELEBRATOR or corporate, I still don’t know, but we will be doing another project that will be in probably January, which will be the sort of step two of this.

00:25:45:06 – 00:26:03:15
Philippa White
Because now what you’ve done, I mean, this is history in the making. I hope you feel that because I feel that and I think Connor feels that. I think the president of Malawi feels that, you know, this is huge. This is big stuff. And I’m so excited to see where this goes because now it’s. Oh, right. So, I mean, the the whole point was we need to give these people a voice.

00:26:03:15 – 00:26:08:10
Philippa White
Okay, wow. Now they have the voice. So now what do we do with that? And I think that’s sort of step two, right?

00:26:08:10 – 00:26:29:24
Monique
But if I may be indulgent for a moment, we did have, you know, a minute Joe and I and the team thinking these words that we put on a page, you know, in June or July, and now we’re hearing them come out of the mouth of the president of a country. And they may contribute in some small way to being, you know, the seeds of change, which is just yeah, incredible.

00:26:30:03 – 00:26:32:16
Monique
But it still feels a bit surreal, to be honest.

00:26:33:00 – 00:26:55:17
Philippa White
You just said that it uncovered a goosebumps. It’s like, Oh, it’s so exciting to be a part of something like this. It’s really fantastic. What were some of the challenges or aha moments? So I mean, you’ve kind of mentioned some of them, but I mean, I think there is I think when you’re bridging different worlds, different time zones, different cultures, different things happen.

00:26:55:17 – 00:27:15:23
Philippa White
And I think that, you know, we talked at the beginning when you were talking about, yeah, we got involved this because we could learn and I think maybe people listening being like, okay, well, what did you learn? I see that you, you know, the whole the whole point of TIE is we learn by bursting out of our bubbles, broadening our horizons, working with different people, obviously getting under the hood of a completely different challenge that, you know, you work in insurance, you work in finance.

00:27:15:23 – 00:27:35:19
Philippa White
It’s kind of marketing because this is this is kind of a completely different beast and kind of really just by by stepping out of your silo and using what, you know and in a very different way, as you say, Joe, experiential learning is actually, oh my gosh, you start to kind of realize you’re capable of doing things that you didn’t even know or your Oh God, I didn’t even know that that was even an issue.

00:27:35:19 – 00:27:56:00
Philippa White
Okay. Let me understand more about that. And so that’s obviously the learning. But with that, obviously, when we talk about, you know, you can step out of your comfort zone and feel like, yeah, I want to step out my comfort zone. I’m like, okay, but with that comes pain sometimes with that, it’s not always easy. You learn. That’s how you learn is when you’re when you push yourself to the limit.

00:27:56:00 – 00:28:12:22
Philippa White
That’s actually how you learn. But it’s not always easy. So maybe I don’t know, there will have been hiccups, there will have been challenges for our listeners. It’s not always rosy and always perfect. So maybe explain or bring to life to some of those challenges or aha moments that came as a result of them.

00:28:13:20 – 00:28:33:01
Jo
I guess from my side. I mean, you’ve mentioned a number of them, I guess, to the point of a kind of a deadline driven experience like this. So you know that you’ve got this six window is it gives you both the kind of permission to be crazy and do 2 hours extra work every day because you know that it is finite.

00:28:33:01 – 00:28:51:11
Jo
But I guess you also get this huge amount of pressure that it’s finite and and you’ve got to deliver. And so I think, look, there are kind of logistical, logistical constraints and being in a Sydney time zone when, you know, with with European counterparts, it actually I mean it ended up working I think a little bit more seamlessly than we might have thought it would.

00:28:51:11 – 00:29:18:09
Jo
But yeah, there was there were definitely some early mornings and late nights and I think also just the Zoom etiquette or WebEx thing and zooming and you know, like we joke about how this group isn’t as covered. You know, it ceases to be a restriction on travel. We’re all going to meet somewhere fabulous and and have a drink to celebrate because it’s this slightly surreal moment of getting getting to work on with quite a lot of intensity with, I guess in this instance for people that I’d never met.

00:29:19:09 – 00:29:41:02
Jo
And yeah, and I guess with that, you know, for passionate people who I’ve never met who are equally, I know it definitely points where it had been drilled into us in the training, you know, the importance of active listening and we kind of get that active listening is important and definitely probably recordings of us where none of us were listening to each other and just talking and then being like, Oh, sorry, sorry.

00:29:41:02 – 00:29:42:13
Jo
It was without that you.

00:29:42:20 – 00:29:44:01
Monique
Because you’re on Zoom and you.

00:29:44:01 – 00:30:03:21
Jo
Can kind of talk over people and pretend that it’s completely rather than superiority complex. So yeah. So I think, I think we got into a bit of a rhythm eventually and I know it wasn’t that bad and found I guess the sweet spot and the role and how we could make use of I think everyone’s passions and skills.

00:30:03:21 – 00:30:24:21
Jo
But yes, there were definitely I think some I remember one meeting in particular where I messaged Monique afterwards and we had had had this sort of reflection that I wasn’t being inclusive and accommodating at all. I was just talking so interesting self awareness of what I’m like under pressure, which I’m sure everyone else will be aware of. But I was maybe less aware of.

00:30:25:19 – 00:30:26:24
Monique
How you were fine.

00:30:27:05 – 00:30:29:15
Monique
With.

00:30:29:15 – 00:30:52:15
Monique
But it was interesting though, isn’t it? Yeah, I think it’s interesting the dynamics because you start off, you don’t know each other, everyone’s really polite and then yeah, you start getting fired up and passionate. And I think for me, I think the biggest challenge is understanding the scope and we struggle with that as a group. It did take a little bit of work to understand, you know, what, we had to deliver what we wanted to deliver.

00:30:53:01 – 00:30:55:09
Monique
But every day that goes by is another.

00:30:55:18 – 00:30:56:04
Monique
Another.

00:30:56:13 – 00:31:16:01
Monique
Day creeping towards the the deadline, which is only four weeks away. So there was that pressure like, oh, my gosh, we can’t keep talking about what we have to do. We have to actually do what we have to deliver. But it didn’t take too long to sort of settle into our roles and find out where we could add the most value while also learning from each other.

00:31:16:01 – 00:31:26:19
Monique
I think it was nice that we still reviewed each other’s work and gave input, which was great for learning, but also that diversity of thought that we’ve mentioned a few times. But yeah, I really value that and I think that was really great.

00:31:26:20 – 00:31:34:03
Philippa White
Was there a story that stood out in this experience that kind of has you still reflecting on?

00:31:34:14 – 00:31:50:15
Jo
Mine would probably be in the it was actually in the training rather than maybe as part of the project. And that was the TEDx talk that you shared, which was, I think a gentleman called unnecessarily and and basically.

00:31:50:18 – 00:31:51:15
Philippa White
Shut up and listen.

00:31:52:14 – 00:32:16:00
Jo
Yeah, yeah. I won’t ruin ruin the story. But the kind of the insight that comes out from it is really it was a really good lesson for for I think me and for maybe us as the team, because even with the best intent, you can kind of go in and think that you have the solution. And, and actually what you’ve got to do way before you even get to the solution is actively listen, you know, seek to understand, ask questions.

00:32:16:08 – 00:32:50:03
Jo
And I think the aha moment for me was I think we could have gone in and built something that wasn’t sustainable, you know, built the most wonderful website, but a website that then the SEC couldn’t administer and we could have created these amazing assets that then were maybe not going to be fit for purpose or multiple use. And I think the real challenge for for us was to think about how do we build something with a not for the kind of cooking coalition so that it had it had longevity in life outside of us because I think we were all wanting to deliver amazing outcomes.

00:32:50:19 – 00:33:15:24
Jo
But equally in six weeks we weren’t going to be there. And you want to kind of get to the end and go to the but then, you know, if that doesn’t count for anything in two months, three months, five years, then what value had we actually brought? And I think that really challenged me to think about when I think of what a good solution is, is it actually a really good solution or is there more that I could have done to make that an even better solution for the people I’m designing for?

00:33:16:06 – 00:33:17:19
Philippa White
Is there a story that stands out for you?

00:33:17:19 – 00:33:43:04
Monique
And I’ll take the funny anecdote after shows very insightful story, which I loved. So there was one occasion which we will chuckle about for a few years to come, I think, where we had the opportunity to meet one of the members, one of the ministers in Malawi, to work on the project. And as Joe mentioned, we’re on the different timezone where the tourists are down under down here.

00:33:43:19 – 00:34:02:04
Monique
So it’s not always a very polite time zone to have the meeting. So this one was scheduled in a scheduled Infancia am in the morning for visiting time and Joe and I spoke around. Well, we do it, you know, we love our sleep, but this is just a once in a lifetime opportunity.

00:34:02:08 – 00:34:04:20
Monique
Yeah.

00:34:04:20 – 00:34:30:02
Monique
So we went to go I went to bed and got up again. You know, I put the blazer on to make up waiting for the the to I am cool and waiting around with the rest of the team and yeah I think you got to maybe caught a pass in color from the CC seems like morning life is coming and got in touch with the minister and he was delayed by an hour.

00:34:30:02 – 00:34:40:23
Monique
So I said, okay, we’ll come back and we’ll be 3 a.m. at a time. So I had a nap. Joe, I think was reading board papers to this. She’s amazing and could.

00:34:40:23 – 00:34:41:17
Monique
Operate at.

00:34:42:10 – 00:35:04:12
Monique
2:30 a.m. and came back for 3 a.m. and yeah, unfortunately told at that point we waited a bit longer but the minister was busy now so stay tuned for another day. But we did end up meeting him and it was a lesson in time. That’s where I am. I think it was maybe 7 p.m. at night out time when we did get a hold of him.

00:35:04:12 – 00:35:09:21
Monique
So that was totally fine and probably worked out for the best for coherency in conversation.

00:35:10:14 – 00:35:10:19
Monique
And.

00:35:11:01 – 00:35:39:19
Philippa White
And you got a good story to tell afterwards that you probably like you say, well, forget it any time soon. So now we’re coming to the end of this. But I’m just keen to know reflecting because obviously, you know, we’re now a couple of months after the experience. Right. And I just wonder, even two months later, even shortly afterwards, when you think of change that you experienced from the the program, how it might be impacting your work or you.

00:35:39:19 – 00:35:57:04
Jo
I can I can chime in first. I loved it with. Absolutely. I think I’m just trying to work out when I can do it again. I might need to get some permission from husband and small child before I disappear for 2 hours a day. For six weeks. I feel like they need better briefing. But before I do something like that again.

00:35:57:04 – 00:36:14:24
Jo
But no, I loved it. I am. I think my key takeaway would be I think it was a really good insight into self. As I as I mentioned it, you learn a lot about yourself as well as learning a lot about the issue that you’re working on. And, and I think but but but the good and the bad, right?

00:36:14:24 – 00:36:36:05
Jo
So I think that was absolutely the moment. So I was like active listening really needs to be worked on as a skill, but equally, I think I’ve worked in large corporates for pretty much all of all of my career. And and the pace of change in large corporates could often be really slow just because it’s complex and there’s a number of mechanisms to work through before things get released or changed.

00:36:36:05 – 00:36:58:17
Jo
And I think what was really almost emancipating about TIE was it was such a good reminder of the difference you can make with the skills that you have often in an incredibly short time period. So I feel like, and many can attest to this, we already have sort of signed up to support a not for profit with a common strategy in their marketing in the weeks following, in the weeks following time.

00:36:58:17 – 00:37:25:11
Jo
Because you you can make a difference. And so by now supporting, yes. An organization that’s setting up a global mentoring platform for women of diversity and underprivileged globally. And and I think that’s because once you’ve once you’ve kind of made that difference, you just want to make more as well as also getting a chance to work with Monique, who I think one day we’ll have our own firm doing something, company doing something because it’s been it’s been great to work with.

00:37:25:11 – 00:37:28:10
Monique
That’s very contro. Well I’m kind of creepy stalking you on.

00:37:28:10 – 00:37:33:04
Monique
On some you can do anything.

00:37:35:17 – 00:37:58:06
Monique
In the dream team it’s addictive it’s addictive. Yeah. I had a similar reflection to echo Jo I think. I mean, such highly regulated industry and I always have been. So when you would like to make change, the pace is slow. There’s many stakeholders, but then there’s also, you know, legislation and legal advice and sign ups and everybody in the whole business.

00:37:58:06 – 00:38:22:01
Monique
And it was just so emancipating. Now is a good word, but it was just so refreshing and inspiring to think of something and do it. And it got used and it happened and it happened quickly and it made a difference. I think it really challenged, I guess, the notion that you can have just a small cog. You can’t really do much.

00:38:22:01 – 00:38:41:24
Monique
Sorry, what can I do here? Just sitting down here in Australia, just me as a little person. But this project really proved that a small group of just six people working with passion, with a charity or organization that had and determination, you can actually just make a really big difference or like I mentioned, at least plant the seeds of that big difference.

00:38:41:24 – 00:39:06:22
Monique
So I think it really. Yeah. Opened my eyes to what you can do and what you can do quickly. What we have to offer can be really valuable and yeah, you can actually have an impact on the world. So yeah, that’s pretty crazy and really eye opening and yeah, it does. But I say addictive because it is addictive because when you’re doing good things and working with good people, so good outcomes for the world, you just want to do more.

00:39:06:23 – 00:39:15:21
Philippa White
I’m so excited to hear that. That’s exactly that’s like a huge tick for me of amazing it that’s exactly the whole point. That’s really great. And it.

00:39:15:21 – 00:39:16:19
Monique
Definitely works.

00:39:16:23 – 00:39:23:13
Philippa White
Yeah, it makes me really, really happy. So what haven’t I asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners as we wrap things up?

00:39:23:16 – 00:39:54:24
Monique
I think if I could just say one thing is just do it. We’ve covered a lot today and I think we’ve covered it fairly comprehensively. But yeah, I would just say get out. We’ve said it so many times, so cliche, but do step out of that comfort zone, do back yourself, do believe you’ve got something to offer. And however you know you fit into the group and however you, you know, participate in the projects, you make a difference on someone that really needs it and yeah, it’s just such a great opportunity.

00:39:54:24 – 00:40:18:00
Jo
Yeah, I, I’d agree. I think it’s made me reflect on almost that if time is the currency that we have, you know, how, how are you spending that currency and being in lockdown? People in Australia at least have have plenty of time on their hands. And I guess it’s, you know, the difference of watching five seasons of a show on Netflix versus writing a speech for the, you know, the president of Malawi.

00:40:18:00 – 00:40:19:14
Jo
I mean, I guess I know what I’m going to choose.

00:40:20:22 – 00:40:26:01
Monique
And I’m in a bit of a yeah. A bit of balance. Yeah. Maybe I’m going to get a bit more that.

00:40:26:01 – 00:40:48:00
Jo
My life but because as many said it’s it’s amazing that Phillipa you’ve set up an opportunity for people to do that that’s to do this like you are facilitating this learning and this journey for people. And then the only thing that’s left is for people to commit to it. And, you know, give that give those 2 hours a day for four, six weeks and actually make change happen.

00:40:48:00 – 00:40:51:14
Jo
And it’s it’s it’s amazing. It’s incredible. And yeah, everyone should just do it.

00:40:52:10 – 00:41:14:05
Philippa White
Yeah, well, well, I wasn’t expecting to have such a wonderful kind of selling to you on for my final question. So thank you for saying that. That’s great because actually a yeah. For our listeners, if you guys are interested, I’d love you to to get in touch. We don’t have any more time celebrated projects until the end of the rest of this year is now done.

00:41:14:08 – 00:41:29:24
Philippa White
But at the beginning of next year we will be having one. And I as I say, I’m not 100% sure what project that’s going to be yet. But either way, you get in touch and I can explain whatever it will be. It will be amazing. The team will be amazing and it will be a fantastic, like you say, experience.

00:41:29:24 – 00:41:52:09
Philippa White
So Monique and Joe, I’ve actually I’m just so sad that this is all it’s not really the last conversation, but this is sort of the last scheduled conversation. Following on from your incredible experience, it has been for me. I just am so excited because I just get to meet the most extraordinary people, basically just creating something that I get to meet extraordinary people.

00:41:52:09 – 00:42:12:23
Philippa White
And you guys are extraordinary. I’m so proud to have inspired you to get involved. I’m so proud to have you as friends and contacts and part of the TIE family. And yeah, I just am also looking forward to that opportunity for things to get to some kind of normality for us all, to have some kind of reunion somewhere, whatever that looks like.

00:42:13:22 – 00:42:18:00
Monique
Absolutely. We need it. We’ll still hang out. It’s okay.

00:42:19:13 – 00:42:19:19
Monique
Yeah.

00:42:19:19 – 00:42:20:20
Jo
That’s not getting rid of us.

00:42:21:21 – 00:42:32:20
Philippa White
Both of you, thank you so much for your time and for taking your evening and sorry to your little one, Joe, and your and your husband in any way they can have you now. Thanks, both of you for everything.

00:42:33:07 – 00:42:38:13
Monique
Thank you. Thanks, Phillip. Bye bye. Bye.

BE A BETTER LEADER

Everyone has the power to inspire, guide, and amplify team success. 

But before you can better lead others, you need to fully understand yourself!

This free tool is a powerful way to reveal the qualities you already have so that you can utilise them to become an even better leader.

Better leaders > better companies > better world.

created with by jessica lynn design
web development by carolyn sheltraw