Newsletter No 13. December 2008

This is our last issue for 2008 and we would like to end on a positive note. Everywhere we hear gloom and doom, but we don’t see it that way. There is still plenty of possibility out there – in fact, even more than before if you know where to look. So that is what we will talk about in this issue – help you to figure out where you can best look.

We'll also be reviewing a fun book called Be Happy Now. A great way to finish up the year and start the next one.

We wish you and your families our very warmest Seasons Greetings, with every best wish for the New Year. May it find you healthy, happy and prosperous.

In this issue:

Best wishes from the LASA Team

Latest thinking

The Wonderweb of Possibility

What is it?

A WonderWeb is a particular sort of mind map.  Wikipedia says: 

“A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radically around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.”

A WonderWeb uses Possibility as its focal point.  You focus and brainstorm around the possibilities you see around you.  Either for yourself personally, or for your organisation or for both.  The more colourful you can make it, the better it will work for you to jog your memory of linkages and to remember what you’ve put down on your map.

How does it work?

Using a clean sheet of flipchart paper is best – it gives you plenty of room.  However, if you don’t have any, the largest sheet of paper you have will do.  Be sure to give yourself a good 30 minutes or more to do this.  Don’t be frightened if you have a blank mind for a bit – just stay with it and let thoughts and connections come to you.

In the centre draw your focus.  In my case it says, “WonderWeb of Possibility”.  I also give it a date, as I revisit the maps and re-draw them about once a quarter.  It is amazing how many changes there are in three months!

Wounder web strart point

Next, divide the map into different areas.  For me that will be Academic and NGO work, my strategy work which I do with SAMI Consulting, and the work I do through LASA which includes Leadership Development, Change work and coaching.

Wounder web Adding Sectors

Then write down the different possibilities you see in each area.  This could be the name of a contact, frequently that connects to another and another and so on.  Or it could be an organisation name; but the possibilities are usually around a relationship that you already have with someone in an organisation. 

As an example, when I spoke for the Green Economics Institute on Community Building, I just put GEI on my map.  However, when I revisited the map after the sessions, I could connect names of people I had met (with whom I wished to chat further) to the event/organisation.  And from them, other connections came.

Wounder web The finished Web


I find this particularly useful if I’m feeling a bit tired and deflated.  I think perhaps there really isn’t much out there.  Yet when I revisit my WonderWeb, I feel revitalised – I realise there is plenty and usually some connection speaks to me to follow it up.  It helps me to be more organised and to actually visualise my network.

I’m a great believer in working in my sphere of influence.  This means that I work on what I can.  If I can’t do anything about something, it is time to let go.  Developing the WonderWeb helps me to see just where my sphere of influence is and could be, so that I am clear where I need to focus my energy. 

I hope that you find this useful and that it will help you to feel a lot more positive about 2009, going forwards.

� Patricia Lustig, 2008

Latest Books

Feel Happy Now!

By Michael Neill
Published by Hay House Inc

This was a wonderful, uplifting book to read. Stress, anxiety and depression can be debilitating and difficult to deal with, but the worst thing is the belief that you can’t do anything about it. This book gives you lots of things to try and ideas that help you to get control of what you can control and to feel better about things – indeed to feel happy. I have – at one time or another – heard many of the ideas, however, never all in one book. Michael writes with a light touch. It is clear, simple enough (but not too simple) and easy to follow. Change happens easily when you focus on changing what you can change; what is in your control, your sphere of influence.

A friend of mine has a saying that I find really helpful. He suggests that we need to be clear about whose shit it is. There are three types: 1) yours, 2) mine and 3) God’s. If it is yours, it is up to you to do something about it.  The only thing I might be able to do is influence you or change my behaviour so that it changes our relationship. If it is God's there is clearly nothing I can do about it apart from let it go.  It is only if it is mine that I can do anything to change things.  So I am aware of whose problem it is so that I can focus my energy rather than waste it and worry about things I can do nothing about.

I really enjoyed this and felt much better and happier after reading it. There were some good ideas and some good reminders – things I had been aware of, but had forgotten. It gets a good place in my bookcase so that I can pick it up the next time I’m feeling a bit less than my best!

HR/IT Corner

In this issue it just remains for us to wish you a lovely break and our best wishes. See you next year!

Interesting Links

Diwaali lights Sunset Over Daglingworth � PMLustig December 2008

Latest News from LASA

  • Tricia helped to facilitate the first in a ground-breaking series of workshops around sustainable finance entitled Creating the Future – Beyond Profit.  Attended by a wide variety of individuals representing organisations as disparate as the Royal Mail and the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, the event proved to be extremely interesting, thought-provoking and inspirational.

    The next workshop takes place in Bristol on 3 February 2009; it will incorporate the findings from the first and build upon them into the day’s discussions. Subsequent workshops will follow the same pattern, culminating in a final Forum Meeting in July. 

    The priority aim is to link up with people who are already doing the things more of us need to do, share our ideas, learn from each other - and, together, turn the tipping point towards change.

    Go here to find out more or contact for more information.
  • Tricia attended the CIPD OD Faculty meeting to discuss the needs for 2009. The meeting was well attended and some new programmes may well have been born!
  • Nic put up the ChangeMonkey website – see to find out more.
  • Nic worked on various different websites including The Shaman’s Kitchen
  • Nic continued working on the Virtual Learning System in support of programmes for the ChangeMonkey initiative.
  • Tricia was appointed a part time lecturer the two new Birkbeck masters programmes in HRD, change management and consultancy.


The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not to react.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Stop thinking in terms of impossibilities and start thinking in terms of possibilities.
~ Terry Josephson

We have more possibilities available in each moment than we  realise.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Our aspirations are our possibilities.
~ Samuel Johnson

Impossible is a word humans use far too often.
~ Jeri Ryan

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
~ Doug Larson

Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
~ St. Francis of Assissi

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability.  It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.
~ Anthony Robbins

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~ Marianne Williams

Joke corner

Two aliens landed in the desert close to Birdsville near an old gas station that was closed for the night.
They approached one of the old gas pumps and the younger alien addressed it saying, 'Greetings, Earthling. We come in peace. Take us to your leader.'
The old gas pump, of course, didn't respond. The younger alien became angry at the lack of response and the older alien said, 'I'd calm down if I were you.'
The younger alien ignored the warning and repeated his greeting. Again, there was no response. Annoyed by what he perceived to be the pump's haughty attitude, he drew his ray gun and said impatiently, 'Greetings, Earthling. We come in peace. Do not ignore us this way! Take us to your leader or I will fire!'
The older alien warned his comrade saying, 'You don't want to do that! I don't think you should make him mad.'
'Crap,' replied the cocky young alien. He aimed his weapon at the pump and opened fire. There was a huge explosion. A massive fireball roared towards them and blew the younger alien off his feet and deposited him a burnt crumpled mess about 200 feet away in a dry creek bed.
About a half hour passed. When he finally regained consciousness, he refocused his three eyes and straightened his bent antenna and looked dazedly at the older, wiser alien who was standing over him shaking his big, green head.  

'What a ferocious creature!' exclaimed the young, fried alien. 'He damn near killed me! How did you know he was so dangerous?'
The older alien leaned over, placed a friendly feeler on his crispy friend and replied, 'If there's one thing I've learned during my intergalactic travels, you don't want to mess with a dude who can wrap his penis around himself twice and then stick it in his ear.'

LASA Website

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@ LASA InsightLtd 2008