Some words on Marilyn Loden’s Diversity Wheel

Marilyn Loden created the diversity wheel and has updated it three times since 1991. She recently changed Religion to Spirituality, changing the name and adding new categories that were not previously there, speaking to identity and things that create a sense of identity.


Like the diversity wheel, I will be writing at a high level as I continue to learn about organisational design. When looking at the version of her diversity wheel (as is), the organisational ring needs a second look. There are organisational versions of her diversity wheel that have the lenses that create cross-cutting or nesting subcultures within organisations which are different types and forms of the relationships that can be developed within an organisation. At this moment in time, we have no idea about the long term effects of organisational culture and nested cultures and cross cutting cultures.

Geography plays a unique role within organisational culture. Companies oftentimes reflect the local and national cultures. Coca-Cola adopts and/or adapts to the local metropolitan Atlantan culture, the regional humid “Southern” culture (that created a need for a “Delicious and Refreshing” drink), and the national US culture. Political events also play a unique role within organisational culture because they are oftentimes sources of gravity (drawing investments in or repelling them to other places). Coca-Cola locations based in Singapore “provide global experiences for their employees to learn and grow” because the Singapore government remains committed to working with companies, to continually invest in R&D, technology adoption and skills training, which the US government does not do much. Because of Coca-Cola’s interest in growth potential, they have locations in Asia-Pacific that leverage political events (agenda)s to their advantage. This global footprint results in these Coca-Cola locations renegotiating and taking on different or similar traits based on both cultural locality/geographic location and political events.

It’s not widely studied, agile cross-disciplinary teams that are a part of their discipline, such as a dev in their own team but also a member of an agile cross-disciplinary team where they create a hybrid culture working with designers, PMs, and researchers – but whatever hobbies they have outside work, they are a part of that culture too and those different experiences are slowly influencing the cultures that they are interacting with so it becomes this weird interconnected web – can you truly understand a culture?

An organisation is a system, that doesn’t mean that humans are a part of an organisation, they are a part of a culture, a dominant culture, and whatever cultures they have been exposed to, it becomes nuanced and complex in an extremely fast way. It becomes a web of meaning, 

Thanks to the wonderful Amanda Andres for taking the time to edit

Fandom, from “we” to “us’

For over eight months, I have had the pleasure of working at GreenPark Sports researching sports and esports fandom, the culture surrounding esports/sports leagues, teams and players, as well as fan behaviours and motivations.

There are so many complex facets to explore, but ultimately I wanted to share what I have taken away.

At a fundamental level, sports fans are a part of a tribe. For many, their fandom is rooted in family tradition, sometimes even spanning generations, which motivates them for a lifetime.

However, sports fandom is bigger than the experience of the arena.

I have noticed two very binary patterns: BIRging (basking in reflected glory) and CORFing (cutting off reflected failure).

Basking In Reflected Glory:

This is when a fan is caught up in the moment of victory, they are basking in glory. When a fan identifies with a team, they are like orbiting satellites to the sun where they feel themselves aglow from the victory and therefore a part of it  

That is when the use of the term “we” comes about.

Cutting off reflected failure

This is the phenomenon that occurs when a fan experiences defeat. 

They switch from “we” to “they”, they no longer identify, they take off their jersey or put at the back of the closet

Ultimately, the dominant explanation for this is access to the feelings of victory.


There was a very famous study performed. Someone took a 2×4 and set it on the ground and then asked a group of people to walk the 2×4 heel-to-toe.

They laid the 2×4 on the mat, people walked across it. Easy. It went off without a hitch.

Two step ladders were then brought out, the 2×4’s were then hung across them. The same group were asked who was ready to walk it. Not a single person raised their hand.

The environment changed, but the act did not.

Chaos is a reality.

In life, in our careers, the environment changes constantly.

At the end of the day, it’s the same challenge, it’s the same 2×4…

So many times we try to identify the right emotion. What is the emotion that is going to help?

Learning, skills, experience. That is what helps us. Moving forward, always getting up, working through the uncertainty. These are actions, not one of these are an emotion.

Frustration, sadness, not one of these is going to change anything.

Actions will.

Gone fishin’

I’ve been in Melbourne for eight weeks. My life has been AI and blockchain, working with some of the finest developers and data scientists in the business.

What now? Gone fishin’

[My uncle, also known as The Godfather] 

Auditioning for life in pictures

Fewer things excite me more than building things.

Today I’m sitting in a coffee shop (surprise, surprise), I have my beloved overpriced Bose QC25’s cancelling out the loud music and white noise. I’m trying to smash out a lo-fi mock up by midday. Today I’m constantly thinking of ideas, seeing potential in everything.

I’m also having one of those days where the fewer interactions with people the better. It’s the glorious experience that one of my friend’s has labelled “lone wolf mode” – a brief sabbatical from human interaction while still engaging with the the world. This leaves me alone to think and make things.

When the waitress brought over my flat white, I returned to the world for a brief moment to say thank you and took the opportunity to look away from my screen for a quick people watch. What I saw came as no shock.

The main focus of my fellow humans was not the person sitting at the table opposite them, the individual deemed important enough that they carved out time in their lives to see. No, they’re on their phones, capturing beautiful snaps of their coffee from a flawless vertical angle.

They are sharing a carefully maintained and perfectly curated projection of their life to the world…through a filter.

I am both intrigued and horrified by this at the same time.

They are skipping an opportunity to connect with another person and instead striving to ensure that their other life, the one watched in pictures by strangers and voyeurs, their own personal audience, is perfect.

They are developing a character, an individual created for their audience to see, enjoy and envy. They are auditioning for that same role every single day.

Perhaps Macbeth had it right, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage”

UFC 193: The brilliant dance

A crazy road with nine weeks of anticipation. At last it was there. UFC 193. Etihad Stadium, 56,218 people. A UFC record (sorry Canada).

Yesterday I experienced something of unlikely beauty in the twisted, alluring and violent game of MMA. It’s a difficult task to describe the brilliant dance that takes place when two humans step into the cage, set their fears aside and commit their bodies to battle, voulntarily placing themselves at the intersection of greatness and violence.

There is no guarantee of win or grandeur – just the chance to add the mark of victory to their own story.

Sitting first row, barely ten feet away, I witnessed the rich tapestry of footwork, head movement, every set up and level change, every clinch. The exact moment that a human being is battling their natural instinct with logic and implementing the perfect game plan. Also the carnage. It’s indescribable, like watching pieces of puzzle fall perfectly into place.

For over seven hours I watched men and women exit the cage, some left battered and bruised, others with their head held high. Their victory is one of primitive destruction and their minds briefly abducted into absolute triumph before gravity drives them back to down to earth.

Knowing that these prize fighters have physically diminished their bodies for a day, a week or perhaps a lifetime is a heavy cross to bare when it happens right before your eyes. Voluntarilty watching a body fall limp to the canvas after a brutal head kick or a witnessing a fleeting moment of unconsciousness after a perfectly executed rear naked choke – it’s an emotional quandry, not something to be taken lightly but something that demands respect.

It’s almost impossible not to become captivated by the experience, even more impossible to explain it to those who don’t understand it. To them it’s an exhibtion of violence, not art. And thankfully, they don’t control the narrative.

My first chapter in MMA has finally been completed, I wait in eager anticipation for the next.

Next, Boulder

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir

I’m replacing the Melbourne laneways with the Colorado Flatirons as the backdrop for my work for a few weeks.

The goal is to write more, work intelligently, walk often and sleep a little. Hopefully the beer will be cheaper.

For the last few months I have been sitting inside a dark room illuminated by three monitors. A trace of sunlight that makes it’s first appearances in the late afternoon when the sun moves itself to the west side of my building. It’s a subtle reminder to get away from Sketch for an hour and go for a walk.

Melbourne has once become a vortex filled with awesome coffee and fine people…and habits. Every other weekend I used to drive out of the city and journey through the winding roads to Flinders, escaping the noise of the city and finding flow in the analogue experience. I really don’t do that anymore.

I’m looking forward to looking at the world through fresh eyes once again. It’s time to explore the next town. Projects will not suspend in time: conversations will happen on Slack, scheduled weekly meetings will happen on Hangouts and the screens being designed in this room will still be shipped (in a different timezone).

I’m excited to experience a place that has fascinated me for years. Time to find out.

Shotgun rider

Definition: ride in the passenger seat of a vehicle

Right now I am looking around and I see a world of jobs and side hustles. In addition to the assumed 9-5, we’re impressively building new products, funding awesome ideas, training half marathons and learning to code.

We’re doing a lot. We’re driving a lot of our own ideas. It can become exhausting.

Maybe this is more relevant as I take a break from my own projects, leaving me with plenty of time to consider the pursuits of others who are delivering awesome things to the world like Nick’s Privacy Workshop, Sam’s Do Lectures, Mel’s Trampoline Day and Shaun’s Phd.

It’s advantageous for the soul to step back from the wheel for a minute and just be the shotgun rider in the passenger seat, putting your feet up on the dash and being alongside them for the ride.

Don’t worry about cool

Written in 1965, this is a letter from Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse, via here

Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!…

Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!…

Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be…

I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before you work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.

Making it all work

Never understate the impact of minor adjustments to your life – they have the remarkable capacity to change you.

While in Nashville I have re-discovered that stress is really awesome when it’s in balance, and really bad when it is not.

I borrowed a copy of David Allen‘s ‘Making It All Work‘ to reacquaint myself with the GTD framework. I have once again found that his models work really well and I’m using a mashup of them to get shit done.

My best advice is to choose the pieces that suit you and use them in the context of the larger model. Don’t read it as a textbook that you need to complete every part at once. 

You will learn to identify the horizon you are feeling unsure about: Is it remember to buy tickets for a gig tonight, or that you want to change jobs, or that you want to get in touch with your purpose of life in the universe? Each has subtly different ways to solve and each is important when you are trying to achieve balance in life.

While written a while ago, the tools are 20% tech/paper and 80% mind, applying to filing cabinets and iPhones at the same time.

Follow the neon


Since arriving in Tennessee I have discovered three things: Yazoo Pale Ale is awesome, no map is needed because the downtown area is a grid, wear TOMs and they won”t know you are a tourist.

I arrived at BNA airport late last night and after 22 hours in transit I was ready to crash like a rock. I thankfully followed my jet lag tradition: find the coffee and explore.  I dropped my gear off and set out to explore downtown.

I”ll be honest, I wandered no further than 300m to Printer”s Alley, but I found beer and a damn good meal (as well as the 20% tip convention). I later crashed at 10:30 and woke up at 7.

It was better to follow the neon to the people than to crash in the room and fall victim to the jet lag.

I’m heading to Nashville


In the past three years I have:

  • Graduated with First Class Honours with a thesis on country music and disruptive technologies
  • Played in the tech space with Deloitte Digital
  • Funded 16 projects with the Melbourne chapter of the Awesome Foundation
  • Explored the edges of health with Centre for the Edge and my mentor Pete Williams
  • Visited Seattle, NYC, Texas, Calgary and Japan

After spending three chilled weeks in Melbourne drinking coffee, coworking and embracing ambiguity, I started to think about what is next.

I have decided to take some time to explore my own edges, this will begin with five weeks in Nashville. With only a few fixed plans, I’m heading to Music City to spend some time in a community driven by pragmatic innovation and solving wicked problems that bring value to the world. It also happens to be the home of country music (double win!). I’ll be catching up with Marcus, hitting the road with Blake and hanging with some of the sharpest minds in the South East tech scene at the newly built Entrepreneur Centre.

If you have any tips, or will be in the South, hit me up. I’m excited to board the public jet and see where the journey takes me. Feeling like one very lucky kid right now.