The Mayfield Project

“What If We” ….. Continued The Mayfield Experience?

At the regional conference in Melbourne, our young and enthusiastic Mayfielders presented some interesting provocations. WA delegate Amanda Ying challenges us all to think, share and provoke.

This is a small taster of what 18 young professionals from different backgrounds across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore came together and achieved as part of the Mayfield Project this year. It was inspiring, confronting (in the best way possible) and the most valuable investment of my time in my career to date that I was lucky enough to be a part of.

Many A4LE Conference delegates expressed their curiosity after our presentation to ‘tell us more about your experience’. The best way to demonstrate this is not to tell you about it, but to extend the Mayfield experience to you. I challenge you to try these simple actions today:

  • Come up with one ‘what if we’ short statement in 5 minutes. #whatifwe is the provocation the Mayfielders of 2016 came up with to challenge 800 Conference delegates to think deep. This can be a big idea or something you are passionate about, or that one thing that gets under your skin where the phrase ‘why do we do even do it this way’ or “how is this logical!?” usually accompanies it. For great inspiration and examples, search #whatifwe on Twitter.
  • Write it down and share it. Stick it up on your monitor – make it tangible (it helps – trust me!). Bring this up casually with the next person you bump into in the kitchen when you make your next tea. Post it on twitter if you wish. Have fun discussing it.
  • Watch it. Did you provoke anyone? Has your perspective evolved from listening from others? Are you allowing yourself to change your own mind? Are you too attached to your idea? Have you made a new connection with someone you didn’t expect to on the topic? How do you feel after doing this as opposed to if you didn’t?

The idea with this exercise is to voice and discuss an idea, and to demonstrate just how difficult it is to do something different and outside of your normal routine, and more importantly how beneficial it is when you bite the bullet and just do it. I bet that most of you are thinking ‘what’s the point’ or ‘I’m too busy, I can’t be bothered’ and that you won’t try this out.

The fact is, we are all busy. For as long as we accept this excuse, the harder it will be to change anything. How can we expect to find the solution to the big issues at hand if we are too busy doing what’s always been done? How can we expect everyone to agree on a way forward with so many different industries, government bodies and individual opinions involved?

In a time where the information that future generations need to know is more unknown than ever, we must be open to change and willing to try new methods without the fear for change we currently hold. Not knowing all the answers is okay, what is important is that we are able to move together through the discussions openly and enjoy the process of discovery to get to the solutions. To be open, we need to be vulnerable and prepared to fail, learn and change. We simply cannot afford not to.

I encourage you to break free from your own constrains of your mind and daily routine. Get rid of that niggling self-doubt that creeps up. If you didn’t enjoy the #whatifwe exercise or did not feel it made any difference, please change it up. Think of what you would do differently and share it.

I provoke you to.

Amanda Ying

Senior Project Officer, Department of Treasury