Neko Harbor

January 8, 2019  – Another full day!!

The morning started off with another great session by Fabian Dattner on creating change and influence.  This session tied back to the LSI and the importance of “Moving to Blue” or developing constructive traits.  (I believe I’ve stated this before, but well worth repeating – Fabian is the founder of Homeward Bound, a founding partner of Dattner Grant, highly regarded leadership experts, and the founder of Compass, an Australian leadership initiative for women.)

We touched again on “Stubborn Optimism”, a concept which may be construed as an inherent contradiction.  The stubborn optimist intentionally invites everyone to live up to her highest potential (as defined by by the individual, not the optimist) and the stubborn optimist welcomes everyone with loving expectation.  The stubborn optimist remains neutral, curious and doesn’t pass judgement.

To create effective change, one must also be resilient.  A resilient leader sees the beauty in going around an iceberg rather than being thwarted by not being able to go through it (or ramming into it, á la Titanic).

Change is initiated in deeply emotional states.  Deeply emotional states in turn can have the tendency to push people into their red (aggressive/defensive) or green (passive/defensive) LSI traits if a predilection for those exist.  A “Move to the Blue” does not require the leader to lose her emotions, rather it requires her to be more resourceful, stubbornly optimistic and resilient.  The more the leader can remain constructive in states of deep emotion, the more she can be influential.

Change doesn’t happen easily.  70 – 90% or change efforts fail.  It is important to recognize change is adopted in stages by a population, so the target of driving change isn’t the entire population, rather the focus is on the early adopters.  The early adopters are willing to take a chance on innovation or change.  Once they are engaged, the early majority joins in, and so forth.  This is a diagrammatic representation of this principle.

Diagram of population change.

To help this make sense, think about the iPhone.  When the iPhone first came out, it was a revolutionary idea.  An initial small group, the early adopters, bought (literally) into the concept.  Once they had phones in hand, the early majority soon followed.  Now, smart phone are just an expected part of our existence.

Recognizing that change doesn’t happen easily, it is important to effectively exert influence.  One model established 6 areas of influence.  To effectively change a behavior, a leader needs to work in at least 4 of the 6 areas.

Slide taken from Fabian Dattner’s presentation. (Dattner Grant, Australia)

Consider the example given to us about increasing hand hygiene in the health care sector (apparently there’s no escaping hand hygiene…)  To get healthcare providers to increase their hand hygiene teach them how to wash their hand (2), put the soap dispensers in an easily accessible location (6), encourage healthcare providers to police themselves (5), and encourage patients to ask their providers if they’ve washed their hands (3).  Individually, each of these sounds like a great idea, yet, would likely be ineffective.  With the addition each area of influence, there is likely to be incremental change, but to truly be effective, 4 areas of influence are needed.


The remainder of the morning included a presentation by the Gender group looking at impact and by more work with our Cover Story groups.  The concept of impact, as it relates to Homeward Bound, is interesting and complex.  The presenting group started off by proposing HB v2.0 – Women Scientists Go to Mars.  However, potential sponsors of v2.0, want proof of the beneficial impact of v1.0 (i.e., our group).  Can we attribute promotions or leadership roles in our normal lives to Homeward Bound?  Can authorship of a paper by a Homeward Bound member be attributed to her participation in Homeward Bound even if the paper is on an unrelated topic?  Suppose the paper is written by two or more team members who meet as a result of the program?  Are lectures given by team members an indicator of success?  Does it matter if the audience is a group of kindergarteners or college professors or TED talk attendees?  Is impact only defined by Homeward Bound initiatives like the gender fact sheet, mentorship program, or workshops proposed by the first Gender theme group?  Needless to say, this talk generated a great deal of discussion, and developing a way to meaningfully measure the impact of Homeward Bound will be an action item for the group in the months following our voyage.


We were supposed to have a landing in Neko Harbor, but the landing was cancelled due to icy conditions in the harbor making the landing unsafe.  Neko Harbor is in Andvord Bay.  One of our guides kept referring to Italy when describing the shape of Andvord Bay – looks like a boot.  Even though we weren’t able to land, we had a zodiac cruise around the harbor.  The day was overcast creating a palette that ranged from penguin black to penguin white, and every shade of gray in between.  We only saw a few penguins, though the penguin highway could easily be seen on the hillside.  Today, the ice was center stage and it was striking!!

Penguin highway.
Lonely penguin?
Or innovator trying to inspire early adopters?
They were a little far apart, but 4 species floating on an ice berg – seal, skua, Chinstrap, and Gentoo.

The skua takes off in the next series of pictures.


Chinstrap penguin.


The ice needs no explanation.


MV Ushuaia helps to add perspective.


We finished the day with another great session by Christiana Figueres.  In this session, members or our group volunteered to discuss challenges they may have experienced individually, with family, in academia, and in the private sector.  Again, I will confess I didn’t take the greatest notes, but for me the take-home message was the importance of self accountability.  Given that we are unable to control the actions of those around us, or guarantee that they will conform to our desires, it is important for each of us to be visible to ourselves, and in being visible to ourselves, we are more likely to be effective in creating change and finding peace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s