Staff Skills

52 Weeks of Ideas

By Chris Field April 7, 2021


Cove Team note: Reflection gives you an opportunity to pause, sort through information and experiences and create new meaning. It is a foundational skill upon which all learning should occur. Applying discipline and engaging in reflection frequently is something we at The Cove strongly encourage. If you haven't already done so, complete the Cove+ Reflective Practice unit, available on ADELE(U). You may be surprised at how reflective practice changes your perceptions, attitudes and behaviours in all manner of circumstances. What follows below, is a description of MAJGEN Field's  disciplined reflective practice approach. We appreciate him sharing this with The Cove.

 

For 16 years I have maintained a paper diary, the Collins Kingsgrove 341, Week to View (Kingsgrove 341). Each year, as our society reduces demand for paper diaries, I fear that a replacement will remain unsourced. Eventually, I find a Kingsgrove 341 ready for the New Year.

Of course, many aspects of our professional lives are driven by an Outlook calendar, synchronised with an iPhone, complete with reminders, repeatable events and colour coding for different people, meetings and priorities. Together, the Kingsgrove 341 and Outlook calendar team to get me to the right place, with the right people, at the right time.

Access to archived Outlook calendars depends on capacity of allocated devices and cloud storage. In contrast, a paper diary is retainable indefinitely. Also, a paper diary enables casual note taking. These casual notes are the subject of this article: 52 Weeks of Ideas.

Each week a new idea is written, as a casual note, in the top right-hand corner of the Kingsgrove 341. By Thursday of a week, the idea is moved forward. This way the ideas are written, read, reflected upon and re-written to consolidate thinking, assist memory and encourage an aspiration of idea achievement.

At first, I rotated five or six ideas in the diary. Then these ideas expanded. Divided into four themes – by-the-numbers, leadership, resilience, war & strategy – this article shares 52 Weeks of Ideas with a wider audience. They are a combination of well-known quotes, critical thinking and key insights.

Readers are aware that many popular quotes are apocryphal, inaccurate or dubiously sourced. Available in the End Notes, so far as reasonably possible, this article includes quote accuracy and, where necessary, source biographical details. As noted, the 52 Weeks of Ideas are divided in two-parts:

Click here for Part 1:

1.  By-the-numbers: 17 ideas

2.  Leadership: 15 ideas

Click here for Part 2:

3.  Resilience: 17 ideas

4.  War & Strategy: 3 ideas

Very few are my own ideas. Mostly, I have read or heard ideas and copied them to the Collins Kingsgrove 341, Week to View.


Portrait

Biography

Chris Field

Major General Chris Field is Deputy Commanding General, Operations, US Army Central.

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.



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