When General Sir John Monash was appointed corps commander of Australian forces on 31 May 1918, he was determined to change the way the First World War was conducted on the Western Front. Within weeks he would execute a winning strategy in the Battle of Hamel showing how the war could be won and changing the way future wars would be conducted. This is the story of how he did it.
The Can-Do Wisdom Framework for Change shown below didn’t appear overnight. The Knowledge Visualization model I developed is the result of many years of study and builds on the work of many individuals. This is the story of its origins and development over the past twenty years.
On Friday June 10, 1994 I woke up around 3am with a sudden thought, “We should be teaching students about wisdom, not just about computers.” This point in my life would be the start of a long journey to explore the concept of wisdom.
Aristotle taught his pupils about ethics, virtues and communities some 2300 years ago. Much of his teaching is still valid for overcoming today’s crisis of leadership.
When sociologist professor Barry Schwartz gave his TED talk on Practical Wisdom in February 2009 he didn’t think there would be much interest in what he had to say. He was wrong—there have been more than 3 million views of his talk in the years since.
When Frank Serpico saw what was inside the envelope he had just been given, he knew immediately he was facing the crisis of his life. Here he was, a police officer just six months into his plainclothes assignment, being handed $300 from another policeman—a payment from an illegal gambler for police protection.
John Harrison, a carpenter and self-taught clockmaker, spent six decades of his life problem solving as he progressed towards his ultimate triumph—the first accurate marine chronometer. Many said it was an impossible task to produce a portable clock that could withstand a ship’s violent extremes of movement and temperature. And yet he did it and delivered a solution to a need that had been identified hundreds of years earlier.
Paul Buchheit is best known for creating Gmail for Google in the early 2000s, the web-app with over one billion active monthly users. But that accomplishment was only a stepping stone to his real achievement in seeing ideas become solutions to problems and change the world. His experience in developing Gmail would become the template used by himself and the many startup companies that followed in his footsteps.
When John ‘Wacka’ Williams took his place in Parliament in 2008, he brought with him the wisdom coming from life’s ups-and-downs—something that’s missing in career politicians—and a determination to help others in need.