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Reflective Journal 2

In the previous reflective journal, I professed the superficiality of my perceptions of what


social change actually was (Kapadia, 2016). I still believe that social change is about
changing a system that allows complex issues to arise, but now I see the relevancy of social
change in my way of thinking and my life. I would also say my understanding of social
change has become more layered, and is reflective of complex social issues which have many
aspects that are interconnected (Reeve & Bradford, 2014; Van Beurden et al., 2011).

I mentioned that before partaking in this course I had in my eyes, a social conscience as a
result of my personal environment (Kapadia, 2016). What I learnt through the early lectures
and workshops was that having a social conscience was the vital first step in creating social
change because you recognise that something is wrong (Salignac 2016; Kapadia, 2016). The
link between having a social conscience and creating social change still seemed a foreign
concept to me until during one of the workshops, my team started looking at which social
issue we might analyse for our report. Thus I began to scan my mind for all the various issues
that were the affecting the broader Australian community. What I then stumbled upon was the
issues regarding mental health. Despite acknowledging that there was a myriad of social
issues, the one that stuck out to me, was the one that hit closest to home and one I could relate
to. I began pondering about this, and it was not until I went through my lecture notes when I
realised that this was the second step of the change journey known as Intuition (Salignac,
2016). In my previous reflective journal, I wrote about how social change is about prevention
as opposed to crisis management (Kapadia, 2016). But what I learnt during the 7th lecture in
regards to drug abuse, was that you still need to provide crisis management as part of a
broader change process (Salignac, 2016),

Part of the third step in the change journey is understanding the nature of change required,
which I believe is not possible without questioning. I distinctly remember an instance a year
ago in my legal studies class when we were discussing the effectiveness of legal and non-
legal measures in dealing with young offenders in New South Wales. One particular
individual kept questioning and picking out flaws in the legal system, and after a certain point
I thought to myself Whats your solution?. With this way of thinking, in order to pick out
flaws in dealing with social issues, you need answers. But how do you gain the answers
without asking questions? (Berger, 2014). It turns out the way I used to think is pretty
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similar to how many people think in society. The interview with Russel Brand, illustrated this
as the journalist wanted to know Russel Brands alternatives to the political voting system
because he picked out what he perceived to be flaws (Salignac, 2016). As a part of systems
thinking you need to find the root causes of a complex social issue (Salignac, 2016). Thus
when mapping out the social issue, asking questions becomes incredibly important in finding
the root causes and effects (Salignac, 2016; Butler, 2016). I also got to understand that
questions actually have a place in social welfare theory, specifically normative theory, which
involves asking about why, how and what (Lister, 2010). The importance of questions
transcends sectors and in fact is a focal point of entrepreneurship and innovation in the
private and non-private sectors (Berger, 2014).

My role as an agent of social change is still quite unclear despite my evolving understanding
of what social change actually is. What I do know is that the capacity to create social change
is in any sector irrespective of any career, as exhibited by Russel Brand (Salignac, 2016).
Despite learning about many theories and concepts about social change, I do see key
obstacles in applying these to my life and career. The first hurdle I see is losing motivation to
create social change. As I learnt in the 2nd lecture, persistence and strong commitment is
required to challenge the status quo (Salignac, 2016). However, motivation is linked with
intuition in the change journey, and as long as I am addressing a complex social issue that I
genuinely believe needs to change then the motivation should be intrinsic. There is also the
fear that I could be making an issue worse, and thus be another example of the
counterintuitive behaviour of social systems (Salignac, 2016; Sterman, 2000). I understand
after working through the change process template, that there are several steps involved in
creating a strategy for social change, and if these are followed then the possibility of
counterintuitive behaviour can be mitigated (Salignac, 2016; Butler 2016). But how would
this change process be incorporated into my career? If I were to attempt to invoke social
change regarding mental health, how would I be able to do this working in a corporate job
completely unrelated to the issue? I do not necessarily have the answer to this, and it might
well mean that my choice of career will be affected by this as result. However, I know that I
can still be a driver of social breakthrough, irrespective of my work, whether it be through
social advocacy and philanthropy. I believe that I will not be able to find solutions to these
potential issues from a textbook, rather it is only through my experiences and my mindset in
which I will be able to find a way of applying these principles to my life.
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Working with Tony, Ashleigh, Erandi and Rachel has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience
and this has been exhibited in my opinion, with how well we have worked together as a team
so far. Having done MGMT1001: Managing People and Organisations, in which concepts
and theories were taught related to teamwork, as well as playing team sports all my life, I can
see aspects throughout the case studies and initial stages of the team report that helped our
team achieve its goals.

From the outset, we were able to agree upon a team goal based on our individual aspirations
with the course, which emphasised more on the high quality of work we wanted to produce.
Not only did this help create a unified set of goals, but also was crucial in regards to the
consistent effort each team member put in. As what team members can contribute and how
effectively they contribute relies heavily on the knowledge they bring to the team. In regards
to the case studies for example, the team relied heavily on each team member engaging with
the lecture content and online readings throughout the semester (Fanny Salignac 2016). So
in this regard, effort needed to be exerted to obtain the knowledge. This was one of the
reasons why I believe we were successful during the case studies, because when someone
made a link between a component of the case question and a theoretical framework, we were
all on the same page because we had made the effort to obtain that knowledge. Although it
might seem simplistic to suggest that high levels of effort helped the team achieve its goals,
from personal experience being in a sporting team in a time pressure environment, often the
amount of effort each individual puts in, will affect the outcome. The effort undertaken to be
active listeners and to provide feedback was also pivotal in helping the team produce higher
quality work.

At a very basic level, each team member bought kindness and positivity to the team, which
allowed for an environment in which ideas and questions could be presented without the fear
of being judged (Kapadia, 2016). From the first workshop it was made clear that each team
members opinions were vital and would add depth to any team work we would partake in
(Butler, 2016). The toast exercise done in the 6th lecture exemplified how a group systems
model could be far more comprehensive and more complex than an individual model
(Salignac, 2016). This allowed for the team to share high levels of cohesiveness, which along
with the unified goals meant that we were actually working together to come up with
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arguments and a thesis, rather one person dominating the discussion and everyone else
conforming. All of these factors contributed in my opinion to the team being able to produce
high quality work.

I genuinely believe that we have a solid foundation and positive environment in which the
team excel in the future. As an individual, I will continue to maintain a high level of
engagement with the course material and be willing to communicate any ideas or issues that
come up so that I am upfront and honest with all my team members. It is almost a reflection
of the social purpose system that requires collaboration from all three sectors to create social
change (Kapadia, 2016; Salignac, 2016; Butler 2016). Each team member is almost like a
sector that has their own experiences and expertise and through collaboration, our team can
work effectively and efficiently. What I might do differently in the future is to not necessarily
avoid presenting my ideas out of the fear of having conflicting ideas. Especially in regards to
the case studies because I sometimes get caught up in the fact that we have limited time to
present our arguments, and naturally conflicting ideas take time to be addressed. However, it
is something I want to change about how I work in the team because it is impossible for the
team to function well and achieve its goals if there is no conflict of ideas, because as the toast
exercise showed each team member has their own starting point (Salignac, 2016).
Actual word count: 1640

References
Salignac, Fanny (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact, Social
change, yes But, where do I start?
Salignac, Fanny (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact,
Introduction Lecture.
Salignac, Fanny (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact,
Designing your change process.
Salignac, Fanny (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact,
Implementing your change process
Butler, Rose (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact, Designing
your change process (workshop).
Butler, Rose (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact, Social
change, yes But, where do I start? (workshop).
Kapadia, R. (2016), Creating social change: From innovation to impact, Reflective
Journal 1.
Berger, W. (ed.) (2014) Power of Inquiry, in A more beautiful question. New:
Bloomsbury, pp. 1138.
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Lister, R. (2010) Introduction laying the Groundwork, in Understanding theories


and concepts in social policy. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 125.
Reeve, R. and Bradford, W. (2014) Aboriginal disadvantage in Major Cities of new
south wales: Evidence for holistic policy approaches, Australian Economic Review,
47(2), pp. 199217.
Van Beurden, E.K., Kia, A.M., Zask, A., Dietrich, U. and Rose, L. (2011) Making
sense in a complex landscape: How the Cynefin framework from complex Adaptive
systems theory can inform health promotion practice, Health Promotion
International, 28(1), pp. 7383.

Sterman, J. (2000) Business dynamics: Systems thinking and modeling for a complex
world. Boston: McGraw-Hill Inc, pp. 5-10