Can small deliberate changes, adopted by many, create big impact? Or does it take bold action to shake things up?
I believe it takes both. Whether we want to improve the way we treat one another, achieve equality, support those less fortunate, or save the planet, there’s strength and impact in shared goals. When many people take even a small step and create awareness, change happens. But we also need the bold change makers – the people willing to dive bomb into the cause to create a tidal wave of impact.
Superheroes. Really? Yep.
This is my formula for creating change …
Now, I know I’m not the first person to come up with this idea. Let’s face it, there are dozens of superhero movies cashing in on this very concept. There’s a reason for their popularity… beyond special effects and popcorn. It’s something innately human, unquantifiable and compelling.
Want to know my story that lies behind the question? Great. Then I’ll share my big idea and my solution.
A mother’s perspective
I’m a mother of four – I only gave birth to two, but I love them all as though I did. It’s a common modern story of a full, noisy and challenging life. It’s also vibrantly rewarding and I learn from each of my children, every day.
I’ve always talked to them about the importance of taking a deliberate approach to their impact. When they were small I’d use physical metaphors to lead our discussions. One of our favourites involved a toy boat. As we sailed it across our pool, I’d draw their attention to the ripples that the boat set in motion. The obvious first question was “What is a ripple?” and then “Where are they going?”and “What do they do?”.
We observed that a boat sends ripples out in all directions. They start small and tight, reaching out further and eventually rolling towards a gradual stop. Some we could see, but I also asked them to consider that there may be ripples pushing downwards from the boat. Ripples we couldn’t see. Now, that really got them thinking. And arguing!
Then we’d experiment with force. They discovered that regardless of how hard or how gently we launched our boat it would cause ripples, even when the boat was bobbing quietly and peacefully away from our attention.
So, why were we doing this? Well, it certainly wasn’t a kindergarten physics lesson! Instead, I wished to draw a parallel with their lives – to instil in our kids that every choice you make sends out ripples and your ripples impact the world around you. I encouraged them to think about how their decisions affect others. To be considerate and deliberate. To take responsibility for how they move through the world.
This metaphor holds true for all of us. We all hold the power to make a difference, although we’re usually unaware of the impact that even our smallest choices have on those around us. We’re so wrapped up in our moment, in the view from our small place in the world.
Impact can come from something as seemingly insignificant as a friendly smile with the barista making your coffee in the morning. Yes, it’s early. And you may be late for work… again! But your choice to smile warmly could be a light of hope in a challenging time for them.
Boats, kids and smiles. We all know about the Ripple Effect – I’m not teaching you anything new. So, why am I writing about this?
Australia needs change. Big change.
Change can be uncomfortable. Especially when some believe that for someone else to succeed, they must lose. But a rising tide lifts all boats.
If we’re to hold up the sky successfully, we must all work together to lift women up, alongside men.
The stats on women’s comparative financial wellbeing in Australia are appalling. Terrifying in fact when you consider that 20% more women than men retire with zero dollars in super. Let’s explore that for a moment.
Everyone benefits when women are safe, happy and able to support themselves financially
My solution? To focus first on increasing women’s financial security. To do this I’m building Super Fierce, a for-purpose FinTech that aims to create a 100-billion-dollar direct economic impact for women and to generate 100 million dollars to fund social impact initiatives that will help Australian women at risk. Now, they’re big targets. What they’re not is sensationalist headlines. It’s absolutely do-able.
It’s do-able if we’re in this together, regardless of gender, age or race. Together we can create a safer, more harmonious and balanced world where everyone has access to the same opportunity.
So, how do we start a movement that will bring women and men together? How do we convince everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder and lift each other up?
To create a bold, powerful movement, one ripple alone is not enough
To genuinely build a movement of change, each ripple must create another. And another, and another. Until it takes on a life of its own, beyond those of us who step into the water first.
What does it take to turn one ripple into a tidal wave?
We must create hope and inspire belief
To create a movement, we must tap into people’s hearts. To build a tribe of Love Warriors, we need to make it easy for everyone to find their superpowers. We must help them confront and reject their financial kryptonite. And we need to be truly present. To stay by their side and pull them in for a hug when it gets tough. Because when we commit to change, there are bound to be some dark moments before the dawn.
Finally, we must empower each and every one of the change makers with choice. They must believe that they can be a hero in this story to lean into the change that’s needed to lift us all.
A gentle ripple isn’t enough
Each gentle ripple matters but to instigate deep, meaningful change the must be bold moves. Big hearts. We need waves that are hard and fast to spread the change that is so desperately needed right now.
I’m taking the leap. Will you join me?