Women in Sustainability: Georgina Wilson
We caught up with BUD CEO, Georgina Wilson, in 2020 to find out more about her career and how she got to where she is now. We asked her a few questions to learn about her organisation and how it can support people to realise their own potential and make their dreams a reality!
Hi, my name is Georgina, I am the founder and CEO of BUD. My gift is the ability to see what’s possible in people, communities and enterprises. I love to see the potential beyond the now. To colour way outside the lines. To be relentless in pursuit of changing “can’t” to “how?”. To be crazy enough to simply try! I am passionate about enabling others to step into their purpose.
1. Tell us a little about what you do and how you came to be doing this work.
I, along with our awesome team at BUD, support leaders for positive change. We equip, enable and empower others, through our various programmes, workshops, coaching and events. We build and train leaders to be empowered and enabled to fearlessly develop strategy, engage their audiences and leave a legacy. I started BUD in 2014 because I saw a need for people to be supported to launch their projects and ideas. I recognised that there was a gap in the process of having an idea to the next stage of making it real and launching. We have supported over 1500 emerging and developing leaders to move forward with their projects and enterprises, becoming better leaders of self and others.
2. Why are so many organisations still struggling to build inclusive, diverse teams? What are your top 5 tips for making that happen?
Many organisations have a certain cultural dimension that does not always best serve the process of being inclusive and diverse. In depth research shows that in the UK the culture is mainly individualistic, rather than collective. The trick is to challenge the internal culture of the organisation which takes courage and allows change. Often the leaders and those at the top don’t always have the tools or system in place to allow the voices to be heard and valued. We recognise there needs to be a shift from an “EGO-system” to an “ECOsystem”.
We at BUD have designed and developed a model called ROC. Which has 3 key elements Release, Ownership and Collective intelligence. This ROC model provides a process and model for building more inclusive and diverse leaders and organisations.
My top 5 tips are:
- Release control; let go holding everything so tightly. Recognise that you do not need to do everything or know everything. Create space and invite others to emerge.
- Ownership; Understand who you are, evaluate yourself without being afraid. Learn more about your passions, strengths, and your struggles and needs. Take ownership of your own wellbeing, role modelling this to the team
- Collective Intelligence; Take time to learn the skills and value the voices within your team and beyond. Create a culture where you invite collective contribution and participation within your organisation. You will achieve things you would never have alone or just with the few usual suspects.
- Enjoy the journey; Ensure you have fun! We all enjoy laughter and actually we learn more when we are enjoying something. Embed the element of fun within your process of change, it makes everyone feel better.
Take the next step; We can talk about things all day long. But change comes when we take action. Be courageous and take the next step you need to bring change. In fact, get in touch to have a chat about your leadership needs and join with some of our free sessions (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We love supporting others in this process.
3. What advice would you give to women who want to become leaders in their field?
Be yourself, let your light shine. Recognise the uniqueness you have, be willing to serve and learn. Outlook determines outcome, approaching every obstacle as an opportunity. Never ever give up, keep pressing on. I advise that you find a good mentor and have other successful women to share their experiences and give you the support you need.
4. What does it mean to be a ‘facilitative leader’ and why is that something we should be seeking to be?
One of the keys to this is asking powerful questions. This enables those within your team to bring out what’s already in them, birthing creativity, passion and shared ownership. This then leads to productivity. Facilitation is a form of hosting and practicing active listening, adapting to what comes to allow the process of change to be formulated.
5. What is the question you wish people would ask you, and what would your answer be?
Why bother with inclusive leadership?
If we want to create change, the change must start with us. Inclusive leadership isn’t an option, it’s imperative to the cultural shift we desperately need in our society. As leaders we have a responsibility to act and to act now. In fact, it has been proven that inclusive organisations outperform those that aren’t. The evidence is there from every angle, telling us that we need to value diversity and our differences. What step will you take today to be part of the solution?