Welcome to the website of Rebecca Elvy – Human Systems Futurist
I am a human systems futurist committed to making organisations and individuals more effective through the power of mindful, insightful and deliberate leadership.
I fundamentally believe that all people have the potential within them to achieve greatness. With my insights into the way systems work (and how to change them), how people communicate, and the way our own brains work (or don’t work) I strive to unleash this potential for the benefit of humankind.
Deeply curious, constantly searching for new insights, approaches, and metaphors to make sense of the world – and more importantly – to make sense of people. What makes them tick, why they do the things that they do.
Born and raised in South Canterbury, New Zealand, I spent a decent part of my childhood convinced I was missing out on something. And perhaps I was! But it was still a pretty neat part of the world to be born in… and also to leave!
I moved to Wellington in 1997, and not long afterwards met the man who would one day be my amazing husband, and father to my beautiful son.
I’ve studied most things – sampling the menu, as it were. But ultimately completed qualifications in criminology, psychology, strategic studies and business.
I’ve spent over a decade working in the public sector, and the last two years, I’ve been the Chief Executive of a medium sized not-for profit. For more about my work history, check out my linkedin profile.
My approach to leadership is simple: first be human, be compassionate, be present and be fair. Know that everything is connected to something else, and be mindful of this at all times.
Understand your business – really know your business – and then describe the gap between where you are now, and where you aspire to be. Talk about that. Talk about it a lot. Talk about it a lot, to lot’s of people. In between talking – listen carefully to what you evoke in others. And then decide what to do. Talk about that. A lot.
Communication at the Core
I believe that ultimately everything we do as human beings – as social groups, as organisations, as nations – comes down to communication.
Much of what is evil in the world – violence, war, crime, poverty, inequality – stems from differences in communication skills. Equally, much of what is beautiful in the world – from poetry to friendship to walking on the moon – would not be possible without language – and without communication.
Stories are what make us human – and lacking the language to articulate your story can limit your opportunities in the world. I’m on a mission to eradicate this cause of inequality.
Emerging from the Shadows
As a public servant, I convinced myself that political neutrality required me to be opinion-less. At least publicly. My ability to effectively maintain the confidence of Ministers, I believed, hinged on the absolute non-existence of a visible non-work version of me.
But actually I do have opinions, including about things that are not about politics. I care about things that aren’t public policy. So now I’m telling my story, in the hope that it inspires others to do the same. Without stories, we are but shadows of ourselves, obscured by the bright lights of those around us who are but a little more brave – or a little less humble.