27 October 2020

What does Ian Harvey stand for?

That was a question posed to me during an interview recently. I was a bit taken aback with this question at first, because I have never been asked it before, and I went a little blank. Then I recovered and gave an answer that seemed okay to the panel.

But my cage was rattled, and it got me reflecting. I needed help to get my thoughts out in the open, so with Keith Mason, sitting in the Feilding Railway Station on a spring day in the sun, I began downloading.

A month has since passed, and this is the order that my reflections have dropped from my head and heart…

Harv and cat on chair
Reflecting with a friend… Cats are great listeners – not!

What do I stand for? This first one took a bit of searching to get the right words to describe it accurately, and maybe I still haven’t nailed it. But here goes:

I stand for the influence, and awesomeness of female leadership and it’s traits.

I don’t see this just for women to utilise, but us fellas too. I have always been biased toward female leadership, mostly as a result of my childhood, where men often cocked things up, and women got them sorted. However, I believe that the more women there are in key roles, the better the world will be.

Harv at WOF
At the Women of Influence Awards 2019 with Aimee Charteris (L), and Fee Webby (R). This is an event I have been to for the past 5 years. It’s an awesome celebration of awesome women.

Harv as baby with Mrs Peters
Me, circa 1960, with the woman who cared me for me in my first 1000 days.

Mrs Peters, was a Serbian WW2 refugee my father employed as my Nanny when my mother fell ill with jaundice after I was born. She stayed involved with our family for about 5 years and was a huge influence in my life. My parents often commented that Mrs Peters (I wonder what her real name was?) had seen things we could never imagine.

She once tried to kill a stock drover, by beating him with a shovel, after he let cattle destroy her vegetable garden. When my father Bill was called to the police station, she sat there defiant and confused as to why she had been arrested. When Bill suggested it was not the ‘done thing’ to beat the drover unconscious, she simply stated that, ‘Mr Harvey had never known hunger’.

No charges were laid, the drover lived, and Mrs Peters became a folk legend.

Next up, in what I stand for:

I believe in the power of commerce to be a tool to create great outcomes for humanity and the planet.

Commerce is not going away. It’s everywhere and has immense power to be a force for good. B Corp’s are a shining example of this.

Capitalism has created many of the world’s issues of inequality and pollution (there are many more), and we need to find new ways of conducting business and be regenerative in our approach.

BCorp tee wearing
The crew and I proudly wearing our BCorp tees.

Next up, in what I stand for:

The importance of original thought, and action is something I stand for.

To form your own thoughts that are well considered and robust, and then to be able to be challenged and change your mind is something I work on continuously.

I often have an opinion on a topic and then have it altered by another world view. Mixing with a diverse group of people is really important for me to grow, and mature.

Harv podcasting
My first podcast interview in June 2019 – a great way to have your thoughts and outlook challenged. I love how the podcast is all about our people in the community, and what they are up to in their lives.

And finally:

The status quo is something I challenge continuously.

Just because it’s been done this way for many years, by good people, does not mean it is good enough. My stand on many aspects in farming for instance, has often not gained me friends, but I believe that the status quo is not sacred.

Harv on his farm
I thought regenerative agriculture was nonsense for about 7 years, and then I slowly changed my mind.

I wish that I had these formed up and in place for that interview panel that started me on this journey, rather than what I came out with on the fly. Putting them down on paper over the past month has been rather cathartic for me, and while this is a short blog, it has taken me the longest to write.

So, thanks to the Edmund Hillary Fellowship selection panel for that question.

A good question is awesome if you listen to the reaction it evokes in your body.

Why not try this question out for yourself and see where it takes you? What do you stand for?

Ian Harvey (Harv)


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