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Last Thursday was a good day and a bad day.

It was good because an idea that made things happen was recognised with an award. The award was ‘Best Communication for Change’ at the Comms2point0 Unawards. The folk behind the awards and those in that network are top people. The Un is quite befitting in the context of why it won and I’ll come back to this later.

The idea was a real simple one. What if we explored what a more sociable place to work might be and then did stuff to make it that way? So things like what if we made it easier to find people, connect and share? What if where I worked was a more sociable organisation that helped make a more sociable place to live, work and play?

Being nominated, getting short-listed and winning is great recognition and reward for all those that have contributed. The real winners however are those who have benefited from what happened as a result of what they did, how and what they changed and what the benefit to others have been. The various stories of the #trulysocial campaign were documented in a blog.

It wasn’t until it was nominated for an award that happened to best fit a category about ‘change’ that #trulysocial was really considered a change activity.

Nessy

The idea came about after a snowman I built became the focus of many conversations that led to better understanding of a few things. The last comment on the snowman story is the title of this post. It starts with a conversation and not always with a plan. Wise words and thanks Mike for your support and nudging.

We didn’t spend money on posters, exhibitions, a campaign website. I mostly encouraged people to listen and spread the word that many things they do might be able to be done in a more sociable way and perhaps be more about outcomes and less about outputs. It was mostly done by stealth, which I suppose reflects the ‘Un’ part of the award in that it wasn’t a traditional in your face campaign. It probably wouldn’t have worked as well if it was.

And there is still a long way to go on this sociable journey. I still see where things can be improved, where conversations aren’t started or where listening isn’t an outcome and where things don’t meet basic expectations. Times are getting tougher but that’s no excuse for not having a conversation and seeing what might be. If ever there was a time then here we are. And sometimes this stuff works best one person at a time too.

On Friday when I returned to work, a colleague said to me “why don’t I know about this campaign? you should have told us. You should be shouting about winning this award from the rooftops.” My response was “You’re, not a target audience, besides you already do these things.”

We had bereavement in the family last week. This seems to happen on a regular basis at Christmas. Some of my colleagues are going through tough times too. That was the bad week stuff. I feel for those in a similar position and I will continue to be there for them.

As my colleague said I should have shouted about this but I’ve never really been one to blow my own trumpet and the timing wasn’t personally right.

But, hell yeah, we won and by doing something that really mattered.

It won’t stop here

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