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What if?

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Were you aware that other than Shrove Tuesday and of course Pancake day, apparently 17th February, 2015 was Random acts of kindness day?  Nope? Me neither. It seems everyday these days is something or other day.

So when did this #world[insertthing]day start and might we be missing the point? Will I look for fewer impromptu opportunities to be kind on other days? Course I won’t.

Now I’m not talking about the proper stuff like Pancake Day or Yorkshire Day (1st Aug! – just in case) or days on the UN List of International Observances and I get that there are some things that need increased awareness so they might be improved or bad stuff reduced but kindness; really? Do we need reminding to be how we should be on any other day?

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It started with a conversation

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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? Continue reading “It started with a conversation”

A different faith

yemenOne of the films that made me think the most was Salmon fishing in the Yemen. I’d not heard others rave about it and it didn’t catch my eye when it was a trailer. Fishing is not my thing either so I don’t know what sttracted me to it.

Times are getting tougher for most folk. Messages about even harder times for public services are becoming more blunt in tone. The reality of less folk to do what is needed are increasingly being felt, meaning some things will have to change and some things will stop.

Continue reading “A different faith”

Devaluing friction

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Use words like ‘disruptor’ or ‘activist’ when talking about organisational development or business change and there will probably be a few eyebrows raised.

“Disruption! – we’ll have none of that round here thank you kindly, even though things need to change”

Well it’s been a year since seeing the sun go the other way across the sky showed me that being prepared to see things differently can make a huge difference to how we interact with others. 

Another penny dropped whilst on my travels about how what we value might be perceived as different to what others value or see, even when it’s the same thing. Similarly, that how we demonstrate what we value can say a lot about us.

Continue reading “Devaluing friction”

Will digital love tear us apart?

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‘Love will tear us apart’ is the title of a classic song by Joy Division. Apparently, the last song ever performed by Joy Division was called ‘Digital’. It was the final song of the last gig recorded on 2 May 1980 in Birmingham.

Sort of ironic that I spent Saturday 21 June 2014 in the same city debating most things local government and seemingly sharing the love of digital.

I attended #localgovcamp; an unconference. These are different to traditional conferences in that whilst there’s an overall theme, you don’t have a pre-set programme of speakers or sessions and you certainly don’t get preached at for the whole time.

The day is split into sessions and attendees pitch for what sessions they want to run or topics they might want to find out more about, if they are prepared to lead a session. That’s an important distinction. If it was all the former then it might be more a conference, without attendee input. The important point being if it isn’t the session you thought it was going to be, and your input can’t make a difference; then you can freely up sticks and go find another session that might be more up your street. Continue reading “Will digital love tear us apart?”

A river runs through it

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That’s the title of a 1992 film based on a 1976 book by Norman Maclean about family life in early 20th century Montana. The book and film are presented from the view of older brother Norman who goes on one last fly fishing trip with his troubled younger brother Paul; the river being the focus to engage in an attempt to help him get his life on track.  Continue reading “A river runs through it”

Involve me in my story

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Once upon a time we knew little about anything. As we grew up we were told stories explaining our culture, where we live and how we should be. Some included numbers and letters; Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes. 

We wanted them reading again and again even though we knew what happened in the end. We came to learn and understand simple values which would help us in later life and hopefully make us good people. 

We bonded with the people who told us the stories and came to trust them.

We learned because people we trusted explained things in a way we understood and involved us in the storytelling.

We went to school and learned to tell and write our own stories, improve our life skills and understand and appreciate different stories and interpretations.

Somewhere along the way numbers and letters became statistics and rhetoric. How we should be became behaviour change; stories became strategic narratives using language we don’t always understand or associate with as much as we did.

As a result people lose trust, are increasingly confused, frustrated and potentially isolated.

We need to reconnect.

We need to involve and engage people with ‘their’ story again.

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