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culture

In the eye of the beholder

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There are many sculptures in Opatija, Croatia where I spent my summer break. Most of them portray people who have influenced its history. One however has created its own history and captured my imagination. The maiden with the seagull by sculptor Zvonko Car.

I passed it many times whilst walking along the promenade into town, often sitting and wondering who it was, why it was there and how many others had seen it. I imagined she came alive at night and sat on the benches for a rest and talked through people’s problems with them. Continue reading “In the eye of the beholder”

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The importance of divergent voices

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“We need people to take different choices. We need people to state different views. We need people to go a different way. Some will work. Some won’t. Let’s judge the outcomes when there are outcomes to judge, not by the pack called sentiment. Our ecosystem of innovation in ways of organising will be richer for the diversity.”

The above is taken from a thought provoking post by @simongterry titled The pack called sentiment. Take a read and pop back.

Simon talks about how sentiments in a networked world change quickly and how in our reinforcing bubbles of information we can see shared views increase rapidly and reverse direction quickly on the slimmest pieces of information.

Continue reading “The importance of divergent voices”

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”

Walking the digital corridors

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A few years ago I ran a pilot project at Leeds City Council looking at ‘voice, context and digital identity’. I’d been intending to write about digital confidence once the follow up work was more developed.

I’ve also being following the work of Catherine Howe on networks and democracy. A particular post ‘Digital leadership or just leadership’ was particularly relevant to our work in Leeds. Catherine’s latest update on Social Media why bother? spurred me to write that post about digital confidence.

Continue reading “Walking the digital corridors”

More with less

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The only time I can recall a guaranteed ‘more from less’ was a science experiment at school. Set fire to ammonium dichromate and watch the orange crystals triple in size as they turn into a green mass. It had no purpose other than leave a huge mess and waste 20 minutes of a science lesson. No doubt others remember that bit of science as it threw up something not quite believable. And then there’s a story I heard about bread and fish.

Continue reading “More with less”

Becoming an older person

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We often use the term ‘I feel old’ rather than ‘I am old’. Maybe there’s something telling in how we express our age. My gran always dodged the age question by responding with “I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.” Never would she tell us her age.

In six months I will be 50. Five. Zero. That’s a notably half decent number in cricketing terms but not so much if you were playing darts. I suppose it’s a significant number, as is any birthday with the zero on the end, apparently.

When I fill forms in I know that shortly I won’t be in the 45-49 category anymore but I’ve never really felt different because I’ve reached a certain age. With everything I’m involved in at work with colleagues and at home with family and friends, I’ve really not thought about it as ‘the big Five O’. Until today that is. Continue reading “Becoming an older person”

Devaluing friction

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I find it interesting how what we value might be perceived as different to what others value, 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”

Having a say, it’s our culture

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Things get messy sometimes but mostly, when the dust has settled, some good comes out of it.

I’m writing this as ‘Phil from Moortown, Leeds’ rather than ‘Phil from the council’, although sometimes I can see it’s difficult to tell. More on that here. Does that matter? On this occasion; yes – big time.

On Friday night, my football team – Leeds United, got itself in a huge mess. The story is still unfolding but in summary the club announced it had sacked the manager and then yesterday announced it hadn’t. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Messy, very messy and a bit embarrassing for the club, the fans and the city. It made me feel embarrassed to come from Leeds. Stupid I know, but true. I care about my club and my city. It’s times like these that you find out how much. Twitter and various other forums lit up with unanimous condemnation of what had happened. Some immediately disassociated themselves with the club, something they had loved for years. They will probably return. Continue reading “Having a say, it’s our culture”

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