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language

A little communication shop of horrors

grabEvery now and again I see a tongue in cheek write up about jargon and vocabulary use that makes us communications professionals have a little laugh, then a think and then look at ourselves in the mirror. This recent one by Louise Powney is the best I’ve read in a long while and, cough, quite close to home. Take a read and pop back! It spawned this post on a similar theme. 

Continue reading “A little communication shop of horrors”

Considerings from #localgovcamp 15

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In the true tradition of ‘post event considerings’, due to time restrictions, this year I’ve used some of the suggested feedback questions to tease out my thinking on Localgovcamp 2015.

Firstly a big shout out to the organisers, sponsors, attendees (especially those who came a long way to Leeds). It was a good couple of days and I hope you enjoyed your trip to my home town. I learned stuff and it was good to catch up with others who care about local government. Continue reading “Considerings from #localgovcamp 15”

The grey area of disruption – a breakthrough from #agecamp

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Like fog, grey areas can be places where it is difficult to see what is going on and where sight of the bigger picture can be lost. Continue reading “The grey area of disruption – a breakthrough from #agecamp”

Bubble baggage

“I just said ‘bubble baggage’ out loud didn’t I?”

“Yes, but I know what you meant; can I have it?”

“Feel free –that’s what I do”

That happened in a meeting recently. Fortunately, in the context of the discussion, it was understood as it appropriately explained things however you may still be none the wiser, so let me explain.

Continue reading “Bubble baggage”

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.

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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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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?”

2014 – has to be more than an interest

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2013 was a busy year with plenty of changes at work and home and much learnt. Some of the things I realised were:

  • most of the time I talk sense and make informed decisions;
  • the rest of the time I need to listen to others as we’re never too old to learn new skills or to try and see things differently;
  • 0thers rely on me more than I thought;
  • I therefore need to keep myself fit in body and mind to be effective;
  • if we think we have been through a lot of recent changes in how we live and work then it is nothing to what is yet to come.

Crucially, I’ve realised all the above rely on success of the second and fourth points. If we are over committed, stressed, aren’t fit or able to continue to learn we will be less effective. Listening, learning, contributing to, sharing and developing what others are doing can be creative ways of problem solving. It’s basic stuff but sometimes overlooked as we go about the daily grind.

So some things I’ve recently read that I want to share and highlight as I think they will become mainstream for me and hopefully others too in 2014. I hope you find them useful.
Continue reading “2014 – has to be more than an interest”

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