Principles of Work – By Hand

In March 2014 I published my Principles of Work, a simple series of things you can expect from me when we work together. This version of Principles of Work was compiled using Haiku Deck, and the simple mixture of brief text and photos struck a chord. To date, the Haiku Deck version of Principles of Work has had over 7,500 views, and is in its second iteration.

As part of developing this idea, Neil Usher recently suggested to me that I could apply a more personal artistic filter to the principles. I love Neil’s suggestion, so I decided to do some tracing and sketching of my own, blending Art for Work’s Sake with the Principles of Work.

Many hours, much sketcher’s cramp, and lots of ink, pencil and marker paper later, I ended up with a series of images I’m happy to publish.

As I developed the images I chose to share them on various social networks and I benefitted from lots of great feedback and suggestions as I went along. The network I am a part of is a lovely, supportive group of people – thanks to each and everyone of you who helped me get this piece of work completed. Although it took a lot of time and concentration, this wasn’t that hard to do, so if you fancy trying something similar with your work, I encourage you to give it a go and I’m happy to help in any way I can.

I’m a big fan of showing your work as it develops, and the next step is to experiment with a video to tell the story behind the images in a little more detail. I’ll keep you posted, and in the meantime, if you’ve got any ideas about what I could do with the original sketches – I’d love to hear from you.

Working out loud, learning all the time.

People and Places : Senses and Spaces

Some initial thoughts on the recently announced collaboration between BIFM and CIPD

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. Winston Churchill

This week I learned of a collaboration between BIFM and the CIPD. Although in its very early days, the potential in this match up interests me. The plan is for the two organisations to collaborate on ‘a number of research and insight projects that will investigate how both communities of professionals are evolving and adapting to the changing workplace.’ So long as that work feeds quickly through into action and doesn’t become just another talking shop (lest we forget I still wear the scars of being heavily involved in Engage for Success, I know how underwhelming these well meaning get togethers can be), then I look forward to being of some use to this initiative. Here are a couple of interactions I was involved with on Twitter as the news emerged.

BIFM CIPD Collaboration Tweets Two BIFM CIPD Collaboration Tweets One

Good architecture is often invisible, but it allows whatever is happening in that space to be the best experience possible. Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Peter Cheese said he’d like my thoughts on this matter, so I’d like to follow up on his tweeted observation about making good practice common practice, by sharing a few examples of where I believe these connections are already being made. I’d also be really interested to learn of other examples you’ve seen too, please? Feel free to drop me a line via the comments on the blog.

Neil Usher

Neil is for me, a great example of people and place personified. I don’t mean he looks like an office block, but he gets this important connection. I first met Neil at ConnectingHR a few years ago and he is regularly blogging, thinking and working at the crossroads between people and places : senses and spaces. Neil twists the two marshmallow strands of people and place together into an almost perfectly formed Flump. Here’s a recent, excellent post of his about how to help people and places work better.

Social Capital in the Workplace

In january 2014 I was fortunate to be asked by Mark Catchlove (another great example of someone who ‘gets’ this and is doing good work in the people and places space) of Herman Miller, to facilitate a consultation on Social Capital in the Workplace at St George’s House within the walls of Windsor Castle. This was a fascinating conversation among a mix of people across a wide range of industries and disciplines. We talked about people and places, senses and spaces. A detailed report of the conversation has been published here. The same group is reconvening again very soon to share our experiences since the initial conversation in January. What have we learned, what have we done? Doubtless more to follow.

In a city the atmosphere is all around you and is ever changing. New things will become old things…Time is a great architect. Alvaro Siza

People Property and CSR

I previously worked with a client in a financial services firm. She was the Director of People, Property and CSR and did a great job of coordinating these important, related activities. This person would always consider the people aspects of property moves and changes, and vice versa. Breaking down silos was a hobby of hers, and walls would regularly be knocked down and moved as attempts were made to foster a more collaborative way of working. And she would regularly invite contributions and criticism from colleagues around the business related to planned work. Why wouldn’t she – after all, getting this stuff right was the responsibility of her and her team!

Sensing Spaces

In February I wrote a blog post titled Mood Lighting. It was about a trip I took with Mervyn Dinnen to visit the Sensing Spaces exhibition at the Royal Academy. After our visit, as we spoke about the exhibition, Mervyn told me that one of the biggest impacts he observed while walking around, was how the mood of our conversation altered depending on the space we occupied. This exhibition was an enjoyable and interesting look at the impact space has on your senses. If the art world can explore the possibilities, then why can’t more of us in business do likewise?

Allowing room for the visitor’s imagination is essential if a space is to become a satisfying physical experience. Li Xiaodong

I’d like to wish good luck to the bridge builders at BIFM and CIPD. I have a slight reservation about building bridges, and that is that when we do this, the bridges typically connect one place to another. For this collaboration to work, I expect it will need to connect many people to many people, and many spaces to many spaces. For me, these connections already exist. They may not yet be strong enough, and there may not be enough of them, but they are out there.

People and Places : Sensing Spaces.

Here’s a related post about next steps, just published by Simon Heath.

Neil’s Journey

Yesterday I did some voluntary work for the CIPD. I was at their Social Media in HR conference doing a little blogging, doodling and curating, most of which you can see over at the CIPD tumblr site. An interesting mix of words and pictures emerged through the day, including this fascinating map of a journey by Neil Usher.

How I Got Off My Arse

Neil was part of a pre-lunch panel discussion about ‘My social media journey’, or as Neil called it, ‘How I got off my arse’, and he chose to support his short talk with this diagram. You can click the image to see a larger version.

I thought this was an interesting way to support a story, using one diagram rather than a bunch of slides. I’ve not seen a story told with a backdrop like this before yesterday and so I asked Neil if I could share his idea with you. He kindly agreed.

I hope you find this little post useful and who knows, maybe the next time you feel the temptation to go nuts on PowerPoint, you might try something a little different too?