Calmly Excited

Today’s the day Stop Doing Dumb Things rolls into town. Well it is if you live in London, and if you have a ticket 😉

I’ve lost count of the number of live events I’ve run and helped to run over the years. They’re great fun, and energising, powerful and experimental, so I suppose that makes them a little dangerous too?

Everyone involved in our event today is an experimenter. I congratulate you all for your willingness to try something different. And quite apart from lots of format tweaks and new ideas, there will be a couple of things I personally will choose to do differently. It’s no secret, because I choose it not to be, that these events, these gatherings, make me nervous. Will I give of my best? Will you be happy? And if you’re not happy will you be comfortable enough to tell me? And if you do, can I help put that right?

I choose  not to bring a musical instrument with me this time. I need a break, and so do you. And as it happens, I’m playing a 1970’s disco set in the New Forest this weekend. I’m happy to give you a sneak peak, and I figure one scary music day in a week is enough 😛

Disco Doug

I choose to take a more participatory role this time. I’m lucky to be working with Jonathan Wilson and Peter Massey again and we’ve taken the time to make sure we all get time and space to play today, as well as facilitate.

If you can’t join us in real life through today, follow our experiment on Twitter using the hashtag #sddt. That way you’ll get a sense of the useful fun we’re having. Sorry though – unless you’re in the room, you won’t get any home made cake. We haven’t figured out how to get that through cyberspace, and to be honest, I hope we never do.

Thanks in advance to Neil, Neil, Peter, Ben, Martin, Tim and his team, and all our guests 😉

Whatever you’re doing, have a great day folks.

photo credit

Kisu Kisu – Pass It On

I’d be surprised if you haven’t played Kisu Kisu at sometime in your life. Some folk may know the game better as Whisper Down the Lane, Grapevine, Telephone or maybe Chinese Whispers. It’s a great fun game and often when people play it – they intentionally miscommunicate in order to make the end result more fun.

I recently wrote about the Death of Service and David K Waltz commented:

In my blog I often remark about siloism within companies. I think what ends up occurring in situations like yours is the game of telephone, where someone in the circle whispers a comment to the next, and by the time it has worked it’s way back around it is nothing like the original statement.

Overcoming this tendency is difficult, if not impossible – well organized and operated companies are rare, so I am sure your experience is common, unfortunately.

In organisations we have silos, we have chains of command, we have org charts (barf!), we have boundaries. And all these things serve to support Kisu Kisu and prevent conversation. Sure, when you play Kisu Kisu it can be great fun. But when you are in a company trying to solve a problem for a colleague or a customer, Kisu Kisi sucks, and conversation rocks.

My love of conversation is probably why I enjoy unconferences so much, and there are three coming up in the next few months that I’m pleased to be getting involved in.

Sukh and his team are getting the inaugural Learning and Development Connect event going on April 24th, Gareth and co. are delivering the fourth ConnectingHR unconference on May 16th, and Peter, Jonathan and me are bringing Stop Doing Dumb Things back again on June 27th.

These events are great for catching up with old friends, meeting new people and for learning and sharing ideas on how to make work better. It’s all about the conversation and I hope you can join in.

Engage Better!

For the real leaders of engagement, our next Engagement Unconference will be on 27 June 2012.

Our first Engagement Unconference in November 2011 surpassed our highest hopes, and having listened to and acted on the feedback from you, this time we’re making it even better!

Leaders from Aviva, Barclays, Redgate, Rio Tinto, Sky and more came together for a day full of ideas and stories about how to use technology, structure and strategy, but most of all authentic leadership to engage people and purpose.

Yell’s Kayleigh Quelch described the first Unconference as, “A real inspiration!….I left with so many fresh ideas, so much future hope!”

We are restricting numbers to just 80 places to protect real dialogue, and 11 of those have already been booked by people who came last time. If you believe in people as much as we think you do, you’ll be one of the next 69 engaging leaders to join us.

  • We will keep the world café and the multiple conversations that everyone valued so much.
  • We will keep the art minutes record of the day, the twitterfall and the live blogging
  • We will add input in 7-minute, expert talks about what’s new to generate fresh dialogue.
  • We will have a debate to add more excitement, “Is HR good for engagement?” Yes, no or maybe? You’ll hear strong views and strong challenges because debate can often be an entertaining form of dialogue.

Why come?

Not just because you will learn things to make your business more money, though you will.

Not just because you will learn things to make your business more efficient, though you will.

Not just because you you will learn how to keep your customers longer, though you will.

Come because you know that engaging people, colleagues, customers and community, is the right thing to do, the right way to run your business, the right way to be and because you want to learn with other engaging thinkers.

Come because you want to really engage your people; not just some of your people, some of the time, but all of all of your people, all of the time.

Can you imagine how good work is when all your colleagues engage all of their energy, empathy and attention to achieve great things together? When you are all together on a mission! It is the most wonderful feeling. You’ll feel that on the day!

“An outstanding experience!” Peter Burton, ROTA-UK

We are Doug Shaw of What Goes Around, Peter Massey of Budd-UK and Jonathan Wilson of Humap UK and we look forward to welcoming you at the Second Engagement Unconference at The Spring on 27 June 2012.