Stop Doing Dumb Things – In Pictures

At around 5.30 am on Wednesday morning I woke up and prepared to head off to Stop Doing Dumb Things – the unconference. Today was to be a rare, and for many a first chance, for HR and customer service professionals to come together and help strengthen the links between the employee and customer experience.

In my sleepy state I burned the toast to a frazzle so with my first dumb thing out of the way I headed off into the dark on an empty stomach. Thankfully when I arrived in Vauxhall The Madeira Café was open and I had double egg on toast with bacon. It was delicious.

There’s already loads of content from the event online and I want to say a huge thank you to Martin Couzins for capturing so many pictures, words, interviews and songs and getting them online so quickly. Leonie, one of our guests, talked about different learning styles and how different people communicate in different ways. One size does not fit all. There will be more content and feedback to follow over the next days and weeks, for now I wanted to share with you one learning style, the artwork that Tim Casswell and his team created for us on the day. I’ve included the briefest of descriptions below each picture and you can listen to Tim’s interpretation of this here

SDDT Frame One
Setting the Scene

This first picture is about setting the scene for the day, gathering people’s expectations.

SDDT Frame Two
Distilling words and scribbles and ideas as the day began to emerge

We ran a World Café to help set the day up. Many ideas and thoughts and feelings were expressed. We’re here to try something different. Fear and trust and freedom to express and a whole bunch of other things caught our eyes, hearts and minds.

SDDT Frame Three
Feedback from more detailed conversations

After the World Café people split up and talked about things in more detail. Communication, Value and measurement, Fear and trust, What and why of engagement, What can I do?

What works?

After lunch we spoke about, what works? We could and maybe should have teed this up in the run in to the event. By that I mean just asked guests to think about when and where they’ve seen good stuff going on. The importance of lunching together, to bond and share ideas came up and whenever possible, the importance of face to face dialogue. And when not possible, try skype, or video. And when not possible try the telephone. Use email as a last resort. We struggled to get lots of examples – I think we need to review and come back to this and gently develop it further.

How did the day appear to you?

This last picture was drawn rapidly at the end of the day. Subjects were suggested and Tim put them together in the moment. Some instant reflections on a challenging, useful, enjoyable and emotional day.

Huge thanks to everyone who encouraged, supported, attended, co-created and tweeted the day along. I feel so fortunate and sincerely humbled and motivated to know you.

There will be more to follow including feedback from guests, and more content summaries. For now – any observations and thoughts based on what you see here would as always be appreciated.

How do you turn good into excellent?

Listening Your Way to a Great Result

Like most large companies, Vodafone runs a supplier performance programme. Twice a year, Vodafone evaluates its suppliers against these criteria: Corporate responsibility (CR), financial stability, technical capability, delivery and quality of service as well as the strength of the commercial relationship. OK, granted the last one’s a bit…subjective perhaps, but I think this is a good, broad set of criteria. I first became aware of the programme after reading a press release about the CR measure. I was delighted that Vodafone were looking into this area, because I am personally interested in sustainable business and the company I was representing; BT, is a good CR practitioner. When I dug a little deeper, I found that Vodafone scored BT at 71%, 7 out of 10. Not bad, but not great either.

Being a curious person, I called up the Head of Supply Chain and he agreed to meet and talk through their programme. The guys at Vodafone were great. Honest and straightforward, they really conveyed a sense of wanting to work together to improve. This wasn’t a huge surprise to me as I’d previously carried out some very interesting mutually beneficial improvement work with Vodafone, but it’s still great to get that encouraging approach.

We listened actively and worked hard to address Vodafone’s programme requirements. When I say we, this work was delivered in the main by me and a great guy in BT called Mick Bruder. Over a 12 month period we supported Vodafone’s programme and improved the CR score to 90%. Vodafone considers a score of 90% and above to be excellent. In turn, this improvement fed into the wider programme and pushed BT into the top 15 global suppliers to Vodafone for the first time. I’d settle for excellent.

When I was subsequently asked to write the Stakeholder Engagement section of BT’s Sustainability report, I asked Vodafone if they would consider being referenced as a case study. They agreed. This delighted me, made me feel proud of the work we were doing together and really helped to cement this great working relationship.

So the next time someone asks you about the business benefits of sustainability, why not show them this story?