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.


A question of value

This post was prompted by my desire to practice open inclusive working and an interesting discussion on Cliqmunities and the pricing of events over at David Goddin’s place.

We ran this year’s Stop Doing Dumb Things event and charged our guests £119 +VAT. That price was a ‘think of a number’, intuitive guess in the dark, so we now have a conundrum that you may be able to help us with, please.

The event generated revenue of about £6,000 and produced a surplus of about £1,600, though we didn’t pay any people for organising it. Bearing in mind the financial risk, we think that is OK for such an event (first time around). And we’d like to do a bit better next time and make it a better event too (e.g. provide a sound system, etc), and keep challenging the established market place (well you’d expect nothing less eh?!).

So here’s a question: “What do you think you/other people/companies would think is really good value that they could decide and sign up to without major hassle of getting board approval etc?” Should value be based on the learning people gain, comparison with other conferences/events, the good feelings people seem to have enjoyed together? We’re tempted to write down some numbers and get your reaction, but on balance, we’d rather just ask for your responses please – and please do include a suggested number or two. It’ll help us focus our thinking for 2012.

Thanks your very much for your consideration. If you feel you’d rather not say, that’s fine too, and please remember next year that we did ask and some will have replied!