Weblog Entries for August 2010
August 31, 2010
August 30, 2010
links for 2010-08-30
Neil Perkin points to research suggesting much of popularly accepted psychological research is limited by the worldview of western industrialised democracies, and misleads us about how the wider world population thinks.
A clear guide to the 'Dynamic Facilitation' process originally developed by Jim Rough. Not my normal style of working but it has a lot going for it, especially in terms of allowing connections to emerge without forcing, and (IMHO) a more permissive approach than brainstorming.
“Until six months ago I was clinging to the idea that printed books would likely last for ever. Since the arrival of the iPad I am now wholly convinced otherwise. “The printed book is about to vanish at extraordinary speed. I have two complete OEDs, but never consult them – I use the online OED five or six times daily. The same with many of my reference books – and soon with most. “Books are about to vanish; reading is about to expand as a pastime; these are inescapable realities”" via Preoccupations
I'm always wary of people who suggest you might regret things when you're dying. I say I plan to be too busy dying to have time for regrets. But this article makes me think again.
Antony Mayfield reflects on his experience of being conventionally published and the alternatives
"Wearing counterfeit glasses not only fails to bolster our ego and self-image the way we hope, it actually undermines our internal sense of authenticity. “Faking it” makes us feel like phonies and cheaters on the inside, and this alienated, counterfeit “self” leads to cheating and cynicism in the real world." Some interesting comments too. Via Andrew Sullivan's blog.
August 29, 2010
links for 2010-08-29
Craig Murray gives his account of the consequences of not towing the party line for the Foreign Office. Bureaucraicies/hierarchies at their worst.
August 28, 2010
links for 2010-08-28
Geoff Jones found this 10min video of Alan Alda using improv games to show scientists how to connect more with their own enthusiasm, and with their audience.
August 27, 2010
links for 2010-08-27
Yikes. And I suspect the list of organisations who should be paying attention include a lot of higher education bodies, IMHO.
If the teacher focusses on what will be assessed, the quality of pupil performance suffers. via @hjarche
On Your Knees!
I'm co-hosting a workshop in Finland on October 14th, alongside Simo Routarine and Viv McWaters.
This will be part of the IAF Europe Conference in Helsinki. Here's a bit of the blurb:
Status, or power, games are inherent in meetings - whether acknowledged or not. Sometimes status can get in the way, creating tension between individuals and limiting the potential for authentic communication and engagement.
Status can play out in many ways: sometimes a connection occurs between strangers and they just feel they communicate on the same wavelength; or a careless step on someone's toes - an unseen status challenge - creates tension, or even conflict between individuals.
The facilitator is in a unique status position and can use this to their advantage, enabling them to see status gaps and, most importantly, close those gaps to enhance communication.
We can't avoid status games. This workshop is about learning to recognize them and how to play them more effectively.
August 25, 2010
links for 2010-08-25
More on the theme of how power corrupts
Fascinating report from The Economist: How to tell when your boss is lying. Researchers identify a number of patterns common to CEOs and CFOs who turn out, with hindsight, to have misled analysts. Apparently, the liars tend to make more references to general knowledge ("as you know"); and use the first person less.
They also tend to superlatives ("fantastic" rather than "good") and swear more. And they use less phatic speech (ums and ers). Vehemence is no substitute for true certainty.
Hat tip: Bob Sutton
August 23, 2010
You probably know the story, quite possibly apocryphal, of Ernest Shackleton's newspaper ad for crew for his expedition to the South Pole:
MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. LOW WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG HOURSI was thinking of using this when talking about the power of a good invitation.
OF COMPLETE DARKNESS. SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN
EVENT OF SUCCESS
And then I wondered if any readers out there had examples of other remarkable invitations they've heard about or experienced?
links for 2010-08-23
Lyrical and rather brillant stuff
August 20, 2010
links for 2010-08-20
Linear thinking about the future is hardwired into our brains. Linear predictions of the future were quite sufficient when our brains were evolving. At that time, our most pressing problem was figuring out where that animal running after us was going to be in 20 seconds. Linear projections worked quite well thousands of years ago and became hardwired. But exponential growth is the reality of information technology. We’ve seen smooth exponential growth in the price-performance and capacity of computing devices since the 1890 U.S. census, in the capacity of wireless data networks for over 100 years, and in biological technologies since before the genome project. There are dozens of other examples. This exponential progress applies to every aspect of the effort to reverse-engineer the brain. via @technoshamen
August 19, 2010
Not meeting like this (update)
We've had takers for 23 of the 30 places at We Can't Go On Meeting Like This (London, evening of September 6th, free). People are coming from as far away as Berlin and Madrid, which I wasn't expecting. Perhaps we're onto something?
Anyhoo, if you'd like to join us in not going on, it might be an idea to register now!
links for 2010-08-19
A nice description of one man's experiment with David Bohm's approach to dialogue. I found this in a twitter exchange with @CoCreatr that started with a tweet about the noise of the builders outside my flat. Serendipity or what.
Some reflections on the Cynefin model. Interesting, though I had to suspend my fatigue with the effort to plot our rich world in ugly boxes.
I've long thought our intellectual property laws impoverish our society in ways we barely understand. This article points to the potential costs.
Some nice illustrations via delicious.com/hjarche/complexity
Includes a nice mindmap version of Snowden's Cynefin framework (well, some of it). via delicious/hjarche/complexity
Nice slideshare by Matt Homann, with some good ideas for lawyers on how to do a better job for clients. Transferable to other trades. I esp agreed about him telling them to use the phone more.
A brilliant story about our capacity for error
A brilliant 2min video about a guy who builds a tiny house and ends up in the tiny house construction business. Inspiring. via @nahumg
A review of research on the considerable downsides of professional licensing. A great example of regulaton being counterproductive. Including the finding the licensing does not actually improve service quality.
Everyone's seems to be into co-creation and crowdsourcing these days. Here's a lovely reality check for lazy brands who assume too much about what to expect. It's the phenomenon of "yes I'd love for you to collaborate by washing my dishes and peeling my potatoes"
August 18, 2010
links for 2010-08-18
I have mixed feelings about the how competition affects creativity... sometimes it feels like it adds excitement more than wisdom. But Keith Sawyer has some interesting research.
This is so funny, it makes the realisation that I am getting old almost bearable. Found via DailyKos. Enjoy.
August 17, 2010
The mundane can be interesting
I don't get excited about companies changing their logos, but I liked this time lapse video of the four days to repaint a Virgin Atlantic Jumbo.
I think there's an interesting moral about marketing. Sometimes something apparently mundane (the process of painting a plane) may be more interesting to onlookers than what most marketeers get excited about (ooh, look at our new identity, it means all these meaningless abstractions).
links for 2010-08-17
I'm not sure about the notion of ego as this objectionable a character, but I found this quite a moving reflection on the creative process.
We can't go on meeting like this
Together with my friends Oli Barrett, Stephen Wrentmore and Trish Stevenson, I'll be hosting an evening called We can't go on meeting like this.
It's on September 6th, 6 for 6.30pm till 8.30pm. Somewhere in Central London, exact venue to be confirmed.
This emerges from my experience of all sorts of events of late. I think there may be a gap in the market for something that allows us to meet in ways that are more satisfying. The focus is on connecting with others in engaging ways - without resorting to formats of expert speakers or simply pouring drinks, putting on music and hoping for the best.
We're hoping this will become a regular thing, and a chance to play with different meeting formats.
It's free, and we're limiting places on this first one to 30 and we'll see how it goes. Hope to see you there, I think it might be fun. And please tell your friends. Register here.
Networks as living systems
Andrew Rixon shares this presentation on networks as living systems. I enjoyed it.
August 16, 2010
links for 2010-08-16
A nice little story from Nico Herzog about a misdiagnosed issue with his Apple... "the line between a satisfied customer and not, is getting narrower and narrower, more often than not (as in my case) coming down to one simple question: Please, tell me more..?"
"No single event demolished the music business. It was a series of slow changes over the course of two decades, all the way back to the CD....Smoking killed far more people than terrorists ever did. It's just not as dramatic" via @davidgurteen
Stumbled on this and wanted to share it.
This blog made me think: What is the shape of thought?. It kicks off with this provocative quote:
"Words and language, whether written or spoken, do not seem to play any part in my thought processes. The psychological entities that serve as building blocks for my thought are certain signs or images, more or less clear, that I can reproduce at will." Albert EinsteinIt goes on to suggest that our culture is shifting (back) to a much more visual way of communicating.
Most of our computers have turned into electronic scrapbooks full of photo, videos, sketches and mind-maps. Everyone with a mobile device today has the capability to create and consume a vast array of images on the go. The emergent visual culture is one of online videos, animations, games, immersive virtual worlds, “augmented” reality environments, global information systems. It’s not unusual on a given day to swap photos and videos, have your avatar walking around in cyberspace, and navigate the real world with a mirror of your movement on you handheld GPS system. Often the visualizations are for entertainment or used as illustrations for ideas – such as decorative images inside 3D worlds, sketches alongside text in a report, animations that tell a story. But out of the visual riot in today’s media, a more intentional use of visual language is emerging.There's something important in this, a potential to move beyond some of the potholes caused by linear report reading and execution. It also reminds me of this quote from the book The Alphabet and the Goddess. And this podcast (and transcript) of a chat with Thomas Madsen Mygdal and Tom Guarriello on the impact of images.
Hat tip: Tweet from rondon
August 15, 2010
I liked this argument for taking the risk of being different, from Gavin Heaton: there's already a surfeit of sameness in the world.
But it is precisely because of this connectedness that you must take the risk with your idea, your vision and even your “expertise”. We read the same blog posts, watch the same videos and discuss the same subjects on Twitter – in fact, these social networks have been developed with the express purpose of brining us together. They allow us to flock, to collaborate and to share. It’s no wonder that the SAME new idea appears on opposite sides of the world at the SAME time.
A long time ago, the estimable Antony Mayfield was kind enough to send me a review copy his new book, Me and My Web Shadow. This is a great book to give anyone who wants a primer on all things internet, and I've already recommended it to friends who ask things like, "How should I start blogging then?"
Personally, I tend to subscribe to the view that if all else fails, then read the instructions and I've learnt most of what I do about networking online by trial and error... but got prodded to try a few new things by Antony's book. The style is accessible and avoids being overprescriptive.
But aside from lots of sensible advice, it's the more casual observations that were most interesting to me. I especially liked a section called "Completism v Flow":
Our cultural bias for work and study is towards completing things. We perceive a virtue in reading the newspaper from start to finish each day or in the report begun, carried through and completed... Perhaps soon completing things won't be considered as valuable as it was before.He takes this further and talks about flow and the very different world his children can now access via screens. Good stuff.
links for 2010-08-15
"I have always maintained that late-merging (using the empty lane(s) when lanes merge rather than queuing up into one lane as soon as you see the "lanes merge" sign) is safer and faster for everyone." And now, apparently, there's proof. I'm with Jeff Risley.
Great round up work on the difference between GDP and well being, from Neil Perkin
Self-organisation, traffic lights and empathy
Recommended viewing for contemplating the power of self-organisation and the hidden costs of top-down control. The best line in the commentary was this: "Road capacity might be limited but empathy is boundless."
For instance, there was research looking at the effect of students' locations in their dorms. Apparently, if you're in the room at the end of the corridor, you'll experience much less social success than if you're in the middle. Also,
How much we reveal about ourselves—and our own vulnerability—also helps us click. One study conducted by SUNY-Stony Brook social psychologist Arthur Aron and his research team paired individuals who didn't know each other and assigned each a set of cocktail-party-type questions, such as: What did you do over the holidays? The other half were given questions that required more intimate self-revelation, such as: What are your most treasured memories? The pairs who were forced to be more vulnerable in their answers formed incredibly quick, deep connections. One pair even married.I sometimes come up with introductory activities for meetings and try to set topics to talk about that get a bit deeper than cocktail parties.
Even if the personal revelations are from a machine, the effect still works:
..when the computer "self-disclosed," prefacing its questions with a "confession" such as "There are times when this computer crashes for reasons that are not apparent to its user," students were significantly more forthcoming.
August 13, 2010
links for 2010-08-13
On being wrong
It's become a kind of truism these days that we all need to get more forgiving about making mistakes.
Perhaps what needs more attention is noticing that we may have made them. I've often thought about starting a meeting showing this page from Wikipedia: List of cognitive biases. It's an astonishing reminder of how easy it is to be mistaken.
Now instead I might quote the experiment reported by Johann Hari today. Here's the set up:
Perhaps the best place to start her story is with an experiment first staged in the University of Berlin in 1902 by Professor Frank Von Liszt. In a classroom, two students began to have an angry argument, until one pulled out a gun. As the panicked students around them drew back, a professor tried to intervene – and a shot was fired. The professor collapsed to the ground. The witnesses, unaware that all three were actors following a script, were then taken outside and quizzed about what they had seen and heard. They were encouraged to give as much detail as possible.And basically everybody got it wrong
They put long monologues into the mouths of spectators who had said nothing; they "heard" the row as being about a dozen different imagined subjects, from girlfriends to debts to exams; they saw blood everywhere, when there was none. Most people got a majority of their "facts" wrong, and even the very best witness offered a picture that was 25 per cent fiction. The more certain the witness, the more wrong they were. Every time the experiment is run, the results are the same.I especially liked that bit:the more certain the witness, the more wrong they were.
Hat tip: Tweet from @caitlinmoran
Beginnings and endings
On Facebook, Patti Digh offers some fabulous advice:
To my friends with kids moving to college next week, I have but three pieces of advice: 1) Handcart. Trust me. You'll make 2 trips instead of 15; 2) Make the day about them, not you. About their fantastic future, not about your loss; and 3) Leave them sooner than you believe you should. Say goodbye and go. They can sort out their clothes and hair conditioner. Go.
August 12, 2010
I've picked these from twitter in the last day or so.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!'--it's 'that's funny'" Isaac Asimov via @dearsarah
Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.-- Julius Charles Hare via @oncevision
I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them." Pablo Picasso, also via oncevision
August 11, 2010
links for 2010-08-11
Danish journalist, fedup with bad news and negative politics has a go at forcing politicians and businessmen to be constructive. Including locking several of them in a room for 24 hours under the cameras. Gotta be worth a try. Thanks to Niko Herzeg for the link.
Interesting research that conforms to my own hunch about these things.
Brilliant, witty visualisation. via Andrew Sullivan
I'm not big on lists but there's some good stuff here from what sounds a great project: helping students do a startup instead of a summer job. I especially liked the advice about pitching: don't sound like a tool.
Music business as nasty neighbours
I guess most of us, growing up, had the grouchy-old-man neighbour?
In Bishop's Avenue, he lived a few doors along in the white bungalow hidden behind large bushes. He was known to all of us as the nasty man who hated children. Truth and myth became hard to separate, and a few summer's evenings would be spent swapping and embellishing the rich backstory to Mr Angry's life. He was a retired spy who'd been tortured by the Russians. He'd been accused of murdering his wife. He used to run a sweet shop but got prosecuted for shortchanging his customers. Nobody really knew and of course it didn't really matter.
The basic algorithm was, however, pretty simple. The slightest intrusion by any child into his real or psychic space would provoke noisty outbursts, often followed by phone calls to parents or letters to the school or the council.
Needless to say, for bored kids this offered the prospect of endless entertainment. It provided just the level of personal risk to make it engaging and attractive for an early experiment in peer-to-peer collaboration and competition. Mr Angry was, I'm sorry to say, stuck in a vicious circle: each outburst or complaint served only to increase the creativity and enthusiasm of the neighbourhood kids' provocation.
I was reminded of him by this story about the latest effort from the Music Industry: Newport State of Mind removed amid copyright claim. Following a complaint from EMI Publishing*, a delightful and affectionate parody of a best-selling song, transposing the setting from New York to Newport, Wales is pulled down by youtube.
These folks seem determined to cast themselves as miserable and humourless in their dealings. Dealings, as others have pointed out, with people who are actually among their artists' biggest fans. People whose witty tributes are surely more likely to reinforce the original artists' fame.
And each time this happens, the kids, of all ages, are going to hate the industry more and (hopefully) become ever more creative in ways of getting round its petty traps. The entertainment industry's provocations just mean people will want to use it for entertainment, much as we kids did Mr Angry.
Now, with hindsight, I fear we kids may have been pretty mean and unjust in our treatment of Mr Angry. After all, we hadn't been spening our pocket money in his mythical sweet shop for years and years.
Somehow I don't feel remotely that compassion for the music industry.
Hat tip: Tweet from @coadec, suggesting that merely for having linked to that youtube, people could get disconnected.
* Update: I said "EMI" in my original post but it may actually be EMI Music Publishing, possibly at the behest of the original songwriters. Whoever it is, I hope they recover their sense of humour.
August 10, 2010
links for 2010-08-10
Brilliant. One for Bob Sutton's collection I reckon.
Keith Sawyer has argued the brainstorming is ineffective. "But most of what groups are asked to do in the real world is a lot different than simply generating lists of ideas. There are many studies showing that on more complex tasks, involving knowledge of conceptual systems, groups perform better than individuals."
Agile Boot Camp
Neil Perkin has a written a much better explanation than I could of our planned workshop, Agile Boot Camp. As you'll see, we're running a shameless mutual appreciation society but if you can overlook that, I think you might have a good time.
Neil includes this point:
I believe that agility in business and communications is about responsiveness, not about velocity. It's a critical difference.That's something we've talked about a lot. There's a tendency to think agile is all about rushing about in a slightly manic fashion, but that belies the humanity and wisdom of the approach. In improv, scenes can go awry when the players get incredibly intense. That's because the mania means they stop listening to each other.
Where conventional programming/planning loses out is that is reduces responsiveness (eg to customers) behind walls of perfectionism and analysis. Putting out imperfect stuff is a profoundly human thing to do; as a friend of mine is fond of saying it's because complete each other. (More of this here and here)
Anyhoo, the gig is on September 17th, here's the full SP.
There’s surprisingly little difference between a candidate with six months of experience and one with six years. The real difference comes from the individual’s dedication, personality, and intelligence.Of course, much of the massive pay schemes at the top of organisations are justified by reference to the vast experience of their incumbents so they may regard Tim as a dangerous subversive. Which he might regard as a compliment.
August 9, 2010
links for 2010-08-09
"The root of the problem is that ISD [Instructional System Design] views instruction as separate from work. Instruction is perceived as something that can be designed, developed and delivered as a programme, not integrated with the work to be done. Subject matter experts are consulted, but the ISD professionals remain in contro"
Bill Gates' "central thesis was that, in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to get a better further education using the web than you could simply at a single University institution." Makes complete sense to me
I mostly run a mile from 2x2 matrices but for some reason I quite like this one
I'm a big fan of simple ideas that address big issues in humble ways. Here's one from @jaggeree
Apart from anything else, something to remember when people champion innovation as if it's inevitably a good thing.
Interesting take on the downside of stipulating that cyclists wear helmets. Interesting that the Dutch argue that there safety in numbers for cyclists, and that helmet laws reduce numbers. Another one for the file on the need to see risk management as complex not merely complicated.
Heartwarming story of the triumph of persistence
The perils of philosophy
(Click here if you can't see the video embed.)
This NSFW video made me laugh. I can't explain how I scraped a degree in Philosophy and Politics whilst having a nervous breakdown. I get lost the moment I'm expected to remember which philospher said what, and I'm hopeless with most of jargon. So if you tell me I'm committing the Aristotelian solipsism or committing/denying/evading [Insert Philospher here]'s fallacy/ontology/epistemology/toxicology or whatever, you win. Every time.
Plus this video captures how hard it is to cope in a world where everything's connected to everything and you just can't process all the variables.
Of course, the Python boys seemed much clearer.
Hat tip: Mark Fisher
The hitchhiker's guide to better meetings
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one my favourite books. Andrew Rixon's Hitchhiker's Guide to Better Meetings is a delightful riff on it.
I especially loved his point about the number 42. In the book, the machine deep thought rumbles away for 7.5 million years to reveal that this is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. Which is rather useless, as no-one actually knows what the ultimate question is. Andrew continues:
How often have you been in a meeting where people are focussing on jumping to answers, regardless of what the problem or question actually is?...Thinking there’s one right answer and it’s 42 is a whole other problem for meetings. This manifests itself by way of pre-determined outcomes and an inability to accept emergent outcomes.The principles of DON'T PANIC and having a towel are worth reading too.
August 8, 2010
links for 2010-08-08
Does the current academic setup prevent innovation? " the system seems designed to prevent original thought and risk taking. It seems like a majority of the sessions are all for young academics to teach them how to manage the process of publishing papers and securing tenure. A process that appears to require conformity to established practice, dealing with well defined problems and above all not doing anything new or radical."
Rob speculates on how a one-man veggie-box operation could scale as a network, to provide an alternative to the established food distribution channels which systemically strip value from producers.
Programming a conference
Dan Saffer offers some thoughts on how to program a conference. Some good ideas. I liked what he said about themes:
Unless your conference is extremely targeted and you are planning to work with the speakers to shape their talks, don't pick an arbitrary theme for your conference, e.g. "Connecting Us Together" or "Exploring New Worlds." Not only are these sorts of mushy themes useless and ripe for parody, but they almost never work.Though as an open space fan, I'm tempted to offer a slightly shorter proposal on how to program a conference: don't.
Legislate in haste...
... repent at leisure.
Two stories that caught my eye this weekend, both illustrating the dangers of rushing to make rules in response to alarming events.
Tiger has its day in court relates the ridiculous, and I would say cruel, attempt to prosecute someone for a picture on his phone. This sort of legislation seem to pass without allowing for the likelihood that some bureaucrat will use it to go on a persecutory powertrip.
Collaboration and status
Sometimes I go searching for something in an old post and stumble on other stuff I wrote years ago. This can lead to cringes but occasionally to things I think bear repeating, such as this this reflection on how come collaboration sometimes seems so difficult:
Collaboration is a low status game. The offer to collaborate generally involves an opening up, a suggestion of vulnerability.
Crediting the captain, not the storm
I liked this quote from Paul Seabright's The Company of Strangers.
Politicians are in charge of the modern economy in much the same way as a sailor is in charge of a small boat in a storm. The consequences of their losing control completely may be catastrophic (as civil war and hyperinflation in parts of the former Soviet empire have recently reminded us), but even while they keep afloat, their influence over the course of events is tiny in comparison with that of the storm around them. We who are their passengers may focus our hopes and fears upon them, and express profound gratitude toward them if we reach harbor safely, but that is chiefly because it seems pointless to thank the storm.I think this extends to most fields of human endeavour, not just politics. It also reminds of my favourite cognitive bias.
August 7, 2010
Hold a meeting
I posted this cartoon about six years ago*. It's one of those throwaway posts that I notice still gets picked up by others.
I often sense that meetings which are apparently being organised to deal with a problem become, unwittingly, devices to avoid dealing with the problem. It's like a variation of Shirky's Principle.
Here's how it plays out. Someone in an organisation identifies a really challenging issue. A big meeting is planned so that it can be dealt with. Because it's a big meeting, it takes a long time to get folks together. As a result, the need for it to appear to succeed increases exponentially which is often a setup for all manner of politics to get in the way of reality.
Meanwhile, nothing is done to even begin to deal with the big issue, because obviously this need to be left until the big meeting at which all the powerful players will be present. Energy gets focussed on how to influence this future event, and nothing is ventured towards dealing with the issue now.
By the time the meeting arrives, everyone in charge is so full of angst that they try to eliminate or reduce all risks of spontaneity and apparent risks of "failure". Euphemisms take the place of a real discussion of the issue, and platitudes are formally exchanged.
Not much actually changes. And a few months later, the powers-that-be realise that what's needed is another big meeting....
* The origin of this cartoon has vanished behind a dead link, apols to anyone concerned.
August 6, 2010
links for 2010-08-06
I met the guy behind this the other day. It's a simple initiative to promote mental health in a conversational, down-to-earth way. Rather brilliant I think.
A succint post by Neil Perkin on the value of the net does not lie in the grandiose. I think this is a significant issue for marketing-as-usual
What is anger doing for us?
Rob Paterson talks about his work with KETC hosting conversations on the subject of immigration: Why are so many people so angry? Often, he writes, the stated reasons are about loss of jobs and crime...
But I wonder is that really the source of the anger? After all I don't see this fuss about crime generally. I don't see a big fuss against all the employers who have shuttered workplaces and exported jobs abroad. I don't see the fuss about how technology has driven jobs away and lowered wagesI get the sense that anger seems to drive a lot of politics. I don't subscribe to the view that anger is a "bad" emotion; it can be very energising. But I think it sometimes provides a way to establish a sense of power or relationship where people would otherwise struggle to do so.
Our focus should be on the communicative interaction creating the continuously developing pattern that is our life.I think Rob is asking that kind of question.
August 5, 2010
August 4, 2010
links for 2010-08-04
A good argument against the bogus prices the established music business puts on illegal downloads
August 3, 2010
links for 2010-08-03
Smart advice from Ton
Fantastic and thought-provoking.
Pithy and wise. via Geoff Brown
"Now we just need to get certification done right and the ability of people to re-train themselves becomes a possibility."
Facilitating with Confidence - London 2010
I'm going to be helping to run a facilitation training this autumn in London, based on the programme developed my friend Viv McWaters in Australia -Facilitating with Confidence.
Viv will be hosting this autumn workshop with me and our colleague Trish Stevenson.
August 2, 2010
Neil Perkin and I have put together a new workshop for Friday September 17th.
We're calling it Getting Agile. We'll explore the idea and practice of agility. It will combine serious content with seriously playful experience of agile using improv activities.
We're holding it at the lovely Wallacespace in St Pancras and the earlybird rate is £195 inc VAT (going up to £250 on 1 September).
This weekend an experimental Thinking Hotel is happening in Soho, London, over 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday noon. Here's the essence:
The Thinking Hotel is a vision of a future social enterprise that aims to create a chain of places for thinking in every city around the world. These paces will be open to anyone, individuals, businesses, organisations, open 24/7 like a hotel, but designed to offer thinking experiences, from imagination, collaboration to inspirational and strategic thinking.The workship is a drop in event to help develope the idea. It's organised by Maria Ana Neves, drop her a line for more info or sign up here. I think I'll be going.
Also a reminder about Facilitation Camp, also in London, on August 20/21, should be fun.
Not your grandfather's kind of recession..
This Economist blogger see signs of significant organisation among the unemployed in America. Unlike previous downturns, this time there is low cost networking available to help those without work develop a cohesive political response to their situation.
What's happening now, with the increase in duration of unemployment, is that you're starting to get large numbers of people with good organisational skills and lots and lots of time on their hands. And they're spending enough time without jobs that they are beginning to self-identify as unemployed, and to form bonds with others in the same situation. This is a phenomenon that I don't think has been seen in America since Martin Luther King's marches against poverty in the 1960s, if not since the Depression, and it will be interesting to see what comes of it.