Friday, 30 September 2011

sloppy is breaking a habit.

It would have taken me one minute to have turned off my phone. Taken out the battery. Leave it in the hotel room.

It's something ordinarily I do.

Today I got sloppy.

The phone came with me and where I thought I was in blissful isolation to focus on the task of delivery, my 'back pocket bum call' allowed the world to listen in.



This is about setting and living standards.
I am reminded that for the 1 finger on my hand that finds fault with others, 3 are pointing back at me...

Next week the phone stays off, alone and away.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Who do you want to be = rubbish question

Here's one to think on over the weekend. I was waiting for the train at Waterloo station after client meetings and so forth. I had a few moments to wait for the platform number to appear on the information board.  Above me were the huge advertising banners and t.v. screens we so often ignore.

I then took a second look at this one from Southampton Solent University that asks "WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE". Sorry, I can't flip over the picture.  user error!

I know nothing abnout the University, its staff, courses, students or success but I know that's a rubbish question. How can I possibly know what I want to be in the future? and if I did then it would dictate what I ought to explore now, which is all a little too restriciting don't you think?  The advert has lots of words describing courses and careers which I suppose is there to get the reader to consider his or her life and offer suggestions of where they might focus.  Again a rubbish thing to do.  You're asking someone to choose focus (the WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE) thing but presenting them with thousands of options and no guidance on what to do or how to navigate.
I see this all to often and saw a great deal of this in my years as a teacher. You're asking peope to make decisions and establish focus yet bombard them with options.  No wonder it's hard to make a choice.  Students simply answer... dunno?  I hadn't thought about it? it's difficult to decide and who can blame them. The mind has shut down.

In the word of facilitating creative sessions within an innovation process, I see this happen again with adults.  Too many options and rubbish questions.

in thw words of Mies van der Rohe - God is in the detail. All we need to do to this copy is a little change to make a big difference. Let's consider "HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE?"...  a univerally better question and enables those who support to be much better coaches.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

3 of 3 (this one for music fans)

Assume you read this on a Sunday evening (as I type) and you're on line (obviously), then check this out:

It's a piece of music by Deodat de Severac (sounds like a naff wine) but not so.  This piece of music I like for a number of reasons. I enjoy trying to play it as a rusty pianist. The guy on the YouTube video does a much better job. But I really like the idea that the composer thought of a mechanical box and tried to emulate it.
A music box something with no soul yet Deodat created a beautiful piece of music that captures all the magic of such astonishing little machines.
What's amazing is the more mechanical you try and play the piece and more deliberate and heavy and rhythmical your fingers strike the keys, the more fabulous the piece sounds.  When you slowly wind down and eventually stop playing, it's exactly the way a music box finally springs it's last note in your ear; awesome.

It's one of those 'shouldn't be like that' situations. A music box is something mechanical. It's made of steel and brass and copper. It clicks and whirrs and the sounds are made by the distruption and friction caused by tension in a spring. Yet all metals are sonorous and with that there is the potential of harmony.

If we design the greatest structures around an idea of what they can bring, their essence if you like, I think we'll create great design. In the same way someone plainstaking veneers music boxes in wood. such attention to detail betters the sound although it affects the workings not.

If we design our interventions around the harmonics that we know they'll create, then no matter how hard we hit them or how much friction we find therin the melody will shine through.

now, close your eyes and listen.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

2 of 3 to make up for lost time...

Was leaning on a lampost earlier in the week awaiting a colleague/chum...

An ex student bumped into me and in a few moments we caught up on each others lives.  He then happily trotted off into his future and left me still waiting for my mate. I hope it isn't another 7 or so years before we speak again, but unless we email each other or make an effort to do so, I fear it could be.

Got me thnking.

what is it that makes us want to keep in touch with some folk and not with others despite the intensity, joy and reward or relationships when they are present and in full swing?
My social circle is 100% (and I mean 100%) totally different to what it was 10 years ago, 5 years ago even and maybe a difference of 50% compared to last year...

Am I a fair weather friend?
are you?

At what point does 'I haven't spoke to John for ages' become 'I wont speak to John again?'

are we all juggling a human newtons cradle where onyl so many people can be part of your social connection.  I've read all the stats about 150 people in a social network and so on and part of me disagrees. I know plenty of people who know hundreds of others and successfully speak to them all.

Or am I in the illusion that such is the case? perhaps they just speak about who they know more often.

makes me think i'll get in touch with a few people in the same way I got called up the other week and how a student from 7 years past stopped his world for a few moments to brighten mine.

now, you go do the same and perhaps we'll all be closer.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

1 of 3 to make up for lost time.

Been off-line for three weeks as I moved house and got 'cut-off' for a period of time.

Apprently this is no excuse as like many people, I've a clever phone and I could type a blogg entry on it, but to be honest...

  • I wasn't patient enough
  • I've not downloaded the apps to do so (something to do with a password that just bored me after trying for at least an hour)
  • I decided to re-frame life and make a holiday

so I'm back with three shorts to make up for lost weeks.

the first observation I have is to do with time and our relationship with it.  I got a train yesterday with moments to spare.  My rule is never run for a train as there is always another.  I don't see my life being that important that I need to rush about that often.  I was very pleased to then get on the 13:53 at 13:55 and we left at 13:56.  the train was late (by a moment) and I boarded it after it had left (in theory).  Had it been on time I would have had to have waited another half hour.

I wondered what sort of state i'd be in had that happened and how different life would be had the 'sliding doors' scenario unfolded...

Made me think about patience and time and all things in our day.  It's odd how we complain abnout lour laptop start up times taking too long yet we sit infront of them for 8 hours a day.  I remember loading a computer game from a cassette and that took up to 5minutes at a go. I used to get so cross and feel at the mercy of wasted time but think nothing of spending the rest of the afternoon defending the galaxy.

This has all been said before perhaps but time is relative. We decide how to waste it or make use of it.

Best I get on with something else now i've written this...