Friday, 27 January 2012

building pictures matters

Off to Dubai tomorrow on a week tour of current and hopefully future clients where we’ll bring ‘the box’ to life and get into some exciting chats and plans for the future.

That’s the picture I take in my head.

And it’s important to build a strong picture.

Look up any basic psychology and you’ll uncover the predication that what goes on in your head has a huge bearing on your actual performance. Much like the apocryphal story of the prisoner in his cell who played his golf course twice a day in his mind until the time he was realised and as a result hit the first round with a better handicap...

Sport, we get though. Building a strong picture isn’t something we stumble upon in business. We certainly won’t get rewarded for day dreaming or wearing rose tinted specs.

But I’ve committed several thousand pounds to sustain me and the team’s trip away from home for the next week. We need to invest in meetings and presentations and sharing, growing and giving over IP in speeches and USB sticks. If I didn’t have a strong personal image of how all this unfolds what would be the point?
It’s very easy to sit and observe and make comment that at times like this I should pare back spending, save and remain prudent. Who would disagree with such advice? It’s safe after all to be negative and non-committed.
But business wont just turn up on it’s own. I agree 100% with build it they will come, but I also see the opportunity in coming to the build. An early bird to catch the worm as it were...

So yes, I’ll relax on the plane and watch a movie and perhaps enjoy a second gin and tonic, but most of the time I’ll be spinning through all the meetings in my head. Working out how I want to feel and think, looking out my own eyes at everyone in the room wanting to hear more of what we have to say and do and enjoying the moment.

If I build a big enough series of pictures it’ll become so attractive I’ll want to pay for the experience myself as if it were an amusement park.

I choose work to feel like an amusement.

Getting a deal is simply a bonus.

what's your picture of next week...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Batteries, Being shit and saving the planet

So here’s something that bugged me for a while. I needed to think on why and then finally it came together. Forgive me dear reader if still my thoughts aren’t clear.


Utterly shit.

A nasty horrible invention. Think about it. Small, easy to lose, toxic, never the right size and from the moment you start using them they are essentially breaking. Every battery in use right now is running down, slowly making its way to the bin. And don’t for one moment tell me you re-charge yours. You don’t. Why are we buying them all the time if we did.

What’s made worse is I can buy a pack of 50 from a pound shop that last but days – still, however we buy...

I came across this product too. A battery charger for your phone... that runs on batteries! So more plastic, more PCB, more lead, more toxics are used in another product we don’t need. This is the poor end version of the mains powered luxury watch tuner for people with luxury self wind watches...

This is proof further that there is a growing ingenuity gap between the life we lead and the morals we espouse. That of ‘save the planet’ especially. I know we don’t have to result to candle power to protest about consumer electronics (I’m using earth’s resources right now writing this). I know too we don’t have to result to bartering if I want to protest about capitalism in St. Pauls Cathedral square... BUT... taking a stance is fashionable not sustainable. Don’t give me you care for the planet. What matters to you is your t.v. works and you’ve enough batteries to keep your phone charged.

Batteries are shit.

So is our ingenuity.

Friday, 13 January 2012

change your life. watch this.

Every so often I stumble across something that shifts the way I look at the world. From that point on a one way door has closed behind me and I’m excited to try new things or think differently as a result. 100% of the credit on this occasion goes to the wonderful Mr AJ Brunstien who over the course of the year has photographed his world and made it into a beautiful short film here.
I describe this as perfect.

It’s perfect for me as it’s aesthetically stimulating. I’ve watched it time and again as a run through and on each occasion spotted something new. I either relax to it or use it as visual stimulus to push forward some thinking. So as a piece of stimulation – perfect.

It’s also perfect as it’s insightful. Further proof that consumers and consumer behaviour isn’t understood through copious PowerPoint presentations and lengthy documents that provide statistics on what was bight and where. Spend no more than 5 minutes of your life watching this and I see a family leading their lives. I’ve picked up strong themes of fun, adventures, creativity, colour, laughter and obviously love but under those (and if you look closely too) I spotted echoes of other values and elements that matter... close friendship, joint experiences, wide spaces, fresh air, spontaneity, fine detail, wit, intelligence, movement, energy, freedom.

so commercial benefits of making this aside, consider this. We’re all consumers. Everyday we’re inextricably linked to a multitude of experiences most of which we are unconscious and numb to as we’re too busy living on the ‘what next’ and the ‘to do’ later. Coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, late nights, artificial lighting and the laptop are even more crutches that prop up our frenetic journey... Do you remember all of what you did yesterday?

AJ has reminded me that life is for living and now, with the wonderment of technology, we have opportunity to capture those moments. Freeze them for now and bring them to life later. He’s reminded me that life is perfect if we choose to see it that way. That every moment is a reason and a reward to live and something we can thank a higher power for each day.

Evidence that such power exists. Look no further than how you feel when you watch his film. I smiled all the time.

Thanks AJ, and if you’re reading I took your advice.

The Canon EOS arrived today... see you in 365 days time!

Friday, 6 January 2012

12 little gems of Genius for HR, L+D, teachers and business folk to keep in mind

Welcome to 2012 (and I say ‘twenty twelve’ rather than two-thousand and twelve. After all, I wasn’t born in one-thousand, nine hundred and seventy four...)
Before I broke up for the New Year I was challenged about my knowledge and understanding on instructional design and how to make impact with people in change programmes, creativity programmes, culture, innovation etc. on thinking about it for the weeks over the festive season I realised most people within a square 10 mile or more of me at any moment have little of the same experience on this subject as me.
I’ve been on both sides of the instructional fence since I started ‘delivering’ material when I was 17... that’s over half my lifetime so far and only getting more each day. Trumpet blowing over, here are a dozen points of view that schools, business, Heads of L+D and academic thinker types will do well to keep in mind... enjoy the list.

1. There is a difference between training and educating. Would you like your daughter to be sexually educated or sexually trained?
2. Something school curriculums ought to remember over business L+D is that 15,000 hours with breaks in context allow children to ultimately move from where they are at the start to somewhere else at the end. Seriously, in all that time are teachers going to blame the parents consistently when kids don’t learn?
3. Something businesses L+D ought to remember over school’s curriculum is that children have to go to school by law. No-one in business has to attend your crappy management course, pay attention to your instructor or apply what they’ve learned to their role. You can’t make anyone in your workforce learn or do anything in fact.
4. Setting learning objectives in any L+D programme is as important as choosing what knife and fork to use when cutting a banana.
5. The only circumstance where learning should take place in a theoretical setting is first aid. I don’t want my arm broken in class before someone learns to splint me up. Please then don’t give me a case study on health and beauty to learn an innovation process if I work for a bank.
6. It was once thus: 2+2=4. It then became: Mandy had 2 apples and so did Paul. How many apples did Mandy and Paul have together? .... This is because some over anal educationalist got caught up in context and forgot that there is a balance between setting the scene and solving the problem. Look no further that everyone in the UK who remember Jules and Jim from their French text books but can’t order a beer in Paris without looking a total idiot.
7. There is no need to write everything down on a flip chart when facilitating a meeting. I’ve gone to the cinema on several occasions without the need for a notepad.
8. Children in their early teens use more IT skillset in setting the SKY+, uploading an image to facebook and file sharing their music than most teachers in their late 30’s early 40’s have to deliver as set by the school curriculum. Typing up their French Essay in WORD doesn’t count for useful hours either. Upsettingly some teachers still insist that standing at the front of the class with a big screen and moving their mouse about and clicking icons is an effective form of tuition. Look no further than any teenager who has taught themselves guitar chords from YouTube to prove there are other methods.
9. There are two types of problem solvers. People who use ipads and people who use notepads. IQ before IT. The first computer is at the end fo your wrist. It’s called your hand. With it we’ve created everything we’ve got right now. Best we don’t forget that.
10. Less typing. More chatting.
11. Teaching should not be a first choice career. In stead everyone at the age of 30 should serve 18months national teaching service an injected into schools to really help students, learn, grow and develop.
12. We’ve all gone to school. Which sadly makes that common happening the one unique experience we can all hold a strong point of view on. Best we remember that we’re all different, learn at different rates and that a textbook, workshop manual or 3 day retreat works for some and not all.
I’m open to comments...