Not curious? Then you’re shit out of luck. 

Doing the communications work that I do, I’m regularly in front of rooms full of people talking about the importance of connectedness in organisations and business. This usually translates as “how do I better use social and digital media for work?” 

Some come bursting with enthusiasm – they’ve done some stuff and are starting to see the value or they’re curious about how they can do more. Some come laden with fear – they know they ought to be better connected, and understand social media may be a means to that end, but they’re not sure what to say, when to say it and to who. 

Some come ready just to be taught. 

There is a curiosity and deep interest at the heart of any passion. If you don’t have these things, then the end result is a function, something you purely need to do to exist. 

Connectedness is not a function. It’s not taught, but learnt. Those with enthusiasm will find a path, those with fear will overcome it, those who only want to be taught are shit out of luck. 

Sisyphus, rocks and why I need the weekend.

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Sisyphus. He had a big old rock and was forced to roll it up a big old mountain. It would roll down, he’d roll it back up and so it went on.

Sound familiar? I think about him a lot in my life and work and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Those rocks we’re all pushing up hill (he just had one the lucky bugger) keep on rolling back a touch and it can be frustrating as hell. But as long as they keep edging forwards, there’s progress and that’s all we need, right?

So today, as I ponder on him again, I’m glad that he’s just a myth. If I didn’t believe that my rocks could be pushed up and over the mountain, I’d be lying at the bottom underneath one of them.

Enjoy the recharge of the weekend!

🙂

Further reading: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus

The importance of a comfortable chair

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Sometimes the hardest thing about my job is the chair that I sit in.

It’s a good chair, in fact, it’s a super duper fancy chair for tall people with dodgy backs. It tips, it spins, swivels, supports. It even has an amusing hand pump that looks like a lemon.

The problem is that more often than not, it needs little adjustments or seems to be in the wrong place. It’s not always quite close enough to the marketing team, or HR, or IS. It can usually be found within the Comms team, but has been known to tilt and bend towards social media, digital, PR, intranet, KM, coaching and consultancy. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not suffering from a bit of an identity crisis!

So it’s a good job that no matter where it sits, it is usually comfortable and if not, can be tweaked until it is.

It’s also a good job that it has wheels.

The change curve, Arsenal and loyalty in the work place

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The Change Curve model describes the four stages that most people go through as they adjust to change.

I’m an Arsenal fan. I’m used to existing somewhere between anger and acceptance on a regular basis, usually in August, a few days (one in this case) before a new season. Ultimately though, for most of the year I exist in the ‘commitment’ stage and have done for many years.

Anyway, all this talk about footballing mercenaries, Olympic heroes and the differences between them has got me thinking.

Robin van Persie is this morning wearing a Manchester United shirt, training with his new team mates, smiling, laughing as if nothing has happened. A couple of days ago, there were similar pictures of him in an Arsenal shirt doing the same thing. If I look through last year’s programmes, his Captain’s notes were full of words like ‘pride’, ‘loyalty’, ‘togetherness’. What changed? What Went wrong? Where is he on the change curve?

Clearly in this case there are ridiculous amounts of money involved, agents, foreign players who are expected to show loyalty to what is essentially a local club, nowhere near their native locality.

But what of us in business? What keeps us loyal? What makes some want to join competitors, larger organisations, smaller companies, while others stay and look at those companies with a watchful eye? Money is one thing, trust another, but really, what makes us stay beyond the standard football contract of 3 or 4 years?

For me, feeling supported and part of a team, whilst having the trust to be autonomous makes me feel that I’ve got the right fit. If what I want to do is supported and I’m allowed to do it and be successful at it, why move?

Footballers just want to play football surely? If they’re supported in doing that, and they are, then does it just come down to success?

I don’t know. I’m suspicious. All I know is that things change and people change, but if you’re committed to what you’re doing now and it makes you happy, that’s enough…isn’t it? Or am I just being naive? Would be good to hear some thoughts.

Anyway – that’s my lunch break done. Onwards!

Doesn’t everyone have an inner soundtrack?

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You’ve seen it right? Jesus Quintana dancing up to bowl. Los Lobos covering Hotel California in the background. He struts, he preens but you know he means business.

Well I’m never without my iPod and I’m sure like me, most of you have felt an extra spring in the step when THAT song comes on and your natural gait becomes more of a strut. No? Just me? When that song doesn’t end and you’re into the lift, onto your floor, walking to your desk thinking, “if they could only hear what I hear!”… No? Still just me?

I listen to music a lot. When I’m walking, resting, in bed, working…my headphones are never far away. Sometimes I don’t even have my headphones on. I just hear it in my head and still get that same spring.

Music is so mood altering that I’ve noticed it affects my productivity and style. I’m thinking of starting every email, every presentation by including soundtrack info right at the beginning. On the title slide – “This presentation was brought to you by Paul Thomas and Tom Waits.” It would at least explain the lack of flow!

So what’s your inner soundtrack? What’s the song or band that helps you to do your best work or start your day on the right (dancing) foot?

(And if you’re wondering, this slightly springy blog post was brought to you by Supergrass, I Should Coco. And like the last track on that album, it’s Time To Go.