New adventures….

Shoes by Janis Petranis on Flickr

In sharing my decision to move on to new adventures, I’d left one question unanswered: What’s next?

Well, I have joined Social Edge Consulting as a Social Business Strategist, working with clients in preparing, implementing, and delivering results with their social business strategies. The role allows me the opportunity to combine my vision for the future of work with my Jive experience, and build on that through a diversity of interactions.

From the very outset in my conversations with Andrew Kratz, I was extremely impressed with the thinking and approach of Social Edge, the tone and transparency. Over the last few weeks I have been busy on-boarding and getting to know an amazing team, who not only know the Jive platform inside out, but also truly understand social business and are actually out there making it real, making it happen. A great group, who have already welcomed, energised, inspired, and teased me! Above all though, they’ve made me feel very sure of my decision and excited to be joining them.

Amongst all the excitement is a strong feeling of gratitude. In getting to this point I have been extremely lucky to have had the support of a wonderful network of friends on which I have leant heavily during the last few months. Thank You! Thank you for playing confidant, for the guidance, for listening, for being there.

And of course, thank you Social Edge for this opportunity.

So, here’s to new adventures! There’s work to be re-imagined and business that wants to become social. Let’s get on it!

Moving on….

Set Sail
Set Sail by john.puddephatt, on Flickr

After nearly 10 years, last Friday May 10th was my last working day at CSC.

My final week left me somewhat drained emotionally, only heightened by the kind messages of support and best wishes I received from colleagues. Once again, thank you to all I had the opportunity to befriend, work, collaborate, share, discuss, and debate with.

But now feelings of fear and sadness are fading fast, with the excitement at what lies ahead taking over.

I continue to be inspired by the possibilities of reinventing work and how we do business. I have never been more convinced that in order to thrive in today’s connected economy, both as organisations, and as individuals, we must embrace the change surrounding us.

I believe openness, transparency, and creativity are new key currencies. I want to trade in them, and help others do the same.

So it’s on to new adventures, of which more to come. Stay tuned!

Not-so-random good stuff

For a friend.

Interesting video this on learning from artists about career progress:
The Art of Career Development http://blogs.hbr.org/video/2012/09/the-art-of-career-development.html

Part 1 of a series from the excellent (IMO) Steve Denning- read them all – about how agility is important, and what is needed to make it work
http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/09/19/when-will-us-firms-become-agile-part-1-virtual-agility/

Stanford online creativity course I’ve enrolled in
http://venture-lab.stanford.edu/creativity
Full list here: http://www.stanford.edu/online/courses/index.html

More online free education from leading institutions, very much worth reviewing
https://www.coursera.org/courses

You are reading Seth Godin regularly, right!? 😀 Take this one as an example, then apply the ideas to our convo yesterday……
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/09/the-simple-power-of-one-a-day.html

Another site to follow, this is just an example…. sometimes it’s good to hear good old common sense!
http://zenhabits.net/starting/
http://zenhabits.net/zen-work/

I like what Julien Smith has to say, and the way he says it. Though it might not be everyones taste….
http://inoveryourhead.net/19-thoughts-about-finding-your-purpose/

Thinking visually about CV’s….
http://pinterest.com/saradbo/resumes/

Hoping that gets juices flowing!

Why write?

Writing Apparatus
Writing Apparatus by Kazarelth

Following my last entry Balancing the use of our time, and Henry‘s thoughts building this out Share more, learn more, the following quote provides a timely reminder on the importance of writing for work:

As soon as you move one step up from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the written or spoken word. And the further away your job is from manual work, the larger the organization of which you are an employee, the more important it will be that you know how to convey your thoughts in writing or speaking. In the very large organization, whether it is the government, the large business corporation, or the Army, this ability to express oneself is perhaps the most important of all the skills a man or woman can possess.

As John Stepper explains in his post:

This isn’t from a modern communications expert or blogger. It’s from Peter Drucker. And it’s from 1952.

Drucker saw that organizational effectiveness increasingly depends on finding, sharing, and building on the best ideas. And for that to happen, those ideas have to be discoverable – that is, written down. Now, more than in Drucker’s day, it’s easier to publish your work and make an audience aware of it.

And while writing helps your firm, it also helps you. By publishing your ideas and opinions, you shape your reputation – who you are, what you do, and how well you do it. And that greater visibility helps unlock opportunities that would never be open to you otherwise.

Time to dust off the quill and ink then!

I’d recommend taking a moment to read John’s post, and his tip to writing more. Be warned, I’m going to try to apply it!

Balancing the use of our time

Balancing the use of our time

Balancing the use of our timeEarlier today I began reading Julien Smith‘s epic post on getting what we want, and whilst I haven’t yet read it all, the following stood out to me:

the way your time should be spent is largely like a pyramid, with a wide base of learning, with a smaller level of acting on top of it, which is directed by the learning, and then on top of that, an even smaller level of writing about it. If you begin to live your life differently than the pyramid should be built, it becomes unbalanced and topples over.

This made a lot of sense to me, and after sharing the thoughts with a colleague, was prompted to put it into a visual.

I’ve interpreted the words “acting” and “writing” as “doing” and “sharing” in an attempt at clarity in case it is taken out of context with Julien’s original explanation

Thanks Julien!

Early reflections on my StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths

I have been finding an odd moment here and there to delve deeper into what my My Top 5 Strengths mean and what lies behind them.

Each of the 34 StrengthsFinder strength “themes” has a shared description, however the “Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide” provides a personalised take on your talents, and some questions to help your awareness.

So here’s a little more detail and some of my early reflections on my Top5. It was tough, but I’ve tried hard to keep to single answers to the questions!

Ideation

People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?

Maybe you are frustrated by people who conclude that your inventive  suggestions are forms of criticism insubordination — that is, refusal to  submit to authority.

Many aspects of the insight stood out, but this one specifically is something I have felt this often over the years. I’ve had to live with it, concluding it was either a rebellious streak in me, a failing in my ability to put my points across, or a combination of both!

Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

You  allow people to broaden your understanding with their original ideas.  You have discovered that “the life of the mind” is a joint effort. You  receive from other thinkers as many — and sometimes even more — insights  as you provide them. Thinking with individuals or groups stimulates  your creativity.

Given the above, this seems somewhat mitigating! 😀 But there is no doubt this does give me a buzz.

 

Maximizer

People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?

Perhaps you refuse to waste time, energy, or money correcting or fixing some of your limitations.

I think I’ve not been too conscious of this, and “refuse” sounds strong! I like “reluctant” better! Being honest with myself though, it’s not something I can really deny either!

Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Driven by your talents, you are likely to do your best work when someone truly recognizes your strengths.

Given the shared description, this is a bit of a no-brainer! What I found interesting here, is that I’ve always felt I thrive on what I consider constructive criticism. It has left me reflecting on where feedback that I didn’t find so constructive was focused.

 

Futuristic

People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?

To some extent, you might agree with the notion “If you can think it, you can make it happen.”

A lot stood out in this one. there is much here I can identify with. It is also the strength where I felt most clearly I perhaps don’t do enough to be working to it. We’ll see what we can do there when it comes to the actions! 🙂

Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Perhaps the chances for your outstanding performance increase in proportion to how intrigued you are with an activity.

 In terms of others understanding me, I think this says a lot!

 

Strategic

People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?

Maybe you derive exceptional pleasure from actively participating in conversations as long as group members propose ideas, seek solutions, or debate issues.

There is a flip side to this one……!

Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Because of your strengths, you are innovative, inventive, original, and resourceful. Your mind allows you to venture beyond the commonplace, the familiar, or the obvious.

I found myself referring back to the other strengths in my top 5 here, seeing similarities and contributing factors in situations where I’ve felt frustrated through feeling stifled in these areas.

 

Activator

People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?

Instinctively, you sometimes rely on your expertise or knowledge to help you make specific choices.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this one. I can see a positive and negative aspect to it….

Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

By nature, you occasionally galvanize — that is, spark or excite — people’s enthusiasm by pointing out things they have done well.

This is something that I could probably do more of, perhaps more openly. I’ll be interested to see the actions suggested for this.

 

So, there we go, lots to chew over for me! I’d be interested in any reaction, particularly from those of you that know me a little in person!

New Year’s Non-resolutions

Tapping a Pencil

Photo Credit: Tapping a Pencil by Rennett Stowe

First of all, a belated “Happy New Year” to you all!

I’m not a big maker of New Year’s resolutions, never have been. Not that I haven’t made resolutions, or attempted to make a personal commitment or an effort to change something, just that I tend not to see the New Year as an excuse for doing it.

That said, there are however a couple of things at the front of my mind which I guess could be considered New Year’s resolutions:

Procrastination – OUT
“Work out loud” – IN

So what do I mean with these?

Following the Christmas break, and a chance to relax, take stock and reflect on the year gone by, one thing I felt personally was that my online “energy levels” had dropped, or were rather being consumed by other things. To be honest, this was leading to a level of frustration. I seemed to be finding myself slipping into a rut of procrastination around things which previously had simply flowed.

So resolution #1, out with procrastination, it’s a horrid word anyway!

I then asked myself whether this frustration was coming from what I was perceiving to be a lack of “presence” or participation?

Which brings us nicely to resolution #2. “Working out loud” is a phrase I’ve heard often and even used on occasion in conversation around Enterprise 2.0 and social collaboration. For me it amounts to one heavy-hitting use case for C3, and sums up nicely my thoughts when discussing the evils of email for example. It is more of an attitude or behavioural approach to our work, rather than a specific action or technique, and revolves around a proactive commitment to doing as much of our work as possible out in the open. I should probably also state for the record that I’m not going to pretend we can all “work out loud” to the same extent. Neither is it realistic to expect everything we do be out in the open, there are times when things need to be kept private or be done offline. In fact, I believe an important aspect of “working out loud” involves an awareness and understanding of the intended and appropriate audience for our work.

I hope to go into more detail on this in future posts. Today’s is meant to simply serve as a reminder to myself to do more where I can in this area, and hopefully help me keep resolution #1!

What do you think, worthy New Year’s resolutions? What about yours?