How writing a blog can make you a better manager.
AUGUST 13, 2013
You have to mostly work stuff out for yourself - and this is where a blog comes in. Writing a blog can help in the following ways: You notice more. I often think back to my days as a line manager. Working with people in big organisations I am reminded of the fears and frustrations that come with the job. This didn''t happen.
NOVEMBER 13, 2013
My friend Dave Tebbutt is wondering whether to give up his blog or not. Many of us over the years go through periods of questioning why we blog and if it is worth it. For me the biggest reason to blog is personal. If I don’t blog I don’t think as much, or at least not with as much focus. I don’t notice as much.
“Blogging is just people showing off”
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
This was the reaction someone had to the discussion the other day about the benefits or otherwise of blogging. I remember an elderly relative saying “Oh yes blogging, that’s just people expressing their opinion”. Besides blogging is so varied in its manifestations that blanket statements about what it is or is not are nonsense.
Why blogging still matters
MARCH 31, 2013
"?Most of what we inherit is so clearly correct it goes unseen. It fits the world seamlessly. It is the world. But despite its richness and variability, the well-defined world we inherit doesn't quite fit each one of us, individually. And so you make your place in the world by making part of it -- by contributing some new part to the set.
Why blogging still matters in business - and always will.
DECEMBER 30, 2013
Blogging is a means by which to rediscover your voice, to learn to share your thoughts with others, and by doing so to help us all get smarter faster. But with a blog, a business blog whether internal or external, we have a place to play. We can make the blog our own and we can write with our own voice.
A rant about IT and losing our grip on reality.
DECEMBER 12, 2012
While writing this blog post I have been engaged in an email exchange with the hotel reception. <rant> Foursquare just gave me extra points for having checked in at airports continuously for the last eleven weeks. This is a dubious distinction. As a result I have gradually lost my grip of reality. am writing this rant! </rant
JUNE 2, 2013
This nice little blog post from Jamie Notter caught my eye the other day - It’s Good To Be Unsettled. In it he talks about working with a senior group on various strategy choices and one of the participans came up afterwards to say that he felt unsettled by the conversaiton. We get complacent and stuck. But I wouldn’t go back.
A word on heirarchies
JULY 13, 2011
Won’t there be some who take to blogging and tweeting more readily than others and therefore end up on the top of a new pile? I thought I'd share this paragraph from my book "Corporations Don't Tweet - People Do". There has been a lot written about the end or hierarchies. But do we really mean this? But don’t expect it to last.
Disorder and the power of small steps
SEPTEMBER 9, 2014
I felt powerless to help and thought "What''s blogging going to do for these people?". It all starts with that next blog post or update There is much instability in the world at the moment. Our old, centralised ways of doing things aren''t up to the job. The grown ups have lost the plot. Adding value to someone you know.
Facebook as a blogging platform
JANUARY 24, 2014
Blogging is still one of the most useful and fun things you can do. I still blog at The Obvious? Each time social networks die and we all move on my blog is still there. As people have moved into places like Facebook and Twitter the energy has moved away from blogging to some extent. It''s like the old days.
Worsworth on blogging
MARCH 14, 2012
O reader! Had you in your mind. Such stores as silent thought can bring, O, gentle reader! You would find. A tale in everything. William Wordsworth.
Your staff are your best advocates
JUNE 13, 2011
Hugh McLeod just re-blogged this post from 2005 on the same topic, and Steve Bridger just said in a Twitter conversation that he got a good response to saying " loyalty to charity brands is now shifting towards affinity to individuals working within charities" in a keynote yesterday. I said that I had no problem with advertising as such.
AUGUST 7, 2013
It was one of those words used a lot in the early days of blogging. Catching up with Sharon Richardson yesterday we got onto the topic of authenticity. The goal was to "find your voice" and aspire to online authenticity. But what does that really mean? And yet, perhaps bizarrely, we do manage to do this online. Pick your words carefully.
MAY 17, 2011
Grappling with the human condition in hand to hand fighting is the lot of many a middle manager and there are some things that are painful and difficult to do - no matter how much you blog or tweet about them. This is why they get jumpy about suddenly being expected to open up and blog about everything - it is isn't going to happen.
When is a blog not a blog?
APRIL 20, 2011
When is a blog not a blog? When it is a blog post. There is not much that brings out the pedant in me but when people refer to a blog post as a blog it drives me nuts! I get caught out all the time when someone says "Have you seen my new blog?"
JULY 14, 2014
Blogging doesn''t get easier even after all these years. I still go through the "Who am I to say this?", "Who cares what I think?" cycle each time. I then wait nervously to see if anyone responds once I have published the post. Why should they? Two reasons. Secondly, by sticking it out there magic happens. All of these are worthwhile.
So have I evolved?
FEBRUARY 15, 2014
But one thought at a time, one conversation at a time, one blog post at a time I met up with my friend Jeff Hall this week for a coffee. Almost literally the first thing he said to me was "So have you evolved or are you still doing the same thing?". I am ready for this question these days and calmly took it in my stride. "No, Working me out.
Signal to noise
OCTOBER 14, 2014
Instead I chose to write this blog post. I am sitting opposite a city gent who has obviously just had a cigarette before joining the train. The smell is overpowering and I was tempted to write one of those witty observational tweets you see so often during commuting time. I found myself thinking "Is this it? On my phone.
The written word
AUGUST 24, 2014
Whether by blogging or updating Facebook we can put things out there, see what reactions we get, learn from the responses. OK so I know that there''s YouTube and podcasting but most of the Internet''s power is still in the written word. It is text that conveys most of the important ideas and it is accessible at almost zero cost to all of us.
MAY 4, 2011
This is what blogging or tweeting makes easier. David Weinberger once said that through blogging we were "writing ourselves into existence" maybe this is what we are seeing happen in the world of work There's something wrong with all of the names we use to describe the use of social web tools in business. It also makes it collective.
MAY 4, 2011
A business where everyone blogs. Everyone thinks about what they are doing and writes about what they are doing. From the top to the bottom, the edges to the middle. Everyone awake and bouncing off each other intellectually as they get more and more effective at whatever they do
MAY 18, 2012
Many moons ago I wrote a blog post asking: "Is it unfair to characterise the IT industry as dodgy characters in cheap suits selling wish fulfilment to out of their depth executives?". Sadly those guys have now moved on to package and sell social into the business world. This is not in anyone's long term best interests
MARCH 6, 2011
They read case studies, write strategies, spend loads of money on tools - but when you ask them if they blog you get a blank look. I am often struck by the way people circle around social media in business. Part of me knows you don't have to have done something yourself to manage it. What do you think? The Web At Work
Me and Linkedin
MAY 23, 2012
Chris Brogan blogged recently about his decision to close his Linkedin account. This got me thinking, yet again, about whether I should do the same. . I have been in Linked in for nine years, having been user number 1400 or so out of 100 million. Many otherwise interesting threads end up either spammy or "me too". .
Robots, Robber Barons and Luddites
JUNE 14, 2013
They can''t all blog, network, and become entrepreneurial! This post from Stowe Boyd points to some really interesting thinking on this issue. It also extends the problem from manual workers to "knowledge workers" as robots and automation replace many of the jobs that we currently educate our kids to fulfil. So what is the answer?
The power of words
OCTOBER 27, 2014
"Oh yes, blogging. That is just people sharing their opinion.". Opinions matter, ideas matter, sharing them matters. Why should only experts or journalists get to shape our thinking? We have outsourced our thinking to professionals for too long.
The advantage of self selecting clients
MAY 27, 2011
Most of my work comes through referrals, speaking gigs or my blog and twitter. When I first left the BBC and was considering whether to have a fancy corporate sounding name for my business, or to pretend that there was a whole team of people rather than just little old me, I decided to be up front and not pretend. Be yourself.
Me and my inner Scot
MAY 22, 2011
Whether it is religion or IT, those who read this blog will have seen me shape myself by the strength of my reaction to these two groups, and some of you will no doubt have winced to watch me do so. The highlight of my speaking gig this week on board the cruise ship Aurora was getting to meet and spend time with the author Maria Nemeth.
Intellectual plankton and increasing my I/O
JANUARY 1, 2013
I also need to process faster and to write for my blog more often. I sometimes feel like an old cheap computer whose I/O just isn't up to snuff. I just can't process stuff fast enough. I usually have at least two "real" books on the go and Kindle books that I am reading on my phone in snatched moments. But why?
Authority and control
FEBRUARY 15, 2011
If you are worried about security why not start blogging about why security matters and how to be secure? But we held our ground. We did it". One of the most interesting things about Egypt was what can be achieved by vast numbers of people with no overt leadership or common ideology if they get hacked off enough with the status quo.
Can the web be taught?
JANUARY 23, 2011
I don't mean teaching people how to drive their browsers or how to use a blogging tool, though to be honest most people find even the basics unfamiliar, but more how to pass on what works in terms of using the web to achieve things and make the world a better place. And then.
MARCH 5, 2014
Mark Gould responded with a blog post about the need to consider the impact of radical transparency on others and felt that we didn''t cover this enough. I am reading the book because there are many parallels between blogging and memoir writing. It is an old fashioned word that you don''t hear much these days.
Broadcasters, trust, and the web
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
Some time ago, before I left the BBC, I took part in a meeting about blogging with Mark Byford, the BBC's Deputy Director General and the executive with primary responsibility for news and editorial standards. During the meeting he raised the familiar question about whether you could trust bloggers.
Overcoming inertia with love
JANUARY 8, 2013
It is no mistake that the last chapter in my book is devoted to this old blog post about love in the workplace as it is the most important, and most often ignored, ingredient in making this stuff happen. Disorder, or at least emergent order, is in the nature of social tools. They don't just continue to grow under their own steam.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2011
But we let ourselves go numb at the prospect of someone laughing at our first blog post. Fear of what customers' reactions might be.
FEBRUARY 24, 2011
People often accuse blogs of being vanity publishing so here are two recently published books in which I am quoted - does that count?
JANUARY 20, 2013
I used to satisfy my need for risk riding fast motorbikes, then in a more modest form playing sax in a pop band, then climbing hills in all weathers, now I get to write the odd challenging blog post and stand on stages. Looking out of my window at the falling snow I keep thinking of the climbers killed by an avalanche in Glen Coe yesterday.
Sticking your neck out
JANUARY 5, 2012
Rob Paterson blogged recently about feeling scared and lost. I never underestimate what I am asking people to do when I advocate saying what they think on a blog. I don't feel brave, I feel scared a lot of the time, I feel scared posting this blog post. Especially in the world of business this takes real courage.
May my pebbles ripple in your pond
JANUARY 5, 2012
I have often thought that writing a blog post is like lobbing a pebble into a pond. I just tweeted about the odd feeling of cramming ideas into my head as fast as I can when eventually my head will no longer exist. This wasn't necessarily as gloomy a thought as some may have assumed. I reckon this is as much as we can hope for
NOVEMBER 29, 2015
I have also always loved David Weinberger's description of blogging as "writing ourselves into existence". One of my favourite quotes is from Vint Cerf - that "the internet is just a thing. Most of my posts are "memos to self" and a way of testing out, recording, refining my perceptions of the world around me.