Enterprise 2.0 for Breakfast Canberra (Thursday July 1, 2010)

Thursday July 1, 2010
Urban Food Store + Cafe

Corner of Marcus Clarke and Edinburgh Streets
Acton, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Get Directions

James Dellow, Daniel Siddle and Chris Adams from Headshift invite you to join them for breakfast to chat informally about Enterprise 2.0 and other related topics like Corporate Social Networks, Knowledge Management, Intranet 2.0 and Workforce Collaboration.

As this is Canberra, we expect there to be a strong Government 2.0 flavour, but very much focused on the issues of internal collaboration and inter-agency collaboration. (As we like to say, if you want to be social on the outside, you need to be social on the inside too!)

Come along to ask questions and share your experiences of introducing social computing to the enterprise or your government agency.

Please RSVP on Upcoming or simply add a comment below.

BTW Sorry its not quite central Civic, but I’ve been told its a great venue and the breakfast menu looks great (PDF).

Engaging with the community using social media

I had the honour of presenting this Vital Issues Seminar today for the Parliamentary Library, at Australia’s Parliament House. In between interruptions by the bells, Sen. Kate Lundy chaired the meeting and even managed to throw me some curly questions to deal with.

Also demonstrating that the Parliamentary Library is walking the Gov 2.0 talk, you will find a copy of my slides and also a sound recording* of my presentation on the Parliament’s Website. This I should add is not only a great resource for people working in parliament, but also those that wouldn’t necessarily normally have access to these sessions either.

*BTW that noise at the beginning is the bells ringing through the PA system.

Workshop with Euan Semple, hosted by Headshift – Friday 2nd July, Sydney

Euan has been a long time friend of Headshift and we are pleased to be hosting a short workshop with him at our Sydney office on the morning of Friday, 2nd July.

Euan is here in Australia for a conference – for those of you unable to make that event this is your opportunity to learn from the experiences of a respected social computing pioneer.

Please note: Places at this workshop will be limited to just 12 people, giving ample time for discussion.

Euan will be focusing on the following themes:

The future

“The future is already here – it is just unevenly distributed” – William Gibson.

Euan will explore some of the more radical things already happening in the world of technology, business and work. We will build on those examples and try to anticipate the likely change we can expect to see happening in the next ten to twenty years and how we will deal with that change.

Leading in the wired world

Many of the skills of leadership change little from generation to generation but some of our assumptions about what it takes to lead will be challenged over the next few years. Moving from control to influence how do we motivate and get things to happen in increasingly complex worlds? What sort of characteristics will we expect from leaders in the future and how do we encourage and develop those skills?

Collaborative strategy

Euan will also look at strategy in the future. How do you develop strategies when the world is changing ever faster? How do you harness the collective intelligence of your people to achieve better, more accurate strategic decisions?

8am registration. 8.30am start, formally finishing at 11am (with time to chat with Euan at the end, so you may wish to plan to leave at 11.30am).

Tea, coffee and a light breakfast will be provided at registration.

To attend this special event with Euan, please use our
online registration and payment page. Please note, places are strictly limited.

Cross-posted from the Headshift Australasia blog.

From MIS Australia: Talking change- collaboration technologies

Glenn Archer, Department of Education: Cultural change is the most profound challenge for public servants.

No real surprises in this article, reporting on a series of roundtables held by MIS Australia with local public and private sector CIOs, talking about their experiences with collaboration technologies. It certainly reflects my own experiences with the organisations I’ve been interacting with this year, particularly in the government sector where my biggest concern is that the importance of internal collaboration hasn’t really been debated much in the Gov 2.0 conversation (see Lee Bryant’s excellent post that gets to the heart of that problem, for all sectors).

Unfortunately, no real change on the private sector front, although I do detect a little thawing of attitudes towards employee use of social networking and social media. However, its pretty much been the case for the last decade* that some companies get the value of collaboration technologies (like instant messaging, one of the oldest tools in the current collaboration suite) while others will continue to lag behind.

You can view this as a problem, but personally I think it points more to the fact that those that get the value of collaboration technology have the opportunity to use them as part of their competitive advantage. So the real issue is, are they actually getting those advantages from the tools and technologies they’ve invested in.

Ok. I’m going to say it again… I can’t believe we are still having this debate about instant messaging technologies as if it was something new. There – I’ve done it.

Book Review: Change by Design, by Tim Brown


When I picked up this book, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Tim Brown and IDEO would both be well known to anyone interested in design and innovation, but along with this fantastic reputation I also get a sense of exclusiveness – so, my initial thought was to wonder if Brown would actually reveal any of the secrets behind design thinking and his work at IDEO.

To answer that question now, the answer is both yes and no. You shouldn’t expect to pick up Change By Design and find a manual that will give you a short cut to design thinking. Instead, what you will find is two things – an introduction to the patterns of design thinking (part one – “What is design thinking”) and stories of how design thinking can be applied to business and society (part two – “Where do we go from here?”).

The narrative of the first part of the book really does a good job of capturing the essential differences between classical management thinking and design thinking. Just to pick out a few of the topics covered, they include:

  • How designers collaborate.
  • The processes of analysis and synthesis.
  • The use of observation and empathy.
  • Using visual thinking and story telling.
  • Risk taking through experimentation and prototyping.

Overall I found this first part of the book the most interesting and as Brown promises, this does provide a framework for design thinking. I think the first part of the book probably caught my attention more than the second part because I came to it already convinced of the value of design thinking – I didn’t really need further evidence or help to understand where it could be applied. However, if you are new to design thinking or need further convincing about its application to real business or social issues, then the second part will be very worth while.

The final pages of the last chapter also provide some useful pointers for everyone to remember:

  • Don’t ask what? Ask why?
  • Open your eyes.
  • Make it visual.
  • Build on the ideas of other.
  • Demand options.

I also enjoyed the reference to Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel that Brown uses to both open and close the book. I have often thought there was something different about the engineers of that era and perhaps Brown is right – people like Brunel and innovators that followed him were in fact design thinkers of sorts:

What they all shared was optimism, openness to experimentation, a love of stroytelling, a need to collaborate, and an instinct to think with their hands – to build, to prototype, and to communicate complex ideas with masterful simplicity. They did not just do design, they lived design.

If I had one major criticism of this book, then it would be the book itself rather than the ideas it contains. We are teased by a fantastic mind map on inside cover, which provides a visual table of contents. But the rest of the book contains just a few incidental sketched diagrams (and they all look like elements from a MBA’s play book, not a design thinker). Unfortunately I think Brown missed a fantastic opportunity to both engage his readers more effectively but also to show case different techniques for sharing stories and patterns.

Despite a missed opportunity with the actual design of the book itself, Change By Design is still a very good read – you will probably get more value from it if you are new to design thinking since as a package the book really provides a great introduction to the topic and examples of how to apply it. But just remember that design thinking is both a process and also an attitude, so don’t expect a step by step manual.

BTW While you are waiting to get hold of a copy of Change By Design, you can read his HBR article on design thinking or watch this TED talk.

Book Review – Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society


This collection of essays, put together by Bill Bryson as editor, to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), really is something to savour.

I must admit that while I already had a positive regard for the RSA, it was the presence of Georgina Ferry in the list of contributors that first caught my attention (she wrote one my of favourite non-fiction books, A Computer Called LEO).

But as it turned out, it was Henry Petroski‘s essay, Images of Progress: Conference of Engineers, that I turned to first. A chapter inspired some what by this painting. And really, from this point I explored the chapters in a random and leisurely fashion.

The twenty-one essays in this book covers science from all angles – the science itself, its relevance to issues we currently face and how scientists themselves are situation in society. If you are like me, you will warm to some chapters immediately but others take a little time to appreciate. I suggest you take you time!

I also suspect that some of the more historical or philosophical based essays will age well, and others – addressing current issues from a contemporary scientific view – will in a decade or so perhaps be less relevant. However, as you read this book you become aware that this very much reflects the nature of the RSA. They a collection of explorers, build on a solid foundation of credibility but they do not have perfect foresight (as Simon Schaffer’s and Richard Holmes’ chapters demonstrate), they are simply always moving forward.

Overall, I found this book very encouraging is the broadest sense. Bill Bryson writes in his introduction:

“The Royal Society has been doing interesting and heroic things since 1660 when it was founded, one damp weeknight in late November, by a dozen men who had gathered in rooms at Gresham College to hear Christopher Wren, 28 years old and not yet generally famous, give a lecture on astronomy.”

I immediately thought of my present day peers, coming together at different BarCamps and similar unconferences to exchange ideas. Perhaps these modern day collaborations have more potential than we imagine? We shouldn’t forget that by modern day standards, many of the RSA’s early history is full of experiments and ideas that sound completely absurd too!

The physical (hardcover) book itself and its visual design has also been put together with great thought. Just the right number of images and photos have been used in each chapter, so that they embellish the experience of reading rather than overwhelming it.

Incidentally, the RSA continues to be a thoroughly progressive and modern global organisation – for example, check out their YouTube. They also have Fellowship chapters around the world, including here in Australia.