Slouching towards intertwingularity

UPDATE: and now, there’s video! Thanks to the guys at StickyAds and MediaHunter.

These slides and the accompanying text are my presentation from the PubCamp events in Sydney and Melbourne. Enjoy!

If you’re listening in, apologies for how fast I talk. I was on the clock!

Through the Looking Glass

So, the Internet’s a teenager now – 16 years old and quite the rebel. As it hit puberty, we all started taking real notice of how it was behaving. Not all that notice was good. Traditional media – television and newspapers – have made a point of highlighting that the ‘net is apparently full to the brim of pedophiles after your kids and scammers trying to expatriate your hard earned dollars to Nigeria.

But really, if we take a long, hard gaze into Alice’s looking glass, what we see is neither a meadow full of flowers nor a dark wood full of impending danger. What we do see is a tool, perhaps more powerful than we have ever had before, for connecting people and leveraging the almost infinite power of those connections. . The power of, as my friend Mark Pesce puts it, hyperconnectivity.

Let’s first wind the clock back a little for some perspective. Just five years ago, most of the social networking tools I rely on in my business today didn’t even exist – LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter, Dopplr, Slideshare. Just five years ago, pretty much all I had was web browsing and email.

Now, the web and email were pretty powerful tools, but not nearly as powerful as the social networking tools I now use all day, every day. One of the very greatest benefits these new tools have afforded me is to be able to connect with a vastly greater number of people who think like me, do work like me, like the same things I like, than I ever could before. The thing is now, that group I connect to – that I used to have to attend a monthly meeting of eight or a dozen of the same people every time and ultimately get bored by… That group is now spread over the entire planet. Despite that geographic dispersion, I get the distinct privilege (and frankly, enjoyment) of working, collaborating and just gossiping with them every day of the week using social networking tools like Twitter.

Humans, ever since the earliest of us could communicate with each other, have banded together in social networks. It’s not a new phenomenon by any means. But now we have, literally at our fingertips, a network that truly makes our village global. With no more difficulty than stepping next door to my neighbor’s house, I can connect with people that share interests with me – professional or personal – no matter where they are in the world. And I do.

Now, with a lot of those people, my connection is pretty loose. This type of connection is known as a weak tie and was initially described way back before the Internet, in 1973, by Stanford University sociologist Mark Granovetter. What Granovetter was describing is a loosely connected network, bridged by two or more people who know each other mostly in passing, rather than intimately. At first blush, this doesn’t look like something that can induce an “a-ha” moment. But if you look a little deeper at weak ties, you discover something a little earth shattering. And it’s something we should all be paying attention to, particularly in the context of the businesses we work in.

Weak ties have a special superpower, you see. Because what happens when people that come together based on weak ties – a project team from across a company, for example – is pretty special. Those weakly tied individuals act as bridges between the various strongly tied networks each individual represents. These bridges perform a number of functions – they import new ideas, they foster innovation through diverse opinion, they solve problems. Much more so than strongly tied networks, which tend to homogeneity – a death knell for innovation.

The thing about weak ties, as opposed to strong ties, is they take very little effort to maintain. Consequently, there’s no reason to not make a lot of weakly tied connections with people. Social networks make this weak tied connection incredibly easy to do. The cognitive hurdle imposed by the Dunbar Number that limits your ability to maintain strong ties is mediated by your ability in a social network to maintain weak, but easily accessible ties to potentially hundreds, or even thousands of people that might be able to help you solve a problem (or you solve theirs) at any moment.

What you’re doing at a time like this, is engaging in what’s termed participatory culture. Participatory culture is a break from the Taylorist Industrial Age model many of us have become used to in our complacency – a culture where value is derived from what you’ve already produced, endlessly re-produce like a factory widget and are carefully protecting, hiding and resting upon in the vainglorious hope that others will continue to perceive your value based on your past.

This is not participatory culture.

What participatory culture is – whether at work or in our social, non-work lives – is based upon not only what we have established our reputations on given our ability to produce, and more importantly openly share in the past, but what our reputation in this new economy builds expectation for us as yet to produce. The economy of participatory culture is based on sharing, on distribution of expertise and knowledge and on social capital, traded amongst the geographically and informationally dispersed members of our communities as we exploit the power of our weak ties to solve problems, innovate and drive quantum leaps in knowledge.

Tick Tick

It’s a fact that the past few years have seen a marked drop off in the number of hours each week people are listening to the radio and watching television. Just a few weeks ago, NYU professor, Clay Shirky, described the past 50 years of Western humanity’s passive consumption of media as an enormous “cognitive heatsink“. I couldn’t agree more.

While TV certainly has its place – and I’m no stranger to vegging out on the couch – there’s probably no argument that passive consumption of media – TV, radio, newspapers – is pretty unproductive.

Shirky’s prime example was Wikipedia. Recent research has established Wikipedia to be as or more accurate than the previous gold standard, the Encyclopedia Britannica. And, for the English language version, it’s estimated that around 100 million hours of human effort have gone into its production. While that seems like a lot, it’s actually equivalent to just the number of hours Americans spend each weekend watching ads.

Does that make you feel a little ill? Because it does me. Think about it for a moment… Humanity in North America alone, could be producing work of the value of Wikipedia every weekend, if people just participated on subject matter in their area of expertise during the ads!

Our kids get this. They expect to be able to participate. To interact. They don’t respond to pushed messages. They produce their own media and post it to YouTube for their friends to enjoy. They watch measurably fewer hours of television than many of us did at their age.

It doesn’t much matter if today your 15-year-old is playing a few hours of Grand Theft Auto a week, because he’s also probably contributing to and sharing in a vast pool of player knowledge about it that others also share and contribute to. In a few short years he and his classmates of both sexes will be in the workforce – and the kids ahead of them already are – and they’ll expect to share, to participate and contribute and to build social capital and recognition through their ability to do this.

If your organisation isn’t geared up to let this happen, sadly, you’ll be well behind the 8-ball. You need to make it happen now – break down silos, encourage open participation, treat staff like grown ups and stop using the firewall as a stick to block access to social networking tools. The fact is, if you don’t encourage participatory behaviours at work, you stifle innovation, reduce employee engagement and risk huge value in tacit knowledge walking out the door as valuable employees leave in search of clued up employers who do encourage participatory culture within and across their organisational walls.


So, I’ve been rattling on about participatory culture, and social networking and how much value I think there is in all of this, but where’s the real world story? Well, it’s here.

Just last week, I attended a major conference on Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, Massachusetts. The conference covered issues, success stories and tools that can be used in business to forge the types of communication and knowledge sharing that many of us are already doing in our personal lives by using social networking tools. The 1500 delegates shared four fairly intense days together – hearing stories, seeing demonstrations and doing face-to-face social networking.

One of the major benefits to me was the chance to meet in person over 50 people I’ve been collaborating and communicating with online for as much as the past two years. These people came from as far away as the Canary Islands, Germany, the UK and across the USA. I didn’t need to meet them in person to be able to continue to collaborate with them, but the chance to do so was too good to pass up. It really was an opportunity to crank the dial to 11.

So, how did I meet these people in the first place? The answer, as you’ve probably guessed, is social networking and participatory culture. There’s a constant pulse of conversation, collaboration and participation with the people I consider, in some cases, my extended family – as I’ve forged relationships with them as strong as any I have in my local circle of friends.

When I get up in the morning, the Aussies are all rising with me – I get to talk to Ali, Jodie, Jed, Mark and a bunch of others here on the east coast. But at the same time, I get to talk to the Americans who are close to the end of their day – Tara in San Francisco, Laura and Chris in Boston, Paull in New York and others and, as the day progresses, I begin to encounter the Europeans – Luis in the Canary Islands, Mark in Germany, Justin in London. And every day is like this! It’s almost a privilege to be involved with all these smart, engaged and engaging people.

We heard a bunch of amazing, real success stories from organisations as different as the CIA (I met two real life CIA analysts), Lockheed Martin, Goodwin Procter (a 1500 person full service legal firm) and others. All of these organisations are realising tangible benefits by encouraging an open, engaged corporate culture where use of social networking tools is encouraged – sometimes completely inside the wall, sometimes across corporate boundaries.

And in your personal and professional lives, too, there are great stories to be told. Stories of experiences, knowledge, adventure, relationships.

You all have the power to return tomorrow to your organisations and communities and encourage people to start working this way. To build relationships, to establish weak ties, to share and participate and to build your reputations based upon the next big thing you’re going to come up with, rather than that which you’re resting on today.

For our society to take the next big step, the power of participatory culture; a culture where everything is intertwingled, needs to be exploited. It’s not 2020 Summits that are going to fling us forward, it’s the power in the network of opportunity we immerse ourselves in.

Go forth and participate.

Conversation. Collaboration. Community.

Here you go… My talk from Interesting South 2008.
Unusually, I was incredibly nervous before and during this talk. I’m dreading seeing the video, as I don’t think it’ll be at all flattering or indicative of my usual style. I guess it was a combination of factors – really wanting to present at this event, being late in the schedule (which ran well over time), there being so many great talks on the night with me being third last and having so many people in the audience that I respect highly and whose opinions I value (thanks for being there – Jodie, James, Mick, Mark, Brad, Annalie, Jed, Kate, Gavin, Hans, Alan, Seth – you made the night for me, despite possibly adding to my terror).

By now, many of you will have seen Clay Shirky’s great Web 2.0 Expo keynote, Gin, Television and Social Surplus. The link is in the slides. If you’ve not seen it, you need to; it’s inspiring, transformative stuff. I’m actually a little cross at Clay. He obviously sent aliens to steal my ideas for this talk.

When Clay speaks about the collective societal bender we’ve been on, he’s talking about us failing to make adequate use of the cognitive surplus we all have and are wasting by failing to participate actively. That said, it’s my view that some of the structure business has imposed upon society’s activities since it took the form it currently has during the Industrial Revolution actively work to make it difficult for groups of people throughout society to come together in a meaningful, productive way.

Bastard children of the Industrial Revolution

As humans, we’re social creatures. Beyond core physical and safety requirements, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is largely about integration into society; love, esteem and self-actualisation. We crave association; a community of some form, with others through family, work, school, sport or other interests. Yet the structures that we’ve built into society post-Industrial Revolution belittle those needs. At work in particular and in groups of all sorts, the needs of people have been bastardised into a corrupt form that meets the supposed needs of the of group at the expense of individuals.

We’re dumped into cube farms, or onto factory lines and told to work as a team. Yet it’s often the case that in working this way, our ability to converse and collaborate effectively with our fellow beings is removed from us. They’re removed through the imposition of bureaucracy, through command-and-control structures we’re forced to navigate and through being given work that fails to engage us.

Often, too, the tools we’re furnished with work as if some Infernal power gleefully watches as we’re forced to work against logic and against the way humans are naturally inclined to function. The storyteller in all of us is subjugated in favor of the need for us to be “productive” and our community stops being smart and becomes another dysfunctional cog in some dark satanic mill. In this situation, getting anything done becomes an issue. Our ability to collaborate and have a useful conversation goes the way of the committee. We get wrapped up in the Hell of email and Word documents as track changes and minutia rule and we suffer the pain of never being able to know which version is the latest, or which decision the group has made. We become massively inefficient. We’ve had it hammered into us by our archaic, Industrial Revolution functional model that the org chart rules and bureaucracy is king.

I am not a number — I am a free man!

Communities, by their very nature, engage in conversation constantly. But community by committee is a death by a thousand cuts. Under this model, your community becomes Desperate Housewives; the cognitive heat-sink where conversation and collaboration go to die. Where innovation is consumed by the Cthulhu that is bureaucracy.

It need not be this way. Your community conversations can be amazingly fruitful if the DNA of your community is lightweight. By introducing a culture that facilitates communication, that flattens hierarchy and breaks down organisational silos so that anyone, anywhere in your organisation or business can easily work with anyone else you can route around the damage inefficient tools and process impose.

By rocking the boat a little culturally, engaging in a little organisational entrepreneurship and using the tools of participatory culture; social networks like Twitter, wikis and blogs for example, you can introduce an environment where individuals can converse, groups can collaborate and an engaged, active and productive community can flourish.

Making the leap

Here’s a really simple example of how this approach can work.

I’ve driven this change this year at my daughter’s school. I was elected to the school board at the end of last year and went through a minor level of Hell as I was inundated with emails and processes that were almost gleeful in their inefficiency. At the first meeting I attended, as the new Secretary, I simply declared my opposition to the inefficient, bureaucratic processes being used and noted I was going to show everyone a new way – using a wiki for documents and communication and using Google calendar for keeping track of school events.

I got a few knowing nods, a few “so show me’s” and three or four “what’s a wiki”. I asked for a week to show everyone and got agreement. In two days, they had full meeting notes – every member of the board had logged on, most had added comments or notes and in subsequent months, we’re down from 20 to two emails a month – a “thanks for coming to the meeting last night” from Mark, the Chairman and another from him the day before the next meeting reminding us to turn up.

By changing the tools and focus of the group, we’ve now got near-instant conversation. Much easier collaboration and a stronger community. The staff and board members are so excited by the opportunities this simple change has wrought that they are now seriously talking about expanding wiki use into the classroom and between teacher groups for professional development. This from a group of people who previously largely used computers for email, document writing and web browsing. Now, everyone’s involved and participating.

The Desperate Housewives heat-sink is being militated against by the introduction of a tool set that makes it easy for people to have a conversation; even though we all work in different places we can access it from the Internet. We can collaborate on action items and ideas and we have a stronger community as a result. And were making a difference for the school.

It’s just as easy to do this for the communities you’re involved in; whether they’re at work or somewhere else. Imagine the gains in productivity and engagement, in knowledge sharing and distribution and in the ability to work together effectively without bureaucracy if you did this.

The sooner you do it, the better off you’ll be.

All you do is talk talk

Last weekend, I attended my first ever BarCampBarCamp Sydney v3. Wow, what an experience!

Two days packed with constant conversation with smart folks on all sorts of subjects. I certainly came away with my brain full and my Twitter Following list expanded (more than a few have followed me, too). On top of all that, I got to meet a bunch of new people and put faces and voices to people I’ve been conversing with online for some time. All in all a very rich and rewarding experience.

My session, entitled All you do is talk talk (80s music fans will get the reference) was a new talk about building shared language and understanding in order to successfully evangelize social tools in your organisation. It’s targeted at people in organisations that don’t already use these tools, but the concepts could easily be adopted for any program of change.

Given BarCamp presentations are short – just 20 minutes including questions – it’s not deep and comprehensive. Rather, just a taste of the subject matter.

I also re-presented I am Knowledge Worker 2.0, the talk I gave in San Francisco at Office 2.0 last September.

Both talks were very well received by the audience, so I’m glad I put the effort in to go to Sydney and attend.

Love in an elevator – UX as business strategy

This weekend I’m in Sydney attending and speaking at Oz-IA 2007. Today was all signal and no noise! Every speaker had great subject matter. Naturally, not every talk totally rocked my world, but it was all good stuff. My favorite of the day was SlideShare‘s Rashmi Sinha speaking about their non-approach to UX in launching and during the first year of SlideShare’s existence.

My session went well, with some great feedback. I also managed to make a bunch of new “friends” who were keen to see my iPhone ;).

My speaking notes are below.

Slide 1 – Today I’m actually not going to talk to you about IA or UX as such. I’m going to talk to you about frustration, about people, about business, about communities. I’m going to talk about how you can talk to the businesses you work with about UX, especially when they apparently don’t “get” what you’re on about when you speak with them about your work.

Slide 2 – So, why “Love in an Elevator”? Well, I’m not talking about these guys, who certainly do deliver a user experience, but not the sort we’re talking about today. What I AM talking about is your elevator pitch for the strategy you’re bringing to your client or organisation from a UX point of view.

Slide 3 – So, who am I?
A little about me.
I’ve worked in the web industry for around 12 years.
I’ve done web apps development, business analysis, project management and even network security in the past.
These days I run acidlabs. It’s an independent consultancy that works with people and organisations on building collaborative communities around information and knowledge sharing, web strategy and social computing evangelism – particularly in a business context. And, relevant to today, I also does user experience and information architecture work.

Slide 4 – Now, before we get into this, a word of warning.

Slide 5 – I’ve got, what, 45 minutes to talk to you today? And there needs to be gossip time at the end. So by NO MEANS is my intention today to give you any ACTUAL ANSWERS as to what your UX strategic approach should be.

Slide 6 – That said, what I DO WANT TO DO is get you thinking. How many of you here are responsible for communicating UX strategy to clients – whether those clients are the organisation that employs you, or you’re contracting or consulting? I know there are a few of you here – Shane, Matthew, Andrew, Stephen, Donna. Me, when anyone will listen.
How many of you are NOT doing that work? Why not? Do you not care enough about what you do? “It’s not my job” is NOT AN EXCUSE OR A REASON for this.
I actually think it’s CRITICAL that no matter where you sit in the UX process or pecking order, you should be taking a BIGGER PICTURE look at your work and asking yourself what it’s really about. I don’t think you can really do the best job possible unless this is your mindset.

Slide 7 – So, what prompted me to pick this subject to speak on? Well, I was in a meeting not all that long ago – we were talking with a PM, a couple of platform techs, some BAs and I heard this…

Slide 8 – Take that in for a moment…

Slide 9 – Language warning here, but “What the fuck?”

Slide 10 – Now, here’s the thing. This isn’t a lightweight project. It’s a major effort that actually has a very significant budget and potentially affects the lives (in REAL, life and death terms) of people. Yet, the non-UX people on this project have no idea what we do nor how it fits into the work that they do.

Slide 11 – So, NO, UX is ABSOLUTELY NOT “here with UAT”. But that issue, or similar issues that I’ll discuss shortly, is something that in very many places forces UX into a place where it’s just unable to deliver real value.

Slide 12 – Of course, there is an alternative. UX can be done well, and it can be done strategically.

Slide 13 – In my ideal world, and I don’t think I’m talking pie in the sky, UX touches business (in a good way) across the board. It comes on to the project RIGHT AT THE START rather than once a bunch of decisions – platform, structure, business goals, user goals and the like – have been made.
So, show of hands, Who ALWAYS gets to work on projects where this is the case? Sometimes? Rarely?
Who WANTS to be able to work on projects like this? If you do, I suggest it’s a part of your job to drive this message. To get in your client’s and colleague’s ears. And to send a CLEAR MESSAGE about the stratgic value of UX.

Slide 14 – I’d hazard a guess that everyone in this room has seen this. Anyone NOT seen this? On the assumption you’ve all seen it, I won’t explain it.

Slide 15 – However, even if you intimately understand Jesse’s Elements, even if you are incredibly good at what you do, once you step out into the business for whom you are doing UX work, UNDERSTANDING is a major hurdle. Business likes to see itself as pragmatic, logical, sensible and driven by delivery timelines.
On the other hand, UX people are…

Slide 16 – We’re creative types. We don’t DO waterfall. We go round and round and like producing iterative outputs based on lots of talking to people and watching people.
Some businesses struggle with this as an approach – they want your “report” now. Today. They don’t like the fact that you might spend weeks on a large project just interacting with people and not producing a tangible, paper output.

Slide 17 – Us designer, people-centric, arty types (not that I claim to be a designer) don’t necessarily fit the corporate mould. T-shirts from Threadless and Thinkgeek, as awesome as they are don’t always suit the corporate image.
It’s sad but true, but failing to fit in to corporate life is not helpful in your mission to evangelise UX to everyone from the CEO down. You might just need to compromise and make some concessions to the company image. It’s an indication of emotional intelligence that you can “play the game” well enough to get your message across in spite of what you are really like.

Slide 18 – My background is as a web apps developer – Mr Coder Guy. I was the standards Nazi. The guy who forced the developers to use source code management and build tools. The guy with the eternally clenched sphincter. Naturally, I went mad. But people like that are very useful to the corporate world.
I was paid the most awesome compliment earlier this year by Susan Scrupski from the Office 2.0 Conference. She referred to me as a “right-brained, ultra-creative”. I think I’ve finally made the transition to where I want to be. But creativity, innovation, maverick thinking don’t always get a guernsey in corporate life.

Slide 19 – So, as UX people we face something of a challenge to get our message across from a perception standpoint. Unless we can play the corporate game, we have a barrier to getting the proverbial “seat at the table”.

Slide 20 – In my experience, understanding of UX amongst our peers can be an issue. Here are a few things I have heard this year.

Slide 21 – Riiiiiiight…
My friend Matthew Hodgson has written a couple (1, 2, 3) of excellent blog posts this year about the difference between IA and BA. Here’s here this weekend and speaking tomorrow. Have a chat to him or read his blog if you want some deep insight.

Slide 22 – Heard this before? This is a particular issue with some organisations I’m aware of. The way UX work is done, rather than being strategic, is report focussed and the entire UX team end up being thought of as an impediment to release rather than a facilitator of great experience.
My opinion is that this occurs when UX happens in the wrong place, or in isolated places during product development rather than being a thing that takes place THROUGHOUT product development.

Slide 23 – Here’s another thing that happens when UX work isn’t allowed to be holistic and involved across the entire lifecycle of the project.

Slide 24 – So, now that I’ve been bitching about everything that’s wrong with how we might be approaching UX, or how our clients and employers might be doing the same thing, let’s talk a little about strategy.

Slide 25 – A core part of your strategy needs to be getting the message to business in a way they understand. Drop the buzzwords. Drop the UX “science”. Talk in words that business knows. Short. Few syllables. Orange crayon on butcher’s paper.
No. Kidding.

Slide 26 – Like a number of people I know, I UNDERSTAND what I do, but I often struggle to communicate it to others. Especially if they are non-technical or buried in the minutiae of their business or know they need UX work done, but don’t understand why.
Oh, and Andrew, would you like to explain why there are photos of you on iStockphoto?

Slide 27 – So, I’ve had a number of conversations like this. Although I am getting better at it.

Slide 28 – Bit of a motherhood statement, this. And if you were watching, you’ll remember that I showed this slide earlier. But I believe it’s true. That said, it’s hard work. You’ll earn your dollars in doing it.

Slide 29 – Let’s look at user strategy first. We’re talking about the community of all users that will ever use the product you’re working on.

Slide 30 – What are those users expecting to get from this product? Where’s the value? What’s in it for them?

Slide 31 – Is your product or your message credible? Are you talking to your user community in a way that appeals to them. Or, have they shut down. Here’s where the concepts around community marketing, user involvement, bottom-up management and social design come into play.
You can make or break your product based on how you communicate your message and involve the community of possible end users.
There’s a lot of conversation going on these days in the web world, for example, around involving your community as a method for getting buy-in. It’s equally applicable in UX work.

Slide 32 – Here’s what happens when your message is NOT credible.

Slide 33 – Are you considering user needs? Really?

Slide 34 – Is the IA of your product actually based on those user needs?

Slide 35 – Or is the tail wagging the dog? How many bad web sites have you seen that are structured around an internal organisation structure than means NOTHING to end users?

Slide 36 – Have you adequately researched actual user needs and drawn SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Tangible – conclusions from them in setting your UX goals.

Slide 37 – On to business strategy. What does the business want and need from this product?

Slide 38 – So, you’re making something. Does the business know what it is supposed to do?

Slide 39 – And why.

Slide 40 – What problem space is this product actually being built to fill?

Slide 41 – Have all these needs been considered in defining product features?

Slide 42 – Here’s an example of brand. Anyone NOT know it? Anyone think these guys aren’t factoring their business goals (world dominance no doubt) into their branding work?

(BTW, here’s another awesome branding example).

Slide 43 – Design strategy. These guys too, are masters at their game. They consistently successfully mesh business drivers with their design strategy. Is there any doubt when you’re using their products that they’re from Apple?
Even with this product, you’re obviously using something made by Apple. And let me assure you as a satisfied owner that it’s far and away the best phone I’ve ever owned.
In the last week, I’ve handed it to my 9½ year old daughter and my 61 year old Mum. They BOTH had the entire interface figured out inside 10 minutes. That’s good design. That’s Apple.

Slide 44 – So what happens if you DON’T get your strategy right? Or your organisation or client doesn’t let it be right?

Slide 45 – Business needs to be pragmatic. That’s completely fair. If you don’t have strategic value in the universe of the business you work for, you could be out the door. Or like this guy, the window.

Slide 46 – UX costs money. If you haven’t convinced the people with their hands on the buckets of money that you have value, you risk extinction.

Slide 47 – I’m sure you’ve heard something like this before. If you can get your UX work involved early in the product development cycle, you have the opportunity to make a real difference in how easily and cheaply problems get solved. You get to earn brownie points that have an actual, measurable dollar value.

Slide 48 – On the subject of measurement, there are a bunch of activities you can do to measure UX value. Steve Baty this morning gave us a bunch of ideas – like Shane, I’d POTENTIALLY leave a site in the first seconds too. Probably if I fell asleep in my chair or had a stroke.

Slide 49 – Get involved early on and UX can be a powerful and helpful agent for change. You get the opportunity to make a real difference.

Slide 50 – What this all ends up being about is relationships. Between people. If you talk the right way to the right people at the right time, you set yourself up to be a VERY successful agent for change and an important advocate for users.

Slide 51 – So, as I said earlier, to have UX taken seriously your job is actually SIGNIFICANTLY about relationship and expectation management. It’s not enough just to be a designer, or an IA, or a coder. You need those core skills, but almost more importantly, you need the ability to deal with people.

Slide 52 – Community is critical. Be involved in your communities. Peers in your building, in your town, overseas. Get involved in your professional community and work community so that you’re not just the guy or girl in the corner who thumps out wireframes or does testing.

Slide 53 – What goes around comes around. If you deal with the people you interface with in a way that gets them to pay attention to you, your ability to have an affect on driving strategic adoption of UX can be much greater.

Slide 54 – I know this is how I want to work. How about you?

Slide 55 – You can reuse my work as long as you follow the license rules.
The slides will be available on SlideShare at the URL shown.

Slide 56 – Since people usually ask, here are the sources for my pictures.

Slide 57 – Oh, and this is me.
I’m happy to take questions. I’m happy to be called out. I’m happy to talk in the break. And if you want to invite me to your organisation to talk about this stuff, I’m more than happy to do that too.

I Am Knowledge Worker 2.0

My brain is very full ¾ of the way through Office 2.0. There are some amazing things being discussed here, and I think there’s enough of a business presence (rather than vendors and those who live in the Web 2.0 echo chamber) for some changes to take place. There are also some astounding new products on show – almost too many to take in in any sensible way.

I’ve just given my presentation – I am Knowledge Worker 2.0 – Hear me roar which went really well. I got some great feedback from the audience and lots of great questions. The video is already available at the conference site (choose the On Demand Video tab and select Knowledge Worker 2.0 and then look at some of the others, or go to the direct link).

The presentation discusses the work style, motivation and some of the issues around the modern knowledge worker and how they can be managed in your organisation.

Power to the people

Here’s the deck I presented at the IIM National Conference yesterday. It’s a look at the shift in the nature of KM, knowledge work and knowledge workers and what their organisations can do to make their own and their employees’ lives easier.

The presentation went over really well. It’s always good when passionate but friendly discussion takes place after you give a presentation. It’s even better when you have audience members approach you and let you know that they were delighted to see a more visual, story-focussed presentation.

The presentation was videoed and recorded, so some time soon, I’ll have access to audio. In the meantime, if you’d like my speaking notes, I’m more than happy to give them to you if you leave a comment asking for them.