All posts in insights

TEDx NZ Community | Open Sourcing Improvement

take the idea

An attitude and invitation.

When I first gained the TEDx license for Wellington, one of the best illustration of this great community came from the then license holder of TEDxQueenstown. Was attending their first event and commented how much I liked something they did, here was the response:

Take the idea. Make it better. Give it back.

It’s become a utility phrase for so many creative situations and always provokes a positive response.

Thank you Cesar.

Image credit and check out the NZ-based TEDx events coming up

CatalystCreativ Wysdem Talk | Can Wisdom Be Designed?

Exploring a model for systemising wisdom.

In March I got to both attend and speak at Catalyst Creativ Week, Las Vegas, which was founded in 2012 in partnership with Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project.

As you’ll watch, the subject was nothing to do with social media, instead, my long overdue and yet-to-be-launched moonshot project exploring can wisdom be designed, wysdem.com.

The official line (although please judge for yourself above and leave any thoughts / guidance / ideas you have in the comments):

“DK was an engaging speaker at CatalystCreativ’s March Catalyst Week Showcase. He drew the audience into his talk with his research on how wisdom plays into systems and held their attention by posing important and thoughtful questions on this discussion. In his talk, he explored how wisdom plays into individual responsibility so that we can better understand how it plays into the systems around us.”
Evelyn Sabino, Communications & Events Manager at CatalystCreativ

Check out the other magnificent talks from the event as well, some gems in here:

Related post:What Does It Mean? | The Role Of The Interpreter

Twitter Roundup #1 | Curating The Curated

best of

Curating the best and most tasty treats from my recent Tweetmailing.

Exploring a new concept here:

  1. Richard Branson and Peter Thiel are going to break the money transfer market : story link / Tweetmail link
  2. National UK news channel launches a gif-only Tumblr site : story link / Tweetmail link
  3. Video essays rule, especially ones done this well : video link Tweetmail link
  4. Three amazing questions to ask your users / customers / clients to truly understand them : blog post link / Tweetmail link
  5. One of the best keynotes I’ve seen in a while magnificently deconstructing the issue of all this online world stuff : video link / Tweetmail link
  6. Even if you can’t code you can still join a hackathon : video link / Tweetmail link
  7. Copyright free images a plenty : website link / Tweetmail link
  8. How to structure a video essay (and any story with the power of “therefore” and “but” plus “meanwhile back at the ranch”) : video link / Tweetmail link
  9. Looking to collaborate? Just get out and ask : video link / Tweetmail link
  10. And finally, a site to check how many people are in space right now : website link / Tweetmail link

The main reasons I use Twitter are for:

  • connecting / keeping in touch with wonderful souls / minds around the planet
  • listening and researching ideas / stuff
  • distributing delicious and juicy finds from my web wanderings

The last one, which I’ve been doing for a number of years now, is also a strategy of not just distribution and adding value, but also one of recording for future reference. I save all my tweets to a dropbox text file, an online google spreadsheet plus into an evernote folder (via ifttt.com), where it can be searched any time for previous content.

Also aware that many of these goodies get missed as only tweet them out once

Follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams)

ADDENDUM—A little alert notified me of when I originally joined Twitter plus my first ever tweet:

mediasnackers 1st tweet

Related posts: Twitter Roundups
Image credit | CC 2.0

Jad Abumrad | Gut Churn Of Creativity

jad bumrad radiolab

Reflective storytelling and analysing the ‘crappy queasy space’ in the journey of finding your true voice.

This week I attended a talk by Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Big Sky, Montana.

It was a storytelling masterclass with layers of different media from sound to text to animation to video (tapping into the VARK model of learning), all orchestrated by Jad as he weaved our attention deeply around the forms created.

The talk was a personal reflection on Jad’s own grappling journey with finding ‘his voice’ and the hunt for authenticity, ensuring you are true in your own self is so important as you’re often:

…forced to sit in the emptiness to face the authenticity.

In radio / podcasting, here’s his description of where the power lay:

…it’s like being with people whilst being by yourself…

And the ultimate goal in the act of producing is an attempt to:

…create an emptiness which is so much bigger than you.

With a splendid assortment of delectable stories and experiences to quote, from napkin sketches of radio shows story structures through to Ira Glass’s gap, Jad also shared his own three big lessons:

  1. Chasing the antelope: storytellers are like shamen as they lull an audience into a collective dream state. And just like the shamen, it’s not just asking the questions but living it, chasing it down, just like Scott Carrier;
  2. Chase the little shit: a lesson from a filmmaker friend regarding the cognitive effect of how paying attention to the smallest of details reframes a story to have massive impact;
  3. Follow the odds: how talking to poker player Annie Duke led to understanding how 25% odds are a great bet. Like the time Jad did a radio piece on how many colours we see in a rainbow compared to other animals. Hard to do in the medium of sound. So they converted the the colours of rainbow to sound which led to Jad assembling and conducting a choir in this radio piece.

Here’s an older and much condensed version (not as multi-layered, polished and doesn’t have a lot of the above) presented at a 99u conference:

 

Thanks Jad and gutted you’re too busy to explore a trip out to NZ to speak—let me know if you change your mind.

If you’re reading this Jad, would love to know what setup you were using (in terms of hard/software).

Five Canvases To Create Businesses | Tools To Explore

Make love to the canvas.

A canvas is a tool which can help you to create businesses, social enterprises, communication plans plus deconstruct opportunities and intentions:

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas

“The Business Model Canvas, is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.”

Download ‘Business Model Canvas’ PDF

Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas

“The Value Proposition Canvas makes explicit how you are creating value for your customers. It helps you to design products and services your customers want.”

Download ‘Value Proposition Canvas’ PDF.

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas is a 1 Page business model for a faster, more effective way to communicate your business model with internal and external stakeholders.

Download ‘Lean Canvas’ PDF

Social Really Lean Canvas

The Social Really Lean Canvas

Devised by David Clearwater, Acceleration Director at Akina Foundation for social enterprises (with inspiration from the Download ‘Social Lean Canvas, obviously).

The Social Really Lean Canvas’ JPG.

Javelin Experiment Board Canvas

Javelin Experiement Board

The Experiment Board is free for you to use and make money from as an entrepreneur, consultant, teacher, or executive.

You pay via a tweet or just search online and you’ll find it.

ADDENDUM (27.4.15): Awesomely Simple Digital Questions

awesomely simple digital questions

Not exactly a business canvas, more a triage of awesome digital focussed questions which will give your institution / organisation a shot in the arm to rethink / reimagine your approach via Helge Tenno (download here)).


Hungry for more? Check out diytoolkit.org resources for a canvas on pretty much everything you can think of.

Am I missing anything?

Narrative Podcasting | Learning Out Loud

different podcast types

Learning. Unlearning. Relearning.

I produced my first podcast nearly a decade ago. I went on to create over 200 more plus taught hundreds / thousands of others how to do it themselves via my social media courses / masterclasses.

Over the New Year break I spent some time unlearning what I know from this Alex Blumberg “Power Your Podcast with Storytelling” Creative Live course. Once you acclimatise to the nervous teaching style (sorry), there’s some fantastic gems for those who are new to this narrative style via Alex’s huge pedigree in this space (award-winning reporter and producer for This American Life and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money plus his new Startup podcast series).

As I’m highly kinaesthetic in my learning style I’ve been doing to learn.

Offered here with permission from Dennis Hodges (the interviewee) is my first attempt at narrative style podcasting:

 

Here’s what I learned:

  • have the story in mind before you start: sometimes other stories come out during an interview although having a story you want at least enables you to come out with something solid;
  • focus on one thing: you’ll hear from the outcome that I focussed on just the politicians eyes work. There was lots of other stuff we talked about which was equally as interesting, just this was something that was very different;
  • you have to be ruthless: we spoke for over 30mins and I got it down to just over 4mins which was hard work cutting out good stuff;
  • getting the interviewee to record their audio doesn’t always work: Dennis has a lot of audio hiss in the background which I tried for ages to clean up. Getting interviewees to record a sample in the future will help a lot (my audio could do with a rounder feel to it as well for which I’ll use my new mic in the future);
  • editing takes forever: seriously, ages!

I’m relearning the medium and upping my game for wysdem.com, and during my research I’ve noticed four types of podcasts:

  1. Soloing / Group—just one person or a group sharing ideas / insights / observations. Sometimes scripted, sometimes loose in its form. Sparse editing is employed and it’s the main model used by most video podcasters / vodcasters / vloggers as well;
  2. Interviews—simple one-to-one question and answer sessions. Medium investment in editing to ensure tidiness and the focus is very much on the interviewee and their offerings;
  3. Narrative—heavily edited and crafted. Emphasis is on the storytelling and clarity of theme / subject matter.

Each have their place although the latter is gaining more traction although it’s obviously the hardest to do well with it’s focus on crafting something the listener consumes as a cognitive or emotional journey.

So feel free to critique and offer ideas / guidance on the above.

It’s a first offering and an attempt to ‘learn out loud’ so approach with kindness which I’m sure you will. Thanks in advance.

Podcast music credit: Toivo161 via freesound.org
Thanks to @foomandoonian for suggesting the ‘group’ type.

VARK | How Others Learn To Better Teach / Inspire

vark explained

Understanding how we learn to better teach / inspire others into action.

For many years and until recently, I developed and delivered social media courses for a vast array of cross sector clients. Early on it was apparent that attendees learned and reacted to what we were sharing in different ways, which in turn broadened our delivery to accommodate these varying styles.

Some participants would literally run ahead of the pack clicking all the buttons and figuring it out on the fly, a fair few would need to take their time and consider the notes / outlines / examples given and move forward checking themselves as they go, whilst a few literally needed one-to-one careful tuition which meant lots of reinforcement and a higher intensity of care (which is why we always delivered in tandem).

The VARK model gives a great insight into how we all have biases towards specific stimuli and learning. It’s my go-to when describing or helping clients deconstruct their own delivery / content around teaching staff or inspiring others:

  • visual—they like to be shown not told, prefer illustrated examples and visual cues of achievement;
  • aural—this group prefers to listen and will be adept at converting spoken instruction into action;
  • read / write—these do best within the ‘traditional’ educational approach by devouring text and replicating the medium;
  • kinesthetic—the more action focussed party of people who love just getting their hands on tools and figuring it out through physical feedback cues.

If you’re involved in any kind of capability building or skill increasing activities check if your ‘teaching’ style is fluid enough to cater for all those who learn differently.

What is your learning / teaching style?

Defining ROI | Exploring New Definitions

ROI

Redefining an old term.

Three possible definitions of ROI:

Are there any more?

Photo credit to lendingmemo

Hatching A Better World | HATCH14

HATCH family 2014

Imagine a cacophony of good souls who lean in to conversations with deep curiousity which always ends with them asking how they can help (very much the opposite of most events). That’s HATCH!

Packed with people who you want to be when you grow up and cradled by the genuinely brilliant folks at 320 Ranch, this four day event is how the world should be: challenging, creative, inspiring, friendly, dangerous, open, vulnerable, adventurous.

Was humbled to be invited back (last years review) and also present a piece on the wisdom thinking I’ve been exploring (more to follow on that in the next couple of weeks).

Deep waist bows to Yarrow and the HATCH14 team for their energy / effort in crafting an experience so that hearts and minds can relate and add value to each others lives.

Personally and through tears and laughter, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Kindness—the only way to live;
  • Listen—the fastest way to connect, learn and show you care;
  • Create—a body of work so your talent catches up with your taste (see Ira Glass On Storytelling).

Some pics:

INSIDE JOKE: no Rugrats / ferrets this year.