All posts in insights

RemoteTogetherNZ – Register Now | New Curator Role

A new festival exploring the elements of remote and flexible working, 2-13 November 2020 in Queenstown – let’s be remote together!

In June my friend Trent Yeo calls me with an audacious idea to go some way in addressing the tourism deficit of Queenstown. His pitch was simple: in March 2020 this year, if you had a job you suddenly became part of a global tribe called ‘remote and flexible workers’, lets build out a learning experience around this, attract different humans to the area to explore working from here in the future.

So after some early scoping, tweaks and iterations plus LOTS of conversations, RemoteTogetherNZ was born:

Join us for RemoteTogetherNZ, a festival of professional development, networking opportunities, and wellbeing activities which explore the themes of flexible and remote working in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The remote world is here to stay and New Zealand has a great opportunity to be a global leader. We are in a privileged position to be able to reflect back on lockdown and despite the challenges it brought, it also revealed humanity, kindness and focus on what was important. If Aotearoa is to lead the world as a global citizen and a regionally progressive nation, then what are we doing with the largest single effort humans spend their waking hours doing – work?

We’re trying to do something which can’t and / or shouldn’t be possible: pull together a world-class, vibrant and compelling, two-week festival, in about 3 months, with over forty different learning opportunities exploring the following themes:

We’ve secured some pots of money from Queenstown Lakes District Council plus Tourism NZ to kick this off and registrations are now open as the programme continues to develop along with the speaker line-up:

Have been working my fingers off curating the current offer and it’s been a wonderful journey of collaboration with such open and good humans:

Trent – the visionary, energetic catalyst for the whole endeavour.

Scott – on-the-ground logistics ace making sure what we plan is doable,

Jess – leading on MarComms and the weaver of complex narratives.

Cuillin – utility superstar, covering off so many other things the rest don’t have time to do.

So if you’re interested in these topics, work in an organisation or business which is still exploring how to react accordingly to this new epoch, someone in charge of redoing policies and strategies, a leader still getting to grips with this different approach to leading etc., register now and snap up the ‘cheap-as-chips-early-bird’ options!

This is going to be fun…

Creative Welly Episode #4 | The Power Of The Breath

Another two impressive humans sharing stories and colliding ideas.

Truly enjoying the combination of differences during these conversations and how you never know where commonalities will occur.

There’s audio if that’s how you roll:

For full bios and sign up plus subscription options go to creativewelly.com

Creative Welly Episode #3 | Intersecting Disciplines

Colliding superb creative humans.

This is what happens when you allow a digital artist and a cocoa bean hunter to share their stories and insights (full bios here).

Another two episode have already been recorded and will be out in the coming weeks so subscribe and catch the other episodes via Creative Welly plus learn more about the background in this ‘Creative Welly Launched | Learning Out Loud‘ post.

COVID19 | Managing Your Personal Privacy Liability

Where does the liability lie when employers stipulate the use of certain platforms / programmes / devices which could become a future privacy issue?

Following up on my ‘Working From Home Privacy Check‘ post last week, I tweeted out the above query as conversations with some of my peers raised the challenge they were facing. It doesn’t take much to come up with some other scenarios where issues could arise:

SCENARIO 1 : An educational organisation is transitioning to virtual classes and is using an online platform to deliver to the students. Teachers are working hard to digitise the content and subsequent workflow for all involved. During some of the online lessons, a couple of students innocently post images of the classes with all the faces plus full names of their fellow students publicly on social media.

SCENARIO 2 : A small company wants to ensure its employees are staying connected and has started using a messaging system which the teams are asked to download on their devices. This creates the opportunity for work discussions along with more personal communications, just like a work environment. The platform they use gets infiltrated with a spambot and it starts sending phishing messages to all the employees personal contacts in their phones contact book.

SCENARIO 3 : A large governmental department is starting to utilise a new video conferencing platform as everyone is working from home. Its operations and the information shared are highly confidential as they deal with issues of national security. Due to a flaw in the video system, some of the discussions are accessible to other parties who use it for nefarious means.

The question about liability bounced around for about a week until I got the following response via this tweet from John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand:

Employees are obliged to follow any reasonable instruction from an employer. If an employee conveyed reservations about using a particular tool and the employer said please proceed, they would likely be obliged to follow that instruction. The employer assumes the risk.

Which was also corroborated by another tweet from 2018 Wellingtonian of the Year and an employment law specialist, Steph Dyhrberg, Partner at Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law:

Agree. I would put it in writing to have a record of the concerns being raised. Employer should record the direction in writing too.

So if you are working from home and you have concerns regarding your privacy please do detail them via email with your employer. You might want to also ask for some risk assessment and scenario planning from the leadership also.

Stay safe and sane out there, plus wash your hands!

Related posts: COVID19 | Working From Home Privacy Check, COVID19 | A Global Pause, Effective Digital Presentation Skills | Five Quick-Fire Tips.

COVID19 | Working From Home Privacy Check

With citizen lockdown now spanning half the globe, don’t forget about privacy during these times.

Most work environments are now private homes. Collaborating and staying in touch with colleagues has changed rapidly, so lets have a quick look at the main areas through a privacy lens:

CONFERENCE CALLS

As we replace normal face-to-face meetings with video conferencing platforms, Zoom has exploded due to it’s simple interface and scalability. However, there are historical and current issues to be aware of when considering using this service:

One option if you can’t get away from using the platform is to not download the app but log in via a ‘secure’ browser to a meeting using a something like Brave or Epic (just don’t have the app downloaded and click the link from the invite which takes you online).

Zoom though is not the only option out there. Other alternatives include:

If you can use a browser based video conference option (along with a proxy-based privacy-centric browser) then the only thing to allow is access to camera and microphone, which can be turned off again in the browser settings once the call has finished.

CHAT

To replace the casual opportunities for quick chats and interactions the office offers, think about setting up a group channel utilising chat functionality to stay in touch.

Something like Slack is very popular for this as might already being used in a corporate setting, but again this has privacy considerations [Are Your Remote Work Apps Spying on You?]. Some folks also utilise WhatsApp although this is owned by Facebook who have a history of capturing and then commodify data for external use like influencing elections etc.

Explore something like Signal or Telegram which have end-to-end encryption. Also, both have desktop versions so your phone can be kept for personal use and you’ll only be ‘at work’ when on your computer.

PERSONAL vs WORK

You might be using personal technology devices for the first time for work such as laptops and / or phones plus other tablets.

For laptops / home computers / tablets, set up a separate user account so that all work activities plus programmes / apps are set up there. For phones there’s also an iOS and Android option (hat tip Mike Riversdale)

This will aid the psychological perspective of ‘going to work’ in the morning when you log on to these accounts.

If you’re adding any apps to your personal phone during this time ensure you’re not giving access to all your contacts and access fully to your phone.

Also, if you have any smart speakers running Alexa or Google Assistant, consider that they also now are privy to your calls and any verbal interactions you have. For some professions unplug the devices completely as they could become a potential security risk for information leakage.


Truly appreciate there are bigger things going on for many at this time plus many will be mandated by ‘HQ’ on preferred systems / platforms / apps (which again why setting up alternative user accounts and separating personal devices from work is important).

Remember to read the privacy and data policies of any websites, platforms and technology being utilised and make informed choices from that basis.

Very much open to other alternatives explored above so add them in the comments below and will check them out plus add to the blog post.

Related: What You Should Know About Online Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis plus this tweet to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner NZ which inspired this blog post.
Additional reading: Top 5 Open Source Video Conferencing Tools for Remote Working and Online Meetings
Image credit: Cameras, Conference Calls, Chat, Personal vs Work.

Effective Digital Presentation Skills | Five Quick-Fire Tips

Mashing up my analogue speaker coaching for digital mediums.

Was asked by the wonderful humans at Teulo to put together some insights for presenting online for their leaders, members and partners, as they (and many others) move to online presentation formats for their events.

The above is a snappy and concise look at the main aspects of effective communication when using digital means which I’ve noted during the past fifteen years of delivering, devouring and learning from stuff online, covering:

  • Lighting
  • Camera
  • Audio
  • Engagement
  • Presentation

The content side and story narrative is a whole other (series) of video(s) and depends on the person, audience and intended outcome, hence, why the tips solely focus on more functional elements.

Had permission to share with the wider (global) community during this troubling time, so thank you Teulo for allowing, means a lot for my anxious brain and heart at the moment.

Related resources: Act as if You’re Really There: What learning to speak remotely teaches us about how to compensate for the coming era of social distancing, Douglas Rushkoff & The Definitive Guide To Facilitating Remote Workshops: Insights, tools and case studies from digital-first companies and expert facilitators (free ebook)

#15 March 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A bunch of wild and wonderful things to spend your time on.

READ

Another face-collecting AI company hosting three billion images hacked (this one scrapped their database from Facebook so nothing to worry about really).

How Amazon tracks all that you read.

About a mystery radio signal from deep space appears to be following a 16-day cycle.

Some deep truths here about the lack of ethic consideration in technology advancements.

How 1,000 is now a 100 in terms of what is needed as a fan base to sustain oneself.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Those nice people from The Smithsonian Institute have just released 2.8 million images free to access and use.

150,000 botanical and animal illustrations available for free download from Biodiversity Heritage Library.

This great example of environmental storytelling & journalism from Norway.

A brimming online database of old book illustrations.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: mine, sunset colours over Welly.

CLNZ19 Talks Are All Live | Watch, Learn, Share

Including conference opening remarks (above).

At the end of last year, the third sold out Creative Leadership NZ conference brought together nearly 200 leaders (read full event review here) plus created another wonderful challenge to curate nine impressive humans to inspire the delegates.

Curating voices is one of the best aspects of being a creative producer and my process focusses on finding folks who are doing and / or have done great stuff plus have the ability to share that in a compelling way. It’s less about the titles and more about the personal traits these individuals can offer a madly curious audience.

CLNZ19 was the first time I took financial sponsorship which enabled me to up the production options to include recording and editing of the nine keynote talks (for legacy and showing others what they missed):

So any gems from above which stood out for you? What and where are you going to apply some of the lessons shared? Oh and have you signed up to receive email notifications for CLNZ20 so you can attend this year‽

Related posts (where the three referenced videos are taken from in my conference welcome): Greta Thunberg (Plus Harrison Ford) | The Voice(s) We Need, The Process Of Remaining Innocent | Building Creative Literacies & TeamKindness | Leading Leaders To Care.

Back To The Future | We Don’t Need (More) Roads

NZ just announced a $12 billion infrastructure package covering transport, schools, hospitals and roads (read more here)…

…although it’s mainly roads. My response:

It seems the idea of leading with kindness and compassion (from Jacinda Ardern) does not extend to the planet or into the future.

We are heading backwards not forwards into any kind of gentler approach to help the planet heal.

And I’m really struggling to find the token approach to adding a few bus lanes into the road investment strategy as the way forward as a nation (which builds its reputation on the 100% Pure brand).

I’m currently subcontracting on a piece of work around stakeholder engagement in the capital regarding some ideas to accelerate Wellington’s transformation into a low carbon city to reach their goal of becoming zero carbon by 2050, this has honestly taken the wind out of the sails.

This news also comes two days after the Prime Minister announces the next general election for September this year. Sighs!

Where’s the investment in radical and healthy earth plans which excites the nation and forges a new way forward for the world to follow…?

Related posts: Greta Thunberg (Plus Harrison Ford) | The Voice(s) We Need

The Power Of A Great Introduction | Be A (Helpful) Diva

How to start a conference talk and / or presentation.

We can’t all be blessed with a hype-man like the one above, although if you are to speak at any kind of event, making sure you’re introduced properly is so important. Why? Because the first line of any talk and / or presentation is not the beginning of the experience the audience has of you, that is what the MC’s role is.

And we’ve probably all been to conferences where on occasions, they go too big, expounding statements of wonderment and pedigree beyond expectation and how much wisdom is now going to ensue. Other times there’s hardly a set-up, no context and a hospital pass of ‘will allow them to introduce themselves’, oof!

As a speaker, make sure you connect with the master or mistress of ceremonies (or whomever is doing the intro) and share with them a bio which is succinct enough to take about thirty seconds to read out (if it’s longer just highlight the important bits for them). Impress on them (if they don’t already know), how the aim is to aid them in enabling you to start with that arresting question and / or statement to hook the audience in.

Be a (helpful) diva!