A conversation on growing robust businesses in the creative sector.
Had the esteemed honour to host the above panel for the good people at SPADA. It’s always a joy connecting with humans doing wonderful things and from a very selfish reason was very much needed that afternoon.
So if you’re interested what a few producers here in Aotearoa are up to press play and have a watch / listen.
The leadership challenge of listening and sharing stories which lighten the load.
The above is clipped from the Morning Tea With Mark session from last week (minus intro and outro) which serves the JumpShift community. It outlines a couple of things I’ve been thinking about of late regarding the weight of stories and the role of leaders in this current epoch.
As you will hear, I spend some time championing the importance of clear communication, brevity and increasing the compassion plus vulnerability dial plus highlight some tips on how to do that through the new technologies as well.
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):
How exposing yourself to out-loud speaking opportunities is one of the keys to finding voice.
Venture Up is a four-week entrepreneurship programme for young leaders. I visited to share some insights on the art of storytelling and delivering it publicly (I have visited in previous years and talked about social media):
“DK delivered a workshop that gave our cohort rich insight into delivering a story that hits the hearts of audiences, while helping many to begin overcoming a deep rooted fear of public speaking.”
Aaron Power, Venture Up Programme Manager
At the session, was wonderful to hear the groups are invited every day to give a one minute ‘pitch’ or update on progress. This continued ‘exposure’ to hearing ones voice out loud and to gain that visual / emotional response from the rest of the group is one of the purest ways to get better at this stuff.
Just like a sportswoman needs to train and constantly work on specific aspects of their game, nothing can replace the true nature of that learning she gets during ‘match-time’—this ‘match fitness’ is what separates great speakers and story tellers from the rest as they have again and again, with intention, shared stories and hopefully, noted the impact and iterated when things did not land.
I followed my friend Kaila Colbin as she wonderfully made heads spin about the exponential growth in technologies using the Singularity University lens (and her role as Ambassador). My part was to continue the discussion with (another pal) and MC, Sarb Johal on stage for the 300+ attendees.
The main thrust of this section of the conference was digital disruption, something which for over a decade I’ve been delivering services around relating to social and digital media. And even with the newer concepts of AI, automation, big data etc. already shared, I mainly focused on the need for understanding the importance of creating work cultures which amplify curiosity, celebrate learning, plus cultivate audacity and exploration:
“The feedback we had about DK’s “Reflections” component was all extremely positive and people were talking about the Digital Disruption Topic late into the night whilst referring to the ideas he brought up, along with Sarb and the video presentation from Kaila as well – DK’s contribution certainly hit the mark.”
John Dow, Director of “Work in Progress – Wellington’s New Collar Future” Conference
Thanks to the event organisers for the opportunity to have voice:
DK gave an inspiring address to the Rotary Club Forum: “Achieving the ‘Impossible Dream’ for Wellington: the city and region” on Tuesday 1 August 2017. His themes included creativity, innovation, compassion, empathy and branding. He challenged the audience on achieving a “creative Welly”, connecting the creative capital, providing leadership across the sectors, an independent collective and a community that is simultaneously globally minded and locally focused. He personifies the quote of “Life’s too short not to be audacious.” He set the stage for a Forum that was bold, diverse and audacious about achieving ‘Impossible Dreams’ for Wellington.
Dr Roger Blakeley Chair, Wellington Rotary Club 2017 Forum
Curation is still a mayor skill-set theme along with the idea of asking what’s best not what’s new (see above) to highlight that technology and social media is a suite of tools to utilise not just a shallow trend focussed on only the latest.
Librarians get the idea of nurturing and enveloping new knowledge. They are curious and open by nature, and was a pleasure to collaborate in building new practises and was thrilling to see the adoption during the hands-on workshop portion of the sessions.
DK delivered an innovative series of social media workshops for us, that got great feedback from our members. He was the ultimate professional and really easy to work with. Comments from attendees included:
“It’s not often I come across someone who can alter the way I use the internet.”
“DK was a brilliant presenter – enthusiastic, entertaining and helpful.”
“I really like his teaching style (watch, listen, then do).”
A bank who does co-working / maker-spaces / incubating / mentoring.
Due to online and mobile banking, the use of branches is in decline. So if you run a business which own an array of centrally located urban real estate nationally, what do you do?
Well, Barclays UK (in collaboration with a couple of other folks) have launched Eagle Labs, an experiment in activating their latent spaces and making them available to the startup community as incubators whilst wrapping around supportive services as well.
Was wonderful to be able to visit Eagle Labs Brighton a few days ago and deliver a session plus spend some time advising some of the fantastic startups in the space:
DK gave a brilliant keynote at the Eagle Lab Flight Programme for me where I am Creative Director. The programme is an accelerator run By Creative England in partnership with Barclays UK and their Eagle Lab Programme.
He delivered and inspiring talk with slides and resources for the companies on the programme at the Eagle Lab in Brighton UK on April 21st 2017. Having known and worked with DK at previous events I have run it was great to have him in person in the room with the businesses and clients. The keynote was on “putting the social back into social media” – and with a strong focus on authenticity and voice and remembering that the ‘audience has an audience’ too. Thanks DK – here’s to the next collaboration. Marcus Romer
A superb example of an organisation needing to diversify, repurposing their latent resources (instead of simply selling them off) to add value to a community whilst still ensuring alignment with a potential customer base.
Soon after registering the organiser reached out to invite me to say a few ‘inspirational’ words at the beginning. With the theme of “networking technology for social change” definitely lighting my fire it was an easy yes, however, leading three social media sessions and one on creating videos on your mobile phones sessions later, being a simple attendee was somewhat scuppered.
As with all good unconferences, the agenda is never set with the participants defining the events content. Switching mindsets early on and being open to offer as much as to take from these community focussed affairs certainly increased my enjoyment, plus the conversations provoked by the sessions definitely added to my knowledge / understanding.
Huge thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the event. Volunteering, attending and supporting such initiatives is so important in building informed communities of practice from which good things always are born.
“When I asked DK to share some insights about what he’d learned from running TEDXWellington at our community unconference, his answer was a very quick yes. His opening words really set everyone up for the day in terms of creating an atmosphere where people were willing to freely share. The well chosen stories gave people confidence to take a leap into the unknown. From there, many participants, probably two thirds, took the opportunity to join a impromptu session DK ran. It was a delight to have DK involved in our day, something I hope we are able to do again.” Stephen Blyth, Organiser, NetSquared Wellington