I'm participating in Blog Action Day – are you?

I got very excited this morning when I stumbled upon this little beauty whilst reviewing my RSS feeds. The concept is the Blog Action Day, and it’s happening again this year on October the 15th. This years theme: Poverty.

I’m Participating, are you?

As most of you would be aware, I work at World Vision Australia, which focuses on providing life in all it’s fullness for children all over the world. We aim to help alleviate global, endemic poverty and do this through a number of ways, namely Child Sponsorship. Whilst I don’t always love the place, and at times find my ‘Brand Me Personality’ keen to escape to more naturally innovative pastures, I really enjoy my time here being a part of an organisation that plays a huge role internationally in making stuff happen to combat poverty and it’s terrible symptoms. There are some amazing people around who are literally saving the world, and working in that environment is pretty fascinating.

Which is why I’m really pumped for the Blog Action Day on October 15th. I plan to use the day to hopefully open a dialogue about how NGO’s in the poverty alleviation space can work in innovative ways to further leverage their advantages and resources towards making poverty history.

I’m not quite sure yet what my plan is for the day, but I’ll let you know what will be happening on this blog in due course. Until then (wait for the sizzle), keep thinking about what you can do on the day to contribute to a huge buzz about how we can fight poverty together from our keyboards. You can get involved here.

What are you installing?

I’ve come from a few beers with some pretty interesting thinkers tonight. Many a great thing was discussed over a Mountain Goat beer (or two) but one of the more interesting things to come out of our conversations was the concept of change management, and installing functions to support that.

Mental Model Install 

As you would know, and as many others are discussing now, Brand Me is real. People are defining their working lives not as professions or roles, but brands and value added. What you can do and what value you can create for an organisation are very different propositions. Often, to create real and systemic value in an organisation you have to embed it in the culture of the place (or group). To do this, you often have to introduce new infrastructure – whether that’s mental (new mental models to solve problems), Physical (new office space or way of organising your physical space to maximise flow) or technological (technical introductions or enhancements that help you do work better).

There’s plenty of examples here to draw from. Keith Don, a fellow colleague at World Vision, was hired to project manage our new digital strategy. Whilst Keith had brought a huge amount of knowledge to the role, the key piece of infrastructure he has brought is his strategic frame of view. He has forced many in the organisation to, for the first time, consider WHY they want a new website, WHY they want to do this piece of social media or WHY do people want to do whatever it is they, well, want to do. That strategic framework is hugely important when trying to create an innovation culture. I’ve had the privilege to get beside ‘Kbama’ and push my shoulder against the Jim Collins flywheel to help create change, and through his work we have begun to see mindsets and mental models shift to very cool places. This is just one example of someone installing new mental infrastructure to an organisation. Alice Clements, now of Scaffidi Hugh-Jones, has introduced Skype to her work environment to increase the knowledge sharing and virtual communication between herself and her peers. Col Duthie, of Ergo, moved his whole business to a new physical location to help drive a new identity after a re-branding. He now writes very succinctly and insightfully at the Ergo blog.  The list goes on…

So, when you next go into an organisation, consider this question. What do you, as a brand and person, install that helps move things towards a better outcome?