Why ‘The Squiggly Line’?

Today’s task for Blogging 101 was to rename your blog (if appropriate) and add a tagline. It caused me to reflect on why I initially started this blog called ‘The Squiggly Line’ and what that has come to mean for me over the years. For the past 7 years or so, it’s been my home online. It’s served as my email address and any other internet accounts where ‘Steve Hopkins’ was already registered. To this day, I still really like it, so I won’t be changing it. I’m curious to know if people think my tagline helps them understand what the blog is about, but I also still feel good about that. I thought today I’d share where it came from and what it means to me.

About 8 years ago, I was part of a small organisation called Venture Tribe – along with people I still consider great friends. In one session early on in the organisations life, we were going through the task of naming it. Venture Tribe wasn’t something we’d come up with yet. So, we were doing some quickfire brainstorming about names. At the time, Cam had scribbled out some of his suggestions and in the pace to go around the table just simply said “…er, er, Squiggly Line.” I really liked it and instantly wanted to use it. I got this sense and image in my mind that it could represent how the world of business was becoming far less linear and much more chaotic and squiggly. We ended up going with Venture Tribe and so after that I asked if I could begin using The Squiggly Line for my blog. The rest, as they say, is history.

Years later, my passion is still around helping people within organisations think more about making their ‘work’ the best thing it can be. I work at Yammer, within Microsoft, where we create a product that millions of people use to make their communications with their team more social, open and transformative. I’m more and more interested in ideas such as Mindfulness and how that can positively impact the world inside and outside of a persons work accountabilities. And, I’m a passionate believer that we’re in the middle of seeing many of our worlds organisations transition to being much more responsive by adopting new was of operating. And amongst all of that, the world has only continued to get more and more squiggly. Thanks for reading.

Introducing myself for #blogging101

As I mentioned last week, I’m taking part in the Daily Post’s Blogging 101 class this month. Today’s task was to introduce myself and whist I’ve been blogging for a while, I thought that it might be fun to say hello again. Last week, I wrote in more detail about what I’ll be posting about on this blog for 2015. I also came across this great post yesterday, with whom I share a lot of similar thoughts about blogging in general.

My blog, on the other hand, is for my opinions and issues I’m passionate about. It’s where I get to articulate my opinions, while, hopefully, inviting others to do the same in a civil and sophisticated manner.

However, there’s one thing I won’t be focusing on in 2015. Something that most people don’t know is that I tried to grow a top knot over 2013 and 2014 and failed. You can see my best efforts above, where I had a bit of fun with our photographer when I was having some profile pics done at work.

Whilst I try to talk about topics that matter to me here on the blog, like mindfulness, organisational culture and tech, I try to do that in such a way that I don’t take myself too seriously. Life’s too short not to have a laugh now and then. Or try to grow a top knot.

For those undertaking Blogging 101, I’m looking forward to meeting and following more of you over the next month. For those that have been following for longer, sorry about the top knot photos.

Blogging in 2015: Mindfulness, Technology and Org Culture

It’s 2015! This year, I’m going to look to post again regularly here on the blog. If you’re keen to do the same, or perhaps have made a resolution to ‘blog more’ in 2015, then this great Blogging 101 class being run by The Daily Post may be right up your alley. I’m going to do it and am already looking forward to it. It starts on Monday the 5th.

However, this time I’m going to do something a little different. I’d like to share today that I’m going to focus more of my writing on particular areas. I’ve even Skitch’ed up a little Venn Diagram to outline my thoughts so far.

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Last year, I thought a lot about the idea of the craftsman – a person so deeply engaged in what they’re passionate about that their work product just flows. It caused me to reflect on my ‘craft.’ Needless to say, I’m still exploring what that is. Perhaps I always will. But for now, I’m focusing a lot of my energy on these three topics. So it makes sense to start writing and sharing more about them here.

Mindfulness

I’ve been writing about this for a while, and my take on this topic will often bounce around a variety of different topics. Yesterday’s post, whilst not explicitly about it, touched on a lot of aspects of how I think about Mindfulness and my continued attempts to be more mindful. Expect topics like meditation, GTD and habit building.

Org(anisational) Culture

I’m fascinated by this topic and have mostly pursued it in different guises through my career so far. I love talking and thinking about how people, teams and whole organisations can become more responsive to their staff, partners and customers by being more connected. More engaged and aware. The old saying ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ resonates a lot with me and I want to keep learning about it here. Expect topics like Holacracy, Integral Theory, holding better meetings, remote work, coworking and the ideas of The Responsive Org.

Technology

I’ve now been playing with social technologies, mostly, for about 7-9 years and a lot has changed in that time. I love being in the ‘tech’ industry and the pace in which it changes. I’ve especially loved being first at Yammer and now at Microsoft in that time, which has given me the chance to directly work with our customers to help them understand how technology is fast becoming the best way to affect an organisations culture and its people’s mindfulness. Expect things here about the industry in general, startups and how cloud, mobile and social networking continue to change how we live our lives.

So, welcome to 2015! I’d love to know what you’d like to hear me write about. If you have any topics or ideas for me please send me a message on CoTap.Me/stevehopkins or on Twitter.