Shaking up the way we do conferences

June 1st, 2010

The brief seemed fairly straightforward: design and facilitate a conference on evaluation of behaviour change. Oh, and make it different, groundbreaking even…unlike all the other conferences around. And could we also explore complexity? And could it be self-catered, by students? Could it be the sort of conference people talk about it the future? Not so straightforward.

So we designed Show Me The Change. At times it was hard to break away from convention, from expectations, to say no to keynote speakers and pre-prepared agendas. I’ve written before about how much harder it is to be disruptive than to be conventional.

Whether we disrupted the field of behaviour change evaluation remains to be seen. We know we gave it a good shake.

And to continue the conversations Geoff Brown has done a great job in capturing the conference story. It’s an awesome multi-media summary and is on the web site for all to see. If you haven’t seen it yet, go here to check it out. Now that’d be the sort of conference I’d go to. And it just might be the sort of conference report that someone would read.

A more satisfying way of working

May 14th, 2010

We’d just finished working together face-to-face for a week. We gathered in one of our apartments, too tired to venture out for dinner. We opened a bottle of wine, a few beers to celebrate and ordered pizza. Someone suggested a song. Two guitars, a group of friends – singing, laughing, improvising.

What were we celebrating? Our friendship. Our collaboration. A new way of working.

We come from Australia, New Zealand, UK and Canada. We share a love of improv, are skilled facilitators, blog, use open space, are curious, adventurous and love to travel. We like to do risky, edgy work. We each have our own businesses and work, naturally, in different parts of the world. We’re generous, with what we know and what we share. We each bring different, and complementary, perspectives. We play together. We work together. We’re individuals. We’re different. We agree, we argue, we struggle, we care.

Are you seeing a theme here?

Before we worked together we were friends. Separated by oceans. Connected by ideas. Inspired by an audacious plan. We’re still friends. Maybe even better friends. Family. Love. This is what binds us. This is what makes working together a joy. This is why we’ll do it again.