Used to be a….

I used to be a:

Student.

Unemployed.

Artist.

Freelancer.

The IT guy.

The manager.

The fixer.

All previous working lives that built today’s current T-shaped skills. Whenever I’m asked how did I choose my path I say I try something and do more of it or less of it depending if I like it. I don’t know what’s next but it’s definitely more of what I like. Oh and being good at something helps me like it. So I practice. If it’s a skill it can be learned.

Using Basecamp to communicate across the organisation

I get asked from time to time how we work across nine with people scattered across the world at any given time (hey I’m writing this over the Atlantic).

Here at BMT we use a tool called Basecamp to support our communication. It is a tried and trusted tool used by thousands of people. We use it because effective communication is critical yet very hard to do at scale. We use it for both internal communication and working with partners on our products and services.

You can read about it’s tools etc on their website so I won’t repeat it here. In short the reason we don’t just use email like everyone else is because email across 150+ people is asking for trouble. Instead we choose a different path.

Basecamp is purely for communicating.

We need to share announcements, proposals, decisions and such like to group’s or globally across our organisation via our HQ group which every person is part of. Using Basecamp makes it the go to place for this.

Over time Basecamp becomes a form of corporate memory. When did we decide X? Answer check Basecamp. Why did we decide Y? Answer check Basecamp. People may leave but their comments remain. Clever huh.

Doing effective meetings is difficult and time consuming. Often times people just want to know the outcome. Share your proposal to a group(s) and get their feedback. To make it sweeter, get their feedback or approval when they are ready. Why wait for a meeting in two weeks when you can make it a simple proposal and get approval. One of our strategic aims is to support working anywhere at any time and this underpins our ability to do so.

Get it on your desktop or mobile if you choose.

We can make as many groups as we need and share with external partners.

Does Basecamp work well? Yes very much so.

However getting us all to use it effectively is a game of patience!

If I had to pick the biggest gripe people have with the tool it is confusion around managing notifications. When you normally post a message by default the setting notifies everyone in the group. It is easy to change but isn’t a behaviour most use/understand is possible.

My personal experience too is that writing with clarity is the key and that’s a skill most of us need to continually hone.

Reading list 2024

Every year I document the books I read. You can see a decade or so via the archives starting with 2023.

  1. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. shirer. Finished 14 January 2024 on kindle.
  2. The Art of the Turnaround by Michael M. Kaiser. Finished 30 March 2024 hardback isbn 9781584657354
  3. Musuems and Societal Collapse – The Museum as Lifeboat by Robert R. Janes finished 5th April 2024 in Amsterdam. ISBN 9781032382241. Took lots of notes, agreed with a bunch of stuff, doing some of the recommendations but more to do. Def worth sharing.
  4. Her Allies: A Practical Toolkit to Help Men Lead Through Advocacy by Hira Ali finished 23rd May 2024 on kindle.
  5. When She’s in the Room: How Empowering Women Empowers the World by Edwina Dunn OBE finished 2nd June 2024 on kindle.
  6. Get your inbox down to zero by Graham Allcott finished 3rd June 2024 on kindle

Getting to the same number

When I think I’m being very clear and someone doesn’t get me I’m reminded of the example of getting to the number four. My brain and worldview is 2+2=4. Simple. Yet another person may say 8-4=4 or 2×2=4. Then I realise there is lots of ways of arriving at the same number and that I made the assumption there was only one way. I think of this often when someone else has a different worldview but may be agreeing with the same outcome. Does it always matter how we arrive at four?

Don’t worry I’ll do it myself

When something needs doing it is easy to insist it is done the way you know. Which spins into saying to a teammate “don’t worry I’ll do it myself”. They lose agency and you end up doing something they could have done by them and you did that other important thing.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it myself” try to catch yourself and see what happen.