Kevin Allocca has a job that I’m sure would be a dream job for many young people, it requires him to spend his life watching videos on YouTube where his is the trends manager.
"Any one of you can be famous on the Internet by next Saturday"
Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral
The first video that Kevin highlights is this one, and if you want something to make you smile in a morning this is all of it:
Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
Today I’ve been a bit fed up with a sore shoulder and back, but some days it’s good to get a bit of a poke in the side.
This TED video was mine today:
Diana Nyad: Extreme swimming with the world’s most dangerous jellyfish
It reminds me of another question someone asked me to consider: “If you weren’t afraid what would you do?”
I love the talks from TED, the wealth of these free resources is incredible.
This short talk from Matt Cutts packs a punch in just a few minutes:
What are the things that you would love to have a go at?
It reminds me of a challenge I set myself a little while ago which has lapsed a bit.
I’ve always thought it is more important to focus on the things that they are going to start doing rather than the things they are going to stop doing.
Another TED talk that provokes and encourages:
Story and Living with Conviction
I’ve always had the impression that in some ways things are easier for a leader in the armed forces. My impression has been that the strong command and control culture that comes from shared oaths and hierarchy enables the armed forces to make and execute decisions in a way that most civilian organisations can only dream of.
This impression was blown away this morning by Stanley McCrystal’s talk to TED.
In it he talks about many of the challenges that I see in the commercial organisations that I work with, but on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
He talks about the challenge of physically dispersed teams and having to communicate view electronic means without the ability to ‘put your hand one someone’s shoulder’.
He talks about the generational differences and the inversion of expertise with junior members of the team having more knowledge than the senior members.
He talks about the need to build relationships across cultural and physical boundaries.
He talks about the need to build a shared purpose.
He then concludes with these words:
A leader isn’t good because they are right. They’re good because they’re willing to learn and to trust
That’s a powerful message to those of us who are in leadership positions who are tempted to tell people to ‘just get on with it’.
Today I watched Clay Shirky presenting at TED (via their excellent podcasts). Clay outlines a number of challenges to the way that we imagine people’s motivation. He explodes the premise that we all love to be “couch potatoes” and highlight a number of examples that demonstrate that as he says:
We like to create and like to share
People don’t just contribute when there is payment at the end, they contribute when they are creating, and with the currently available technology the opportunities for creating are becoming ever broader.
This effect creates a global surplus of cognitive ability of “a trillion hours a year”. There’s a lot you can do with a trillion hours of creativity if only we treat it in the right way. he calls this Cognitive Surplus.
Not only is this concept a huge challenge to the way we approach social projects, but it’s also a challenge to the way we approach business projects.
My perception of many business projects is that they are constructed with the assumption that people won’t want the change, and hence a stick is required to get them to change. If people truly do" “like to create and like to share” then engaging people in a creative constructing way in the change process will turn them from blockers to enablers. It might even get them to invest some of their own cognitive surplus.
The latest example of this, for me, is the location tagging of a Glastonbury picture that is underway. Thousands of people are tagging themselves in a picture taken at Glastonbury. The reward for this is little more than the feeling that you have been part of something. They’re all using their cognitive surplus to create a shared experience.
Coming to think of it – why is it that I write this blog?
I love the TED talks, they are great way of hearing thought provoking ideas presented in a way that is always engaging.
This morning I listened to Stuart Brown talking about why play is vital – no matter your age.
Speaking as a British person, we have a strange relationship with play.
We have invented some of the worlds most popular sports and continue to create new ones, but business is a serious business. And yet, there’s still a lot of business getting done on the golf course.
We all grown when someone asks us to do an “ice breaker”, but I’ve seen people turn into children as they do.
I quite like the concept of the wearable meeting – you’ll need to watch to find out.
There are also interesting thought here for people who work from home and only interact with people on the phone.
What I tend to do is put the TED videos onto my iPod and listen to it in the gym. The audio is often enough, but you also get to sense when there is something interesting to see and can go and have a look.