Wednesday, 7 October 2009

so what's next?

I'd hoped to write this series of posts about my current role at work over a few consecutive days. Given that the first one (here) was written on 3 September, that's clearly not happened. Let's see what can be done to rectify that.

So, a few months after I did that job for Garry, our Director, I was working in another team in our department (on secondment) as an eCommerce Development Consultant (what on earth was that?!).

Around this time, there were some stronger gusts from the winds of change than usual. It was putting pressure on the way our department was funded and how we got things done. We had enjoyed some level of autonomy and that had brought a good measure of success, but it wasn't as easy as that.

There were looming changes to reporting practices and requirements for greater levels of detail in those reports. At the same time as this, a friend from the Powerpoint band (where I was playing drums at the time, and nothing to do with Microsoft products) shared a link on his blog. It was to a presentation inspired by the style of Lawrence Lessig and it completely blew me away.

On two counts:

1) the way he spoke and the material he used to help articulate his points (his narrative) and

2) the content he was sharing.

After a few hours (over a few days) of looking at Lessig's blog (now in hibernation), finding Garr Reynolds blog on presentations (one of the *best* resources you will find) and then watching Dick Hardt's video from OSCON, I was suddenly properly aware of the power of online tools to change the way the world interacts.

You might suggest that I was hooked, and I'd probably agree. I found iGoogle and started tracking people's content online.

I shared the Lessig and Hardt videos with a colleague and friend, Robert McGill. He said "we could make something like that" about where we worked. So we did.

Storyboarded, created and distributed in about a week and a wee video about "where I worked" caught some pretty big attention from our business and IT bosses.

It didn't save the department from going through a rough time, and it probably resulted in me taking my eye off the ball a little on my day job.

Through this process I realised that communication - and really storytelling - was what I loved doing. Agile development (from a business & user perspective) is all about stories. Making our little video was all about stories. Making slidedecks is all about helping someone tell their story.

It was around this time that Garry, David and I spoke about maybe doing some work to help our area tell it's story better. But that's another story.

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