smileexpo 17 – my notes

Last Tuesday saw the latest smileexpo event in London (23 May 17) and I was lucky enough to attend. As ever it was a packed agenda, with over 100 people in attendance to chat with too. Here are some of my notes from the day.

Setting the scene

Consider this – when did you last email a friend? And yet at work we still rely heavily on email. But it is often over used and becomes a burden stopping us from working to our most effective. Then consider this - 50% of the work force will comprise millennials by 2020. So business has to get ready for this – it’s only three years away and if we aren’t using email in our personal lives millennials certainly aren’t.

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Millennials and your business

I was born to boomers, I’m a mother to centennials and a generation X myself. When you consider that our sense of ‘purpose’ is defined by the time we are 13, it’s no wonder we all find it hard to understand each other’s viewpoints at times. Just think about being 13 in the 1950s, 1980s, 2000s and 2020 and beyond for a minute… The contrast is huge, with different experiences, technologies and work. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to ‘Simon Sinek in conversation with Reggie Yates’. They discussed purpose, millennials in the workplace and some of the criticisms following that now infamous video.

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Fear and the damage it causes

Every day people go to work. They turn up, they do what they feel they should do, but not always what they could do. They follow the rules, occasionally with good results, sometimes with OK outcomes, other times with poor or even damaging results. Fear can be at the centre of this, unknowingly to us, it holds us back every day from doing things. Some recent examples of how fear manifests itself in work.

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What can we learn from a tech start up about being a social business?

Rarely Impossible is a Mobile app development studio based in Bournemouth. I have met Lee Mallon, the MD at different events like Silicon Beach and most recently All About People in June 2016. Lee has a great approach to business and is never afraid to try something new. Rarely Impossible is a very social business, with an open culture. Lee takes inspiration from other successful businesses he’s learned about on his travels. We have great conversations about work and people doing their work over coffee at these events. Lee’s most recently featured on BBC Radio 4 and BBC South Today where his approach to work email has been the focus – he’s banned it internally. Lee’s business is a technical partner, solving clients’ problems with digital solutions. Currently there are 11 people in the team and they are tech savvy and creative group. And it’s easy to say “Well that’s why he could do it”. And yes, you would be right. But it’s his wider approach to his business that I believe means that even as it grows, he’ll keep a cap on email and make its use the exception rather than the norm. So I went to meet him to find out more. We hoped to natter over coffee in the rooftop garden on the building he shares with a group of other small businesses. We got rained off and headed to the high-gloss ‘boardroom’ shared by all the businesses in the building. What a difference a space makes. Immediately you can feel the change in the way you connect in a different location. Lee is definitely more at home in the relaxed astro-turfed roof garden.

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All About People – my top 19 tips from two days

Last week I spent two-day s in the company of some amazing people and heard some brilliant talks at the second All About People conference. The event is for anyone interested or working in the fields of HR, workplaces or communication that have an impact on how people work. I left with my head buzzing with new and inspiring ideas from the many conversations I had. I listened to 12 different speakers over the two days. They covered a range of topics and real life case studies about work, people at work and making work better for people.

I am inspired!

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Be human

I recently attended a Once Upon a Time event in Bournemouth. It’s always a good event, held in the beautiful Shelley theatre (once home to Mary Shelley) and organised by the indomitable duo of Mark Masters and Matt Desmier. Between them their contact list must be among the best and longest in the land of digital creatives, communicators (of all breeds) and entrepreneurs. At this latest event we heard from four great speakers which I wrote about last week. One stood out for me for his enthusiasm and energy, and his authenticity and humanity. The person he was on stage, was the person I imagined he’d be before I heard him speak, and when I met him a week later for a coffee and to find out more, he was exactly the same.

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Once Upon A Time 6 – the story continues

Spurred on by own desire to share more about the work I do and the things I learn along the way, plus the fact that I was at an event recently which is all about sharing your great content with your network, I’ve taken some time out to write up my notes and a few tips from that event to share here. ‘Once Upon A Time’ is a regular event in Bournemouth, focussed on storytelling, hosted by Mark Masters from the ID group. It’s always a good event, great speakers and nice guests. What’s not to like? I went to the first event and this sixth one. They just keep coming with fantastic speakers and opportunities to meet good people. Four speakers took turns to share their ‘stories’ about why they do what they do and how their businesses have come to be.

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Some organisations are just like HOME, others feel truly alien.

It's true, Some organisations are just like HOME, others feel truly alien. I've worked in a couple of odd ones to know that some places of work just make you feel out of place, zapped of your energy and enthusiasm, and plain unhappy. And that's not good for the organisation or the people it depends upon to be successful. Happily I've worked in many more great organisations where people thrive and love what they do. I know where I'd rather be. As a communicator I find the way organisations operate, their cultures and internal communication fascinating. To the point that it's something I find myself thinking about in the most unlikely places. I was at the cinema with my children enjoying the film 'Home' during the holidays. If you've not had the pleasure, here's a brief synopsis to help you understand the background to my alien thinking and it's connection to organisations.

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Brilliant People, Amazing Culture – All About People

On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 June a group of like-minded people gathered in a seafront hotel in Bournemouth for the All About People conference. I find the culture of organisations and the shift to people focussed business fascinating, so I joined the event and I’ll share some of the insights from the two days here. Andy Swann, the creator of the event first wanted to just bring a few people together to share ideas and have some fun, but it soon grew into the All About People event. In Andy’s words from his welcome: “I’m not going to tell you want to expect from #aapcon14, the opportunity is there to create your own experience. Informal yes, idealistic maybe, human certainly.” And that nicely sums up exactly what the event turned out to be.

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All about people, work and workplaces

I spent 5 and 6 June 2014 in the company of some really brilliant people in my home town of  Bournemouth. The All About People [caption id="attachment_517" align="alignright" width="228"]What was the creative brief for this image? What was the creative brief for this image?[/caption] Conference, organised by Andy Swann, Head of Ideas and Mistakes at My Amazing Team @AndySwann was really inspiring. There was so much great stuff covered, my head is still buzzing with ideas to take to my clients and beyond. It was great to see Bournemouth hosting an innovative and provocative event. As a local passionate about great communication, internal comms and the way we work it was a great opportunity.

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