Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Yum! Look what we got from @petalcupcakes

BarCamp went very well

I love it when things come about and they look like you carefully planned them. The debut of Ragtag Leadership at BarCamp Auckland was one of those times. 

If you've never been to BarCamp, it's an unconference. Which means anyone can present, and a presentation is expected to be two-way - a discussion with the audience, not just a presentation at the audience. 

I wondered if I was in the right room when I arrived and found the room filling up. I was ... and when I asked how many Firefly fans there were in the room, the hands shot up. My subtitle: "Why we need less Captain Kirk and more Captain Mal" struck a nerve. 

We had a few projector troubles at first but that didn't prevent us getting underway... I explained that Ragtag Leadership is going to be a book but is currently a concept under development, and I'm looking to co-develop it with as many people as possible.

I'm so glad I did. People loved the general concept - that we can learn more about leadership and management from science fiction than from abstract textbooks. A lot of nodding heads when I said most business books were boring.

And people liked the contrast between the Star Trek model and the Firefly model. Doctor Who got somewhat lost, so I'll have to rethink that piece. 

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry, it'll all end up here on the blog - and in the eventual book)

I did get some great push backs, like:
  • Firefly the situation represents ragtag leadership (empowering, improvised), but Captain Mal the character is didactic and arrogant in his leadership style. He gets by on charisma. I'm going to have to rewatch a few Firefly episodes while I think over that one.
  • Being ragtag is easy for a startup, but what about a business unit that in turn has to report to other business units. There's gold there. At the end of BarCamp I spoke with Rochelle, who told me about her previous boss who fiercely protected his business unit's independence and sense of identity, despite being part of a larger organisation. Rochelle told me she realised only after this boss had left what an awesome leader he was.
And thanks to Haunani Pao who reminded me of one of the most important Ragtag Leadership factors that I'd completely forgotten about in putting together the slides: Captain Mal hires experts. Each one of the Firefly crew knows more about their job than Mal, and that's just fine. He never interferes in their specialty, he just leads and brings their skills together when needed. That's probably the most important part of Ragtag Leadership. And I nearly forgot it! So many thanks, Haunani.

I recorded the session, and hope to edit it this weekend and upload it here. 

Meantime, live long and prosper. Shiny.

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Monday, 19 July 2010

Email is evil?

We're at our two day online marketing and new media class/seminar/workshop thing ... and we're thinking...

  • is email relevant?
  • it's annoying
  • intrusive
  • time consuming
  • addictive
  • often poorly written with lots of seplling mistakes
  • not as good as a phone call 
  • impersonal - cos you could see someone, but who wants to see people?
  • necessary - we wouldn't be without it
  • fast 
  • traceable - could get you into trouble - eg. when you address to the person you're writing about.
  • full of spam
  • fills up your inbox
  • personalised fonts and auto signatures with photos of cats and comic sans writing (ugh!)
  • people who leave FWD>FWD>FWD> etc! So untidy
  • (not so evil) Angels etc. made out of emoticons - quite clever
  • LOL 
  • Email language hz bcum mr lk txt language >:-(
  • Demands a quick response
  • People who put "high priority" on every email
  • People who forward really bad jokes
Okay, I think that's enough. So is email really evil? Or are there a few good features in there?

(Thanks for the photo, gagilas!) 

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Love the "shared planet" idea but I find the TM ironic

Love the "shared planet" idea but I find the TM ironic #Starbucks

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Good crowd at smcakl where I've just arrived. (@sukeshsukumaran yes I am ;)

Good crowd at #smcakl where I've just arrived. (@sukeshsukumaran yes I am ;)

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Saturday, 10 July 2010

So I'd better write a first post...

...if only because you need to start the way you mean to go on. And I mean to go on. Oh yes. Just not right now!

Talk soon.

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Good questions about blogging at today's #marieworkshop

In our first session on blogging, we got some great questions from our attendees, almost all related to how blogs are perceived:

  • How does a blog get popular?
  • What is a blog? (As opposed to Facebook/Twitter)
  • Why would people read blogs? 
  • What do I say? Do blogs have to be contentious or sensational?
  • Are blogs purely personal, or can they be professional? (That was an easy one to answer!)
What do you reckon? 

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Monday, 5 July 2010

Yo, wassup?


Ask me anything

How do you run a business in the sky?

You make sure there's a building underneath. Works for us, we're on the 14th floor and haven't crashed yet.

Ask me anything