Episode 85 – Shift Strategies

On this week’s show we speak to Simon White about his Shift Strategies project.

This week’s internet Yang was the remarkable Jimi Halloween.

Don’t forget you can join the conversation on WhatsApp – just drop us a line on Twitter for the magic link.




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Hello and welcome to Episode 85 of web 14 weekly podcast. With me Matt Ballantine, and Chris Weston. And here we are, for Episode 85. It’s been a busy week, lots going on, lots going on in the technology space as we have entered the November and everybody crushing towards Christmas has lots of things going on the DEF CON going out in Prague, which some of my colleagues have been at, and we’ve watched future decoded in London, and I saw some reports from that as well. A lot of people poking around and of course, everybody’s at Gartner as well in Barcelona so it’s very it’s that that’s what the season yeah it’s all passing me by To be honest.

In other words, they should point out we are recording this on the evening of November the fifth so you might hear fireworks in the background just to explain any explosions that you might hear through it. Yeah No I don’t it’s funny I’ve got my for me my kind of conference thing I always associate September with doing stuff like that and then I think quite a few things this year both conferences and a few other bits and bobs by November aka work to do it doesn’t suit well to the the free range work style because November’s a busy month for you know, paying work.

Yeah, that’s true. So everybody’s wanting a price you can afford to do so. And those of us who have to find actual work to pay the bills stay here I spent although I did do an hour of fairly non commercial work and did you of course you see my little web advert

Have to go on LinkedIn. And that was my creative out.

There’s a moment of beauty. If you look at mine or Chris’s LinkedIn profile, you better have a have a look at that. Also in the last week we see me as the second biggest tech acquisition in history of all time ever with IBM spending $34 billion on some open source outfit. It’s quite remarkable run isn’t it is remarkable. I’m reliably informed that it’s all blockchain focused, because Red Hat is what they’re Ethereum hyperledger fabric I think they call it on a runs on

and I yeah, I don’t know. I mean, it seems like a lot of money, doesn’t it? But did we talk about this last week or is it something we’ve talked about in the meantime? I don’t know. But there was a Coinbase valuation for the the this Coinbase being the cryptocurrency trading platform and app and Coinbase is currently valued at 848.

billion. Some big number should find out what the actual numbers it’s an enormous number compared to you if you’re looking at 34, was it 34 billion per room? Red Hat? Is that what it was? things here I think compresses 800 billion or something that’s that’s well what about a quarter of the UK? entire economy? No, 8,000,000,900 billion. So

yeah, there’s no I didn’t want to come up with 8 billion. That’s a billion for an app that you can buy and sell

currency. So this is all there Okay, we’re talking it’s not telephone numbers anymore, is it? I think somebody said talking telephone numbers as long as past been a big big enough number to

look at things like national debts and things like that. And the talk about these aren’t they’re not galactic numbers, but the numbers that described the number of atoms in the universe and things like that they’re not we don’t have proper proper

economic numbers. But all of this is just a massive, great hype bubble around blockchain distributed ledger stuff. And I mean, you and I just slowly start recording having a bit of a debate about the extent to which any of this stuff is real or not. And I think it there is definitely stuff I wrote five years ago about how distributed ledgers will become something that is sort of useful probably very useful but we’re at the moment is that peak of massive speculative nonsense and actually might are the the hype curve thing about the trough of disillusionment The higher the peak of of hype the deeper it goes the other side to be able to then actually get paid for it to be trusting of things again out when it might become useful I think that’s true although I think the hype of peak peak of hype rather we was a few months ago when when Bitcoin was like $14,000 or something and I really do and then in our case, I think the peak of of

block chain as in Bitcoin was a few months ago I take that but the hype the peak of hype about distributed Ledger’s for things other than cryptocurrencies I don’t think we’ve even reached yet. And I think that the fact that we’re talking about distributed ledgers rather than blockchain

is probably important. And I think also there are some interesting approaches to tackling scalability and blockchain as well. At the moment, I think this sort of thing will evolve. And I am more convinced today than I have been for some time that there’s a lot in it yet, but we’ll see, I guess. Yeah, that’s a $4 billion from IBM investing in it is as a fairly large statement of intent from an organization that still makes an awful lot of its revenue from selling Lotus Notes and and mainframe Yeah,

they got the future. Well, that’s right. And I suppose that’s one of the things that when when Microsoft bought Skype that was one of the things that I thought that seemed a poor decision. It seems like old technology being acquired by a company really struggling to look for its its place in the in the market at the time I think I talked to a friend of mine and we talked about the fact that once upon a time whenever Microsoft he mentioned at the eve they’ve even had mentioned they were interested in a particular market or a particular topic technology you would call fear, uncertainty and doubt in that market. Everybody would start to scurry about wondering how Microsoft going to disrupt, disrupt their market whereas once when Marques of what Skype it was just more uncertainty and doubt there was no fear anymore. people stop fearing Microsoft at that stage.

Now Microsoft have managed to get themselves back to the point where people have forgotten to Steve Ballmer and fears back on the agenda.

I wonder about IBM I don’t think anybody’s

going on visits the toilet because IBM about Red Hat doesn’t seem to me to be here.

But something that’s going to worry too many people but it but it certainly certainly a very interesting move it is

also the other thing I’ve noticed recently to a slightly aside of this but the number of people that I know that are being recruited into go and work at Amazon Web Services is startling have any contract

now it didn’t we read the everything store a while but it was the thing that for me What does not those numbers and distribution center not too far away from me I’m thinking about getting some Christmas work

though that the number of people that I’ve known at pretty senior levels in the last year being brought into Amazon and you’ve got people like Liam Maxwell the former senior strategy person for government there’s a number of others I know as well who going in there that that’s the stuff that should be actually causing fear amongst traditional players, IBM I think that’s where the


there’s obviously a lot of money there for being able to expand out whether this skills based and who they have working for them and they’re reaching their their network and that’s what they seem to be buying a pace at the moment I think Amazon are far more traditional business than people give him credit for often and they and they talk about all this who we are, you know drones delivering passes and things like that which is a nice way to be to build a bit of

PR and and maybe it’s all a bit look over there because over here that just kind of doing basic business things Yeah, absolutely. So anyway, I’m on this week we won’t be doing any deals for $34 billion. We will however, be doing a bit of yin and yang will be talking about the forthcoming wp 40 book and we’ve got an interview with a fascinating chap Simon white about a new web tool for creativity that he has created. So that’s what we’ve got ahead. Let’s get on with it.

So welcome to

Turn it returns the right word. Because I can’t remember whether we did this last week. You’re not beginning. Yang. So this week really it’s your choice, isn’t it matter and let’s start with why would you want to what you want to go first, let’s just let’s start with the bad and then move up to say, let’s shift gears of the code. That’s why not so whether the end was just an observation from two weekends ago when the the clocks changed,

and it was the observation an awful lot of banks had scheduled maintenance just around the time that the clocks went back. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Robin, Scotland,

I think tsp colors unnoticed and they all had like two hours. Three hours of downtime some of them including their ATM networks. Just at the time when you change with two o’clock in the morning, isn’t it when the clocks are the go for to go back. And just as an indication of quite how shonky the entire banking


ology stack is can’t even cope with it and I change that’s terrifying it is a bit isn’t it reminds me of firm turning up for work very early on the Monday morning years and years ago to to type in the really arcane Novell networks command change the

Nova and there were 3.1 to server and then going Randall the PCs just make sure that that picked it up it was it it does seem odd in this new atomic age that we should still be taking systems down of such critical infrastructure systems down to to check the times change properly there’s terrified I think there’s only now this

cookers in my house we’ve got two ovens which really annoyingly as well then it might seem as don’t work this out you got two ovens in a kitchen which is an uncommon and the fact that you can’t get the clocks to sync so you have to do this ludicrous pressing buttons at the same time to

Make sure that the things are at the same time because otherwise it’s really annoying. First of all to have under the kitchen is quite uncommon unless you’re a little chef right? And secondly the idea that the idea that they need to be synchronized

five minutes out from each other and it would make no difference now this this is possibly an indication about how OCD I’ve become since my wife and I have been together cuz she really is I see do stuff CD and boys

things but anyway I think those are the only two clocks in the entire house now but don’t actually just set themselves into the the new time thank good well I’m glad to hear that everything else so that

the man that takes your cats waistcoat to the dry cleaners, it will turn up on time and then because all of these blocks will be but the bank the bank can’t do that. I don’t understand it. Like my TV knows what the time is. My car knows what the time is. But no, no.

My bank he was surprisingly I just said something’s changed themselves that I wasn’t expecting to change themselves this year so obviously things have moved on but yeah my house isn’t the bank I don’t expect the clock on the wall to to update itself it doesn’t really matter it doesn’t it doesn’t when you controlling financial transactions for the entire yeah it does matter and and therefore Matt you know I don’t see why you’re so wedded to this infrastructure and not looking forward to the great day where decentralized restless

applications can can replace it all yeah right yourself me that’s it let’s put everything into action and I anyway so that’s the that’s the yin

yang actually this is something that you posted on on Twitter link and it’s this amazing it’s the best thing I’ve seen on the internet this year and I’m sure people may well have seen it already. But it’s a thing called Jimmy

Jimmy Halloween which is a

In Japan, which basically is people dressing up in

fancy dress that’s incredibly mundane so you’ve got things like people dressed up as man waiting in the hotel breakfast buffet q just standing there holding a tray with an empty plate on it it was it was brilliant it was the office whose turn it is to empty the shredder

was all so mundane and and yet there was a there was a deep sense of on we about the whole thing in terms of what the you know, like there’s a guy the one of my favorites is a guy man who had been to a convenience store bought some instant noodles put hot water in the noodles in the convenience store and was now waiting by the shuffle crossing to get back to his office and he stood there with his little pot and these and that’s a fairly kind of thousand Yard Stare expression

of this tournament

and I loved it.

Ticket I can’t stand Halloween and I can’t stand a fancy dress but there’s something about this these kind of little vignettes of of tedium that so beautifully done so amazing the Japanese around it will

it’s brilliant thank you for sharing it because it was it is actually made my year always do you know what I saw it and I went to the pictures and I know similarly got this kind of

growing sense of joy at the these are these really quite studied pictures of of like daily minor irritations or whatever you want call them I thought this is really good I wonder if anybody else would find this interesting but

people do really popular anyway. So there we go, Yin and Yang. There’ll be a link to some of the coverage of the Jimmy stuff and I think we can just tore a veil over the banking until the clocks go forward again in the spring.

Continuing with our remarkable run of brilliant interviews, you have got an interview with Simon White, who has created a set of well, Oblique Strategies for business kind of ideas or when you’re stuck or some way to to spot your brain into interaction. What was that all about? Not be. So I’ve known Simon for a few years now. He originally met him at Silicon beach back in 2013 stayed in touch lovely chap. And he has taken the idea of Oblique Strategies. If you’re not familiar with the police trashes everything invented by Brian ino

and another guy, and they’re basically a set of playing cards which have God’s things on them to be able to help inspire creativity and the idea is that you use my sort of random input into things and what Simon has done as he has taken that idea and then he’s taken all of the presentations it seems he’s ever seen ever events and

things and distilled those presentations down into one line has created a website where you can randomly get a piece of a bleak type strategy and it will come to you. But he is also included all the links to the original source material and easier 20 minutes or so of presentation that underpins that idea or concept that comes up. It’s a really interesting idea, the idea of random inputs, beer to help stimulate creative thinking, I think is extremely powerful, very underrated doesn’t feel very work like certainly the Oblique Strategies, the originals, I’ve always struggled to better use in a work context. I think what Simon’s done is really interesting, really good fun and as a fantastic sort of rabbit Warren of

of resource to be able to look at some of the ideas from all the things that he’s looked at over the last few years. So let’s see how the conversation went.

I’m Simon white and I help organizations think about the way they do things and and us today

To make them do it better and the reason why I thought it’d be interesting to have a chat with you is because you have just launched under the world a parody of something that I’ve actually got sitting on my desk there parody apparently it okay the well an homage to the the Brian ino and Peter Schmidt thing Oblique Strategies yes I have what are Oblique Strategies Oblique Strategies are a set of prompts in order to help you break out of patterns and the way that you think or do things most famously obviously used by David Bowie for writing lyrics and and music and changing his his persona and so what is a box of about 100 cards in each of them has got a strategy on it so things like loosely called a strategy I think yeah a prompt of sorts and

I’ve tried to use these in a in a business context before and I struggled because

they’re really quite oblique. I mean, I know that’s the whole point of it. But so you get them and nobody can take them. Boy, I found very difficult to take to get people to take them seriously because they don’t feel like they’re grounded enough in the world of work. They’re very much grounded in the world of artistic creation, or these perceptions of people

that I’ve worked with. Trying to use them, I think has been that so what you’ve done is to try to be able to get something that’s maybe a little less 1970s recording studio and a bit more friendly for being able to be used in a modern work context. Yeah, I think so. Um, but also to to give people the framework to create their own I mean, I’ve created a set and I will continue to add to them, but the framework for creating them so really simple so anyone could actually create their own set of they wished I think most people are a bit lazy, and hopefully they’d rather just come

Is the ones that I’ve created and so the the thing that you’ve not done it as cards and you’ve done it as a website not yet

start this is MVP man Okay very good and

so I thought rather than then having a

listener ramble which is what these interviews tend to be sometimes actually plan them but this is you know is rare but to actually use the the thing itself as a way of being able to guide our conversation about why they might be used and how they might be important ok so the other thing actually with these these aren’t things that you’ve come up with these aren’t bomb mo from Simon ya know Oh no, I would never ever want to release those onto the wild

so that their nuggets from various people that you have been inspired by or No. Okay. So I tend a lot of conferences and often

Spent used to spend a lot of time taking lots and lots and lots of notes. And then I never went back to those notes. I might do a blog post and never went back to it. And then one day, I decided not to take notes and just write down the one thing I could remember from each talk. And I found that really useful. And then as the do lectures in 2017, and I did exactly the same, I noticed that they became essentially really good way to shift my thinking. So it a bit of tweaking.

So I have I have created and not with a bottom taken from people’s talks there, me distilling down, I think the essence of what they’re saying and how it spoke to me, and then using that to create a strategy that hopefully breaks people’s patents. OK, cool. So let’s be what we call these things, shift strategies. Okay, so we’re going to try state and the rest of this conversation based around shift trashes. The first one that’s come up is from symmetrical Matt water.

him at borders okay oh very good and this shift strategy is find simple tools so matter to talk playful about creating

an environment where someone had to defuse a bomb which wasn’t a real bomb obviously guided by somebody outside they were inside this essentially series of boxes and tunnels pitch black and they were being guided by somebody else until which white so on so forth and I’ve turned left or right and some people obviously we’re quite playful with that so they got people to cut the wide burst of balloon so you know, scaring probably the bejesus out of whoever it was that was in this darkened room.

But obviously it was just a really good way but he basically created it out of cardboard boxes, corrugated cardboard and various bits and bobs, but was able to create an environment which felt very real and heightened tension. So the essence from his talk of creating a bomb at Goldsmiths.

A bomb disposal unit as they were at Goldsmiths, college has to find the simplest tools you can in order to to create something. And I guess this reflects in terms of actually using something actually strategies as well as an exam actually some piece of paper or a website with some effectively random input on it is a very, very simple tool but can have a big impact on what is it about that randomness that makes it useful? I think it’s um, I think it’s something about just the kind of it’s a bit like misdirection I think it works in a similar way that you’re not expecting or your brain thinks you’re expecting one thing and so when anything whether it’s an Oblique Strategies shift stretchy, a piece of paper, somebody asked a question which she weren’t expecting them to ask. It makes you sort of pause for a moment and think, oh, and takes your it either takes you down a rabbit hole, it breaks your concentration in such a way that you have to go what we’re talking about or it prompts something and you to go on

That’s quite interesting and you iterate new layer that piece of thinking on top of what you were doing okay so the next one number six

get on a different path from Elijah Elijah as grime artist who spoke at the story and the sheer

just say now if you do visit the website I’ll show Matt will put in his notes you can click on the name of the person and if they’re talk as available as some of the talks on video so you can you can watch the video of the took

or will take you through to the website of the event which you went on but Elijah was talking about basically just you know,

you might have a preconceived idea of kind of way you’re supposed to be going to kill if you’re young and in his instance to feel young and black

and into grind music and he was saying Actually you know what, it’s just the best thing to do is just take the path that your people least expect you to take. And that’s quite an

interesting way of approaching a problem, particularly if you’ve if you’ve done it before you think, Oh, this is easy, I just repeat what I did before. as, you know, map that doesn’t always work

or, or, or you don’t, you don’t get as far as you want with something. If you approached it from a different perspective on a different path to get somewhere that you was unexpected, then also, you’ll never learn something along the way, which could well be don’t do it differently as you did before. But hopefully all you’ll end up in a different place with something in the better or just something that’s so differently. It surprises you and you’ve learned something there’s I think, I know quite a lot of people to listen to web 40 at the moment, various stages of career consideration, career change, potentially, potentially not necessarily fully changing what they do with changing jobs, changing roles, that kind of stuff. We’re going into the world of free range Nestle and actually getting onto a different path is quite a big thing because

lost their self identity is thinking about a career level quite a lot of our identity is tied up in what we say it is that we do so once you’ve got yourself defined taking different different paths actually can be quite difficult was quite a lot of how sometimes could be about self identity do we could make a whole podcast on this particular subject matter because it’s something I’m doing a lot of work with it with individuals bill so businesses

saying what you do is quite old school and I think saying why you do something is the new you know, Simon senate kind of thing to purpose lead. I always talk about how you do things. So the way you go about doing stuff, whether you’re a business or an individual doesn’t come down to a job title, it comes down to a set of core things that you always do that you comply in different ways. I’ve had about 5060 jobs in my lifetime. I’m 4040 something so since the age of nine when I had a paper round or first job

That all the different jobs I’ve had since then. But there’s core things within all of those jobs that I’ve, that I’ve taken on. And that’s how I work. So being able to think ahead, think of my feet probably comes from working in catering being in a kitchen and something burns or you run out something, all those things I can use in lots of different ways. And I think that’s a more interesting way of looking at stuff so you can get on a different path without really massively changing what you do if you want to very interesting Okay, next one, then

is number one, find the journey that has no destination go on it which is from Adam G and Victoria map or

So again,

I always find it quite interesting that people often start doing something with the end in mind,

very production lead again, I might argue that that’s

certainly in some of the businesses that I work with.

quite old way of thinking.

And if you already know where you’re going, it’s it’s like any journey if you were to I came came to you today Matt.

I got on city mapper and it gave me 20 different ways to get to your house. And I picked the one that had the least amount of connections,

however, fight not known way you’d lived but just had a vague idea and just wanted around a wonder why I might have discovered along the way before I found you and said, okay, what’s your address map

and from a work perspective, I think sometimes not necessarily. Knowing the exact place that you’re heading is

one of the best things that you can do have a vague idea of what you want to achieve, but actually work towards it. So that becomes a much clearer but if you start out with a really clear idea of what you want to do. I think it hinders hinders people’s learning hinders the business it forces people to perfect

See before

why would call proper work you know they’re just like well let’s get on with it and do stuff and I can already hear lots of people thinking yeah but you know profits and he can’t waste time it’s not about wasting time it’s about trying new things and bit of experimentation and I think that’s what this particular strategy speaks about it reminds me as well as Marcus Browns 90 waypoint walk which is that thing that Chris and I did last Christmas we are contemplating doing it in Birmingham but I think actually Chris feels that we’ve got too much likelihood of ending up in a bad place if we try and Birmingham he lived in their Birmingham sense don’t Michael

but the idea of the value of the journey that the 90 waypoint walkers this thing which has a walk that you can do anyway because this is here as a turn by turn instructions so every place that you do it, it will end up being a different walk. It will take you to a different place

and it’s it sounds

A little bit arty farty, and it is I guess to a great extent, but it’s also a fascinating thing to do, because actually, you’re then really appreciating the journey that you’re taking that again to X Factor, I think I think the 90 waypoint walk is a great way to start off a visit to a new country. And as if by magic. The next one randomly selected is from Marcus john Henry, round number 64 may hit great or walk away and assist about six years old. I spent Marcus white might want to remember this talk. This is where he was saying that the nostalgia we have for the science fiction of our youth is what is making the future such a horrible thing. And therefore you should if you’re going to try and invent the future, you should make it really good. And if you can’t, don’t fall back on your favorite Star Wars movie or particular episode of Star Trek or any of the canon of the science fiction nature. I’ve obviously condense that down slowly, I think.

think there might have been some swear words in Mark says version I’ve said walk away but basically it’s it’s it’s if you’re going to do something do it well and it doesn’t matter you know what that is whether it’s a podcast or whether it’s

you know creating a film writing a medium post or just generally just living if he can’t put your all into what you’re what you’re passionate about that it’s pretty pointless doing it couldn’t agree more

number three

so they can all the opinion you’ve just heard and and your own by Lisa Marie need it

yeah I think I don’t need so anyway I think that’s just yeah just ignore everything that Matt and I saying

number five say aloud the things you take for granted by Maddie rose and okay so I think I work a lot of my own

and finding someone to talk to it

Like when you’re working on your own, you do tend to either have conversations with the radio sometimes if I’m not on the radio, just having a conversation with them, but I found the saying out loud the things that are bothering me about project or, or something I’m doing and I’m getting frustrated about instead of getting frustrated about is just literally say out loud. So this is very similar. It’s like, well, what what assumptions Am I making? What do I take for granted about particular thing say out loud and that makes it real in a sense, I know this might sound a bit bonkers but but doing that you’re you’re getting out there and you’re making yourself think about it and then you can move on as well while others Yeah, having just completed seven days of working at home the few conference calls or video calls or whatever, but mostly on my own it

for extended periods of time at all.

But I think finding strategies like that to be able to cope with it. I think as much though actually within

the more traditional in an office type environment, this stuff gets lost. Well, if you were to take that it’s, it’s I always like to ask what I call the obvious or if you like stupid questions because that’s people just assume you understand we’ve had many a discussion about the word digital if you were to say the word digital to somebody that you work with, and then ask somebody else that you work with. There’ll be two different answers and actually probably poles apart with very little crossover and therefore you need to say well what do you mean by that word and then when you get that shared vocabulary you can do things a lot better so that would be another really good example number 24 is next up in this tombola advisor give it some personality, which is from Dominic Wilcox. This is actually confused the video for this talk.

On the directions website is one of my favorites. When Dominic was a student, an art student, one of the things he was asked to do was to take a line and draw it. And then to give it some personality, say, took a very basic thing that everyone could do is draw a straight line and then did lots of Mad stuff with it. That gave it some personality. And it was a really inspiring talk. But with so much stuff, content and so on being out there What if you don’t give it something even if somebody hates it, that’s at least getting a reaction from them it’s much better than being bland and so I think that just says it all just do something interesting. Even if people don’t like it. It’s interesting, the personality but as well. I’m doing a piece of work for client at the moment about chat bot

and I I’m still not convinced the chat bots or anything other than a gimmick but

one organization

I’ve approached about this who I trust a lot actually in their view of this stuff because they’ve done a lot of deep work in it is they start by saying what is the personality of the agent

technology companies that I’m talking to about this to treat it totally as a technology data processing and that’s really started things I know which one will lead to better results will be the ones that will start by saying so who is your chat box and and what are they think what do they feel it’s the classic Siri thing so I’m sorry first came out they built in a lot of you can ask series and really silly questions and get them in that weirdly voice with no personality way. Something that kind of does shape it and give it a little bit more than just a robot voice coming out of your phone. I’ve used a couple of the other systems and they you know, they do a very similar thing, but

always quite like the idea that you could say to Siri, what’s the meaning of life and she would say 42 that’s plagiarism.

Number 12 create a tool to change behavior. Amanda is he Amanda from NSPCC.

So while I think I have well hopefully. Anyway I’ve done exactly that

you and I met both working in for I hasten to say that we do that we work in, in change in organizations. But I think the word that we we tried to do should be changing the way so organizations work and the people within them behave.

And so sometimes the simplest tool can do that. Like you use artifact cards and the ability of giving people something they can write on with a pen

and then move around a table. It’s fascinating. You think something so simple gets people working a very different way than it would with post it notes. Now I still use post it notes, but only in certain certain situations.

So again it’s the classic if you draw a quadrant on a wall and ask people to to fill in the four sections of that quadrant it’s a very simple tool but can start to get people to change their behaviors David he height so I hired hired the right number 20 number 20 Do one thing. Well obviously reading and speaking is something as well so those that don’t know David originally started how he’s the clothing brand also a founder of the do lectures and of Hyatt denim

and the premise of Hyatt denim

is to do one thing well which is to make a pair of jeans which look good and a comfortable to wear and last a lifetime

and that’s all they do. They don’t make 50 different types of gene. They make one pair of jeans in a variety of styles for styles for men, for stars for women, and then occasionally they make I get short.

runs have read and games and things like that. But that’s what I did. I mean one BlueJeans I do bloody well and they’re really great jeans. So yeah, follow that advice. Yeah. Something I don’t do it all. I do many things. mediocre Lee Hey Yes me too Hey pay attention to the invisible Sophie Thomas I’m very teen again I think this is looking at the things that perhaps are slightly obscured either by your process or your methodology and I quite like the idea of trying to

seek out the things that are being obscured and see you know, looking into a little bit closer changing your perspective I think that’s always of interest. Next one, make a fool of yourself then have another go and Costco again. I think this just comes down to just asking those questions that no one’s asking. It’s like should you say that out loud you probably felt a bit of a Burke but I’m

Sometimes it elicits some really, really good thoughts and you know and conversations so as you’re any of there’s some great quotes about

opening your mouth and being a fall or keeping your mouth shut. We won’t go into those because obviously that’s Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and any other one so it’s been on the internet

but I think the idea of

looking a bit silly or thinking you might look a bit silly oftentimes someone okay that’s a really great question because nobody’s thought to aren’t asking I think organizations actually they mitigate against this is such an extreme at the moment and that the

the need to be seen to be right the need to be seen to have delivered the right thing the need to have delivered the perfect product the need to have been able to be not seen as unsure in any way to show no no ambiguity it’s nonsense. It assumes that particularly leaders in organization

are almost diabetes, which is obviously not the case. But it reinforces itself. Remember, you know, some of the bigger organizations that I’ve worked in been told very clearly as a manager. My job was not to ever say that things might change in the future. This is absolutely This is the way it is now, I slightly but I’m going to be trying to be an idiot in three months. It’s really scary, but I think it’s hard for people to be able to feel that they are going to may be seen as weak or that they don’t know what they’re doing. And that’s a that’s a challenge. And the last one then is from my man at Twitter, Bruce Desai.

So I dog fooding using oriental I like to use share strategies every day just because it bumps up the numbers on Google Analytics

and I like to get that small boost today. Yes, I want to link to the site. Oh, it’s me,


quite often.

Brace days is quite as the first one that comes up and it says you’ve done enough for today. And I always think, yeah, it’s nine o’clock in the morning. Okay, I have another coffee.

Oh, wasn’t that interesting? That’s a there’s a lot of parallels there with the kind of idea that what is work and how do you do your next thing, how to create your next idea? How do you move something along? We talked about this before about how sometimes we feel that are we actually I think somewhere along lines of if you’re not people can get caught hung up about the fact that you are not you’re wasting time. But actually what you’re trying to do is this hone the thing you’re trying to do so you do it well, rather than just just plow on with the same failing strategy or the same inadequate way of doing things now there’s all sorts of taken by the fact that you know on this website you could you could lose a lot of time just clicking through and reading all this stuff because the fact that he’s kind of create curated all these interviews

Resting mindsets for is this it’s a lovely piece of work. Yes I am. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I use it every chapter so it’s good to see him every so often. It’s also reminded me that when you saying that there’s a book that I started reading called collaborative intelligence, which is by a lady called Dorner makeover. And it talks about how there are kind of three states of thinking that we have. There’s the focused, you know, with, actually really in, in flow, kind of a very focused attention, which is, I think, what actually everybody thinks is what they should be doing at work all the time, which is

complete nonsense. There’s then sorting, which is the point at which you are trying to make sense of staff and you are aware of what you’re doing, but often feel very confused by things. And that’s the point at which most people find most of their time and then there’s kind of

daydreaming enough not really thinking about stuff and actually where the connections between ideas often comes in that latter stage and that’s really frowned upon at work you can’t be sat there looking like you’re daydreaming because you’re supposed to be you know hard at it and I think there’s something about actually challenging our preconceptions about what work is and the value that we associate with Caspar talked about it before I took over talk about it again it all comes back to this Protestant work ethic nonsense I think which is I think so deeply ingrained in

tourney British work culture about the idea that works should be hard and unenjoyable and an effort and toil and that somehow if you’re not really, you know, if you’re distracted and just thinking about other things, which might be where the most productive idea will come from, from a day that’s not work. You know, buckle up, buckle down, get on with it. Do some hard stuff. I still isn’t that part of part of working in this in this

All this you an idea is external contractors, consultants, whatever you want to call us is you can’t have any do get pod paid for the buckling down it’s very hard to persuade somebody that page for you to sit down and think about something for a day

as opposed as two ways I think I think about that. The first is I find what that is, is, you know, buckling down to be able to get the space to be and do the other stuff. So there’s lots of little experiments I’ve got on the go and what happened if we do this? And so things like the CXO priorities or doing this podcast or

I’ve got this data jazz thing that I’m trying to do something around that analogy often that then becomes can I find somebody who will commission have the have the foresight, all the other budget to be able to just go Okay, let’s just play around with that a bit. But I think the other side of it is actually if you are doing work that is

not just you know, a defined amount of time to be able to do certain amount

interactivity like bricklaying? I do wonder actually. Yeah. extensively there’s this idea that you’re being paid to nail down but actually the reality is that you’re being paid as some sort of proxy for the the output that you’re trying to deliver nobody’s really got their heads around being able to pay for output no matter how many people and how many organizations talk about you know we are paying for buying outputs not effort the reality is everybody then ends up costing out on a day right but it isn’t how it works anyway if you’re doing intellectual based work isn’t a X amount of output comes from X amount of effort in this order. Farage, yeah, it’s just quite hard to get people to pay for scratching your nuts and thinking about you know, how the world would be slightly better if we did this that the different way and not you know, not in some sort of esoteric way, but even even task focused

but but you’re right that’s that’s

The problem in this much as when you if you are full time employed you will spend time doing that and you’ll and you’ll you kind of it you can do that whilst you’re doing other things you can do that was your maybe on the way to a meeting or do that on the word whilst you’re being you’re you’re working on a on a different on particular projects you build it into your time so it doesn’t it’s not a kind of set aside time it’s it’s unlikely to be a you know this is your thinking morning

where is that often in

when you’re when you’re on a short term piece of work that often isn’t there in the same way yeah

Fiji Cody Cody and garden and things inside when you’ve got work to do you can’t go to those things but actually going to those things is quite important if you’re if you’re in a in a in a role yeah not not gotten obviously but some of those

days dive Aaron if we’re if we’ve got you in her audience who might not have any more


you’re working say

I think yeah I mean it’s interesting I think I’ve actually found it easier to do it now because I’ve become my own boss and so I don’t

I don’t have the Qualcomm now about being able to take time to be able to do that I’m not doing it when I’m paid necessarily sometimes I am but for the most part it’s it’s it’s passive the amount of time that allocate around keep him you know work coming in and that comes from going to be great and I mean to me when I do those things I am being paid by my my own self, you know, I’m paying myself to do those things. And those things are they’ve got they’ve got to be fulfilling in some way they’ve got they’ve got to be building my knowledge base, they’re going to be given me another another another way of looking at things so hopefully I’ll be more valuable to the next person that doesn’t actually pay for my time. So yeah, you have to you have to think in those terms.

But as I guess I see this from the point of view of because I do so

Work with a recruiter and I see the kind of

the contractor so not maybe not the people at your eye

on not as not as exalted beings but maybe when people are employing contract all sorts of contract people that they’re doing it in order to fulfill a role and needed a certain time and and they’re almost thinking and that’s brilliant because I’m going to pay them to go and funny about like a permanent employee wouldn’t I’m going to worry about the building the

building their hinterland, I’m just getting this this skilled person I’m going to play I’m going to play the all over the odds for in my kind of terrible mean kind of why but they’re going to be able to do all this stuff and then and then when I finished going to go away, and it’s expected that that’s what you do. Yeah. And actually how people like that are able to actually develop their skills is always a question I think, because happen you can do that for a while. But if you’re just doing the same job again and again and again, especially with technology based things

You’re going to struggle to keep up to date with actually what’s really happening and it’s one of the challenges I think of that sort of employing the model but anyway if you want to go and have a look at Simon’s a wonderful work it’s at shift dot formation london.com was taken out and had what is something that isn’t it will stick a link on the website web 40 podcast.com

Have a look it’s it’s it’s lovely. So there we go. Thanks Simon for making time to chat

so there we have it another episode of this journey into sound and interview thank you very much to Simon for joining us

week ahead in shape Western well that’s a very interesting question. I have got a day with customer tomorrow. I have what was it was a week I’ve got

I’ve got some meetings with a few different people. So prospective new work and in this in the meantime, I’m also going to be continuing with a another project that I’m working on. So yeah, it’s pretty it’s pretty busy,

quite enjoyable release quite, it’s quite a nice run into to Christmas coming up. I think nobody saw I was just checking my diary. And so I’ve got some presentations to write because I’m doing a presentation to presentations and event two weeks time. So I bet I’m

going to jump to food web form. That’s that’s what we haven’t talked about, wasn’t it? Yes, web 40 podcast, but we’re going to be doing a book to be able to celebrate 100 episodes of web 40. This one is Episode 85. You can do the math wouldn’t be 15 minutes because will probably take a bit of time off over Christmas.

And I think we’ve got about 14 people now signed up to be able to contribute a chapter which is very exciting

and we can

be talking within that book various angles on the theme of how is technology changing how we work? And we’ve got a really interesting bunch of people who have committed to doing something which is very good of them.

And I’ve started writing my chapter and you’ve started writing your chapter. No, I haven’t. I haven’t even done a subject yet.

I was hoping to get some inspiration from what everybody else is thinking about picking something that wasn’t that

just because I’m talented sort of fellow and I could write pretty much anything you like. It might not be very readable, but I’ll be here I’ll do my best so No, I haven’t. And that’s one of the things I need to think about this week is to get that underway because it would be great Wouldn’t it if we could get get a majority of it in before Christmas because that would give us a fighting chance

chance of getting it edited into some sort of shape and and getting it onto the the

inevitable and

As an self publishing platform in that time, I my recollection, having looked at this before is that that isn’t an enormous effort in terms of the last bit, but getting into shape and editing and making sure that everybody’s happy and that we haven’t lived board. Anybody this properly important. Yes. It’d be nice to have a printable version of it as well. I think because I think books printed really covered and we need some sort of artistic

artistic license to create cover Lord

anyway, if you’re interested in taking part we’re still but I mean, it’s the wonderful thing about modern publishing is that you know, it’s flexible.

So if you’re interested in contributing a chapter do let us know you can get in touch with us on Twitter at Wb 40 podcast. With that I think it’s time to say a deer and look forward to speaking to you next week.

Well thank you for listening tools yet again thank you to Simon for the interview. And you can catch us as always on the web 40 podcast.com

wp 40 podcast on Twitter and on Stitcher, iTunes and now on Spotify.

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