Saturday, 8 June 2013

First week of June: #leweb & #simplyTV

Here I am, full of happiness, at the end of another special week at simply-communicate.

Within this post I wish to write about #leweb conference held in London on 5th-6th June as well as yesterday's #simplyTV show!

For the ones who might not have heard about #leweb before, it is the Europe's leading internet conference on innovation and entrepreneurship. The theme of this year was the 'Sharing Economy', a fascinating topic indeed! The digital age we have been living in is bringing us new ways of communicating, thinking, behaving, experiencing our lives, selves and relationships, building on-line and off-line communities. Yes, disruptive are our times, as many define them. Yet, so fascinating and full of opportunities for the ones who are able and willing to respond to them. I feel drawn by an irresistible energy and attraction towards understanding this 'disruption'. Shall we fear it? No, we shouldn't. #leweb gave me the confirmation of this one more time. We should open ourselves to the greatest potential these forces are offering us and make the most positive moves ahead to a brighter future.

I followed the conference twitting from @simplycomm and also had the wonderful opportunity to attend some presentations directly from the event.

I was delighted to listen to the talks by Leah Busque, CEO of @TaskRabbit. I had heard about her innovative company months ago and found the concept behind her business very powerful. @TaskRabbit was presented at #leweb as "A vision for revolutionising the way people work led Leah Busque to pioneer the concept of 'service networking'. The company's website explains the way it works: "An online and mobile marketplace that connects neighbors to get things done. We connect busy people who need a little extra time with entrepreneurial people who need a little extra money. It's an elegant, singular solution to two big problems."
The company was set up in 2008 and since then it has seen many changes and grown heavily. During the conference Leah Busque was describing how the business - initially born by giving people the opportunity to perform little tasks on an occasional basis - has led many of them to fight unemployment as well as leverage a total new set of skills. Indeed, fascinating.
For someone with a strong passion for internal communications certainly there is quite a lot to think about these new ways of living and experiencing work. What does this mean for internal communication and workplace relationships? Let's see what the networking age brings us.

Another very interesting presentation at #leweb was the one given by Robert Scoble from @Rackspace during a panel discussion on stage. He shown and entertained the audience on the key features of Google Glass as well as discussed some of its impacts and implications on our lives. As an article via Guardian reports, there was a particular debate around:Does Glass make people more or less human? "It makes me more social," said Scoble. "If I hear my phone buzz, I have to pull it out and look at it, and then I'm totally distracted... It's 'look at it, turn it off' [with Glass]...it's the most controversial new product of my lifetime".
In fact, we are talking about new ways of experiencing and thinking space, time and relationships. After his talk I had the chance to meet Robert Scoble outside the stage and test a pair of Google Glass. By using voice commands people can tweet, watch the weather forecast, film video, read news, search for information, make bookings, get direction with google maps, take and share pictures, just to name a few of the things allowed by the new technology. Once again, fascinating!

Now, getting back to our beloved internal communications the questions we may want to ask ourselves are: “What's the potential for businesses if they bring these new types of technologies inside their organisations? How do the dynamics of work, relationships with colleagues, communications and innovation develop?”

At simply-communicate, we discussed this during the #simplyTV show run yesterday, on Friday 7th June. In particular, journalist and senior consultant Silvia Cambie - who was at #leweb - interviewed communicator and blogger Neville Hobson who joined us remotely directly from the conference. The interview touched many essential points on the impact of digital communications within the workplace, key trends and what to expect in future. These conversations generated many tweets from the audience!

Following these insightful discussions, the show featured other interesting guests talking about internal communications. Publisher Marc Wright interviewed:
  • Sean Trainor from Uber Engagement on managing change programmes and employee engagement (if you wished to know more about the topic, here is an article just published on the simply-communicate magazine);
  • Jenny Devenport from Kingston University on their Master Degrees for internal communicators who wish to combine studies with work, as well as academic with practical learning (again, an article has just been released on the simply-communicate magazine);
  • The IC Crowd and Benjamin Ellis on their #thebigyak conference (actually un-conference) that they are organising for many internal communications professionals on 22nd June in London.

During the show, I also had the great pleasure to interview Professor Christian Stadler from Warwick Business School, who joined us to discussed his recent study on leadership styles ('Why good leaders don't need charisma'). He presented his insights on 'Intelligent Conservatism', a successful leadership approach that leverages the power of listening and engaging employees into decision-making processes. I had been in contact with Prof. Stadler since two months ago for writing an article on his research, which if you were interested is published on the simply-communicate magazine.

Indeed, this week at simply-communicate has been another one full of inspiring experiences, delightful people and a big bag full of learning resources! Looking forward to the new amasing internal communications, internal social media and employee engagement things that the rest of June will bring!