Designing a better field trip

So the Social Art Field Trip idea has been very well received. Everybody I’ve spoken to thinks it’s a great idea: “love the concept”, “sounds really cool” etc. Thank you!

However, despite the outpouring of encouragement and support, nobody’s actually booked a place yet. So the first one, planned for tomorrow, isn’t going ahead. I’d like to work out what I need to do differently to get the “cool concept” really working – the positive side of this is that I get to ask and find out what works rather than it just “working” and me not learning anything about why :)

So here are the variables I can think of that we can tweak to make it more appealing or practical:

Timing: They are 10-4 on Thursdays. Is there a better time of day? Is there a better day? This is always the obvious thing with events “Oh I’d have loved to have come but Xday is my day for doing Y, sorry” “If you did it on Zday I could come” but it can send you round in circles trying to please everyone. I still have people telling me that Tuttle would be “much more successful” if we didn’t do it on Friday mornings when they can’t come. So think about this as “If I were to be doing it every day, which day would you like to come” and “Should it start earlier or later?”

Length: is 6 hours too long? or not long enough?

Content: Do I need to specify more clearly what we’re going to do or was it too vague? I’m assuming from the positive feedback that the content is OK but thought I’d check. Is there anything I can do to make it more appealing?

Sales & Marketing: I blogged about it 3 weeks before the first one, tweeted several times (I have about 3k followers) and sent out invitations by e-mail and twitter DM to around 200 people (mostly asking that they pass it on or suggest it to other people). I also posted it on chinwag.com, done my usual thing of talking about it wherever I go and announcing it at Tuttle. Is this just way too little? Do I need to allow myself to be more spammy?

I made the assumption that most people in my immediate network, those who already understand something of my work would not be the market for this. Is that right? My approach then was to ask those people to put it in front of people that they thought would be interested or find it useful. Is there an obvious flaw in this? How could I have done it more effectively?

Price: is £75+VAT for a day too much… or too little?

Something else: Umm… I dunno, is there something in my blind spot? Something obvious to everyone else but not visible to me because of where I’m sitting?

All thoughts very welcome (preferably publicly here in the comments so we can all learn, but by e-mail if you want to be private)

What do we need managers to do better?

IMG_9266I spoke at Social Media for Business ’10 the other week and in the panel session afterwards we were asked what we thought social media in the enterprise meant for leadership and management. Big question. I flannelled off some stuff about leadership through service, that the leader needs to encourage and facilitate what’s already going on rather than decide what needs to happen and then make others do it.

(Oh man, I wish I could take my own advice sometimes…)

It ties in with some of the work that’s been stuck up on the wall at #c4cc for a while – a bunch of statements of value that Frankie noted down when I was speaking about Tuttle2Texas at TEDxTuttle. They summarise the value an organisation might get from interacting with “us” whoever we are – tuttle, tuttle consulting, me & Brian & Heather, just me? That’s all for another post.

But when I’d finished writing them out it seemed to me that there was something else to it. These things are only valuable if you have a particular mindset about the people you work with. So I wrote the following things on the end, intended to summarise our assumptions about the sorts of organisations we can deliver value to. If someone is going to buy from “us” they probably will share these assumptions – that managers or leaders need to:

  • be more comfortable with their own creativity;
  • let go of the myth of control;
  • work more effectively in groups;
  • report on what they’re doing in an engaging way;
  • be more responsive to changes in a market or organisational environment;
  • lead people in audacious acts of innovation;
  • better understand the cultural implications of what they do.

so, each of those probably needs a blog post of their own but I think that if you’re looking for ways to get the people around you to do some of the things on this list and you’re struggling then you should come and have a chat about how we can help.