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Tessy is embarking on a trip around the UK holding Travelling Pantry workshops helping local community groups to think through what they’re doing and expose them to the sort of thinking, but more importantly *doing* that Hand Made is chock-full of.
My initial reaction to this (so far self-funded) marathon was “it’s like #tuttle2texas only with less cash and more hard work!” It also reminded me that when I got back from the US I was thinking a lot about the sorts of roles that we as individuals in a group had played as we made our way cross-country. So I share these as ideas primarily for those of us supporting Tessy but also for anyone else doing this sort of work.
They’re not in any particular order here. No one person did all of these throughout, they can be passed from person to person and sometimes more than one person needed to take the role on at a time. Also the names don’t matter, I’m not aiming to create anything special or precious here, just trying to explore the ideas.
Planner – someone to hold onto the structure and make practical arrangements, however little structure there is. Someone might have to pick this up when everyone else is going overboard on being visionary.
Visionary – someone to hold on and remind the group of what this is all about, what the higher purpose is that we’re pursuing.
Recorder – someone to document all the gorgeous things that happpen. Yes, ideally this should be everyone involved and maybe as a compulsive documenter I overplay its importance but since this can be as simple as a posterous blog that everyone e-mails to it should be the easy bit.
Tech Guru – someone who feels comfortable with finding the wifi and piping social media content through to various places. This includes being the human interface for people who you come into contact with. If you want civilians to input into your documentation, someone will have to explain it.
Uncertainty Holder – someone needs occasionally to be the person who says “No, we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but it’s going to be fine. Really.”
Good Parent – makes sure you drink enough water, have meals at fairly regular times, get some rest, stop working, play a bit and have a laugh, help you to remember the important things in life, nag you to do the things for yourself that make you feel cared for.
Treasurer – similar to the planner, this isn’t a budget holder, or financial director, but it’s someone who deals with money issues when everyone else is getting flaky.
Shaker-upper – someone to help zhuzh things up when they’re getting boring and samey or the group is all thinking the same (in a way that is not productive)
Scout – sometimes you need one of the group to go off ahead (even if only mentally) to see what’s coming up next and what unplanned activities you might be able to do. While everyone else is immersed in what exciting things you’re doing now, perhaps someone can be finding out what’s fun in the next town.
Writing about these reveals something about my approach to group dynamics. These roles are often about thinking differently from the rest of the group, stepping out and pulling people in a different direction – zapping things when they’re getting too dull, slowing things down when they’re getting too manic. Zigging when everyone else is zagging – that’s me…
So in all this talk about what I’ve done and why that means I’m worth supporting right now and going forwards, it’s easy to lose sight of what it is that I’m doing and want to do next. After all, I’m asking for micropatronage in order to keep working, not so that you can reward me in retrospect.
I am midway through my residency at Centre for Creative Collaboration. I’m Social Artist there and I’m starting (after 7 months…) to understand what that might mean and how I can live it best and start to generate revenue through it for myself and for the Centre. I still enjoy facilitating #tuttle on Friday mornings as part of this.
I’m hoping that I will be presenting a panel at SXSWi next March looking back at the trip some of us did this year under the banner of #tuttle2texas. In any case I am intending to do a similar trip, possibly reversing direction and starting on the West coast of the US. I’m exploring how to turn this into a sustainable way of working to explore any theme, idea or geographical space.
I enjoy performing and working as a musician and singer. While I’ve only sung and accompanied myself for a number of years, I’ve just started playing with a band. I love being part of an ensemble after playing alone for so long although it’s challenging (I don’t get to choose the keys for example!)
I’m enjoying making things for sale out of stuff that I’ve done. The first example of this is my postcards. I want to do more with writing, photography and other drawing that I’ve already created. Not only do I enjoy the initial creative work, but I enjoy the process of turning them into product and taking them to market. This should not be surprising. Markets are, after all, conversations.
And now I remember that this is supposed to be the content of my newsletter. So I leave this post as a tease and suggest you sign up for the list if you want to know more about any of these. First one next week. Promise!
I had a short conversation with Oli Barrett on Monday about the Centre for Creative Collaboration and we came up with an idea that Oli called Outdesking. I just thought I’d outline my notes on it here to get some feedback while working it up as a commercial offer.
As they say, pull something out of the hat and see if it hops…
“Outdesking” is like hotdesking but on the outside of an organisation and with an added element of personal development.
What is it?
Take a desk for a day in one of London’s most innovative creative spaces, working alongside its resident “Social Artist”.
Your day will combine some coaching and learning about the use of the social web with exposure to a different work environment and introductions to interesting & creative people.
Who’s it for?
For anyone who needs to:
- incorporate creativity into their work;
- learn how to collaborate more effectively; or
- broaden their network of potential collaborators to new influences.
Also for people who need a blast of inspiration to shake up well-established working patterns or those who need a gentle nudge and encouragement to start making the most of social technologies in their work.
An alternative angle might be to pitch it at companies to pay for people who are taking a redundancy package and could do with some help adjusting to life outside an organisation.
Visitors spend the day (or a number of days) with Lloyd Davis, working at the Centre, exploring their particular needs and developing potential practical strategies to achieve their goals. Part of the day will include shadowing Lloyd in whatever he’s doing and being introduced to some of the creative collaborative projects that are housed in the Centre. However, it’s not entirely a day away from work, part of the experience is an introduction to working in a third-space, not the office, not at home – so visitors should bring some work to get on with too.
When can we do it?
Visitors can be accommodated any weekday except Friday given enough notice. Get in touch to discuss your needs whether you’re interested in a one-off day, once-a-week or once-a-month options
Questions as ever:
Does it hop?
Where does it need more beef?
To whom would you prioritise marketing & sales activity?
How many shekels would you expect to exchange for a day of such riches?
Does the name work?
“You wouldn’t steal a car, you wouldn’t steal a baby” I spotted this while flicking through @kamintone‘s bound collection of The Melody Maker (Syncopation and Dance Band News) from 1931.
Note it talks about “Unlawful importation” as well as performance – looks like even possession of copyrighted American arrangements would get you in trouble.
I just wanted to let you know how things are going since the last update – many, many lovely people have been in touch and are keeping in touch. I’ve had more calls and messages of support than I could have wished for.
In terms of micropatrons I’ve received £460 in one-off donations and now have £80 in monthly contributions. Everyone ticked the no-publicity box so I won’t go into details. Thanks too to those who’ve bought me lunch
This meant I was able both to get to Daren’s #openhouse on Friday night and to go down to Bude for a few days of excellent New Orleans Jazz. I got plenty of sunshine, did some busking in the mornings which lifted my spirits and more than paid for the campsite charges.
Steph Gray sat down with me on Friday and we worked out a plan for tuttleclub.org to give me some thinking space about community projects. We also are looking at a better web presence for Tuttle Consulting.
Still open to offers on practical stuff and interesting things we might do together. You know where I am. I don’t believe one can say thank you too much. So, y’know, thanks again.