Category Archives: What I’m doing

On Renewal(s)

C4CC index cards

This post is intended as a starting point for online collaboration – let it be a launchpad for something you make yourself.

I think the first time I heard the word renewal it was in relation to library books. If you wanted to keep a book longer than the standard amount of time, past the date due that was stamped on a sheet inside the front cover, you needed to ask for that date to be extended and this was called ‘renewing’ or ‘a renewal’ otherwise, if you kept the book too long you’d be fined. You’d have to pay money to the library as a punishment for withholding the book from other borrowers.

However if you renewed it, the librarian could check that no-one else desperately needed that book right now and give you a further borrowing period. It was the loan then that was renewed. It was re-new-ed, made new again. The book was the same book, I was the same small child, but there was a new date to remember in the front of the book, the date that must not be forgotten or ignored or else it will cost you pennies.

Library tickets in my town were brown for children and white for adults. You could take and borrow as many books as you had tickets, because you had to hand them in when you had chosen your books and had them stamped.

A new set of books for the week was so exciting. I was renewed. My collection was renewed. My imagination was renewed.

Thanks Libraries and Librarians.

You might make something that fits together with what I have here or it might stand alone. You might make something in another form or medium – a poem, a picture, a movie, a song.

Take the picture, take the words and augment them, allowing them to augment you.

You can join in wherever works best for you – I’m publishing this on my blog, on the Tuttle Moonthly publication on Medium and on Steemit. I will endeavour to pull strands together and play them back in each of these places.

Come collaborate with me at @WorkHubs

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From this Monday, I’m going to be hanging out (as full-time as I ever do such a thing) and working in the Euston co-working space atworkhubs with the lovely Philip Dodson and Bernie Mitchell.

I’ve been to a couple of Blog Clubs on Wednesday morning and there’s also a Write Club on Thursday mornings (short planning session, get into writing for an hour and a half, quick group review). And I think Art Club too but I can’t find a link for that!

It’s a nice convenient space, right next to Euston and Euston Square stations with just the right balance of people – not too mad noisy, not too dead quiet.

They have an affordable and flexible range of membership options including day passes so if you’re looking for somewhere straight off the train at Euston, it’s a real goody.

Anyway I’ll be there and it would be good to see you too.  Ping me if you’re nearby and up for a coffee or something.

At the moment, I’m expecting to see some 1:1 clients there; run some workshops; hold some evening or breakfast events etc., but I’m open to suggestions, let me know if there’s something you think I should be using the space for.

Pale, Male and Stale

Oh dear!

It’s hard isn’t it?

You’re stuck. Nothing seems to work any more. All the things you’ve been working for seem pointless. The successes you’ve achieved haven’t given you the security you craved. You’re worried that you put your ladder up against the wrong wall. Maybe it’s too late. What’s happening? Why can’t you get anything done any more? What really matters? Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe if you go somewhere else, get a new job, start fresh! But how?

I can help. I’ve thought all of these things. I’ve felt all of the feelings that go with them. I have recovered a sense of purpose and achievement.  I haven’t completely overcome all of it, but I’m a long way down the road – I get up in the morning and most days and get useful stuff done, most evenings I’m pleased with what I’ve got done. While the outsides might not look that different, I have inner peace. You can too.

I’m opening up some of my time to helping people on a one-to-one basis. Call it coaching or mentoring or guidance if you like (especially if it helps someone else pay for my time!) –  I prefer to avoid terms that might keep you from working on what’s wrong: you might not need a coach or a mentor or guidance but you might still need some help.

We can work face-to-face if you’re in London, but Skype and phonecalls do just as well (sometimes even better).

Let’s have a 30-minute chat to start (for the price of a coffee) and see whether there’s scope to work together.  You can message me in total confidence via any of the usual channels.

PS the title of this post is not meant to exclude anyone who doesn’t identify as pale or male. It’s the staleness that really needs to be dealt with.

“Why can’t you just… be a better person?”

This was an old joke between my first wife and me, when a discussion or argument that had reached the point where one person wanted to shout “Why can’t you just do what I’m telling you to do?” – the other would pull out this line and defuse the situation (obviously not foolproof as you may infer from my use of the phrase ‘first wife’).

But it’s a good question, why can’t you just be a better person? Why is personal growth so hard?

Why do we have to grow at all? Can’t we just carry on where we are? Well, no it appears not. Even the most stagnant relationships and work situations don’t last forever. We end up having to change in one way or another and we can either do it consciously or unconsciously. No scrap that, it’s not either/or, it’s a matter of degree of consciousness – my experience has been that for every epiphany as a result of conscious work on myself there are a hundred little growth spurts that I don’t recognise as such until much later on.

So what is this conscious work? It’s a kind of growing up, it’s a way of building good character, it’s dealing with the unconscious triggers that result in disturbance (/me being a dick). Most spiritual traditions and teachers have a way of doing this and for me it boils down to a few steps:

    • Admit that the disturbance is in me. Not that the outside world is perfect and I’m wrong, but that the thing causing me the most pain is not outside of me, it’s within.
    • Accepting the thing I’m doing is part of me and likely has been around for a while (ie it’s not just a product of this situation). This is tough. Who wants to admit that they’re habitually self-centred, self-righteous or dishonest?
    • Remembering that just because it’s a (perhaps quite old) habit doesn’t mean that it’s the ultimate truth about me. I am fundamentally honest and I’m mostly capable of enacting that but there are times, when I feel under pressure, that I say things that aren’t true.
    • Forgiving myself for doing it one more time and forgiving those that I’d associated with my disturbance.
    • Doing something to express that forgiveness to anyone I’ve harmed through the disturbance – this requires a couple of careful steps, one is assessing who has been harmed (it might only be me!) and the other is how to do something about it without compounding the original harm.  Finding someone else who can help you see the right path through this bit is invaluable.
    • Get on with doing something helpful and useful for someone else.
    • Rinse and repeat as required.

I’m not done, by the way, I have no illusion of my own perfection, but it helps, it really does.

Help me reboot #tuttle

The most frequently asked question about #tuttle is: “Is it still going?”  To which the answer is “Yes, still Fridays, still 10am-noon, still no agenda, currently on Level 5 at RFH”

And.  We operate on a much smaller pool of people, which means the possibility of more intimate conversation (I’ve had some doozies!), but also the risk of stagnation that lack of diversity brings.

I am often reassured that “it’s not about you, Lloyd, it’s about me:  I have work to do; I don’t manage my time well enough; I’d love to come but it’s just too far if I haven’t anything else in town; I’m always thinking about coming, it’s just that…”

I’m also reminded regularly that people do still long for space to be themselves, where no-one tells them what to do and they can talk about what they want to talk about without an expected outcome/output/powerpoint/post-its on the wall.  A thing that’s not about the thing but about the relationships and potential for things to happen that builds over time.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but talking to Jon Hickman for his article on Social Capital has helped me remember what a good thing this can be and how I don’t believe the time for it has passed.  Stories about online social networks spying on us and manipulating our streams to study our emotional responses as well as the constant drip, drip of acquisitions that lead either to sunsetting or unscrupulous use of personal data – these are the things we’ve talked about and organised against in places like #tuttle but my experience of the current crop of events is that these conversations are still squeezed into the breaks and space after the main speaker rather than the focus of getting together in the first place.

So how can you help?

Firstly, you can just come along.  No need to register or submit your details anywhere, just turn up at the Royal Festival Hall sometime between 10 and noon and chat (and bring someone with you if you want).

Secondly you can  help me develop a sustainable model for me keeping this thing going and making it better over time.  The main issue has always been that while others have built working relationships and created opportunities, I’ve had a massive injection of Social Capital which is hard to pay the rent with.  I also don’t really want to take money from outside the community while understanding that some people in the community don’t have a lot of money to give.

I’m looking at Patreon as a micro-patronage platform for subscriptions toward developing and rebooting the event.  Some of you have kindly “micro-patronised” me before – the difference this time is that I’d want to tie levels of support to some pretty specific goals and to allow for much lower donations per person.  Patreon offers both these functions.

In connection with that, you can help me by suggesting what those goals might be.  So far I’ve got:

  • Working with new venue(s);
  • Creating an online presence more worthy of 2014 than 2007;
  • Reviving Tuttle Consulting;
  • Setting up a marketplace for #tuttlers to sell their wares;
  • Doing other themed events for the community.

But I need to know what else?  What did you always wish would happen either at  or between  #tuttles if only somebody could take the time to?

So let me know what you think about any of that: Yes? No? Yes. but do it another way? No, but have you ever thought of?

Thankyou!

No ukgc13 tomorrow? Let’s still do something #altUKGC13

So UK GovCamp 13 isn’t going to happen tomorrow.  It’s definitely a *postponement* rather than a cancellation: as well as people finding it difficult to travel from outside London and risking getting stranded till the weather subsides, it seems our venue hosts understandably didn’t want to take that risk for their staff either.

I spoke to Steph from behind his stacks of sponsored t-shirt boxes today and he’s basically just having to rearrange with IBM when we can use the space for sometime in February.

But I was looking forward to it.  And I know a lot of you were too.

James Cattell is doing great stuff trying to get online interaction going and he’s going to focus on that.  But the thing I was most looking forward to was not so much the content as the catching up with people in the gov/web world.  And as my hosting duties for the day were already sponsored, I’m up for helping make something happen in addition to the online shenanigans.

So I suggest the following for anyone who’s in or around London and can get into town easily enough:

James and I will be on Level 5 of the Royal Festival Hall (next door-ish) to the original venue from 10am (that’s when they open) tomorrow, Saturday 19th January.

You can let us know if you’re coming by signing up on this wewillgather page

Whoever turns up will be able to get involved in organising the rest of the day, we can have as many sessions as we can make happen, we might all sit behind laptops communing online, or we might have a day-long tuttle-like conversation that people drop in and out of. Whatever!

Keep an eye on the hashtag #altUKGC13 to see how it’s going, whether we’re still there.

There is delicious coffee and sugar-infused dough things available for purchase on Level 2 of RFH and there is free wifi available throughout (although finding power sockets can be trickier)

Naturally, please don’t make a special journey to see us if the powers that be have told you not to go out unless your journey is essential.

I invariably over simplify everything so do ask questions either in the comments here or of me directly on twitter @lloyddavis

See ya!