I drove up to Birmingham on a very wet Friday night with the feeling I usually have before an unconference – a mix of pleasant anticipation and mild resentment for giving up my weekend.  As ever I left feeling stimulated, challenged and warmed by the people I spent Saturday with.  Thank you all – and especial thanks to @siwhitehouse and @davebriggs for all the work on organising it. I have already written up the session on identity here and will also write up the agile session when I have time – this post is really some more general observations…so here we go…

  • We need to be mindful that we need to make these events work for both the first timers and for the people who have attended many.  I don’t think this is difficult – but perhaps a bit more prep / continuity from those of us that attend frequently would give us the sense of building something bigger rather than having the same, albeit valuable, conversations again and again
  • There is something to be said for reaffirming your energy and engaging with other innovators -but we also need to take responsibility for building the evidence base for our beliefs collectively if we are going to be anything other than positively disruptive outsiders
  • So much comes down to culture change within organisations – which is where I am trying to focus my efforts now.  Thankfully we seem to have moved past the ‘tools are cool’ stage to talk about real change.
In addition to the two sessions I ran I also went to a few others. Hopefully someone else will write up the session on innovation games – and hopefully they will focus on the ideas around gamification that we talked about rather than the slightly duller stuff around games as facilitation tools. Also hope they focus on some of the co-productive opportunities here.
@TomSprints session on Yammer was good – and also pointed me back to think about culture change and I enjoyed digging more deeply into a subject – hopefully he will write up some thoughts on this.
The other session I went to was on emergency communications which after a slow start was interesting. Best summary of the main learning from this was from @Nickkeane with the advice to ‘practice in peacetime not in war’ and make sure that you have a trusted online presence BEFORE a crisis. I was also appalled to hear how few organisations seem to have social media in their emergency plan – sort that out people.
Thanks all for your thoughts and ideas – when can we do it again?
PS  I have no idea what has happened on the font in the second half of this post as there is nothing in the HTML to explain it – oh well