How I stumbled towards progress with Dare Conference

Dare Conference logo

I’ve organized web community events for three years. I started in a Shoreditch basement with “Content Strategy, Manhattan Style” in 2010 (video), organized Content Strategy Forum London in 2011 with Destry Wion and Randall Snare, started London Content Strategy Meetup with Richard Ingram (over 1300 members and 18 events so far), and together with Brain Traffic brought the US content strategy conference Confab to London in March 2013.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of people about their work and why they come to events. I’ve learned that while almost everyone gets something from community events, the people who benefit most are ready for change when they show up.

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Separate the work from the person.

GDS retrospective directive

GDS retrospective directive via Sarah Richards.

When people ask me for case studies we can learn from, I tell them about the Government Digital Service (GDS), the people behind the UK government’s single website, GOV.UK. As Tim O’Reilly put it, “there isn’t a single organization on the planet who wouldn’t benefit from studying their work”. They have an agile, cross-discipline approach, they share what they learn (and what they screw up), and their mission is to build digital services by transforming government to be “digital by default”. The people I know at GDS are generous with their time, always happy to sit down over coffee or participate in a community event. They’re leading the way by doing awesome work.

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Ben Sauer podcast interview: communicating with compassion

Ben Sauer

In Episode 15 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Ben Sauer about speaking honestly, communicating with compassion, and being yourself at work.

Check out Ben’s website, his upcoming Dare Conference talkand follow him on twitter @bensauer.

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Nishant Kothary podcast interview: using soft skills to make things happen

Nishant Kothary

In Episode 14 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Nishant Kothary
about using soft skills to make things happen, how our brains deceive us,
and why understanding other people is crucial for our success.

Check out Nishant’s website, his upcoming Dare Conference talk,
and follow him on twitter @rainypixels.

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Stop fixing. Start making things together. (video & transcript)

Stop fixing. Start making things together. from Together London on Vimeo.

Video transcript

As digital people we fix things. We like to go in and help by fixing the problem and making it go away. This is really holding us back, I think. Because so many of the problems that we face today can’t be fixed by you or I fixing some copy, or writing some code, or changing the design. Actually, the problems that companies are facing are cultural.
And so, to actually help instead of just fixing, we need to start making stuff with people. And that is risky because we have to let go of our expertise and our control, and say, “I am OK with just trying this out and making something together with you, and realizing that it might fail.”

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Kevin Hoffman podcast interview: facilitating design & growing through crisis

Kevin Hoffman

In Episode 13 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Kevin Hoffman about how to fix meetings, facilitating great design, and growing through crisis.

Check out Kevin’s website, his upcoming Dare Conference talk,
and follow him on twitter @kevinmhoffman.

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Sophie Dennis podcast interview: redefining success by writing your own rules

Sophie Dennis

In Episode 12 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Sophie Dennis about redefining success by writing your own rules, the problem with waterfall, and setting up a local web community.

Check out Sophie’s website, her upcoming Dare Conference talk,
and follow her on twitter @sophiedennis.

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