Category Archives: Organizational change

Break out of the loop of insecurity by experiencing a safe space

Paul Hagan presenting at DareConf 2013

“I don’t know why I bother. You guys just don’t get it.”

I never said it to their faces, but I might as well have done. I was a web developer for a small design agency who did print work: annual reports, campaigns, branding. They made good money by competing on price for design and marking up production, where clients didn’t notice it. Now they wanted to sell web design in the same way, and the internet was undermining their business model.

They never seemed to listen to me enough. I thought they were dinosaurs. Why couldn’t they see the right way to do things? Why were they always promising the world in pitches? And why did they keep telling me my “communication style” was a problem? (That seemed like an excuse to reject my obviously superior ideas.)

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To change anything you need self-compassion (what we learned at #dareconf)

Jonathan Kahn Opening the Dare Conference

It’s a month since I organised the first Dare Conference about people skills for digital workers (videos, photos, write-ups). As I tweeted at the time, I’ve never made anything I’m as proud of. Although I lost a large amount of money on the event (backstory), most of our choices paid off:

  • People were moved by the talks, saying they’d never seen this level of honesty on stage.
  • People said they’d never felt this comfortable at a conference nor met so many people they want to stay in touch with.
  • Online we had several thousand livestream views and 75k photo views.
  • Some people said #dareconf changed their lives.

Continue reading To change anything you need self-compassion (what we learned at #dareconf)

Watch Dare Conference videos and donate for next year

It’s a week after Dare Conference, and I’m still feeling overwhelmed. Three days, 28 speakers, 100 attendees, 8 countries. The strap line is, “people skills for digital workers.” We talked about change, culture, courage, vulnerability, failure, compassion, success… and people were honest in a way I’ve never seen before. #dareconf changed people:

And it can change you too. We’re posting video of the entire event—main stage talks in HD video, breakout stage talks as audio and slides—and we’re asking you to donate £20 to recoup costs so we can return next year. (So far we’ve posted 5 talks from day 1, over 3 hours of content. More soon.)

You can help us make this community sustainable by spreading the word: blog about it, email your friends and colleagues, share the link on social media. And let me know how you respond to the videos. Thank you.

Livia Labate podcast interview: building a design practice in organizations

Livia Labate

In Episode 21 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Livia Labate about building a design practice in organizations.

Follow Livia on twitter @livlab.

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Dave Gray podcast interview: change, complexity and culture

Dave Gray

In Episode 19 of the Together London Podcast, I talk to Dave Gray about change, complexity, and culture.

Check out Dave’s website, his upcoming Dare Conference keynote, and follow him on twitter @davegray.

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Get the outcomes you want by building your people skills

Dare Conference: People skills for digital workers

As I stumbled towards progress with the Dare Conference (just five weeks to go!), I asked many friends for feedback, which was both uncomfortable and rewarding. The feedback that I found most difficult to take—versions of, “here’s what isn’t working”—was the most helpful for figuring out what to do next. After I’d tried several convoluted revisions, Rachel McAlpine suggested the strap line, “people skills for digital workers,” which captures the spirit of the event perfectly. We’re now in a better place to convince people to come–I’m looking at you–by explaining how developing people skills will help us get better outcomes. Here’s what I learned from the process, including answers to common questions. Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback: you rock.

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