The trouble with busy

This week has been hectic balancing two very different jobs in the health service and trying to connect people across continents to deliver a project.  It’s great to hit the weekend and be able to get out in the open air, take stock  and centre myself on what matters.

Busy is the mantra of the 21st century – we have to say that we are busy all the time, that by our very busyness we gain importance.  I have a problem with busy!  As a word it is fine, but it has a cheeky little attitude – ‘look at me’ ‘pay attention to me’ a very demanding troll that needs constant feeding of ego.  I am trying to recognise when that little troll busy surfaces.  When it crawls out of the woodwork to go patiently to that angry, crying attention seeker busy and say ‘look it’s ok, we need to understand if others can help’ and ‘If any boundaries are being broken.’


To reach out across the void of busyness and through a transparent and honest dialogue with colleagues – share the work and how they can support.  This is not easy, but something we need to start doing if we want to encourage healthy boundaries and let people bring their authentic self to work.   Now more than ever we need to walk the walk and talk the talk equally.  This is essential in health and social care where work is a human business, people go the extra mile for others and the dial is set to constant change.

I am no expert, but suggest the following ideas which work for me:-

  • Reflect on a daily basis on how your work fits into the big picture.
  • Get back to nature by going on photo walks, exploring the unexpected and being creative.
  • Use a meditation app  like Simple Habits to take time out on the move.


Serendipity: A voyage of discovery


Exhibit One


I talk a lot about engineering serendipity in life and how a simple connection can lead to a wonderful opportunity for co-creation.  For some, the whole magic voodoo of the concept needs to be dissected, examined and stuck in viewing case.  As if by pinning out the wings of creativity and hiding serendipity behind glass resets the world to safe normality.

Serendipity is hard, it’s about the baby steps you take when you are unsure, challenging yourself to carry on the path you have started even when other people don’t get it and try to take you on another route.  Seth Godin  challenges us to step up, create good work and pick our own plan to success.  The power to do this is beating away inside you, sure it can be ignored, but do you really want to do that?

There are many  individuals who heard the siren call of serendipity, connect generously with others and are now doing the very thing that others said could not be done.  Check out these stories of social age leaders @johnstepper   @CelineSchill  BrandonStanton  @ayeletbaron for inspiration.


The #Socialagesafari led by captain JulianStodd is a way of connecting the dots  engineering serendipity by holding the space, using seafaring rituals, tokens, and storytelling whilst engaging with the community in the room and virtually.  Jonathan Anthony sums up the creative environment of the event through his blog post


The social age is not about using tech for tech sake, but integrating the tools at our disposal to build knowledge as a wider community.  My crewmates on the safari have already started to build the knowledge and sparked provocations to seek, sense and share their learning virtually.  Harold Jache is a useful reference point on the ships compass for aspiring personal knowledge mastery.

The safari has been a voyage of discovery, via the sea of serendipity.  I aim to explore through a series of blog posts my learning and share resources from the community that connected with purpose over the last three days.  The first learning point from the event is we are all makers and have a story to share.

Here is the first co-created story from makers  Kurt Lindley and Kate Pinner with 23 lessons from the #socialagesafari.  Engineering serendipity is no 19. Enjoy.     



Connecting with the heart

Sometimes we procrastinate for all the right reasons.  Is the time right?  Is my work good enough?  What can I share?  All of these questions have been part of my thought process leading up to this blog.  What I recognise, through following many blogs to date is that the one’s that engage me and challenge my practice have a golden thread of honesty, rawness and hope.  There is a simple aim to share knowledge and a learning journey.

So today I start to be brave, creative and work out loud.  The internet has flaws, yet for all the danger in the dark web, the flipside is that there are people that generously connect with the heart.  My blog will share my gratitude to those alchemy connections that have supported my journey, insight from innovation work and add a twist of  serendipity to show what happens if you trust your intuition.