PEOPLE WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. Low wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. Apply Ernest Shackleton, 4 Burlington Street, London.
Why don’t people turn up for events? Because they’re busy, themes aren’t relevant enough and don’t tap into a real desire (we act on desire, not need).
Twice-yearly, a marketing magazine runs a two-day ‘open innovation’ conference, according to a colleague. Here, a well-known brand shares its greatest challenge. Invite-only participants pay £900 each to help address it, he tells me.
Why do people attend? Simply, it’s valuable to them and to businesses, globally. Yes, valuable in that they had to pay a lot for it. Also, the event is theatrical and exciting, participatory, with lights and action. It’s also in a place they feel is safe, unusual and inspirational. Think forest or mountains (cosy hut). Insight beyond intellect.
We continue to discuss this…
Design thoughts for series of events / programme / movement:
Write: a why, what, how.
Purpose personal to global.
What’s in it for partners and attendees. Where do they cross over (will be interesting)?
Statement of intent: that challenges – picks at scabs. Bold statements. Not ‘change the world’, but more allied to Shackleton’a advert. Use bold statements that are almost prequalifies.
People in positions of responsibility already recognise the need. They want to know:
Being Personal (eg deciding and discussing as if we are family or friends), Self-aware (eg practising mindfulness), Self-less (doing things not only for your benefit); compassionate (trying to help others have a better day).
We start by trying to build a human organisation ourselves – and reflecting on how it’s working / not working and working together to try to improve it. We might start by developing an intention to convene “A bunch of people who’ve got your back, help develop your ideas, maybe partner, may be go into business with you.”
Adapting principles of biomimicry (see Fritjof Capra) there are no limitations or constraints – freedom within a framework. We will need to discuss how that framework looks – there will be three rules. (Story of a wild fern). Innovation and exploring, from what foundations? Safe, peers, value, how we’re going to go about doing it?
Develop a simple value statement: there’s no single value – it’s more than what we wrote. Feel better about yourself, find yourself in a more confident place, personal equality balanced with global and everything in between. Of course there’s a commercial opportunity. The threat is that someone’s getting sick of corporate life (or threatened by it). This could lead you to a place that takes you into a new world. Have you got the courage? We work with the brave. The people we invite will be especially picked — and might even have to prequalify.
It might include: Working together to ensure each of us has enough paid work; Developing a portfolio of sessions (‘products’) that we can all market, and learn to deliver; Making introductions to potential work; helping each other through the process of improving and generating income.
Think about the SDGs and impact investment.
Thoughts on invitation / selection process
Use an activity as a pre-qualification/recruiting. It’s risky (yet not), to take a stance and be bold and make powerful statements. We’re not going to look into your carbon footprint – what we’re actually doing is enabling you to find new better ways for yourself, your company and the world.
Concentric rings of relationship. We’re designing a movement. Its component parts are the physical environment right way to the spiritual environment. Our brain doesn’t do all the thinking.
ABS event – pre-qualified. Something really interesting and fun happens. We move about the room and identify those 20 who really could be the start of a movement. Let it be known this event will be held – but it’s the first stage of something the right people will really want to be part of. We don’t know what that will be because they’re going to discover.
Gathering for remarkable conversations.
We’re going to weave a thread that might generate a change, a movement.
Whatever this thing is, introduce it in a manner that the audience can decide what it is. Cf Ernest Hemmingway: Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.
Consider ALL our contacts. Eg value of inviting our ONTENTE alumni?