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Saturday, February 17

SchoolOfDavid : Open Source Learning



About six months back, at our small agency we started a learning program called SchoolOfDavid. We/I haven't been very regular but yesterday managed the 4th such session.

As always it was fun! This time it was different in two refreshing ways.
(a) It happened outside the agency, at my place and Candies - the quiet little eatery in Bandra! and (b) It had a truly diverse gene/talent pool...

One of the structural changes I have been passionate about in the agency is the formal partnership between the creative and the other guys(planner/ servicing). As against the norm of a department-led-silo-thinking/working! The topic of this session was 'Dinking' and was about the need to do 'boundaryless-thinking-n-action!

After a short gyan session by me, we got down to a role playing exercise loosely based on Edward De Bono's role playing exercises...

We had 3 teams. Each took on the role of a new company - M&M and Google(X2) and then went on creating a new agency...

I wasn't at all surprised at the strategic-n-creative spark of the young turks in my agency. I have tapped into it many-a-time this last one year! What they may lack in experience, they more than make up in sheer 'fresh-n-bold thinking'!

Some other musings:
1. We must tap into the 'talent pool' at the bottom of the pyramid more often...Fresh pairs of eyes is stupid to ignore!

2. Open-source problem solving can work wonders. In the past month, I have used it to create a campaign for a major client of ours! If the people at the top are committed, open-source-working is not very difficult to DO.

3. Informal sessions create culture. Formal ones don't.

4. To quote Yogi Berra - "You can observe a lot, just by watching."

5. I find in the digital age that we live in, 'worldviews'/ 'experience' is not directly proportional to age...

6. A remarkable way forward might be to create a 'shadow board' of young guys to get in the freshest ideas on board.

7. How you do the learning sessions is as important as what you do in them.

In case anybody is interested in conducting informal work-shops to create a 'creative play-ground' in their organisations, please feel free to get in touch with me!

cheers
M\
P.S. A special thanks to Russell(without whom SOD4 would have been highly unlikely)for baby-sitting young Neo!!

13 comments:

jigs said...

hey M, it was a real fun cum learning session..thanks ya. And i promise to 'do' and mail you our group's presentation summary by tom :D

Manish said...

lets try to do it more often and keep your ideas flowing...it was a learning for me as well! cheers...

pooR_Planner said...

Manish, have been doing this in a much smaller scale at my place of work. Indeed it brings out the best from people, whom the top management think is worthless. Infact, I included my security gaurd in one such informal session and believe me his ideas were the best. Can you conduct an intercity workshop please?

Manish said...

roop that's so heartening to note...what do you mean by inter-city?

hopefully it will all happen soon :-)

pooR_Planner said...

Intercity - Mumbai team + Bangalore team/kolkata team + chennai team. A workshop theme that is decided by them, designed by them, discussed by them and debated by them.

meraj said...

got a little 'longing to be there' sort of a feeling after reading this and seeing the pics.

btw, what are you guys holding...you, chatty, tanaya and i cant recall the name of the other fellow...sujoy, is it?

Manish said...

:-) ...that's rum filled swiss chocolate(an open packet) which came handy as the first prize!!

which went to chatty + tanaya + sujoy's team...

meraj said...

hmmm...rum filled and all...pooja would have flipped for it :)

Kapil said...

Manish, can you tell me more about this:

Open-source problem solving can work
wonders.

Manish said...

read the book - wisdom of the crowds! open-source problem solving at the very basic means opening up the problem to people outside your group, department, even company. Maybe total strangers...

More about it when we meet over coffee:-)

Nov 1 said...

Hi Manish, hope you remeber me...where can i get this session in bangalore :-) or should i come to bombay.

Sounds interesting, will like to participate.

Manish said...

i tried but can't find your name as i back tracked to your blog! reveal identity:-)

hopefully we will do the sessions in bangalore soon...everyone's invited!

keep in touch

Nov 1 said...

Bhuvan, i am also in touch with Meraj.

Look forwad to see you soon in bangalore.