The starfish and the spider on catalysts and firestarters?

ocean colour scene #3

I have been reading (listening to) the starfish and the spider for the last few days when walking. I never heard of it till I heard one of the interviews on the after on podcast. It feels like the Catherial and the Bazaar for the internet age, ever so relevant.

Something really got me thinking… The idea that The Catalysts sound very similar to The Firestarters?

The book identifies a set of people the authors call “catalysts”, who tend to be skilled at creating decentralized organizations. The authors list several abilities and behaviors (called “The Catalyst’s Tools”) that “catalysts” have in common, including:

  1. Genuine interest in others.
  2. Numerous loose connections, rather than a small number of close connections.
  3. Skill at social mapping.
  4. Desire to help everyone they meet.
  5. The ability to help people help themselves by listening and understanding, rather than giving advice (“Meet people where they are”).
  6. Emotional intelligence.
  7. Trust in others and in the decentralized network.
  8. Inspiration (to others).
  9. Tolerance for ambiguity.
  10. A hands-off approach. Catalysts do not interfere with, or try to control the behavior of the contributing members of the decentralized organization.
  11. Ability to let go. After building up a decentralized organization, catalysts move on, rather than trying to take control.

This book has some similarities to books like The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, as both identify certain sets of people who are important to change in a society or an organization, and try to define the attributes that people belonging to these sets have in common.

I think the Firestarters is next on my list, as I’m keen to see if there is cross overs or should I tweak my title to catalyst?

How to make an impact online with myself

Just before Thinking Digital Manchester, myself and Mari did a workshop on increasing your personal impact. I was interviewed by Krishna for Sage (The major sponsor of Thinking Digital)

You can hear the whole interview above, soundcloud and of course on the Sage blog. The interview includes…

  • A debate about authenticity and what I feel it means
  • How I manage what I post and share online
  • How to become comfortable with your online profile
  • Perceptive media and what to expect in the future
  • How I decide where to put my energy online
  • What I call success…
  • What I would do differently if I was to start today.

Its a nice interview and thanks to Krishna for being so lovely. Of course Sage for the opportunity.

Discovering lovely workplaces

The old twitter offices

I had message on my flickr mail today. The subject read awesome workplaces. I though it may have been spam at first but I checked it out.

Dear Ian,

I found some great pictures of the Citizen Space workplace here:

I would really like to add these pictures to my website:

WOVOX is a free and open platform for anyone to show and find workplaces. We want to help people find the workplace of their dreams more easily, but also learn from others and find inspiration for their own workplace.

There is room for credits and a link back to your website or social media profile. Your pictures will be available under an attribute & share alike creative commons license.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you,

Arjen Hoekstra

I totally forgot about the pictures I took of the CitizenSpace, the old twitter offices (see the photo above – yes that how twitter use to look back in 2006ish) and the creative commons office, all in San Francisco. I’ve lot loads more which I forgot about. Good thing about flickr keeping all these photos and of course the creative commons license which is a sign that I’m willing to share. actually looks pretty sweet. The ethos seems pretty well thought out too. For example heres a bit from the user guideline page.

Authenticity! Better show a few things with spirit than a lot of stuff without depth. A mobile phone pic in the heat of the moment is worth much more than a non-descript €1000 pose shot.

Plus its really good seeing Creative Commons licenses being baked in from day one rather that being an after thought (i’m looking at you crew).

Seeing all these work places in one place, has somewhat inspired me. I hope to add the BBC media city office to the mix in the near future, it will be interesting to see how it grows as we get more people too.