Sparking a change through Design Thinking

Sparking a change through Design Thinking

My first week at We Are Unstuck, a Design Thinking agency, was nothing if not immersive. With an ethos of ‘daring you to do things differently’, We Are Unstuck was a great match for Spark the Change. It seemed to me that the talks and workshops I attended at this year’s conference seemed to reflect two of WAU’s main mindsets which could have a great impact on any organisation.

Firstly, to spark a change, you must BE A PART OF SOMETHING – and an effective team which pushes boundaries and delivers results must be built on trust.

Eric Lynn’s CultureQs workshop threw groups of strangers in at the deep end, asking them to share more in 30 minutes than they’ve shared with their own colleagues over 3 years. Discussions on difficult scenarios and topics such as “how do you prefer to make decisions in a team?” cut through the small talk to build a solid foundation of a working relationship in a relatively tiny space of time. Being a part of this collaborative, trusting and honest environment facilitates the next facet of WAU’s mindsets that was supported wholeheartedly at Spark –

We must have the courage to MAKE MISTAKES. On an individual level, this means pushing out of the comfort zone to develop and implement new ideas which may often feel uncomfortable or risky. This requires support from the surrounding organisational hierarchy and from colleagues, line managers and department heads, who must make room for unintended consequences and facilitate the learning which can occur from such experiments. A mistake is only a failure if a business fails to take on board the lessons learned during the process.

Marcus Frödin’s discussion of how, at Spotify, “speed beats quality and mistakes breed success” was a perfect example of this. In a fast-paced and saturated market flops are rife, and so spending 18 months from idea to delivery on one product without any feedback is simply inefficient. For example, in Apple’s App store, only 0.07% of the store (870 apps) account for 40% of revenue*. Frödin discussed how the organisational structure of Spotify breeds quick prototyping, swift adjustment and allows them to “iterate with purpose”. By scheduling 6-week ‘taps’ to check in on delivery, Spotify puts those who ‘do’ closer to the effects of ‘doing’, allowing transparency and speed whilst retaining accountability. When in doubt, products are shipped; learning can only occur when the product is in front of the customer, and rapid iterations are more effective than spending years on flogging one concept (Frödin used the example of the gone-but-not-forgotten Spotify Apps).

The attitude at Spotify can be viewed as an excellent example of where being a part of something and mistake-making actively breed success. Employees are trusted to experiment (with purpose!) and the learning from these experiments feeds back to leaders, who then use these insights to guide the future intent of the organisation. The information gleaned from the downfall of Spotify Apps was used to create a new API which is now used widely within the company; an API which was then utilised to push a new product forward (the interface now used on Playstations by 11 million users**) in under half a year.

Spotify were just one of the many inspirational organisations and individuals at Spark 2016 willing to share their wisdom and become part of a bigger community committed to sparking change and innovation, and my biggest take-home from the entire conference was that this community was the most inspiring thing of all.


Spark the Change brings together leaders from across the business to explore how they can work together to create lasting and total change. With events in London, Toronto and Melbourne, Spark aims to inspire people and offer practical help in overcoming obstacles and developing your skills to make a change.


*http://dazeend.org/2015/01/the-shape-of-the-app-store/

**https://blog.eu.playstation.com/2016/01/08/playstation-music-featuring-spotify-app-nears-11-million-downloads/

Finger Blasters!

Finger Blasters!

It's thanks to Tim's TED talk that we now use finger blasters in our workshops! Find out more about this and how plan, trust, prototyping and creative risk taking are all connected - from the CEO of IDEO, Tim Brown

Think you're not creative?

Think you're not creative?

Think again. In his inspiring TED talk IDEO co-Founder David Kelley challenges the belief that the world is split into two camps - the creative and non-creatives. By using one of the worlds most famous Design Thinking stories (Dough Dietz and the MRI machine) David brings to life the concept of creative confidence rebuilding the belief that each and everyone of us should hold onto.

Creativity - it's not just for extroverts

Creativity - it's not just for extroverts

"Extroverts are better at creativity … people with lots of energy, bouncing off the ceilings and jumping around the place”.  And so the conversation went on.

 And as it did, so to did my belief in our purpose at We Are Unstuck

It’s estimated that a third to half of the population are introverts.  If we assume that ‘extroverts are better at creativity’ then we’re writing off the creative potential of a huge number of people.  People who - alongside their extrovert colleagues - have a significant contribution to make to any creative process.

So how can we encourage this mutual contribution?  As I sit here after a fortnight of outwardly orientated activities, nurturing my need to refuel and reflect inwardly; these three things come to mind …

  • We must acknowledge that the ingredients needed for creativity are as diverse as the people who we’ll collaborate with.  Creativity requires an ability to empathise, to listen, to observe, to be still and to reflect as much as it requires fresh stimulus, group discussion; the building of ideas with others.  In any creative process we must create the conditions for these ingredients to be combined
  • We must develop our self-awareness.  Do we have a bias for introversion or extroversion?  How does this serve us?  What is the impact of it on others during a creative collaboration?  How does it fuel or hinder the creative process and what might we do about this?
  • Creative collaboration is a learning experience.  Through this process of striving for innovation, we must open ourselves to learning not only about how new technologies might disrupt our markets or how our customers might engage with a new product / service or how we can create businesses that have a positive impact on the world but also we must learn about each other.  Whilst it’s not headline grabbing, we should stop thinking about those who are or who are not creative and whole-heartedly grab hold of the reality that we all have immense creative potential if we just create the right purpose, belief and conditions for it to be unleashed.

 Simply, we must be smart enough to not let stereotypes get in the way of our collective creative capacity.

Hitting the headlines

Hitting the headlines

On 1st March and following a move into new offices in Cobden Chambers our MD Sarah, featured in the Nottingham Post Business section.

Read the full article here.  

9 lessons in getting from inspiration to action

9 lessons in getting from inspiration to action

"Stories are the fire we carry to each other.  Stories possess a spark ... it is through the act of telling and hearing stories that we become inspired"                                    
Bobette Buster - DO/Story*

And that in essence is what happened last Wednesday.

Alongside Dr Janine Swail of the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we hosted an evening where a group of women shared their stories of purpose, ambition and fears for creating their own businesses.

 The evening fuelled my belief that we need to create more opportunities, both nationally** and locally for these stories to be shared so that more sparks of inspiration can be created.

 And then I think we need to go beyond this. Because it’s relatively easy to say ‘that was inspiring’ but it’s much harder to convert that sense of inspiration into action and in this case into developing a business idea further. I remember hearing Etienne Stott speak about his London 2012 Olympic success and someone saying to him afterwards “that was so inspiring”. His response said with energy and enthusiasm has always stuck with me “that’s great news … what are you going to do”.

 So here are some insights that came from the stories that were shared and listened to on Wednesday night that might help you to take the next step - be you male or female; one who is preparing to leap into entrepreneurship or one who has already leapt

1) Waste no time in figuring out:

- your purpose – why you want to create a business.

- the impact you want to have – how is the world going to be better (in a big or a small way) because of what you’re going to offer

- your passion – what gets you out of bed in the morning, what’s your soapbox subject, what do you really care about?

- your strengths – what are you great at (spoiler: it’s probably something you really enjoy)

 You probably won’t crack this overnight. And that’s ok.

 2) Avoid comparing your start point with someone else’s mid-point. Those at their mid-point will of achieved more than you because of where they’re at. Use their mid-point instead as a spark of inspiration

 3) Be aware of what your competition is doing but play the game your way. That’s what makes your offer unique.

 4) Your first idea will most probably not be ‘the’ idea. Ideas work best when they change shape as you learn more about them.

 5) Be brave with your ideas – share them, play with them, prototype and experiment with them. Ideas like that kind of thing.

 6) Don’t feel isolated – there are lots of us out there to learn from and with

 7) Time is limited. Fact. This isn’t going to change. Do something with the time you have – think big, start small but do start.

 8) Ask for help. You’re not wonder-woman / super-man and that’s ok.

 9) Whatever you do, don’t get stuck.


An unexpected impact

An unexpected impact

I founded We Are Unstuck 2.5 years ago.

 It was my way of acknowledging that I wanted to grab hold of my career and do something which both scared and excited me in equal measure. That would put me in the driving seat of the level of impact I was able to have on the world, which would enable me to liberate my own creative potential and which would allow me to bring a sense of balance to my desire to be a great Mum and to have a successful career.

 I’ve always felt really clear on why I founded We Are Unstuck and this purpose grounds, informs and inspires every decision I make about the business.

 But it also has another impact – one that I hadn’t predicted in any way.

 I’ve had more and more conversations with smart, inspiring, professional women with oodles of knowledge, experience and expertise whom having had a career break to become Mums find themselves re-evaluating what they want from their careers. Some of these women haven’t considered entrepreneurship as a possible path or have considered it but dismissed it as something they couldn’t do – either through lack of knowledge, confidence or a ‘viable’ idea. Others have started a business but in some way feel that they are not “proper entrepreneurs” because their role also as a Mum diminishes this somehow.

 And this is where my purpose kicks in. My knowledge that it is possible for a woman to be both an entrepreneur and a Mum is established. My awareness that there are more and more women out there who are proving this to be true is growing. My conviction that these women have an important role to play in fueling the British economy and of having a positive social impact is strong.

 And then there’s a but. Because alongside all of this good stuff, my sense and experience suggest that there are limited resources to nurture this belief and conviction in other women. And that’s a big deal. It goes beyond the impact of the lost potential of those individual women and impacts the economy, society, the self-belief of girls and young women who are imagining what their future careers may hold.

 The reality is that women and men considering entrepreneurship and those who make the leap face many of the same challenges and opportunities. But I believe there is a difference in the way we approach these challenges and opportunities. And this difference creates opportunity. It creates the opportunity to learn from and with each other. It also creates the opportunity to spend time in conversation with women finding out where they’re at and what they may need.

 And that’s what I’m doing tonight. Alongside Janine Swail (Assistant Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Nottingham University Business School) we’re spending the evening with 40 women who have the potential to define what having a successful business means for them and their families; who have the potential to generate compelling business ideas and to convert these ideas into successful businesses.

 I’m not sure what we’ll find out and what will happen next but I’m hoping that the women who join us feel a bit more nurtured as a result of the time we spend together.

The Greatest Enabler of Creativity?

The Greatest Enabler of Creativity?

This post is of the talk I gave at TEDxUoN (University of Nottingham) on Sunday 6th April 2014.

 

There's something I know to be true of each one of you.  

It's true of me.  It's true of us.  It's also true of our closest friends, our parents, our colleagues.  It's true of the person who lives across the road from us.

That truth is that we all have an incredible, awesome capacity to be creative.

What's also true is that incredible, astonishing, delicious creative capacity can sit dormant.  Untapped.  Unused.  And like anything we leave unused it can become stale.  It can become pushed to the back of the fridge.  Ultimately we can let it go to waste.

 

Thomas Edison said - "if we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves".

 

Why then, do we still hear people saying "I'm not creative".  I think this is code.  I think it's a code we use to keep us in a place of perceived 'safeness'.  It might be code for:

"Me?  Creative?  I'm quite happy just the way I am.  Doing things the way I've always done them.  On the whole that's generally worked for me so why would I change"?  

It might also be code for

"Creative?  I could never write a book like J.K.Rowling or juggle as many creative projects as Will.I.Am or create an organisation in the way Steve Jobs did.  No.  I'm not creative".  

Or my personal favourite ...

"I definitely cannot draw.  Or paint.  And if I can't do either of those things then clearly I'm not creative".

This wonderful, playful, empowering life-changing thing we all have capacity for becomes something we don't know how to access.  It's something we put up on a pedestal.  We start to believe that creativity is only something the gifted few can do.

But it doesn't need to be this way.  

 

Let's start with a definition.  There are many definitions out there - for both Creativity and Innovation.  But let's not get stuck here.  Because if we get stuck here - figuring out what it means - then our creativity has no hope.  For today let's use this:

 

'creativity is an ability to think on novel and useful ways and to convert that thinking into doing'

 

Surely then, we're all being creative every day.  When we're about to give a presentation and our laptop dies.  Or we're trying to get from A to B and the bus breaks down or we get a flat.  Or when we really meant to hit that deadline but missed it and we're coming up with an excuse to explain why.  We're all being creative all of the time.  We just don't notice.

But imagine for a moment if we did take notice.  How might we turbo-charge our creativity?  How might we scale the positive impact our creativity can have?  How might we use our creativity to solve complex problems?  How might we create organisations, communities, schools and a government that creates a dynamic, forward thinking society?

 

In preparing for this talk, Iain (from the TEDxUoN team) asked me a question - "what do you think the greatest enabler of creativity is"?  There are many answers to that question - all of which will be true depending on your context on any given day at any given time.  It might be the brilliant articulation of a problem.  Or that you're insatiably curious.  Or that you're comfortable connecting random insights.  Or that you've surrounded yourself with people who enthuse and energise you.  Or that you're feeling particularly tenacious and won't be beaten by the problem that's in front of you.  

For me, there's one thing though that has the potential to turbo-charge each of these.  One thing that has the potential to blow your creative capacity out of the water.  One thing that if it's missing can cause your creativity to loose some of its energy.

 

That one thing is 'Purpose'.

 

So often when we're asked to think creatively we're put in a situation and presented with a problem which we may or may not be particularly interested in.  We'll be in a room of people - some of whom we'll know; some we won't and there will be an over-bearing expectation that we'll 'make something happen'.  But what we're really missing is the answer to a simple question - 'Why should I care'?

When we're trying to get from A to B and something goes wrong and we come up with a solution we do that because our friends are waiting for us in the pub or because we're trying to get to an interview for a job we really want.  Without thinking about a creative process we instinctively tap into our creative capacity - 'our ability to think in novel and useful ways'.  Why?  Because the outcome has meaning.  It's important to us.

 

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to meet the Founders of Good for Nothing - Tom Farrand, Tom Rowley and Dan Burgess - or as I like to think of them, the Good for Nothing Godfathers.  They had all had successful careers but had grown disillusioned with the way they were spending their working time.  Their work had lost purpose.  Together they spent time pondering and discussing ....

'what might happen if you could collide the collective, creative talent of a group of diverse, smart, talented people with Social Entrepreneurs, Charities, Community Groups ... people who share a purpose to work on stuff that matters.  To make the world a bit of a better place'?

There'd be no hierarchies.  No sponsor who would rock up at the start, share some inspiring words only to disappear until the end when they would reappear to pass judgement on the outcomes.  There'd be no meeting after meeting to discuss roles and responsibilities.  There'd be no project plan that would probably take longer in the designing than it would do in the delivering.  Instead, these creative efforts would be inspired by, energised by, held together by a shared sense of wanting to do something positive.  Something with meaning.  Something with purpose. 

And so, Good for Nothing started out in London with a small community of people who - during 12, 24 or 48 hour hacks gave their time and expertise for free.  Their efforts would be guided by three principles:

1. Doing not Talking - people would have a go; get involved; participate and try stuff

2. Collaborate and Experiment - there'd be no power, no control.  Just an energy that would fuel ideas, experiments and the creation of prototypes.  Fast

3. Support the True Innovators - creative support would be provided to pioneers who were driving social, environmental and human innovation

Sounds pretty amazing right?  Well that small, local community in London got noticed.  And it grew.  And now it's growing through new communities in the UK and around the World.  Communities in Sydney and Perth, Wellington, Vancouver, Rotterdam,StockholmBrightonBristolCamdenColchesterCardiffChesterBirminghamLeeds, there's GFN Girls in Manchester and GFN Year Here in London.  There's Cambridge,EdinburghGlasgow   And there's one right here in Nottingham.

 

And here's the thing.  Why does Good for Nothing work?  It works because people are personally inspired by the purpose of it all.  And that purpose transforms a disparate, unknown to each other group of people into a collective, creative power house, who really help to change the world.

 

To me, Good for Nothing is the perfect example of how purpose inspires our creativity.  It demonstrates that when purpose is present creative people - that's you and me - can come together to do, to make, to create on a scale that no-one might of imagined.

Now I'm not saying that finding our purpose is easy.  It will take time.  It will take reflection and discussion and experimentation.  But when we find it - and as we seek to find it - our creativity will be unleashed.  

If we can find something we are so dissatisfied by, that we know could be so much better, that excites us, that causes our heart rate to increase, that pulls us up out of our seats, that challenges us, that causes us to do things that we look back on and say "was that me"?  Well that is the Creativity Jackpot!

That doesn't mean there won't be days when it's really hard.  When we have self-doubt, when we can't find a solution to the problem we're working on.  But that's when our purpose kicks in.  That's when the creative magic starts to happen.  Because at that point, we won't care about a definition of creativity.  We won't care if we're doing it right.  We won't care if we're breaking the rules.  We'll probably find that we're walking around with five coloured pens in our back pocket waiting to draw a picture of our idea for anyone who'll watch and listen.  

You might even find that because you believe so much in people's awesome, astonishing, creative potential to do and give more that you're stood on a TEDx stage in front of 450 people imploring them to make a choice.  A choice to not allow their creative potential to go stale.  But instead to find the things you feel so inspired by that you have no choice but to tap into the incredible creative capacity of yourself and those people around you.

I guarantee that if you can do this, you will be astounded by what you will achieve.

It's all about belief

It's all about belief

I've been doing some reading on creative processes.  For a long time, I've held a belief that any type of creative process is about realising the potential that a person or group of people intrinsically have. 

Some people can come together with enough belief, energy and permission that the hurdles that need to be jumped to create something new are bounded over  In fact, the more hurdles that exist, the more energy this can bring - with each new bound the group grows stronger in its belief that anything is possible.  There's little need for discussion on why and how, in these situations people just 'do'.  It's less of a process and more of a movement. 

If there is a holy grail of creative processes then this for me is it. 

And then there's another type of creative process.  The type where people need to be given permission to do things differently.  The type where people have become so disciplined in getting to an answer in one way that trying out something new brings on an allergic reaction.  The type where the belief to create the sort of change I talked about earlier has to be nurtured.  This type of creative process is no less rewarding or inspiring.  It just takes longer to get there.

The point for me is that it's not an either / or.  Sure we'll all have our own preferences for how to work but it's more about what works best for that challenge, with those people, with whatever context they've got at that point in time. 

The more interesting challenge is how you get people to believe that they can make a positive difference.  Because once you've got the belief all of the other stuff becomes a lot easier.


Some of the stuff I've been reading or watching:  

 A five-step technique for creating ideas - BrainPickings

Apple - designed by Apple - Intention

The Magic & Madness of the Creative Process

A Crash Course in Creative Breakthroughs

Good for Nothing: Occupy Blue Monday

If we did all of the things we were capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves - Thomas Edison

Leapt

Leapt

This is the second in a series of three blogs, all focusing on what it's like to make a leap.  Specifically to make a leap from organisational life to start-up life.  The blogs will be a consolidation of what I'm learning and I share them here in part so that I don't loose them, in part so that they might be an insight source for you & finally by way of a thank you to those who have & those who continue to share their experiences with me.

The first blog focused on preparing to leap (scroll down if you’d like a reminder).  This second blog focuses on insights and suggestions for you if you’ve now leapt – maybe you’ve just resigned or maybe today is the first day for you in your new venture (if it is – Congratulations!  Pay particular attention to point one below)


1. So you've leapt!  It's a big deal.  Take a moment.  Enjoy it.  Celebrate it.  

2. Did someone say it was a big deal?  It is.  But don't be overwhelmed by it.  There will be tough days and you may have doubts.  It's all part of it and it's ok.

3. Create some headspace for yourself.  There are four parts to this one so far: 

  • headspace to find your own voice
  • headspace for understanding all of the stuff you're great at, all of the stuff you've learnt and how you will apply this to what you're going to achieve now
  • headspace for understanding what you'll need to learn and do differently
  • this period of time can be pretty intense.  For me, learning the art of meditation and mindfulness with the very fabulous crew at Headspace has been really positive  

4. Stay connected to the people you're 'leaving behind'.  Trust me - there will be some folk you're really going to miss

5. Get connected to those who are or who have been in a similar situation & learn from them

6. Be open to new collaborations - they will stimulate your creativity and together you will achieve more

7. Believe in yourself.  That's what got your here so keep doing it

8. At the same time, surround yourself with people who believe in you and who will support and challenge you to to be the best you can be

9. Spend time getting under the skin of your values.  What makes you tick and why.  And then make your values central to everything you do.  It will feel great! 

10. Learn quickly.  You're going to make mistakes.  Plenty of them.  But that's all part of it too

11. Develop new and positive habits and 'routines' (and have some fun with them) 

12. A special one which comes a new friend, Catherine Wilks.  Find a point in the day to crank up your music.  And.  Dance.

Preparing to leap

Preparing to leap

This is the first in a series of three blogs, all focusing on what it's like to make a leap.  Specifically to make a leap from organisational life to start-up life.  The blogs will be a consolidation of the learnings I've collected on the way and I share them here in part so that I don't loose them, in part so that they might be an insight source for anyone else who's considering making a similar leap & finally by way of a thank you to those who have & those who continue to share their experiences with me.


I've always wanted to create something meaningful - from scratch.  But what my real motivations were, what I might create, let alone where I might actually start were all just beyond the end of my fingertips.  And then not so long ago, things became a lot clearer.  What I'm about to share isn't rocket science (the best things - with the exception of Commander Hadfield - never are) but being able to write these five things down and say them out loud so I and others could hear them was a very big deal.  I became acutely aware that:

  • I wanted to accelerate my learning
  • I wanted this learning to come from lots more 'doing' 
  • I wanted to have more impact for more people
  • I wanted to be in the driving seat for making this happen
  •  ... & the fifth?  Well, without being too dramatic I wanted to do something to try to make the world a bit of a better place

I've been fortunate enough to be a part of some incredible organisations, working with people who have become my friends.  But having written down and said out loud these five things, I knew it was time for me to make a leap.  Reflecting back on preparing to leap, here are some of my top tips:

1. Preparation will enhance the elegance of your leap

2. ... & should create momentum towards a decision point

- if your preparation causes you to become stuck, you're not doing it right

3. Tune up to everything you hear, observe, experience

- in knowing that you're preparing for a leap, you'll interpret it all in new ways and make new, valuable connections

4. Seek out fresh perspectives

- learn from those who have done this before you

5. With the capacity that you have, start to take small steps

- what do you need to learn, what experiences do you need to get, what relationships do you need to develop

6. Be more honest with yourself than you've ever been before

- do you have something to offer that can really make a positive difference?  Why are you considering a leap?  What impact do you want to have?  What are you awesome at?  What new skills will you need to develop?

7. In leaving an established organisation you'll leave a lot of great things behind

- understand if you're willing to make this sacrifice

8. Know that there will be amazingly brilliant days & there will be some tough days

- fact

9. What does it 'not working out' look like

- understand the risk you're taking

10. Surround yourself with people whose opinions you trust & who are honest with you

- and who are honest with you because they believe in you & the potential that you have

11.  Whilst 'not very British', believe in yourself & show your passion  

- it's going to be you, out there talking to the rest of the world.  

12. Know that all of the experiences you've had so far, in all of the organisations you've been a part of will set you up really well

 - and know that you're going to need to rapidly learn a shed-load more

13. You won't know until you try - can you live without trying?  If so, fantastic!  If not, what are you waiting for?

Becoming unstuck

Becoming unstuck

Extract from a recent guest post for Catherine Wilks of In Movement, as part of a series of blogs on 'Adventure'

It’s not that common – especially within established businesses -  for people*  to talk about going on an Adventure.  To explore their work in a way that suggests tackling the unknown, taking some risks, experiencing real emotions … & of course packing appropriately!

*generally referred to as individuals, teams, departments or organisations

It was Thomas Edison though who said:

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves”

But in business as in life, we can all become stuck.  We can all become too comfortable with the way we always do things.  We can get so comfortable that we don’t even realize we’re comfortable – not even considering there may be a different way of exploring a problem or opportunity.

But if we really want to motivate our people, or we want to develop a cutting edge strategy or we want to do something incredible for our customers then doing what we’ve always done just won’t cut it.  We have to become unstuck.  We have to develop our understanding of and appreciation for adventure.

So what do we know about Adventures … 

To start with, an adventure isn’t just going to drop onto your desk, neatly packaged with a guarantee of what’s inside.  To go on an adventure you need a catalyst.  Someone needs to be brave, needs to put their hand up and say “how might we do this differently”.  

We know that following this first brave step even more tenacity is needed.  Creating an adventure requires leadership, a vision of what you’re going after, the support of key people, the right team & the right equipment to take on the adventure with you.  And then frankly – you just need some doing.   You need to put on the crampons and get yourself and your team up the mountain.  Because without this doing, all you’ve got is a great idea.

We also know that being on an adventure will create a whole range of (potentially extreme) emotions.  Being part of a new team, in new surroundings, being faced with new decisions and developing solutions you’ve not had to consider before can be terrifying.  It can fill you with fear and uncertainty.  It’s inevitable that at some point on the adventure you’ll wish you’d  stayed at home – doing the things you know how to do.  But at the same time it will be exhilarating and hugely rewarding.  And if you allow it, it will teach you more about yourself, your capabilities and the capabilities of those around you than any coffee table book with beautiful pictures (or management book) could ever teach you about going on an adventure.

And here’s the thing – the more adventures we go on the more we’ll understand what our true capabilities are.  Little by little we’ll build up the kit we need for future adventures.  We’ll start to tell others about how we astounded ourselves whilst on our adventures and inspire them to put up their hands and say “how might we …”