My sketchnotes from the responsive org unconference

Virpi Oinonen BusinessGoesSocial.netA lot of people I talk to professionally know about the shift that is taking place in how we work and do business. The problem is that we don’t have common words to describe it. Some talk about open innovation, others about agile organisations and others call it “being more human”. The term “responsive organisation” is an attempt to bring those discussions under one umbrella term. It also implies a philosophy that is about empowering people to make an impact. And more radically: it’s also implying the death of the “rational dream” that we’ve inherited from the early days of industrial revolution. In the rational dream organisations work like machines and people are cogs who follow a plan (but cannot do anything when they see that the plan isn’t working). This is what gives the term a slightly radical quality.

It’s also a movement. I think people like me who’ve “seen the light” and cannot go back to old ways of working have an inner urge to talk to other people who “get it”. Fortunately for us Matt Partovi from Yammer/Microsoft organised the Responsive organisation unconference in London last weekend (11 May 2014) to satisfy that need. (The consultant to regular employee ratio was a bit skewed in favour of consultants, but that was to be expected. Many consultants are former employees who’ve successfully changed aspects of their previous organisations and now wan to do more of it).

Oh yes, the sketchnotes!

I thought that while I’m there I might as well experiment a bit with iPad sketchnoting. You can see the results below. I stress the word experiment, as I wouldn’t normally let sketchnotes with this little narrative structure and editorial oversight out of my hands if it was a real client project (in my other life I run a visual communications company).

As you can see from the notes, my focus was on innovation and practical things you can do to drive change within your organisation, but that just reflects my choice of sessions and interests. Check out the #responsiveorg hashtag on Twitter to get a more comprehensive view of the discussions surrounding the concept and the movement.

Responsiveorg unconference ipad sketchnotes

4 thoughts on “My sketchnotes from the responsive org unconference

  1. Tell me more about the “get a red dot mentor” — this sounds promising! What’s my “what’s in it for them” in exchange for insight into their resistance?

    • As I recall, the idea was to ask a red dot* to become a mentor to you (the person driving change) because by doing so you are stroking their ego (it’s very hard to turn down requests for help that are also an ego boost to the mentor). So this is not really about a rational transaction (I give you this, if you give me that). It’s about forming a closer relationship with the red dot that over time will hopefully build trust. And trust is currency that you can use later on to reintroduce the idea of an enterprise social network.

      Of course, you will learn a lot from a senior exec anyway. So I wouldn’t personally just use it in this mental judo/semi-Machiavellian way. There has to be a real relationship there.

      *a person who resists the idea of an enterprise social network/new ways of working.

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