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Euan Semple
Works at helping organisations, and more importantly the people in them, get their heads around the web
Attended University of St Andrews
Lives in Great Missenden, Chiltern District, United Kingdom
16,010 followers|318,609 views
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Euan Semple

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Holding our organisations to a higher standard.

There are times when I have to think hard about working with some clients. They maybe provide services or products that I am not sure about or work in ways that I disagree with. I have limits and do say no sometimes. But for the others I justify my involvement in the following way.

If you have a big enough, mature enough, and lively enough internal network maybe when someone suggests sub prime mortgages and enough of you go "Really?" they think again. Maybe if someone proposes putting yet more sugar in your prepared food product and enough of you go "Really?" they choose a healthier option. Maybe if your organisation screws up, tries to spin the situation, and enough of you go "Really?" they do the right thing and take it on the chin. 

In my book I suggested that if our corporate behemoths are becoming harder to constrain from the outside maybe we could all play our parts in doing so from the inside. 

Maybe...
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Really? Yes, for sure...
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The Failed Promise of Deep Links — Backchannel — Medium

Fab article by +Scott Rosenberg, h/t +Carsten Rose who was prompted by my post about social media this morning

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-failed-promise-of-deep-links-aa307b3abaa5
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Not bowling alone. 

Yesterday I facilitated a session for my friend Caroline Halcrow who is studying what it takes for online and offline communities to grow and thrive. She has developed a set of measures of the health, liveliness, and impact of these communities and wanted to test out her theories with a group of folks responsible for setting up and running local community groups in the London area. 

The issues they faced exactly mirrored those we face trying to support online communities in business, attracting people, getting the energy levels up and keeping the group active, dealing with difference and dissent, helping the community work out how to mature and become more effective.

The groups had different origins and different purposes. Those running them had different backgrounds and different motivations. But I was struck by the level of commitment and care they all showed and suggested that caring should be included in the measures. Someone has to care that these things happen and care that they succeed.

The biggest thing I took away was how we are still early days with all this, even thirty or so years in. Most people are still new to connecting purposefully online and we are still working out how to combine online and offline to best effect. What is clear though is how important it all is, how much good we can do with it, and how crucial it is that someone takes responsibility for making it happen.  
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Memos to self

If it hasn't already become obvious to my readers, most of my blog posts are memos to self. Things that I think, want to think, don't think, try to think. 

Even the posts about other people are about me. The things that I admire, the things I aspire to but also the things that press my buttons, the things I look down on, the things I envy.

If I occasionally write posts in which I am critical or dismissive of others rest assured that they say more about me than they do about you!
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Lol that's cool and funny xx
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A day off?

I often don't know what day it is. Weekends are only different because the kids are around. Bank Holidays creep up on me and are frustrating because things are closed. The joys of being a freelancer. 

A while back, when I had travelled home from abroad on a Saturday, one of my wife's friends said "Oh, do they make you work on a Saturday?". My brain went into a flat spin trying to compute the words "they" and "make" and wondering why a Saturday was so significant. 

I love doing what I do, I love doing it any time and anywhere. I love the fact that I am mostly in control of where, when and how I do it. 

I have learned the need to have discipline about stopping sometimes, and need to get better at it, but do not regret the diminished importance of weekends and bank holidays as ritualised escapes from work.
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Lol that's so true!!
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My chat with Nathalie Nahai on her podcast is now live.

http://t.co/ODjYj7L2c6
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Staying sane. Well, maybe…

People often comment during my workshops about the increasing pressure to keep up with the amount of information coming into their lives and the pressure of an “always on” existence. For all the usefulness of our mobile devices they do expose us to constant interruptions from the outside world. Whether emails from our boss, updates from our favourite celebrity, or text messages from our family, there is a constant tug to look at those small screens we carry with us wherever we go. 

We need to learn to defend ourselves. We need to exercise control and impose limits. Whether this is turning off all but the most important alarms, switching off all visual alerts, or even (horror or horrors) not carrying the phone with us at all times, we need to do something. Having the self awareness and self control to do any of the above are good skills to develop. 

There is an increased interest in mindfulness and meditation amongst geeks these days as a group of people who have hit these problems harder and earlier than most. For some of us this isn’t a new problem. I have tried to meditate every day and exercise mindfulness since first reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books more than twenty years ago when facing a particularly challenging time at work. To say that my success at applying his ideas is patchy is an understatement! 

Finding the time and space to meditate, and trying to exercise mindfulness, are both a constant challenge and not getting any easier for any of us. The phones are a symptom as much of a cause and we need to protect ourselves from the various forms of overload to which the modern world subjects us.

Beating ourselves up for not managing to exercise control over our out of control minds just makes the problem worse. Catching ourselves failing and using that as a trigger to return to the moment is part of the game that Pema Chödrön is really good at explaining. 
If you are interested I can thoroughly recommend [Full Catastrophe Living by John Kabat-Zinn][1] and [When Things Fall Apart by  Pema Chödrön][2]. Both are excellent at relating Buddhist philosophy and practice to our modern lives in practical and helpful ways. 

[1]: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Full-Catastrophe-Living-Revised-mindfulness-ebook/dp/B00EEBDDUU/ref=nosim?tag=euansempleswe-21 

[2]: http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Things-Fall-Apart-Difficult/dp/0007183518/ref=nosim?tag=euansempleswe-21 
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The day job

This week I have been involved in great events and been privileged to hear from amazing people doing really interesting things. They are an opportunity for people to get out of the office to learn about new ways of doing things and be inspired about how they might do things differently. 

But then they have to go back to the day job. Maybe they get ridiculed for acting differently or doing things differently. Maybe the mountain of stuff they have to deal with has got even bigger in their absence. Maybe they just feel overwhelmed at how different their organisation is from some of those they have heard about.

It is so important that they do something different, even if it is a tiny thing. Tiny steps repeated consistently are better than nothing. Thinking even slightly differently about your challenges is better than not thinking differently at all.

Every journey…
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Have him in circles
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Euan Semple

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I get so tired of social media

Some days I get wearied by it all. The latest tools, the latest memes, the constant updates, the selling, the PR, the self promotion, the cats. I wonder if we've lost the plot and the opportunity the web gave us to change the world. I sometimes feel like giving up.

But then I think about all the wonderful relationships that I have been able to establish and maintain thanks to the online world. How much doing so is now part of my life, and a part of it that I would never want to do without. 

The conversations I have with friends, relatives, existing clients and people I might work with in the future are as fresh and exciting as ever. 

That's what it is all about. It always was.
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Fab article. Thanks for linking. 
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Given the Google+ Communities I have joined so far it's hard to see what their algorithm has used for it's first recommendation!
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Its a Cynefin Complex question: 'what to addres you with?', so they follow the protocol 'act / probe, sense, response'. The click you click .....
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What's the point?

We all want to make a difference; to "put a dent in the universe", however small. Some days we manage it and we feel good about having a sense of purpose beyond survival, beyond just making a living. Other days it can feel as if someone is following along behind is filling in those small dents and sanding them over. 

Why bother? Why not reduce our aspirations, do no more than is expected of us, avoid rocking the boat and enjoy an easy life?

Because there is no such thing. There is no such thing as stasis. If we are not nudging forwards we are going backwards. The world keeps moving relative to us and time and progress wait for no man. 

Sometimes what appears the safest thing is the riskiest. Getting a good steady job used to feel safe. Nowadays those jobs can disappear with frightening speed. The longer we've been "safe" the more devastating this can feel. 

Keeping your head down used to feel safe. Nowadays if your'e not seen to be adding value, seen to know what you know and be willing to share that, then what's the point in keeping you?

Making small dents, sharing our knowledge, making a difference, is part of what we are. Forgetting this is one of life's great sadnesses. Whether we are recognised or rewarded is not the point. We are not doing it for others, we are doing it for ourselves. 

That's the point. 
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Latest edition of Shift just gone live. This one with our good friend +Thomas Vander Wal and great fun talking about tagging and taxonomies. Never thought I'd ever say that, but seriously, great fun. 

http://business-shift.com/podcast/2015/3/27/shift-episode-034-thomas-vander-wal
In this episode of shift we get to chat with Thomas Vander Wal, originator of the term folksonomy, about tagging, taxonomies, meaning, power, and the future that we are all hurtling towards. You can download the file directly to your hard drive from here You can also download and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or RSS. 
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Ain't that the truth! ;-)
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People
Have him in circles
16,010 people
Yashoda Sampath's profile photo
David Dawson's profile photo
Randy Semella's profile photo
Amilcar Aristides Monteiro's profile photo
Alan Head's profile photo
Steve Garfield's profile photo
Oliver Starr's profile photo
Keith Poole's profile photo
Cat Beach's profile photo
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Education
  • University of St Andrews
    Drinking, 1978 - 1982
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Management consultant, speaker and author.
Introduction
help organisations, and more importantly the people in them, get their heads around the web.
Bragging rights
Author of Organizations Don't Tweet - People Do http://amzn.to/xRYEHs
Work
Occupation
Management consultant, speaker and author
Employment
  • helping organisations, and more importantly the people in them, get their heads around the web
    present
  • BBC
    1986 - 2006
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Great Missenden, Chiltern District, United Kingdom
Previously
Strathaven - St. Andrews - London
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