Tag Archives: tuttle

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Conversations, culture, people and props

If you happen to be near the British Museum this afternoon do drop into the Great Court and say hello to Lloyd Davis. He is engaged in some Tuttle consulting  (about which I wrote here). The project is, specifically, for the British Council , and is about the nature of culture and cultural relations. You can read about it here, and see that the method of investigation is, in large part, conversation.

Lloyd’s assertion (I think this is right) is that culture – whether Britain Overseas, or the way we run organisations, or meetings, or just hanging out together, is determinated by people, and the way that culture evolves, and is defined, is substantially through conversations. Who could disagree? There’s more to it than that, of course, so let’s … well …. talk about it. Which is why Lloyd is in the British Musueum.

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Previewing Reboot Britain in the park

Tomorrow sees the launch in London of Reboot Britain – first as “an extraordinary one-day event which will take a totally different look at the challenges we face as a country and the new possibilities that – uniquely – this generation has to overcome them”. Then lots of follow-up conversations, events and who-knows-what (except that it will certainly be creative, innovation and no doubt fun as well).

Last week’s Tuttle Club in the park gave me a chance to meet up with Roland Harwood of NESTA, who are the main promoters of the event.  As you will hear, Roland is keen that Reboot starts to reach people  beyond the social media crowd. Over the past year we have done a lot to promote new ways of doing and thinking … but I believe that Twitter and the many social media meetups have led to a lot of talking among “people like us” who “get it”. The emergence of ideas like FailCamp, and Roland’s advocacy of a wider reach, show a welcome shift. Unless ideas and practices around open, collaborative innovation move into the mainstream, what’s the point? As Clay Shirky says, in effect, it isn’t until we get bored with talking about the tools that we’ll properly concentrate on their social benefits.

I’ll be doing a bit of social reporting at Reboot, as well as helping launch Social by Social, a handbook and website funded by NESTA to help people use social technology for social benefit. Andy Gibson, Amy Sample Ward and I will be running the Social by Social game – on the lines of the session in Edinburgh recently – with expert assistance from the game co-designer Drew Mackie. Andy has put a huge amount of effort into the final edit of the book, which will be available here online and as a download tomorrow.

I was also able to talk to Toby Moores, Joanna Jacobs and Steve Lawson about the way they are planning to help everyone at Reboot be a social reporter using Twitter, blogging and any other means to create a cloud of online conversations to complement the live streaming that will be provided by Richard Jolly and Diarmaid Lynch. There should be more soon on that linked from the official site – but meanwhile keep up with everything Reboot through the Twitter tag #rebootbritain. Toby and friends are using techniques developed through Amplified09, so you can be sure there will be plenty going on, with some good analysis afterwards. The creative force behind the event is Steve Moore, who curated 2gether08 and morphed the 2gether09 plans into Reboot. The event is produced by my friends Jess Tyrell, Lizzie Ostrom and the team at  Germination … so when I say in the usual way that I’m looking forward to tomorrow I really mean it. No tickets left, but plenty to follow online.

Update: aggregated newsdesk, Twitter, live streaming and live blogging will all be linked from here

Crowds, tribes, teams: Tuttle turns to consulting

Most Friday mornings in London social media types gather at  The Tuttle Club. It isn’t so much a place as a style of doing things, and a moving cloud of conversations gently crafted and convened by Lloyd Davis.

Tuttle started in a room over the Coach and Horses in Soho – as you can see here, together with an explanation of how the Club was named after Harry Tuttle from the film Brazil. Tuttle then moved to the ICA, and for the last couple of weeks has been on the roof of Inn the (St James) Park. Last Friday was a chance to ask Lloyd for an update and test out video on my new iPhone 3gs …. in particular whether I could get better sound by plugging in the headset and waving the mic in Lloyd’s direction.

As you’ll see in the video, Tuttle has been going very well, and has now spawned The Tuttle Team. This is an innovative consulting approach to discover  and understand client needs using a process of refinement through three forms:

Crowd: 10-15 of our members meet with a similar number of your people in a relaxed space for free conversation. People are briefed beforehand on the issues facing the client, but the conversation is allowed to wander in the same way that it does at the Tuttle Club itself. It’s an opportunity for blue-sky thinking.

Tribe: 7-10 more specialist contributors are identified to drill down further into issues raised in the Crowd session. These people meet again with a similar number of representatives from the client in a series of short facilitated conversations. The main output is a document detailing what we’ve learned so far, a strategic approach to untangling some of the problems and a few immediately realisable benefits and projects.

Team: 3-5 people come together with specific skills to deliver the projects identified by the Tribe. That is, to do a specific piece of agreed work — writing a document, creating a website, making a movie, working with staff in a mentoring or coaching capacity.

I was in on the first round of a session recently with a client, and I think it worked really, really well. Client feedback was good too. I’ve been in too many consulting situations where we start with the wrong brief because  it isn’t until you actually get going that you all understand the situation and what might be possible. The Tuttle approach allows a lot of re-framing, and re-thinking of what skills are needed, on all sides.

Harry Tuttle was a freelance repair man, played in the film by Robert de Niro. The defining Tuttle Team consulting quote is: Sam Lowry: Can you fix it? Harry Tuttle: No, I can’t. But, I can bypass it.

If you are interested in getting help from the team, contact Lloyd, or better still come along and say hello in person on Friday. All welcome.  Next week’s Tuttle is going to be rather special. As you can see here it is at Channel 4 with Manuel Castells author of The Rise of the Network Society – who, as Lloyd says, has been influencing thinking about the social dynamics of the web for as long as we’ve had a web. Demand is likely to be high, so there’ll probably be a signup linked from the club event site.

Meanwhile, I’m suggesting over here that the RSA might try some Tuttling for its London City Network meetings. We had something rather Tuttle-ish for a meeting of candidates for the Fellowship Council last Thursday at Royal Festival Hall, and staff are investigating whether there might be some flexible spaces at the House in John Adam Street. I think Harry would be impressed.