Tuesday, 5 August 2008

A Bloom Brainstorm

On Monday we had a terrific day brainstorming ideas with some of the people who've worked for Bloom over the summer. To Kirsty, Rachel, Amanda (and Rupa, in absentia), thank you.

Some really terrific ideas came about, which I will share over the next few months. But what struck me is the type and quality of the people that we are now working with. It was so uplifting to share an attitude to work (and life), especially for me I think. 11 years in consulting left me consistently feeling like an outsider.

Now I get to work with people who 'get it' and it is so refreshing. There was one thought that struck me even more strongly than it has before:

Bloom's biggest strengths are not its people but the sum of the strengths of its people.

We are trying to get people to do what they do best:

Rachel is focusing on research, and is building a brilliant 'how to' guide on motivation using that research.
Kirsty is bringing together Bloom's approach to strengths. She is using all sorts of different sources and approaches to help us work out how strengths fit into Bloom's overall approach.
Amanda came along to challenge us, energise us and to get us to think far more creatively.
Rupa, who we missed greatly, is going to tell us how to connect with Generation Y.

From this, I realised that:

We need to build a network of people who fit into the Bloom way of working, and who support us.
I used to think networking was cringeworthy. Now I see it as essential. So wherever Kirsty, Amanda, Rachel and Rupa go on to work, we want them to support and help and promote Bloom. But we must do the same for them.

A corollary to this is...

We collaborate with our competitors
If we find an opportunity which we can't fulfil, we'll pass it on to someone who can. If we have an idea to improve a competitor, we'll pass it on. If someone screws us over, so be it. Most won't. And I think the benefits will far outweigh the negatives. Another extension is...

We give stuff away.
Whether it's time, ideas or expertise, we need to ensure that we're living authentically. So we'll be as generous as we can be, always.

Another extension is...

We thank people, publicly, and promote their achievements.
This is a very small start, but this blog will be thanking people publicly more often. Our website should also have space to do this.

The second big thing that struck me was that people do already regard Bloom as inspirational. So, the above is about starting to codify that.

To bring out the strengths of all those who work with, for or around Bloom and to build a network by supporting those who know us. Now that's inspirational.

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