Three free Brightoneers events and other updates from me

I’ve been very quiet on this blog lately, but there’s been loads going on so here’s an update from me.

The Brightoneers

The community of people working together to build a pioneering new economy in Brighton launched with a bang in January. 100 people came to the first event and we have the next three events lined up. All of them are free to attend and open to all. Just register using the links below.

12 Feb: Alternative currencies and smartcard pilot. Led by Good Money, we’ll be working together on moving towards a pilot of a smartcard system in Brighton that helps the local economy.

19 Feb: How can we use crowd funding to build a better economy? We have speakers covering the use of crowd funding for equity, rewards and lending, then time to break into groups to start making stuff happen.

5 March: The first Brightoneers film night: Shift Change – an awesome film about the power and potential of employee ownership – check out the trailer. I’m planning on making this a monthly event screening documentaries that will inspire us into action.

WorldBlu

I’ve been working as an ambassador for WorldBlu, speaking about democratic business at a number of events (like this) and talking to some awesome companies about them joining the movement. The WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces 2013 will be announced in April. I’m very excited to see Brighton growing as a hub of certified democratic workplaces following on from my previous company, NixonMcInnes being one of the first WorldBlu-certified companies in Europe. There’s also WorldBlu Live coming up in May in Denver. Get along to this if you can. My involvement in WorldBlu is now winding down and I’ll be focussing more on work locally here in Brighton. There may just about be time to get your organisation assessed by WorldBlu for this year’s WorldBlu List. If you’re interested, drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.

Business development help for consulting companies

Having spent 10 years building a consulting company myself, I’m keen to share my experience in marketing and selling consulting work with other consulting companies in Brighton. If you’re a freelance consultant or running a small consulting company and would like to bring in more business, I might be able to help. I’m also launching a little project around this over the next few days. If you’d like to be kept in the loop then please get in touch.

And the rest of life

I’m mid-way through an 8-week course on Mindfulness and meditation with Mindfulness Sussex. I’m loving the combination of ancient wisdom dating back 2500 years backed by modern scientific studies that have shown many benefits to mind and body.

It’s the Brighton Half Marathon this Sunday. I’ve been gradually getting back to pre-travelling levels of fitness. I still have a long way to go and a horrible bout of ‘man flu‘ set me back these past couple of weeks, but the Half is a bit of a milestone anyway.

OK that’s about it. If we’re overdue to catch up for a chat then give me a shout.

Free event: Using freedom and democracy to build an incredible company

Monday 10 Dec, 7pm – 9pm, NixonMcInnes Offices, Brighton. FREE.

How do famously successful companies like Zappos and Valve Software create such damn amazing places to work that innovate, delight customers and generate big profits? The key to success is abandoning the dominant mindset of fear in business and instead embracing freedom, possibility, and trust. With this mindset, great companies use democratic principles like decentralisation, transparency and dialogue to set their people free to do amazing things, and reap enormous rewards.

Tom Nixon (me!) ambassador for WorldBlu and co-founder of NixonMcInnes – certified as one of the Most Democratic Workplaces in the World every year since 2009 – will reveal how to adopt the right mindset for business success, and explain the 10 principles of organisational democracy, with lots of ideas that you can immediately take back into your company. And as it’s nearly Christmas there will be mince pies.

Thank you to Wired Sussex for supporting this event.

Sign up here:

Organisational democracy and wellbeing

Last week I presented at RobertsonCooper‘s Good Day at Work conference. I had a really great time – thanks to the organisers and everyone who stayed right until the end to see me. Here are links to the things I covered:

My slides are on Slideshare.

WorldBlu: helping organisations globally to be more democratic using their 10 principles of organisational democracy and publishing the list of Most Democratic Workplaces in the World (together with lots more inspiring ideas)

NixonMcInnes: my previous company

Happy Buckets: measuring happiness in the workplace daily

Analysis of happiness and profit

Celebrating failure at the Church of Fail

The amazing story of the cardboard box factory becoming a democracy that kicked off this whole journey for me which my friend and business partner Will McInnes left of my desk with the words ‘Fucking amazing – read this’ emblazoned on it.

Employees First, Customers Second: Vineet Nayer’s book about transitioning a large business, HCL Technology to a democracy

Beyond the Corporation: David Erdal looks at how employee ownership is the future of business, including research into what makes humans cooperate and the benefits to the whole of society of employee-owned, democratic businesses.

Erik Weihenmayer: The first blind person to reach the summit of Everest. I really recommend buying the DVD of this. Watch it with your family over Christmas.

A week to learn how to supercharge your business

Are you looking for ways to unlock new levels of engagement, performance and profit in your business? Who isn’t?

Next month I’ll be spending a week at BluCamp – a retreat for leaders of democratic companies and those who want to learn how they can become democratic in order to supercharge their business. I’m expecting to learn a ton and get inspired and energised as I plan my next business venture.

It would be great if you could join us too – it could be the the most valuable week you’ve ever invested in developing yourself in order to build a better business.

Awesome event heads-up: Meaning 2012

Business used to be so simple. Following the philosophy of the great economist John Maynard Keynes, the purpose of business was to make a profit. Nothing more and nothing less. But capitalism, which did lift many millions out of poverty, is now failing. Badly.

There are very fundamental questions to be answered: if the pure pursuit of profit didn’t work out, what is the meaning and purpose of business? How can we create next generation businesses that help to solve the world’s problems and make a profit at the same time? What are the opportunities for building better businesses in the 21st century?

These questions and more are the subject of the Meaning 2012 conference in Brighton, UK on 1 October 2012.

There’s a growing list of fantastic speakers, including: Caroline Lucas, leader of the UK Green Party; Stowe Boyd, the social technologies guru; Alexander Kjerulf, the world’s leading expert on happiness at work; Margaret Elliot, the founder of a series of co-ops delivering care to over 500 people; and Vinay Gupta, an international authority on resilience who sees a volatile and radically altered future for business and society.

I think it’s going to be a really inspiring and thought provoking day – not least because it’s organised by my old friends at NixonMcInnes. If you’re thinking about starting a business, or getting an existing one fit for the 21st century then I highly recommend grabbing yourself a ticket.

Event: Social Business Sessions London

Will McInnes, my old friend and business partner at NixonMcInnes, is at it again! He has launched a regular meet-up for people interested in how organisations can become more social. This is an important evolution from ‘social media marketing/PR’ to looking at how the whole organisation can become more social. A far bigger task, with bigger challenges, and rewards for those that succeed.

This event is definitely one to watch and I will be there with bells on when I’m back in the UK. Last time Will started something like this, MeasurementCamp, it became an important and valued regular event for the fledgling social media industry. I think this is set to be even bigger.

From the event meet-up page:

Purpose

To provide a regular forum where we can share ideas, experiences and models for helping organisations become more social. And, in doing so, create new connections that lead to community.

**Really important**

This is not a social media marketing event. We will not be talking about Facebook, Twitter etc. This is about organisational culture, structure, and internal technologies and approaches.

Participants

We welcome people from a diverse range of backgrounds: academics, consultants, researchers, do-ers.

Principles

  1. Open, because we each have a piece of the answer
  2. Diversity FTW
  3. You create the value
  4. No spam

Goals

Learning, connecting, making change happen. And in doing so, building the UK social business community.

You can read Ross’ take-away nuggets from the first event here.

Good luck with the event Will 🙂