A Mumuration

In my blog a few weeks back “Growing up or losing the plot” I admitted to a loathing of the word network and the coldness and mathematically driven language that is nodes and pathways.  In my dislike of this terminology in its relationship to warm, relationship-based and 3 dimensional world that is social media I set out this week to explore what others think.  Browsing through one of my favourite sites Ted Ed I stumbled across this really inspirational Ted Talk Four principles for the open world – Don Tapscott.  Now this video is a little longer than I would normally share as it takes a whopping 15 mins out of your day … but believe me its worth watching until the end (alternatively skip to the end!):

Ok, ok … so I freely admit that Don uses the word “network” (urgh!) and I am not saying that we can’t learn from networks and the plethora of theories and papers appertaining to networks but what I am saying is that we need to move on and think beyond the anonymous node and more about the wonderful individual, the growing relationships and the freedom that social media gives us. Rather than taking a computerised and mathematical approach we should take an individualised and humanistic approach to social media. Don speaks of an evolution for which he seems to have no words for until he turns to nature and the humble starling.  A Mumuration! Wow what a concept! Through collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment we can become something so much more than the word network, we can become something beautiful!

For me a Mumuration is so much closer to explaining the #nursecommunity than the word network – and I know that there are those of you who will say that this is not an academic based approach unlike the whole network thing, however sometimes (as with nursing) things just feel right.

A Mumuration … its worth thinking about.

A short and sweet #SeacoleProg update

I am not quite sure where time goes, it certainly seems to be running away with me lately! I have been meaning to take some time to reflect following the NHS Leadership Mary Seacole Programme tutorial I attended some two weeks back now and it seems that I am only just getting around to it.

digital leaderBefore the tutorial I had to admit to struggling with some of the concepts a little bit (which you can read about in my last Seacole programme blog “Here are the warts” ) so I was somewhat apprehensive going into the tutorial. However the day was a great opportunity to catch up, see how my fellow Seacolers were getting on and hear about their challenges. We took some time in the day to share each others leadership initiatives, as we are now reaching a point whereby we need to set our leadership initiatives in stone as we will be writing about our hopes and plans in our next essay. It was a fab opportunity to hear about the great things that others have planned and the challenges they face and also it was great to get some perspective on my own leadership initiative and how I can use the concepts and theories we have been learning about to underpin it.

officeI came away from the day feeling like “I can do this” and have even since applied lean principles (yes I am starting to get it now!) to my home office – I am now a lean (but not mean) tweeting machine ! But applying lean principles to my little office space is not my leadership initiative … As however impressed my one and only actual work colleague – the cat – is with this I feel my leadership initiative should involve more people than me and said cat!

spookyI am still processing my thoughts on my leadership initiative and have a meet up with a fellow student next week where I am hoping we can listen to each other and brainstorm some practicalities. I have quite a firm idea on what my leadership initiative will be and I am hoping that I will be able to use all that I have learnt so far to make it not only a success in terms of the Seacole Programme but also a worthwhile and valuable initiative. I am still a little unsure as to the size of my initiative and feel i need to make it more realistic and start small so whilst I am working out the exact whys and wherefores I will keep it between me and the cat! But please watch this space as I will share as soon as me and the cat are ready!


That Tweet!!

I was just about to switch Twitter off last Thursday evening when I came across a tweet from someone I follow @KarenDawber about a NHS Choices Tweet ….. Now Karen seems to me to be an unflappable nurse type (we have never met but over the Twitterwaves you do get an inkling) and she seemed to be flapping so i scrolled down my time line to find the Tweet she was in a flap over .. I want to share with you the conversation that then took place and i would love to hear your thoughts (at the very top is the Tweet that sparked this whole debate off):



So what do you think? Brilliant use of social media? Highly inappropriate? I have since had a few offline conversations about this and other questions have also not sprung to mind – Is this the language that young people want us to use in this space? Is this how they want to communicate with healthcare professionals? Is this the way forward with sensitive subjects? I really am torn on so many different levels on this so I would really appreciate your thoughts.

Here are the warts!

When I first set out on the NHS Leadership Mary Seacole programme I wanted to blog about it warts and all … so far I have managed to post a few blogs but mostly positive stuff all in all …. This blog has a few warts I am afraid and I wanted to get them off my chest before I go to my next tutorial, which is tomorrow.  So here goes:

I have to admit to having a bit of a post Christmas dip.  I had an incredibly busy pre Christmas period and fell a little behind with my learning something which I wasn’t too worried about thinking I would be able to catch up over the Christmas break. Well Christmas came and went in a flurry of gifts, relatives and turkey and the catch up just didn’t happen.  In early January I made a concerted effort to get up to date and I managed to regain the ground I had lost, which at the time I felt very relieved about …..however then I hit what I now refer to as “the lean and flow wall” !! Lean and flow is a concept that is totally alien to me and not only is it totally alien but also the terminology seemed to just bamboozle me. I have though learnt this much:

This isn’t lean


And this isn’t flow:



Now matter how much I read and re-read and even re-read again I just don’t get it.  So this week I finally gave in and admitted that I just don’t know and in a moment of desperation (as I could see myself getting further and further behind) I posted a cry for help on my tutor group forum.  I am very glad I did as I then immediately relaxed and left lean and flow and moved on (thinking I will return to it and re read again after I have got some help) This story has a happy interim ending as I was so pleased when two people answered my post and now I have a bit of extra reading and am in contact with someone who gets it … that’s got to be good, hasn’t it ?!!

There is no doubt that I am still behind and that I still don’t really get lean and flow but I am feeling like it is less of a mountain to climb now.  I am hoping that with our tutor group meet up tomorrow I will come away feeling even more positive and re energised.

There is certainly a lesson to be had here though and it is that you can’t know or understand everything and it’s ok to ask for help at times.  Its also ok to “not get” something, we all have our strengths and weaknesses …. However my aim is that by my next Seacole Programme update blog I have a little more of clue about lean and flow!

Growing up or losing the plot?

Last week I was scanning down my Facebook page when I can across this:


This resonated hugely with me and has kept me thinking and smiling for most of the week. Now there are many aspects of this seemingly simple picture that I could blog about for hours and hours (and I suspect that it would be a sedative to rival Temazepam!) However I wanted to rattle on for a little about the massive networks -> massive relationships leap.

networkI have long despised the word “network” and the “old school” language comparing people to some sort Tron- esque world full of “nodes” and “pathways” and when this is then applied to the warm world that is social media I do start to feel a little cross. I feel that not only does the word network feel so cold and wrong in relation to social media but it also feels so two dimensional. Social media is a means of communication that we have never see the like of before…… so please indulge me a little longer and imagine this, for just a moment ……

spaceImagine if communication no longer felt linear or two dimensional as it does with the use of nodes and networks but instead gives us the amazing ability to launch ourselves into the stratosphere and beyond ….. into the openness that is space itself. Imagine we are floating around in this vast space and imagine communication being not two way but every which way – ideas, knowledge, relationships, and experiences can find us directly from any given point irrespective not only of geography and hierarchy but also of social, economic and political standing. And whats more we can also find ideas, knowledge, relationships and experiences. We find people we would have never come across even if we have traversed the world looking and trying and we develop relationships and (dare I say it) communities with people we have never met. This ability to float in space and be “out there” and approachable from any angle is getting closer to the way communication via social media feels to me.

einsteinSo what does all this mean? It could mean that I have totally lost the plot but as Einstein said “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination” With the ability to close our eyes and imagine communication beyond the language of the linear, the nodes, the pathways and the networks we can start to understand and use social media to its full potential. Social media is growing up, old theories, though we may learn from them, need new thought and new perspective. To understand this new grown up social media we need to think xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa little beyond two dimensional language and dip our toes into this 3D xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxspace.