Living on the edge

I have just got back from spending a lovely few days with @JennyTheM (do you follow her on Twitter? If not then please do as her wonderful compassionate nature simply shines through) Jenny is one of those people who has taken Twitter by storm and her work with #SkinToSkin shows how much the ladies she cares for are at the heart of it all … Anyway I am diversifying slightly because it’s actually a conversation that Jenny and I had over a cup of delicious tea (in beautiful bird mugs no less!) that I want to share with you:

danger-851895_1920I’m not quite sure how we migrated into the subject but we started talking about “the edge” that place where all the amazing innovation takes place, the periphery’s of organisations where people stand alone seeing the future! Jenny and I both agreed that that “bloomin edge” is a pretty scary and lonely place to be, often the people you work with are safe in the middle not understanding the edge at all, wary of you and stepping out beside you. And knowing that at some point you may have to jump off the edge, as it seems the only way forward, is the most frightening thing EVER!

It’s a pretty long drive from Blackpool to Bristol and on my way home my mind was buzzing with the energy and ideas I got from being with Jenny and spending time with her just chatting.  My mind wandered back to “the bloomin edge” conversation and how it sometimes feel that you are stood on the edge of a cliff, being able to see the fab future, but all the time the cliff edge is being eroded away.  I thought about how it is a scary place to be ….. And then I thought …. Hang on a minute !! That doesn’t sound right ! Why would we be stood on the edge of a cliff waiting for it to be eroded away ? And the answer is we are not … And there it was, the lightbulb switching on!

bridge-918760_1920There are many people at “the bloomin edge” all being able to see and reaching for a part of the future.  We may not always see each other but after my few days with Jenny I am confident we are all there.  And we aren’t just stood there either, waiting for the erosion … We are building and creating.  Some of us may be building bridges. Some of us may be building kites and some of us may be building rocket ships …. As the cliff erodes we are busy ensuring we can get to the future.  Yes it’s scary but no we don’t have to jump, we can walk, ride and fly.

It’s pretty amazing to spend quality time drinking tea with people who are looking to the future and working to make things better …. Thank you @JennyTheM for an amazing few days and for giving me a whole new perspective on living on “the bloomin edge”


Mood hoovers, mountains, heretics and changing the world!

The world is full of mood hoovers – you know those people who say you can’t, or you shouldn’t, or don’t see the point or even those who say but this is the way we have always done it ! It’s frustrating at times and being resilient and staying positive in the presence of mood hoovers is bloomin trcky !! So what do we do ? Do we avoid them ? Its pretty difficult to as they are literally everywhere ! So do we ignore them ? Well thats good to a certain extent but it can get you down at times ….

One of the great things about social media and in particular Twitter is the ability to connect and meet people who you would never normally meet.  The informal support networks that are developed from 140 character conversations can be very powerful indeed. Twitter for me is the antidote to the Mood Hoovers. Having written and shared my last blog Next Opportunity – A lesson in resilience I was reminded of the support that connecting in 140 characters can offer. I shared my blog around the problems and frustrations of promoting and driving the importance of doing social media well and I received a reminder of the fact that I am not on this journey alone and shared this conversation with the lovely @wlasinclair:

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This conversation was hugely important, it may have seemed a little frivolous and light hearted but it served a massive purpose – it was a conversation that reminded me that I was not alone, and that there were others climbing this mountain too.  In a Slideshare by Helen Bevan she asks “How does it feel to be a heretic / rebel / radical / maverick?” and answers with this picture:


And this is how it can feel driving new things and new ways of doing things .. like a lone voice.  Further on in the Slideshare Helen talks about the importance of building alliances .. for me Twitter is vital for this.  Building relationships and gaining support from others is no longer a local thing, support and alliances can come from anywhere thanks to the global platform that is Twitter. Those who think that they can change the world are finding support and enthusiasm and this is a great way to build resilience against those hoovers of mood.

steve jobs

There are many of us climbing this mountain and it’s great to have company on such a huge hike.  There are times when some of us flag and there are even times when some of us fall, and some of us are pushed down by those dratted mood hoovers… However connecting via Twitter has ensured that there is always someone there to pick us up or help us along.  So having said in my last blog that it’s time to be resilient and move on to the next opportunity I am now confident that whatever the future holds we are climbing this mountain together … And I a reliably informed that there is cake and fizz at the top :)

Next Opportunity – a lesson in resilience

I read a blog by OFCOM recently that shared some statistics around our online activity and how in the last decade our time spent online has doubled and how the use of social media has tripled since 2007.  The blog also stated that 81% of social media users check their social media apps at least once a day.  That’s some pretty impressive statistics yet despite this evidence that the uptake and understanding of social media is on the rise I still get days when I feel like I am banging my head against a proverbial brick wall.  A while ago I shared this tweet:

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The use of social media in healthcare is a big leap, and using social media productively and well within healthcare is an even bigger leap, however with statistics like the ones above isn’t it time that we started to look at where this could take us and the huge amount of good it can do?

On a personal level social media can help to connect us professionally, help us to learn, help us to answer questions, help us to reflect and help us with our continuing professional development.  On an organisational level social media can help us to really engage and listen to the people we care for, our staff  and the wider public.  By being in a space where a whole load of people are engaging everyday we can really start to make a difference and tap into a global expertise … however we need to engage and engage well.  We need to stop ticking the social media box and start to think “how can I / we use this to help me / us?”

I feel like I have been saying this for sometime – and it’s nothing new.  Way back when I first started engaging on social media I came across this quote from Eric Qualman:


These thoughts are nothing new – so why am I blogging about this now, I hear you ask?  Well some days the “no we don’t do social media” can be hard to face.  I guess that there is something here about resilience and keeping going … and having shared a few thoughts on Twitter today my energy was renewed by this tweet:

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Trying to promote and drive a new way of doing things can be hard at times; to believe that doing social media well can really make a difference when people say NO can be disheartening.  Yet strength and resilience can come from the wonderful healthcare communities on Twitter, showing and proving that indeed social media can make a difference.  This is me saying NO … Next Opportunity .. reframing and keeping going.