“Get Mike involved and he will tirelessly, creatively, and knowledgeably solve the problem, and improve the situation whether in the private or public sector. His ideas on management training are up-to-the-minute and effective. His team’s find him inspirational, and his client’s find him effective because he applies real business acumen in such an original way.”
Max McKeown, Innovation & Strategy Coach, Facilitator & Speaker, Maverick & Strong Ltd
“Mike is an extremely professional consultant and facilitator. His approach is thorough; his knowledge and skills are at the highest levels, and his style balances both support and challenge. He is extremely effective at what he does and having had the pleasure of working with Mike on a number of projects, I can safely say that I know from first hand that clients benefit greatly from his work.”
Mike Notman, Director, wbs Consulting
“Mike cuts through the organisational BS to deliver projects that really make a difference. I’ve worked with him as a consultant in two different organisations and always found him to be easy to deal with and a great people manager. He also knows the difference between processes and goals, inputs and outputs – no prizes for guessing which he regards as the more important.”
Andy Maslen, MD, Sunfish Limited
“I had the pleasure of working with Mike for several years in the BLU – Business Link University – a virtual “corporate university” for small business development professions which was funded by the Government’s Small Business Service 2002-06. Mike was initially one of the service providers / BLU associates and later became director. I served as BLU Principal and was impressed by Mike’s commitment, hard work and creativity.”
David Grayson, Principal, BLU
“Mike Chitty is an outstanding practitioner. He has the rare talent of seeing beyond the obvious to the heart of an issue and its potential solution. He is imaginative, challenging and always highly practical. He provides projects with insight, experience and facilitates intelligent solutions. A voracious learner, he is a cut above the norm. Someone I have admired for years and with whom it has always been a stimulating pleasure to work.”
Jim McLaughlin, Managing Partner, Optima + Co
I worked with Mike when I was a member of the key associates’ group of the B.L.U., the development arm of the Small Business Service. Mike was both an excellent facilitator and strategist, identifying needs within the service, sourcing potential solutions and identifying channels to ensure that those solutions reached individuals who were directly involved in delivery.”
Dick Willis, Senior Consultant, CN Resources Ltd
“Mike is a skilled people developer and learning facilitator. Good to work with, he delivers outcomes you can see and measure.”
David Gee, Interim Waste Strategy Programme Director at Essex County Council
“Mike is very knowledgeable on social enterprise and down-to-earth management skills for progressive managers – his workshops are full of well-researched content and are great value for money :)”
Lee Jackson, Motivational Speaker
Archives for March 2009
Twitter and the Progressive Manager
Over the last couple of weeks I have been checking out the latest (?) web 2.0 phenomenon that is twitter. (As I write these words I am so aware that at some point in the future, like a week on Thursday this will seem so very dated!).
I mean really checking it out. Giving it a thorough workover, experimenting with it. Seeing if I can use it for anything helpful and productive.
And I love it! Well, most of the time.
Twitter is a simple blogging site with one very severe restriction. Each post has to be less than 140 characters. That is about two short sentences.
Check out my twitter page here www.twitter.com/mikechitty to get a feel for it.
I can choose to follow peoples ‘tweets’ and they can choose to follow mine. Each time someone I follow tweets – I can see what they are up to. If they bore me or aren’t relevant then I stop following them. If they are interesting, relevant, entertaining, resourceful or in some other way they bring colour to my day then they stay on the follow list.
Easy to set up and addictive to use, already twitter has helped to me connect with a whole bunch of people that I would otherwise not have found. A Llama farmer in North Devon who is passionate about small business; a sheep dog handler in Northamptonshire who loves facilitation; a rugby loving family man from Exeter who earns his living trying to make local strategic partnerships work. I know more about the workings of the #uktrains than the fat controller.
All of these and many more have provided me with information, insight and opportunities. I am currently following about 200 people and being followed by a similar number. As I get more efficient in using twitter I will be able to follow more without it taking more time as I get better at filtering and searching for stuff that connects.
Essentially I use twitter as a flow of information and intelligence into me. It is a great tool for what the strategy bods call ‘environmental scanning’. I learn a lot of very useful, hard edged stuff that helps with work. But I also learn some very human stuff that keeps things compassionate and warm. I know that one of my fellow twitterers has a son who is hospitalised with asthma at the moment, I know another has just relocated from Seattle to Washington DC. I learn about the human being as well as the professional which, while it might annoy some, I love.
I am also followed at the moment by a couple of hundred people. Some of these just follow anyone. The more you follow and are followed the better is one viewpoint. I am more discriminating. I only follow people whose tweets work for me! Some are following me because they are interested in my work, my ideas and what I am doing. Some follow me because each tweet acts as a little nudge – perhaps reminding them of something they learned from me. (I am considering set up a specific PMN account to tweet daily reminders about the power of 121s, giving feedback, coaching etc).
Having a community of followers, albeit small but perfectly formed is very flattering. And another useful little community for me to test ideas on, ask for help from (yesterday I got a great response for requests for good online whiteboards that allow me to co-create and talk about diagrams with others on the web!) and generally commune with. A plea for examples of social media being used to good effect in community development has unearthed several leads for me to explore. Another twitterer has put me in touch with a consultancy looking to showcase great enterprise projects. As a marketing tool, twitter is working for me. It does takes time – I reckon I spend an hour a day twittering – but it doesn’t feel like work – and it ‘fits’ wonderfully into the spaces between bigger pieces of work.
At the moment the twitterverse seems to be overpopulated with techy types. Twittering about twitter the way that bloggers used to (and still do) blog about blogging. You can always ‘unfollow’ them. But there are also different themes emerging, such as:
- How can we use web 2.0 to get better at what we do – whether that is management, education and training, providing services for mental health, starting businesses, researching markets or whatever.
- How can we use web 2.0 to engage more people
- What role can the web play in community capacity building, economic and social development.
These themes engage me. Knowing about them helps to pay my mortgage. IT is not all about web 2.0 – but if you are not thinking about how web 2.0 impacts on what you are trying to do in life then I think you are missing a trick.
So for the manager twitter can:
- improve communication with the team, peers, customers and the competition
- help get early warning of problems and opportunities
- portray a more human and rounded face of you and your organisation
So at the moment twitter gets a big thumbs up. I won’t be deleting my twitter account just yet.
My Twitter Friends Mosaic
My twitterverse – small but perfectly formed:
Just a gentle reminder that we have some ‘buy one get one free‘ offers coming up on PMN workshops. This means that when you book a place at one of the BOGOF workshops you get another place free.
I have also developed 2 new workshops which have proven very successful. The first is on effective partnership working – giving you the skills and knowledge you need to make the most of your partnerships at work. Whether you have to work in a local strategic partnership (LSP), a sub-regional partnership or a purely private partnership this workshop will give you the tools you need to become much more effective. Dates for this workshop will be published shortly.
The second is on Managing Underperformers and looks in detail at practical and effective ways to make sure that underperformers don’t drag down the performance of the team.
22nd (pm) Stop Hate UK/Unity Business Centre – Brilliant 121s – BOGOF
20th (pm) Stop Hate UK/Unity Business Centre – Giving and Getting Great Feedback – BOGOF
You can see the full schedule of PMN workshops here, and book places here. If you have done these sessions and found them useful then please do recommend them to others.
Find Their Enterprising Soul
Enterprise is not the same as entrepreneurship.
Being enterprising has little to do with starting businesses.
Enterprise is ALL about:
- recognising how things are,
- recognising how you would prefer them to be
- having the self confidence, ideas, plans and taking action that helps to narrow the gap.
If we start from this premise we will find that we can engage far more people in learning the skills of enterprise than if we start with the tired old ‘Have you got a great business idea?‘ line.
We enterprise professionals might even find that we get taken seriously by educators and community activists. We might even find that we have something really powerful to offer to the social and economic development of communities.
And if we engage people in ‘finding their enterprising soul’ then there is a good chance that some of them will go on to start businesses and social enterprises as they start to exercise their enterprise muscles.
Sounds exciting? Then PLEASE leave a comment, get touch and ask others to the same.
Let’s reclaim enterprise from the ‘men in suits’.
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