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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Peters’

Finding WOW – the Toxteth Riots & Wimbledon Photographers

Regular readers (and those who have just randomly come across my LinkedIn or Twitter profile) will know I like WOW projects. The term comes from Tom Peter’s article in Fast Company magazine back in 1999 that explained that in the new economy, all work is project work. And you are your projects!

He said: “Your goal should be to work in perpetuity with Wow people, on Wow Projects, for Wowable clients.” It’s still true today – and will be in the future.

From the start of my working life, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in some Wow projects with some Wow people. I’ve been reminded of this a couple of times in the last 24 hours.

Firstly, I picked up the paper this morning to find a story about the Toxteth riots being 30 years ago this week. That was the week I started my first job

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– a Trainee Press Photographer at Mercury Press Agency in Liverpool.

I’d not bargained for my first week in employment to involve the coverage of some of the worst rioting on mainland Britain.

I can always remember the phone ringing late at night after the family had gone to bed. I was told that another photographer would pick me up (I didn’t have a car) and would take me to Toxteth where there were some sort of disturbances.

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The first pictures that I took were of riot police dragging away an injured colleague as buildings burned around them. It was scary – but exciting for an 18 year old who had dreamt of being a press photographer. It was what I’d wanted to do through my adolescence.

My mum and dad were concerned – especially when I didn’t arrive home for another 20 hours (that meant I had worked through the night and had no sleep for 30+ hours). I’d photographed the aftermath of people trying to put their lives back together after the riots.

I was back out in Toxteth the next night – and for many more nights over the next month. I witnessed CS Gas being used to quell a riot on the streets of mainland Britain for the first time; photographed a policeman stabbed in a related demonstration; and recorded a protester run over by a police van and then dragged in to the back of the vehicle with his back broken.

I also photographed “Minister for Merseyside” Michael Heseltine being pelted with food by children. It was a baptism of fire for a young photographer – but remains a Wow experience in my life.

This week, I’ve watched quite a few hours of Wimbledon coverage on BBC HD. The quality of images is superb – nearly as good as having a courtside seat. Looking at the background of the TV images, about 60% of the photographers sitting at Wimbledon Centre Court this week were my colleagues up to 1994, when I hung up my cameras. So they’ve continued to have Wow time for 17 years since I left this work behind. I got immense enjoyment from having the best seats in the house at Olympic Games and World Cup Finals with these photographers. It was a Wow!

From Toxteth Riots through to world class sports coverage – I had a Wow experience. Since those times, in the last 17 years, I’ve been fortunate to work on some Wow projects. Including growing and selling a business, winning a National award for technology – and most recently managing to find “funemployment” projects helping a Duchess and creating a children’s cricket charity.

I’m currently on the look-out for the next Wow projects. First step, as you might expect from the title of my blog, is developing my Personal Network for the new challenge. Do contact me if you have anything Wow that I might be able to help with!

WANTED – Chief Visualisation Officer … be the world’s first!

October 26, 2010 3 comments

In between blogging (and life) I’m trying to create the team for our new business, VizWho. Despite having been a successful photo-journalist – I can’t say I’m really a designer/artist/creative … but I know when I see something I really like.

The challenge for the new business is to visualise the Personal Networks of our clients – we can’t be VizWho without

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the VIZ!! Even at the early research stage this is proving a challenge.

So I am looking for a CVO (Chief Visualisation Officer) who can:-

* Visualise Data as well as Jesse Thomas at JESS3 Labs
* Be as good an explainer as Lee Le Fever at Common Craft
* Have a sense of humour like Matthew Inman at the Oatmeal
* Ping Edges & Nodes like the Visual Thesaurus
* Draw Mind Maps like Paul Foreman
* Create Many Eyes visualisations like Fernanda B. Viégas
* Understand personal brands like Ken Silvia does for Tom Peters

Please do get in contact with me – phil@vizwho.com. As you will see from the list, I am not asking a lot – and because we’re a startup, we can’t pay a lot …. but you would be the World’s First Chief Visualisation Officer***

*** Well – actually, I did find a couple of Chief Visualization Officers on LinkedIn in the US (but there is a Z in there – and our company is in the UK so we are the first with an S!). Also, I do need to give credit to Andrea Saveri of the Institute for the Future – who presented the idea of a CVO in June 2008.

Typical – the google search proves that there are no new ideas under the sun…..

Holiday Reading, Tom Peters and the Cheshire Cat

August 25, 2010 3 comments

I am off on holiday in the morning – and I’m going to split my reading time between finishing off my current Personal Network book – “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith (I can hear you fellow bloggers saying “I can’t believe you’ve not read that already!”), digging in to a “leisure” read by one of my favourite authors, Michael Dobbs (his new book – “The Reluctant Hero”) – and using Tom Peters “The Brand You” as a workbook to help set my personal objectives.

If you’ve not tried “The Brand You” book by Tom Peters – it’s a brilliant read. Mick Cope (whose book “Personal Networking” I reviewed in an earlier blog post) recommended the book to me. Mick said: “I have always loved the Brand You stuff by Tom Peters – which although was picked up by

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some people – never really found its mark.” After ordering a copy (it’s a classic from 1999 – but not too hard to find) I read it within 48 hours. I have always liked the passion of Tom Peters. I remember during tricky times in my business during the early 1990s playing the audio tape of “Thriving on Chaos” over and over in car as I tried to work my way through the development/growing pains of my company. I have no less enthusiasm for Tom’s work revisiting his teachings some 20 years on.

On the inside cover of the book, he lists his key ideas around Brand You – which he expands through the book. I will certainly be spending time deliberating on many of these ideas and questions:-

* “Routinely asks the Question: WHO AM I?/WHAT DO I WANT TO BE?” – Very relevant after 4 years being “funemployed”
* “Pursues Mastery of something!” Can I really become a Master of Personal Networks – and can I use this Mastery to help others?
* “Selects Clients v-e-r-y carefully/Rejects Clients who are a bad match” Cool discipline to have … and I have no excuse because I don’t need the work. Nice position to be in – but don’t cock up and get distracted by wanting to be all things to all men….
* “Is a Rolodex Maniac/Networks like Crazy!” Well you can tell this is a 1999 book (no mention of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Glad he really values the role of Personal Networks in success.
* “Is a ‘Renewal Fanatic’/Cultivates curiosity/Takes every opportunity to learn s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g new!” I love change – and I’m enthused by learning about Personal Networks. How to I keep this curiosity focussed?

So, a time to review with some good books. I think the three key areas that I need to investigate to help understand my Personal Network journey are:-

* Personal Branding. As Tom puts it “Your are the CEO of your Life” – so I’d best understand and be able to present my “brand”
* Social Networking. It’s the buzz of the moment – and I love the digital age – but how does this fit in to Personal Networks? I believe it’s a smaller, and less important, part of our life than people currently think.
* Personal Objectives. Where do I want to go? Otherwise, all other things don’t have a focus or fall in to place. The Cheshire Cat expresses this best in Alice in Wonderland:-

“Which road do I take?” (Alice)
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” (Cheshire Cat)

Holiday reading will be a lot less testing than the questions… Who I Am – and Where do I Want to Go!

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