Could built environment leaders cut it in a digital world?

An excellent Communique newsfeed from Nancy Settle-Murphy this morning, at looking at effectiveness of leaders in a virtual world.  It strikes me this is a lesson perhaps for built environment and construction leaders as we move into a communication era that is increasingly digital, web based, social media enabled and BIM (Building Information Model) focused:

Even the most experienced team leaders can make us weep with boredom. They torture us with their monotone narrations of 10-Mb slide decks. They regale us with irrelevant minutiae, while sidestepping the really important stuff. Their meetings are more like monologues, with everyone else listening from the sidelines. And for the most part, they probably imagine they’re pretty interesting people!

When we experience boring leaders face-to-face, we have to at least pretend to be somewhat interested. We might take notes (even if it’s a shopping list!), throwing in a few occasional nods so we won’t be called on to replay key points. Copious amounts of caffeine help to some degree, as do the many bio breaks we’ll inevitably need as a result. And who hasn’t had a colleague place an “emergency” phone call in extreme cases of ennui?

Tuning out boring virtual leaders is far easier. Once you put yourself on mute, there’s no end to the more important things you can do, like responding to emails, writing up your latest status report, or finding the best price on that new digital camera you’ve been pining for. (If you work from home, this “important” work can extend to laundry, dinner prep, weight-lifting and more.) As long as you’re within earshot of the conversation, your team leader may assume you’re present while in fact you are completely absent.

So, how can boring virtual leaders learn to become more captivating? (And no, it is not an inherent skill that some are just born with!) In this issue, I take a look at some steps even the blandest leader can take to evolve into an engaging, stimulating and captivating leader, from near or far.

No one actively aspires to be boring. And yet regrettably, few leaders actively attempt to be interesting.

Read on … from Nancy Settle-Murphy on Commique 

Advertisements

be2camp north shapes up

www-constInterested in the Built Environment?  Not sure about Web 2.0, social media, blogs, Twitter and the like?

Then Be2camp North is the event for you.

Following on from the world’s first Web 2.0 construction event, in London in October 2008, Be2camp North in Liverpool on 15 May brings together people interested in how Web 2.0 can help industry professionals create a more sustainable built environment. From using social media for marketing to GIS, BIM and virtual worlds, Be2camp will stimulate and challenge how you use the web. Find out more at http://www.be2camp.comJust looking at the potential scope and range of topics for the up coming be2camp north event in Liverpool on the 15th May.

be2camp

The topics and themes for the day are shaping up as follows?  Where else will you be able to get the following for ‘free’ ?

Register Here

Topics:

Ada Lovelace Day – Women and technology (Suw Charman-Anderson – via Skype)

Geographical information

  • Geographical information and urban design (Rollo Home)
  • Earth Exchange, map mashups for construction (Alex Albon)
  • Geo-caching – talk and game (Martin Brown and others)

Second Life + other Virtual Worlds

  • Wikitecture – a Second life view from USA (Keystone Bouchard)
  • Pivote – Second Life emergency training (Dave @ Daden)
  • Maybe a Second Life contribution from Leeds? (Angrybeth)
  • SL Pennine Lancs (elevate) visualisation (Jeff Smithson)
  • Sustainability Now 2009: lessons from the latest virtual exhibition (Phil Clark / UBM?).

Ubiquitous computing

  • Arduino session (Amon Katz)
  • The internet of things – Adrian McEwen

BIM

Other topics

  • Web 2.0 and construction PR and marketing (Paul Wilkinson)
  • Social media guide for AEC people: out of beta (Pam Broviak)
  • Online communities: the Constructing Excellence collaborative working champions (Martin Brown / Paul Wilkinson)
  • Bazaart: Street art and urban design (Daniel Gilbert)
  • Possible Passiv Haus link with San Fransisco
  • CWC recession survival guide launch?
  • Kalexo: new levels of interaction in construction collaboration (TBC – possibly input from California)

What would you like to see?  Please use the be2camp discussion forums feature to:

  • volunteer to speak on an existing topic/idea
  • suggest additional or alternative speakers
  • suggest additional or alternative topics
  • nominate speakers where nobody is currently listed
  • volunteer a presentation, a story or anecdote of your own

Background:

The Be2camp concept started as a Twitter conversation between Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson, following Martin’s attendance at Barcamp-type events, suggesting we do ‘something’ for the (UK) built environment. This discussion was picked by Jodie Miners in Australia, through Twitter, and through conversations within Second Life with Pam Broviakfrom Illinois, USA. The timing of Be2camp 2008 was fixed to coincide with Jodie’s visit to the UK, while Pam helped coordinate Be2camp’s Second Life activities. So now you know who to contact, praise or blame!

web tech construction

Do you know your Twitter from an Avatar, or RSS from a BIM?

I am currently running an innovation circle for Construction Knowledge Exchange (CKE) looking at the use of web technology in construction at UCLAN.  The first session  took a lightning tour through communication, design and collaboration in the sector, from fax machines to BIM storms.

Innovation circles are based on a cycle of four 2 hour sessions, the content of each being decided by the delegates based upon the first ‘overview’ session.  Web technology in construction flyer

Future sessions will look into the worlds of:

■ Communications—blogs, twitter, skype and conference tools.(Thursday 10th April 1pm)

■ Information—google and wikis

■ Design—beyond CAD to Second Life, BIM and Bimstorms.

…. and, technology (wifi) permitting will be more hands on and interactive wih the web applications. (Why is I find the most trouble some place to get wifi or internet connections is within universities?  OftenI feel like taking the workshop “across the road” to a MacDonalds or Starbucks !)

Following the fourth session the presentation materials will be available here and on slideshare, with a recap at the be2campnorth event on 15th May in Liverpool.

be2camp count down

With only four days until be2camp meets in London, this blog over the next few days will feature updates of what you can expect, and profile some of the events, speakers, and our sponsors.

More information and details of registration (its free to register) can be found at http://www.be2camp.com

OK, the initial ‘keynotes’ are shaping up like this, so far…

09:30 Registration and networking

10:00 Welcome, introductions, housekeeping, sponsors, be2camp story,

People, planet, productivity

Death to Email! (Suw Charman-Anderson)

Free our data (Charles Arthur, The Guardian)

Free our mapping response – data  (Live from Angus Scown, Australia)

11.00  Coffee then 3 streams of concurrent sessions

13:45 – AEC Design in Second Life, Aloft Hotels (Live from Second Life Jon Brouchoud)

14.00 then 3 streams of concurrent sessions, including live link ups from Second Life

17:30 Pecha Kucha

Remember be2camp is based upon the barcamp, unconference form of event, so things will evolve and change on the day – what would you like to see or share to inprire others?

Keep in touch via twitter on @be2camp or the be2camp website

be2camp founders and un-organisers are: martin brown, paul wilkinson, jodie miners, pam broviak

Contact be2camp via be2camp@gmail.com

Next blog will cover …. Stream One ….Collaborating through Web2.0

does the built environment ‘get’ the web?

CEO’s do not ‘get’ the web, according to the last of four articles in today’s Telegraph that reviewed Steve Tappin and Andrew Cave’s book The Secrets of CEOs and looked at the emerging web3.0 and its impact on business.

Web3.0 will have a profound impact on building designs and the way we use buildings, through for example the use of cloud computing that will remove the need for server space and the required power and cooling energy. It will also impact on office space layout as network access becomes unchained from the desk and floor box.

But in the built environment the biggest impact may well be on collaboration that changes relationships, supply and value chains beyond recognition …

Web 2.0 has been focused on social communities, on individual relationships; things not focused on the office. … Web 3.0 will be about more interaction between customers and vendors and competitors, on making life better for the customer.- provide better collaboration on business problems.

And of course more predictions on virtual worlds, and second life…

Forecasters Gartner are predicting that by the end of 2011, 80pc of active internet users and Fortune 500 enterprises will have a “second life”,

with no where to hide problems, mistakes or greenwash …

Reputational damage in the Web 3.0 environment will be swift for companies that are caught out, because of the speed with which information can spread around the world.

So I guess an equally important question is how well does  the built environment ‘get’ the web?

be2camp in London on the 10th October, may well be seen as the start of awareness for many in the built environment to get to grips with and better understand some of the emerging web2.0 and web3.0 applications.

Post note – just as I finished this item I received a tweet (Twitter) from Krishna De in Ireland with a link to her blog article on the state of web use among SME’s: Organise, Activate And Influence Social Activism Through Social Media relating to a recent study released by O2 and TNS MRBI

  • SMS messaging for business communications, increasing from 29% four years ago to almost half (49%) today.
  • almost half of SME owner managers are unaware of what a blog is – and that just over one in 16 (6%) SME respondents has started a business blog while 5% have a personal blog.

Think maybe over but thinking goes on

It was disappointing to read Phils blog post yesterday that the Think sustainability conference and exhibition is to be discontinued by CMP, but the reasons given do make sense.

Having visited both Think 07 and Think 08, I would say that Think 07 made an important contribution to built environment sustainability, shaping agendas and providing a forum for discussion and innovation.  I am afraid I cannot say the same for Think 08.   Was it as Phil suggests the lack of ‘names’ (07 had Al Gore on video link for example), or was it the all too corporate feel of 08?  (see 08 thoughts from 08)

It should be noted the sterling job Phil did with Think, and it is a pity lessons cannot be learnt to have a Think 09. But whilst Think may be over the thinking goes on.

One of the topics this raises is the face to face event versus the virtual on line event. I have blogged many times on this, arguing for a mixture, and making real event material available online at the same time, either through closed streaming or through public streaming into second life. There is always the cost (and now carbon travel debate) of attending real events if you are not in the host city.

Paul (fellow Be2camp unorganiser) also comments on this at EvolutionExtranet noting from  Sustainability Now (also organised by Phil ), that pure online events are not the perfect alternative either. (see my comments on sustainability now)

So are large national exhibitions and conference days numbered?  Logic would say yes, maybe being replaced by smaller, regional and local events.  But then the Green Build and Eco City mega conferences in the USA tend to suggest otherwise as they attract tens of thousands to the event with many thousand others tuning in online. One noticeable aspect of these is the live blogging, podcasting the open approach to have a myriad of blogging media partners across the globe. This use of Web2, allows dialogue into and out of the events months before and months after the actual physical event, making them much more of a web presence than an event.  There is even the opportunity to twitter questions live into panel debates.

Looking ahead to upcoming sustainability events I am involved with actually gives comfort that we will / have avoided the issues Think may have fallen into.

Be2camp

The idea for an ‘event’ to explore web2 approaches within the built environment came from attending other barcamp and pecha kucha events. These have a unique buzz and vibrancy lacking at corporate feel events.

Be2Camp to be held on October 10th (London) is being organised on unconference or BarCamp principles, with a very open approach to determining the agenda, the attendees decide!  The organisers based in three continents communicate through twitter, skype and blogs, again very open, allowing anyone to contribute. Consequently it has the feel of being very much a peoples event, and grows in spirit and scope as more join the planning.  It is planned to stream happenings out from the event onto the web and possibly a parallel event within second life.

Constructing the Sustainable Way

The Elevate East Lancs sustainability conference scheduled for October organised through Creative Concern. This has been referred to as the eco build or green build of the north, but is much much more than that. Yes it will have names, but will also be the celebration of the local sustainable stars competition that  has been running for months. Care has been taken to ensure that the workshops are practical, learning and sharing sessions, there will be second life link ups and open mic pecha kucha question time evening events planned.  Again it is shaping up to be a peoples event.

(The website for this event is scheduled to go live today I am told – so watch this space)

be2camp goes live

BE2Camp, 10 October, London

be2camp

Web 2.0 meets the UK construction industry at a novel new event,

BE2camp, to be held on Friday 10 October at the Building Centre in London.

Having been part of the (international) planning team behind this event, I am delighted that we now have some details confirmed. If you fancy becoming part of the event, whether as a sponsor, a speaker or simply a participant (whether in person or virtually), please join in.

You can also follow developments on twitter by following @be2camp

There will be more here and on the site as the event shapes up. The other members of the planning team have blogs which will I am sure carry be2camp news as well:

EvolutionExtranet (London) Paul Wilkinson

Public Works Blog (Illonois) Pam Broviak

I have no opinions (Sydney) Jodie Miners