Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Frank in the News... Frank E Petersen Jr.

We love the name Frank – it suits us - we are open, honest and direct… this means that we are not everyone’s cup of tea – but actually we are fine with that.

This post is the first in a series we are calling ‘Frank in the news’ where  we look at another frank who has hit the news recently – we have no idea what the stories will be – so hold on It could be a bumpy ride.

The Headline that prompted our interest – as reported in the LA Times  

‘Frank E. Petersen Jr. dies at 83; Flier was Marines’ first black general’

Frank E. Petersen Jr - (Source Wikipedia) 
‘Petersen was the’ Marine Corps first African American aviator and its first black general, bucking racism in nearly every step of  distinguished military career.’
He joined the military to ‘escape the constraints on blacks in his native Kansas,’ he died on 25 August 2015 at the age of 83 of lung cancer at his home in Stevensville Maryland. He had 5 children.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Frank! look at running Focus Group with Kids

In our work with Diabetes UK we have run a number of Workshops/focus groups with kids. These are some of the things that I have learnt along the way. This is not an absolute guide but it hopefully provides some useful tips. Please note that the tips should be adjusted to be age appropriate.

1)      Create a trusting atmosphere where all the participants feel they can talk freely. With slightly older kids I talk about the ‘Chatham House rule’ where ‘comments are not attributed to speakers’ so people can talk freely. I also often suggest to the kids that we agree that ‘what is said in the room stays in the room’.

2)      Set some rules that all the kids agree to. These can include: don’t talk over each other, give every one who wants it the chance to speak, listen to what other people say and value what other people say.  Most importantly tell everyone one in the room that they cannot get a question wrong, that this is not a test.

3)      Treat every child in the room as an expert and treat them with respect, tell them why you are doing the research and its aims. Make them feel valued

Monday, 9 June 2014

Stay engaged and remain curious

Sitting in a cafe in Luton a few days ago I caught sight of a poster 'House Rules' and although it was full of lots of the sort of cliched words I usually loathe it did make me think a bit about what I would want a poster about us (Frank Communication Solutions) to say. As someone who generally loves what I do (I get to work with some really amazing, clever and talented people - what's not to like?).So below are the perhaps cliched, perhaps trite but certainly heartfelt messages that I would like on a poster for our office.

- Today is going to be a great day
- Try something you love everyday 
- 'When you hand good people possibility, they do great things' (confessions of a creative mind)
- What good shall I do today?
- If you don't like something, change it
and perhaps my favourite 'Stay engaged and remain curious about the world'

Friday, 11 April 2014

What Dietmar Dahmen said to me (and about 500 other people)

On the 10 April I attended the Sitecore Digital Trendspot ‘Digitally Ever After’, ‘The Art of Storytelling’ conference at Islington’s Design centre. Dietmar Dahmen, self proclaimed ‘Enricher of People, Brands and User Experiences’ was the afternoon keynote speaker – and the 7 things I took away with me from his presentation were:
1)      Development is not in straight lines – it jumps as new technology opens up new opportunities
2)      You should not ask ‘Why’ you should ask ‘Why not’

Monday, 10 March 2014

Brainstorming the future - The future for the new digital age - Brighton 6 March 2014

JEB, (Junior Enterprise Brighton) ,organised and ran Brainstorming the future for the new digital age at Brighton University .  JEB is entirely managed by students who engage in projects such as professional consultancy to SME's, events management and charity fundraising. And for the event they secured a great trio of speakers: Aral Balkan, Rory Sutherland and Tom Warner. 

Things I have bought back to the office from Aral's presentation are below. 

Aral Balkan
-Facebook can see when a relationship is over - they have developed an algorithm that detects behaviors of a couple that are splitting up.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Alpha Papa -Growing up Gracefully

Being a business owner can be one hell of a ride and being the proud parent of a delightful 14 year old I have started to see the similarity between him trying to make and find his way in the world and me trying to grow and develop the business. He won't thank me for comparing his coming of age with my company finding it's feet - so best not mention it if you meet him!

Each day he seems to discover a little more about the man he wants to be - and each day we discover a little more about the sort of company we want to be.
He learns about the things he cares about and how to express his passions so they enthuse and excite those around him and we do the same.

How women can take the lead..

I went along to the RSA Brighton event last night – speakers were Penny Thompson, Chief Executive Brighton and Hove City Council,  Anne Boddington, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Brighton and Caroline Lucas, Green MP, Brighton Pavilion

Below I have pulled out a few things that struck a particular chord with me… and maybe they will with you too

Penny Thompson

I wanted to be the sort of manager I craved

Anti-models allowed me to fashion myself