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Making innovation work for good. T:@inspirechilli

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Being Napoleon

The last few days I’ve been continuing work on fleshing out the 5 areas of Open Talent towards a practice manual for a new Foyer.  Hopefully, the first drafts of that will be in place over the next couple of months to offer a key component for an Open talent community of practice, allowing a more fluid exchange of different models and ideas between services in the UK and Australia through a coherent framework of ingrediants.  

I’ve caught up with two bright and engaging American grad students on work experience in the not for profit sector, and discovered that our traditional game of rugger is known over there as ‘scottish rugby’.  Whatever that might mean. Maybe they got confused between shorts and kilts, or the shape of the ball?

I’ve spent time with Anglicare to catch up with their fresh learning on the Foyer approach in Perth (where they are building the Oxford Foyer, which suggests that the Harvard Foyer must happen one day), the quest for the right Foyer evidence base, and the many interpretations of re-brand images.
And today, I turned up for a meeting with Maddock’s – one of Australia’s top 20 law firms – to find my name printed on a lunch menu with a lectern to present Open Talent before the arrival of dark chocolate fondant dessert (the perfect way to keep me focused on keeping to time).  Lunch meetings at the Federation are a more humble affair of sandwiches and water, rather than beef fillet or roast pumpkin with wine. I never thought I would find myself in a room full of lawyers for 2 hours without worrying about how much it was costing.  The outcome was a sparky conversation, a real engagement from those present about working with young people in transition and the role of charity and the corporate sector to lead an ‘advantaged thinking’ campaign.  The ‘lightbulb’ moment rippled around the room.  I’m not convinced my days as an after dinner speaker have begun, but certainly this was the beginning of an intelligent conversation in the potential for Open Talent in Australia.  We ought to be doing more of this in the UK.

The real beef and pumpkin that Maddock’s brings is the ‘talent’ around the table – and the doors for change in different social networks that they can help open.  Passing a rather large cut out of Napoleon in the foyer on my way out  – an advert for  an exhibition in town, rather than a partner in the firm – it felt that the TalentS revolution for a more positive world was marching on. .. Anyone for the Waterloo Foyer?

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