Picture of a roo.


Picture of a roo.


IBM’s Watson can analyse your personality based on your writings… and for me it was spot on!

The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more.

Go try it for yourself here: https://watson-pi-demo.mybluemix.net/

IBM’s gigantic super smart computer Watson can now analyse your personality based on your writing. Give it between 3000 and 6000 words of your personally reflective opinions and thoughts, and it will whiz bang you better than any personality test I have seen. I highly recommend reading The Secret Life of Pronouns, by: James Pennebaker which was used in the Watson analyses.

What did Watson have to say about me?

“You are heartfelt.

You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are assertive: you tend to speak up and take charge of situations, and you are comfortable leading groups. And you are proud: you hold yourself in high regard, satisfied with who you are.

You are motivated to seek out experiences that provide a strong feeling of well-being.

You are relatively unconcerned with tradition: you care more about making your own path than following what others have done. You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you.”

*Compared to most people who participated in our surveys.
Rock on Watson!

RE-MOTIVATION: “If you’re not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

The art of re-motivation: championing yourself

Welcome to my re-birth! Rise phoenix! Rise!

Your critics all got burned up in your last demise!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“If you’re not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

― Brene Brown

I’ve been a rather demotivated design ethnographer lately. It has been a decades long journey for me to be able to say these sorts of things aloud, but I’m doing it here so you can feel with me. I am in the middle of a very long Sisyphean rock roll uphill. (Aren’t we all?) I’ve been here for a while. I will probably be here for a while yet. I have talked it through with members of my team and my leaders. Other folks are doing what they can to support me through this mid winter, seasonally compounded slump. I love the people I work with and the amazing perspective they help me achieve.

It came about when I started to feel like an askhole (someone who asks others for advice / feedback but doesn’t take on-board anything when they don’t like what they hear). I’ve been working on this stuff for what seems like forever. I thought I was done. Yet, all the feedback and interested parties just kept coming. All these people who have an interest but haven’t made it any easier. All these people who have feedback or something to say without saying much at all. All these critics and critical thinkers expounding on what needs to be done better, paralysing me into taking very little baby steps so as not to offend anyone. BAH! Out of my way! BAH!

As a consultant you get the creation to a recognisable format to tell the story meaningfully of what must happen and then you hand the baby over to others so they can raise the child to be a fully functioning ‘thing.’ What I had not counted on, as I changed roles this last year, was that I was now responsible for this child until it was a fully functioning thing. I had thought this was what I wanted when I changed roles. I wanted to see my babies grow up. Who knew raising babies was such hard work?, and it is never done! So just when I thought it made sense and the adoptive parents would swoop in… turns out there are no adoptive owners, you own this thing. Yes you! The ethnographer, you the researcher, you the ‘other’ must become one of us now and raise this child. Yeah yeah, so I’m learning new skills. Yeah growth is uncomfortable. Yeah anything worth doing is hard. Got it, now how to we get ourselves to feeling better when out of FLOW and in a slump?

If I am one thing it is stubborn, and I do not quit when I’ve signed on for something. I can think of so many instances where I signed my name on the dotted line for huge, expansive, massive adventures and then want to dash part of the way through. I never do. I cannot stand to think of leaving something half done. To imagine my name on something that is only partially complete makes my spine crawl. So I will persevere, I will keep coming back and trying new ways. I will be fuelling my fire from a diverse range of support systems. I will be looking at the issues with fresh eyes and from new angles. I will make this baby sing its way into a glorious adulthood.

So what has changed? What has helped me rally out of discontent?

  • Talking -> to those closest to me at home and at work
  • This too shall pass & I’m gonna make it go! Brrrrmmmm BRRRMMM!
  • Done is simply putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly while breathing deeply.
  • Today I watched Brene Brown talk about sweaty creatives and the arena & critics: Here is Brene’s full speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-JXOnFOXQk

So if you’re feeling what I’m feeling drop me a comment or a tweet (@aliciadudek) & let’s help each other with our stories.

Business as movements by John Hagel – Centre for the Edge Talks – Sydney June 2nd, 2015

John Hagel from the Deloitte Centre for the Edge gave an interesting talk at Deloitte in Sydney today. He was all about that narrative and that creation space! How you need those two working together to craft a movement & such! Here is my on the fly visual capture of the conversation. I haven’t seasoned it yet so take it with a grain of salt. #BAM Find out more about John & corporate narratives here

You can click on the images to expand them to larger size & higher quality.

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7

How fungus foraging is like business + South Aussie guest blogger: Mel talks mushroom foraging!

Boletus Edulis a.k.a. my precious
Boletus Edulis a.k.a. my precious

I am a fungus fanatic. I have always adored hunting for our fungus overlords. I affectionately call them a variety of pet names.

Boletus Edulis, or Porchini as you might know it, is a find that never ceases to make my heart flutter. It is a hobby with magnificent rewards and myco-mania at its best.

I often liken it to business development activities. The parallel is natural to me. To be successful you must look under dozens of trees. We forage in a variety of micro climatic, time disparate, 4 dimensional spaces in order to identify the moment of finding our target. Similarly in business you must have your finger on the pulse in order to pursue the fruitful endeavours that make you happy and make you money.

Once you have found the identified and qualified target, you must inspect it thoroughly for defects, hangers on, and possible future problems. Then you weigh the decision does it belong in my basket? Is it good enough to carry all the way back to the car, drive home, clean and cook / dehydrate? Same with projects and business pursuits, is it worth the slice of my time that it is going to require?

Next comes the risk radar and decision making equipment. Do I want it? Will it be right? Will it go as planned?

The answer is always it depends.

Fungus and business my two hobbies for life.

Have a gander at this simple post from fellow fungus fanatic Mel Haynes.

Guest blogger: Mel talks mushroom foraging!.

Warning! A rant on thoughtless interactors!

thoughtless interactor

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a thoughtless interactor? Have you ever been approached by a person whose thoughtlessness in their communication to you created irritation? An interaction that simply bamboozled you in its obliviousness and immediately annoyed you? Someone who just made you shake your head in disgust and ask:

  • Why are you emailing, texting, or calling me at inopportune moments?
  • Why are you sending massively verbose documents and requiring feedback via email?
  • Why do you think that I don’t want to interact with you?

As a thoughtless interactor could it be that you are on the receiving end of these negative client/customer* situations?

  • Because you haven’t taken the time to get to know me enough to gauge how I will take your message. Stop charging ahead with what you want from me before you understand me.
  • Because you keep making more work for me. Stop adding things to my to-do list and make it easy for me to talk to you.
  • Because I don’t like your thoughtless approach to getting what you want from me. Stop and think before you create an interaction.

Basic human interaction design principles centre around lessening the ‘cognitive burden’ on the client or customer of the interaction. Many daily interactions could be better with a small dose of human interaction common sense!

Basic interaction design principles would encourage us all to:

  1. Understand the client/customer & their world
  2. Know your role in interacting with the client / customer
  3. Craft your messaging, medium, & response required from the client / customer to fit or exceed their expectations
  4. Follow through & follow-up to create follower-ship (the making of advocates)
  5. Be fun, different, & a breath of fresh air (apply the power of positivity)

Let’s all be thoughtful interactors! Huzzah!

Rant over.

*Remember that everyone you interact with is your client or customer in one way or another. When in doubt follow the chain of customer-ship.

Gnarly PowerPoints


This week at work I presented my method on making gnarly PowerPoints. It was surfing inspired.  I enjoyed it a bit too much. 🙂

What I’ve learned this year: how to be a snail in the dark

snail in the dark
No need to run in the dark, likely a snail will conquer the ambiguous darkness by testing the environment.

This year I have been seriously focused on a specific mission in my growth, focusing on strengths & building an advocate base in hostile turf. Often this makes me feel like I am crawling along at a snail’s pace deep in a dark ambiguous place, with no knowledge what kind of dangers are around me. This has helped me to slow my roll and learn new skills to test the environment around me before making grandiose leaps of effort which might have little impact.

Our project this year has been a whirlwind opportunity that has allowed me to grow my skills and resilience by huge factors. Most importantly I have learned few key super powers I’d like to share with you:

1. The power of the one pager
A well thought out and cleverly designed story on a single page gets more buy-in than all the reams of research behind it. A one pager done well can take you longer than a 10 page report, but its so easily shareable and gets your message across well.

2. The power of the live visualisation
A good doodle on a whiteboard goes much further than all the research, reports, interviews and client quotes you can find.

3. The power of ‘covert network comms’
As you try to go around and get buy-in from seriously busy people, whose diaries are always chock-a-block… it is often easier to go see all their direct reports individually and communicate with the whole network covertly before you can reach the top dog. Giving people a sneak peek is a great feeling and a good way to gather and incorporate their critiques making the whole a more successful endeavour.

The good life, as told by a nine year old

Hey listen, think about 9 year old Julissa, who can so clearly articulate what the good life is, maybe we should all try this activity and gain some clarity?

Relational Welfare Blog Archive

We’ve just run across this tweet by the brilliant 826 Valencia, a San Francisco-based organisation that promotes writing skills for young people. It was created by 9 year old Julissa and shows her take on “the good life”:

The Good Life

We love this because (aside from being pretty darn adorable)  Julissa has managed to create in what we’re guessing was a few minutes what it’s taken our researchers years to refine: a framework of the capabilities people need to create a good life. They might differ a little bit, but all the important pieces are there:

Our capabilities Julissa’s good life
Relationships: capability to build and sustain relationships Helping family; helping friends (We hope they help you too, Julissa)
Work & learning: capability to participate in structured learning and working activities Have a job; good school (no skipping class, no hitting)
Community & environment: capability…

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