I will confess to being a bit nervous before my keynote – ”The digital workplace: how to avoid Parkinson’s Law and Bureaucracy 2.0” – at the Intranets2014 conference in Sydney.
Would an Australian audience recognize the dilemmas I was to speak about? Would they buy the assumption behind the talk: that we have a certain right to demand that the place we work should be decent to humans? And that we have a right to have our say, also in the workplace?
These are fundamental European, perhaps Nordic, values. In many parts of the world – the US, for example – I suspect they just would not make sense to many people. Executives and owners rule; end of story. If you’re not happy, clear your desk.
But what about Australia?
What I realized was that Australia share many fundamental values with Europe (as evident by public health care, public transport, trade unions, etc).
It was also clear that the trend of more and more command and control, documentation and administration is strong in Australia, too. And the country has been hit hard by several stupid digital systems. For example the Myki public transport ticket system in Victoria or the federal payroll system fiasco in Queensland. And troubled – seriously troubled – attempts to implement digital solutions in health care (more in an upcoming blog post).
So the response from the audience was quite good, both in the room and on Twitter.
And I’m very happy to share that I got the highest rating – Excellent – by 78 % of the people listening, and second highest, Good, by 16 % (94% in all.) A few comments from the post-conference surveys:
”Jonas Soderstrom: His insights were so clear and made me look at my whole project and its objectives in a new way. Also very entertaining!”
”Jonas Söderström was outstanding and particularly inspiring.”
”Jonas Söderström – very unique perspective and highly entertaining.”
”Jonas- so different and fresh. A different way of thinking and intellectually challenging.”
”I can’t put a finger of what was so special about Jonas, but I was hanging on his every word.”
A huge thanks to StepTwo for the fantastic opportunity to come to Australia. Intranets was a great and friendly conference with a lot of brilliant speakers (see all of Rebecca Jackson’s sketchnotes here), and StepTwo are excellent organizers; I really recommend you to visit it next year if you have the opportunity. (And if not, you should definitely get some of their excellent books. Highly recommended!)
My presentation is here on Slideshare: