It was super interesting to hear Colin Greenwood from Radiohead talk about how they work. He played us a bunch of unreleased versions of some of their well know tracks and described their creation process.
They have spent a lot of time setting up a studio that's perfect for jamming in. All the band members are able to take the stuff they've played, sample it, re-use and play around with live. Colin showed us some video's of them jamming and the setup looked really messy but conducive for making their music.
It's a way of working that every consultant and their uncle is currently implementing in tons of workplaces right now and I have mixed feelings about just how well it works in most companies. Radiohead and other musicians, designers, photographers are able to work in this way because they don't have anyone to please but themselves a lot of the time. I'd like to get better at this way of working. I have a bunch of long term projects, but I don't want to wait ages before making stuff public. One of the best things I've learnt putting my recent photographic exhibition on is the power of making your stuff public. The conversations I've had with people have been priceless as far as my learning and development of the Beyond Work project and my photographic practice goes.
The exhibition and all my photographic adventures feels a lot like Radioheads jamming sessions right now. Lots to learn.
Read the rest of the series here.
It's pretty good timing for this post because I've just done something. I launched my first ever photographic exhibition on Thursday night. It felt both exciting and also like an out of body experience. There's a 64 foot long wall covered in my photographs and people are looking at them, in the flesh, not on a screen. Nervousness and the usual imposter syndrome aside, it's amazing to have done this. I feel super proud of myself.
I actually don't talk that much about being a photographer to most people. I do with friends, family and people involved in my projects. I'm not going to talk about here apart from to say it's always been something I've done, since my childhood, running the school dark room. It's only been in the last two years that I've gone from taking photographs to working on proper projects. I've been hugely inspired by Jim Stephenson and the Miniclick group in Brighton. If you want to meet someone that is a doer not just a talker, Jim is your man.
With any idea or project, the thing that matters is doing. But doing takes many forms. I see many companies talking about the stuff they do, painting a picture of near perfection, expertise and purpose. I stopped running People who do because what we talked about doing wasn't what we actually did some of the time. We offered culture change, retreats, productivity and lots in between, yet, we couldn't really help ourselves with that stuff. It felt like the classic unhealthy doctor syndrome.
I'm really intrigued, were we alone in this, how many companies struggle with taking their own medicine? How many consultants are out there advising clients, but not using that advice themselves? How much does it matter?
I'm glad I took some of the medicine I'd been offering to clients. It's led to some things ending and lots of amazing things starting. It led to me going to the Do Lectures. It led to me doing loads of things I'm a little fearful of.
What stuff have you been talking about for a while and might need to pay more attention to, reconnect with or start?