‘Finding your Campfire’ is about our journey out of the office, into the wilderness of remote work. The book is available as an eBook for free. It is arranged in three sections, which explore our individual challenges, the leadership perspective, and a view of culture for the broader Organisation. This is the latest in my series of Social Age Guidebooks, but a little different from the others as it has gone from conception into print in just four weeks, which has been something of a record, especially as those four weeks have coincided with our virus Lockdown, and hence full time parenting alongside work!
In common with all my other Social Age Guidebooks, each section includes practical tips and guidance, in this case written as ‘Expedition Notes’.
‘Packing your Backpack’ explores the individual journey into remote working: we look at space and separation, and how we need to set our own boundaries if we are to thrive. I use the analogy of setting up your individual campsite, and how some spaces should be dedicated to different things: spaces for work, spaces for family, spaces for a G&T at the end of the day…
In the section on ‘making sure your books fit’, i look at how we should find comfort now, as this may be a long journey.
A central theme of this section is balance, and we consider how it’s important to set our rules on time and energy: it explores how our energy may come from different places, but wherever it comes from, we should be prepared for a long journey, and should ensure we are running with credit in the account.
Finally it considers the different ways we care for each other, and how we may take practical steps to build our community around us.
‘Leading the Expedition’ is about leadership, but not just formal leadership: it’s the way that we are all, as Social Leaders, responsible for, and to, our communities.
We consider how leadership is different beyond the office, where our spaces have proliferated, but our sense of belonging may have fractured.
We look in detail at the social currencies, and consider how they are traded across teams and Organisations, and how they matter even more in the wilderness of Remote Work.
Finally we explore how Social Leaders take a system wide view: not just looking at the bright lights and listening to the sounds of the party, but seeking out silent voices, and creating space, opportunity, and support, for everyone. Even those who exist beyond their bonds of tribe and trust.
‘Being Together Apart’ is the final section, and that phrase is the one that spurred me into writing this book in the first place: it’s a consideration of how we maintain culture and a shared story as we flee into the wilderness, and how we must consider if this is a time of crisis, or opportunity.
We look at what ‘belonging’ means, and how we understand ourselves to be a ‘member’ of something at all: and with that understanding, how we can create opportunities and support for membership.
The core theme is about how we create the campsite, but that we all carry the weight of the firewood and kindling to make the campfire. The central exploration is how everyone will carry a different weight, because some of us carry other weights that may be hidden or unknown, and that our responsibility to each other is neither to lead as heroes, or spectate from the side, but rather to contribute as we are able to a shared system.
We consider the rituals and artefacts of Community, and how all of them can be lost as we have left the office behind, unless we take the time to script and rehearse new rituals, and find out own artefacts.
Culture itself may have come with us from the office, but runs the risk of fragmenting, falling into ever smaller and more local units, so my encouragement is to create shared storytelling spaces, to recognise individual narratives, and document your journey.
Finally, we think about trust, and how it can fracture when we are together, but apart.
In line with all my Social Age Guidebooks, this launches as Version 1, but will update over time: it’s a free resource, and you are welcome to share it to whoever may find value in it.
You can download ‘Finding your Campfire – a Remote Working Survival Guide’ here.
All my other Social Age Guidebooks are also freely available through this link.