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Archive for September, 2007

the big draw

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The Big Draw kicks off tomorrow with a mission to show that drawing is “enjoyable, liberating and at everyone’s fingertips”.

This is conveniently timed as I’m on a mission to spend more of my time drawing at work (part of a larger mission to spend less time with my computer). Step one was completed when I moved to my (huge) new desk and decided to keep it pretty much clear, bar the computer and an A3 sketch pad. Admittedly a lot of what gets scribbled on the pad is phone numbers and to-do lists but it has seen a fair bit of drawing too. It has been on a few trips to the cafe downstairs too. I tried taking it to a couple of meetings but that felt plain odd. So I also need to replaced my ruled notepad that goes to meetings with a smaller sketch pad. I never stick to the rules so the latter is pretty pointless.

Khoi Vinh wrote of doodling designers:

“The last thing you want to do, if you’re a designer in a business environment who wants to be taken seriously, is spend your time in meetings doodling like an idle schoolboy. “

But drawing isn’t always doodling (‘to scribble aimlessly’) – if we’re allowed to write down our thoughts in meetings then why not draw them.

Perhaps it is time to copy David’s ‘A Drawing A Day‘.

Written by Karen

September 29th, 2007 at 9:22 am

Posted in work

caring about what your company does

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Recently at work I received a survey request from a member of our HR team. She is studying for a further degree and was collecting data for her dissertation on organisational psychology.

At its heart the survey was evaluating what I though the values of the BBC were and how well this matched my own. Her hypothesis was that the closer the fit between my values and how I perceived the BBC’s values then the more likely I would be to be satisfied with my work and actively commited to it. I would be less likely to be intending to find a new job.

It was an interesting task given that the BBC has a clearly articulated set of values:

  • Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest.
  • Audiences are at the heart of everything we do.
  • We take pride in delivering quality and value for money.
  • Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation.
  • We respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best.
  • We are one BBC: great things happen when we work together.
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/purpose/


The values are on our diaries, our ID cards and displayed 10ft tall in the entrance to the Media Centre. When they were first announced years ago I was skeptical of their usefulness as they seemed to boil down to the staff being told to ‘be good’. Uncontroversial but hardly profound.

Reflecting on this now I realise that ‘be good’ has two meanings and they pretty much sum up how I see the BBC’s values: making high quality products and programmes whilst playing nicely.

We may fall short at times but the goals remain pretty appealing.

Written by Karen

September 15th, 2007 at 9:25 am

Posted in psychology,work