Seth Godin

Your Turn

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Seth Godin is at it again. Another book is very soon to be released to challenge, inspire and reframe the how-we-do-things-around-here in our day to day lives. The “How we do things” when the we is a singular ‘I’.

Seth talks about his idea The book’s title is: “What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn)”. Like a lot of stuff Seth does, it is about shipping.

Seth’s colleague Winnie has put the YourTurnChallenge out there by inviting anyone to join in by writing one blog a day from 19 January on the theme of Your Turn. Read more and see her video here where the submission instructions can also be found. You don’t need your own blog! How easy is that!

This is what will be covered across the seven days:

Day 1: Why are you doing the Your Turn Challenge?
Day 2: Tell us about something that’s important to you.
Day 3: Tell us about something that you think should be improved.
Day 4: Teach us something that you do well.
Day 5: What advice would you give for getting unstuck?
Day 6: Tell us about a time when you surprised yourself.
Day 7: What are you taking with you from this Challenge?

I think this is an important challenge because it helps us (individually) to move past being unstuck which is mostly associated with one form of fear or another. It is also important from the perspective of the Design Forum because at is a process which involves all of us. It is not a spectator sport. It is not a massive plenary. The Design Forum all of us rising to the challenge of engaging with the right questions to find answers that will address how to improve the delivery of child survival.

You can blog about anything you want to, but could I suggest you help opening this conversation about the Design Forum. You don’t need to have the answers. You just need to ship.

Here are the rules:

  • Blog every day for 7 days.
  • You can write on any topic as long as you share a perspective. We’ll also have different prompts each day to spur your creativity.
  • Optional: share your posts on Facebook or Twitter and tag it #YourTurnChallenge. Your friends and family will know if you skipped a day….

Whether you do or don’t, I am going to, but I hope you do too!


Do you need a permit?

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Author Seth Godin at PDF 2007
Do it now before he changes his mind! Seth gives us his permission!

Where, precisely, do you go in order to get permission to make a dent in the universe?

This is the question Seth Godin asks us in his blog the previous week. Here is more of his blog comment- I think it is worth taking a minute to read. Subscribe to his blog here.

The accepted state is to be a cog. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we’re told. It’s safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.

When someone comes along and says, “not me, I’m going down a different path,” we flinch. We’re not organized to encourage and celebrate the unproven striver. It’s safer to tear them down (with their best interests at heart, of course). Better, we think, to let them down easy, to encourage them to take a safer path, to be realistic, to hear it from us rather than the marketplace.

Perhaps, years ago, this was good advice. Today, it’s clearly not. In fact, it’s disrespectful, ill-advised and short sighted. How dare we cheer when a bold changemaker stumbles? Our obligation today isn’t to spare the feelings of our peers from future disappointment. It’s to establish an expectation that of course they’re going to do something that matters.

If you think there’s a chance you can make a dent, GO.



You have my permission. Not that you needed it.

How did you respond to what he had to say?

I reflected on the journey that the 10 City Bridge Run has taken me on. Uncertainty and doubts at different points, moments where I didn’t have ‘enough’ and so plans had to change or be postponed, and thankfully hearing the encouragement and support from friends and strangers alike when I might have quietly been expecting someone to say something along the lines of: “that’s ridiculous/ it will never work/ have you asked the ‘authorities’?

In a world so consumed with brand, and where we measure success in how social media is ‘liked’ by ‘friends’ it is an empowering act to just start something. It is messy and raw- a lot of time is perhaps wasted trying to work out where it is supposed to be going. It reminds me of the decorating the children did when their ideas fell short captured in my earlier post titled “Tinkering…Come Play!“.

How big is the dent you are currently working on? Did you ever stop waiting for a permit?

Seth’s response

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a goo cheif
A Goo Cheif

I subscribe to Seth Godin‘s blog. Daily, Seth posts a few small words encasing a big idea to think about.

I emailed Seth a few days ago about a question I had in relation to what he had written, and his response gave me more food for thought.

My question was about leadership. His answer basically encouraged me to keep going in the same direction. My reflection on Saturday was:

Leadership presents both opportunity and responsibility. Often the temptation is to first find validation or comfort through following others.  Leadership in fact involves rising above this temptation and, through your actions, writing the narrative for those who follow.

The work required to eradicate extreme poverty involves some of this pioneering leadership, a lot of innovation and many to follow making good with what appears to work. Not everyone needs to lead, but not everyone should follow either.

What role are you playing? Leader? Innovator? Follower? Bystander? All of the above?

Marketing to the Bottom of the Pyramid

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Author Seth Godin at PDF 2007
Author Seth Godin

Seth Godin uncharacteristically has written more than just a couple of lines in his blog tonight. Hmmm. Something is floating his boat! Read all about it here: the paradox of marketing and the “Bottom Billion”.

He draws upon his work around tribes, and the distinction in world view between someone who is keeping up just surviving, and someone who is pursuing happiness wrapped up inside the latest box of something for sale.

And here’s the kicker: If you’re a tenth-generation subsistence farmer, your point of view is different from someone working in an R&D lab in Palo Alto.

A nice little segue to join three posts from this evening: this one, the previous video about social enterprise (provided courtesy of Seth), and the previous reflection of Peter Singer’s considerations about a nudge.