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I did become Emperor of Shrinkonia.
I realized I need a different language for writing about projects. I realized I need embarrassing drawings to express my thoughts on projects. I know projects are about humans. Heck, it has been my tagline for many years. But how can I talk about people stuff when the tools I have to communicate with are technocratic, cold and impersonal? You see why I need Shrinkonia?
So. I turned 40, started drawing and became emperor of my own imaginary state. Go figure.
Shrinkonia: a place where project teams find connection and flow, so they can create amazing things together. It’s located all over the world. And mobile. So it moves around. And people come and go. They move to Shrinkonia fluently and leave as they have done their thing. Also home of The Project Shrink. And MacGuyver. Although. They do not really live together.
I am going to declare Shrinkonian royalty. People that may use an imaginary title for one year.
In this case, the best bloggers of 2011.
Judged by me and MacGuyver. Exactly.
I like blogs more than books. Well. Certain types of blogs. Blogs that are like television series. Blogs that show how the authors cope with gaps in their thinking. I like blogs that write about work in the context of identity and belonging. Penelope Trunk explains:
“But I want to keep writing about careers because I think the topic is actually mostly about belonging. We each want to contribute to something, and we each want to feel safe. Work is so much more than just earning money. Work is about figuring out where we belong in a wider context than our circle of friends and family. Writing about the workplace and careers is writing about belonging in the most fundamental sense of the word.”
So. Here we go. The best Shrinkonian blogs of 2011. All may use the title Duchess or Duke of Shrinkonia for a year. There! Congratulations.
There is no other blog that influenced me as much as the Fluent Self blog by Havi Brooks. I link to her writings very often in my postings. I like it so much that after reading it intensively the last couple of years, I started to adopt some of her layout techniques, use of words and topics. Yes! Exactly.
She’s a biggified teacher of stuff, organizes week-long “workshops” during which people can work on their thing. It’s actually kind of difficult to explain when you aren’t a regular reader of her blog. One explanation: “So there’s this woman? I kind of sort of know her from online. No, not like that. She has a duck! Anyway, she runs a playground. Yes. It’s like preschool, but for grownups.”
Penelope Trunk writes about work and careers. She mixes her advice with extremely personal stories about her family and relationships. Penelope has Asperger syndrome. This makes it difficult for her to sense which social behavior is appropriate under certain conditions. So, she studies the rules in the workplace and society about which social behavior is when appropriate and she behaves according to these rules.
She used to live in New York. Currently she lives on a farm in Wisconsin. Her insights in combination with her brutal honesty makes this one of the Best Shrinkonian Blogs of 2011!
Lori is the resident self-organizing group researcher from Collective Self. She writes about her experiences being a member of several self-organizing groups, from consulting groups to flash mobs. She describes the inner working and feelings as a member of the groups. What I personally find fascinating about her writings is that they are personal, they are about things she experienced herself. They are mostly stories. And we all know, I love stories!
Her posts remind me that the feelings inside your body, your emotions are also telling you a lot about your place in a group. She is also an awesome friend I am currently writing an ebook series with.
James is a trader, investor, writer, and entrepreneur living in New York City. A little over a year ago he started to write about his life in the most honest way he can. He talks about how he earned and lost millions as a trader. He writes about his fears and wishes using fascinating true stories. This man really knows how to write. And he writes often. It’s both fascinating and authentic, that’s for sure.
Scott Berkun used to be a Project Manager at Microsoft. And then he wrote a lot of famous best selling books (three!). And a fantastic blog. And essays. And stuff. As Elizabeth wrote perfectly in her nomination: “He writes well about project management and other business topics like public speaking and innovation, which is perfect for Shrinkonia. And his colophons are always really funny.”
A Project Manager that has conversations with his imaginary gorilla? And the gorilla’s name is Hogarth?
Meet Joel Bancroft-Connors: “Oh, right! Meet Hogarth. He’s sitting down the table, wedged between the QA director and the product manager, quietly reading his newspaper and ignoring everyone else. It’s a bit of tight fit, but what do you expect from an 800 pound gorilla?”
Joel took a gorilla instead of the elephant that is normally used in the phrase “the elephant in the room”. And he writes about it on his blog.
I mean. Come on.
That’s Shrinkonian royalty for you!