Rebooting Roblog

A roadmap for where this place is headed

2023 has, for me at least, been an eventful year. I’ve started a new consultancy, I’ve been dabbling in starting up a consumer brand, I got a dog. I’ve been keeping weeknotes on how those things are going.

Given all that, I suppose it’s no surprise that Roblog has languished a little, and perhaps I shouldn’t beat myself up about it too much. But I also think there’s more to it than that. I think it’s also languished because I haven’t had a clear enough idea of what exactly it is and who exactly it’s for.

What unites everything that I’ve written over the years, especially the nearly three years that I’ve been sending out my newsletter? Summarising it all paints an odd and disparate picture. I’ve written about creativity, knowledge, uncertainty, fraud, organisational cultures, making sense of the world, disasters, decision-making, sustainability, and branding. But what’s the common thread?

My firm belief is that the world is a messy and complex place. There are three ways to respond to that complexity: you can put your fingers in your ears and shout “la la la”, ignoring it entirely; you can pretend it’s not complex, and adopt an overly simplistic, black-and-white, ideological view of the world; or you can figure out how to make sense of it all.

I’m firmly in the last camp. “Making sense of it all” is the thread that runs through everything I write. But there are three problems with that, I think.

The first is that by writing only to scratch my own itches I’ve perhaps lost track of what’s relevant to you lovely lot reading this thing week in week out. The second is that it’s quite a broad brief, which sometimes means I tend towards the abstract. And the third is I’ve always been reluctant to be topical, because if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s articles like “what the Barbie movie can teach us about HR on the blockchain” – but that means potentially lacking relevance and a connection to what’s actually going on in the world right now.

Having a roadmap for the future means fixing those three things, I think. So, here’s my plan.

Roblog is for people who are a part of or leading organisations that are trying to do novel and interesting things. That means founders, strategists, creatives, designers, writers, and product managers in startups, the creative industries, technology, finance, and academia.

There are two sources of uncertainty there. Groups of human beings inevitably behave unpredictably. And trying to do something new inevitably means grappling with the unknown both inside and outside your organisation. So I want to focus my efforts on those two areas: making sense of communication and coordination within teams; and making sense of creativity and innovation.

Each and every week I’m going to take something that’s happening in the real world, look at it through a sense-making lens, and offer up something useful that you can apply in your everyday life and in the organisation in which you work.

That’s it; that’s my promise. One article a week, a connection to something topical, some sense-making thoughts, and a takeaway. The intention is to make Roblog more frequent, more relevant, more specific, and more actionable. I hope you stick around to read it, and I hope you like the result.