Who are you?
I’m Doug Shaw, I run my own business called What Goes Around. I encourage people to understand who they’re connected with – in work, anywhere – and to have better conversations to make work better. I love meeting and talking with people, and asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. What motivates me is helping people to make work better. I am often asked to help people review, write and implement engagement strategies. In the last year I have been fortunate to work with all kinds of different organisations. Public, private, charitable and not for profit.
I enjoy being Dad for 8 year old Keira, and husband for Carole. I also like to ride my bicycle. The Clash are my favourite rock band.
What’s your favourite thing on your desk?
That’s a tough one. … Right now, my favourite things are some marketing ideas my daughter is helping me with – she’s drawn these really cool little cards for my experiment "Stop Doing Dumb Things to Customers". They’re useful for work, and they remind me of her, so they cross boundaries: they’re both very personal and professional.
What would make your space even better?
I’m embarrassed to say that when I took the photo, I suddenly realised I hadn’t painted the gaps behind the radiators. I could do with a pot of paint to brighten the place up. Functionally, it’s a great work desk, I have everything I need. If I was going to be extravagant, I’d say some kind of coffee machine, a Nespresso – I’d probably never leave here if I got one of those!
Any words of wisdom for your readers?
Encourage one another
I believe very strongly in the power of encouragement: not big ra-ra stuff, just a little pat on the shoulder. We often forget to do that kind of thing for each other. I’m on a mission to encourage people to encourage one another.
Be interested in other people
One of the things that has helped me in my life and career is to be interested in other people.
Proceed until apprehended
I see people in organisations bound up in problems that are largely of their own making. There’s nothing in the rule book saying they can’t do it, they’ve just forgotten how to do it. Then I see people tentatively “proceed until apprehended” and achieve great things as a result.
Without people, you’re nothing
I’m a big fan of The Clash, and the late great Joe Strummer is one of my heroes. He coined the phrase “Without people, you’re nothing”. The temptation is to plough our own furrow. I’m nothing on my own, I don’t know very much – but put me with other like-minded people, and I can do great stuff. That’s one I get quite emotional about.