Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Would you get naked in the office?

Yesterday evening I was in London Village (for once not meant sarcastically as from where I was sitting I could see a bookshop, a clothes shop, a dentist and a funeral directors as well as pubs and restaurants, which sounds like a good definition of a great village to me) discussing the issues of the day with some of the finest arts strategists and planners I could find, over something long and fizzy. We’d had a long, tiring and at times even trying but very productive day in a very hot room, and I’d inadvertently offended some colleagues by seeming to suggest they were very remiss in not blogging too, so was having to dig myself out - but it was a lovely London Village evening.

Despite the heat though, and slightly more bare legs than usual as a result, at least we all had our clothes on. I was amused to read this morning about an experiment (for a telly programme called, unsurprisingly, The Naked Office) in which the staff of two Newcastle companies had gradually stripped off in order to work better together. According to the ‘leadership guru’ David Taylor, who has written about The Naked Leader, ‘as people strip off, they also strip off their defences and can enunciate issues that bother them, leading to frank discussion and the empowerment of all involved.’ You can read more about the programme here and more about Naked Leadership here.

Whilst some colleagues are known to kick off their shoes in meetings, I can’t see this catching on at Arts Council England, or many other places else actually. Collectives of live/performance artists perhaps. This blog is not usually about announcing Arts Council England policy, but to reassure my teams, I can confirm that this is absolutely not an experiment we will be joining in with, at least in the North East.


Michael Owen said...

It was interesting for us, Mark.

If you search for 'onebestway' on you'll see that it has taken on quite a life of it's own, too.

It's on the homepage of the website for Korea's biggest newspaper for example. Bizarre.

Anyhow, if you or any of your followers are curious about this experience, feel free to contact me.

Thank you for mentioning us. I've referred to you on Twitter.

Michael Owen, MD, |

Mark Robinson said...

Thanks Michael. Would be interested how you got your staff on board - just mentioning that you'd done it nearly had a couple of mine reaching for an injunction! And the blog had one other Arts Council person bewailing the pictures I'd inadvertently put in her head!