Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Getting naked in the office


     I’m just catching up on my TV viewing on Sky + following a recent business trip.  First up, The Naked Office.

I’m sure this will have already been reviewed elsewhere (see for example, this interview in the Management blog), but I thought it was such provoking viewing that it was worth a quick review.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, which I presume will include most people outside the UK (although you’ll find quite a lot of it on You Tube – see for example, the clip inserted below), the programme dealt with a Newcastle based ad agency, ‘onebestway’, that calls in ‘top business psychologist’ David Taylor to advise them on their future.  Taylor emphasis the need to ‘bring the truth in the room’ and suggests one way of doing this is to have a ‘naked Friday’ (not a particularly original idea  as it was featured by a BBC3 series last year).

I’m not sure about the need to ask staff to strip, and the ethics are obviously dubious, but I think the central idea of showing how much a team can do together, by working together as one, is spot on.  I often use exercises similar to Taylor’s one with a tent, to show the major impact a little bit more communication and leadership can have.

And it’s why I increasingly talk about social capital, rather than just human capital.  It’s the relationships between people rather than just the people themselves that counts.


The other way of looking at it of course is that this was just a publicity stunt for David Taylor and his book, the Naked Leader; the ad agency and its vision to ‘make businesses stand out’; and Virgin 1, which clearly does need a bit of a relaunch.  And I think given that this is almost certainly a significant part of the rationale, they could have done with a slightly more enticing blog.






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