How we do things at Human Made: The Human Made Handbook

Saying your goal is to prioritise people is easy. Doing it, a whole different beast.

People-first companies grow in number and like talking about themselves on the interwebs, but most workplaces around the world are still just workplaces—you put in your hours, get stuff done, and that’s it. As a result, resources on how to do things at companies that care about their employees are still limited.

At Human Made we live, work, and breathe in the open source culture. Restricting open source to just software? We’re not game. That’s why we’re releasing our staff Handbook: a constantly work-in-progress document where to find everything about working at Human Made, including work-related guidance and HR policies.

You are free to reuse it and apply its core concepts to your team. Please don’t assume it’s 100% fit for your own purpose: consult a HR professional to ensure it meets your cultural, operational, even legal requirements.

So here we go, without further ado…

The Human Made Handbook

My writing workflow at WordCamp Bristol 2017

Hey everyone, I’m super excited to announce that I’ll speak at WordCamp Bristol!

In my session I’ll basically explain my writing workflow. I think it’s very important to have a clear and well defined writing routine to release content (whether blog posts or internal reports etc.) without reinventing the wheel every time, and my talk will go exactly in this direction.

Sunday 14 May 2017, at the Watershed Media Centre, 10AM—my talk is the first one of the second day.

My speaker profile
My talk’s abstract
WordCamp Bristol 2017 schedule

The product mindset at WordCamp Torino 2017

I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at the next WordCamp Torino!

I’m speaking (in Italian) about my mindset as a product person. In a nutshell, I’ll share with attendees how I apply my identity as a product person to everything I do.

Saturday 8 April 2017, in the beautiful Toolbox Coworking, starting at 10AM—my talk is at 10:45, in Track A.

My speaker profile
My talk’s abstract
WordCamp Torino 2017 schedule

 

Remote Work & Digital Nomadism: My interview on Merita Podcast

I’ve recently had the pleasure to be interviewed on one of my favourite podcasts, Merita. Giorgio Minguzzi, the host, is a true professional when it comes to using the Internet to grow a business, so I think you’ll enjoy the conversation—as long as you understand Italian.

We chatted about remote work and digital nomadism, particularly focusing on the challenges and dark sides typically connected to them.

Listen here ⬇️, or on iTunes. If you speak Italian and are on the lookout for great growth and marketing advice I’d recommend you subscribe to the podcast.

Out of Office, our online event about remote work, is today. Are you joining us?

You’ve probably been there: someone says “I work remotely” and you think they’re all about posting pictures of their laptop next to a macchiato in a hip coffee shop, working from a beach, or—worst case scenario—preaching about some obscure, passive—of course—way to earn the income that unlocks the chance to live that lifestyle.

Whilst that’s not necessarily old news, there’s so much more to remote work: think about productivity, growth, dealing with stress, or onboarding. Curious about how distributed companies, remote freelancers, but even the office worker who occasionally works at home deal with those? Good, because they’re all topics that will be discussed at Out of Office, today, at 4PM UTC.

Out of Office is live streaming online and it’s free

Yep, that’s right. You’ll be able to watch it at your own desk, on your couch (just cast the relevant Chrome tab to your tv if you use a Chromecast), wherever you want.

Reserve your spot now, go to the event page when it’s 4PM UTC, boom, done. Now it’s all about learning and asking questions to our speakers.

Talks & Q&A’s

We’re hosting a pretty nice group of speakers, coming from some of the most influential companies when we’re talking culture and flexibility: if you’re thinking about Basecamp, Toptal, Buffer, yes, we’ve got them all.

Here’s the full schedule:

16:00 – Opening remarks

16:15 – Toptal bootcamp: onboarding with impact, by Jennifer Weinmann (People Operations at Toptal)

17:00 – Productivity, by Rodolphe Dutel (Operations at Buffer)

17:45 – Values of a humane remotee culture: empathy, trust & inclusiveness, by Dino Anderson (Operational Development Consultant)

18:30 – Live Interview with Jason Fried (CEO and co-founder at Basecamp)

19:15 – Dealing with stress in remote teams, by Tom Willmot (CEO and co-founder at Human Made)

20:00 – Closing Remarks

At Human Made we’ve been working hard to put together a strong, BS-free event that will teach you a lot of interesting stuff about something we truly care about. Come watch it and you’ll appreciate.

Join now, there’s still time!

So, want to watch Out of Office? Awesome.

Reserve your spot HERE. Do it now, there are more than 1,000 people who already opted in.

Read more here, and tell your friends on social media you’re joining us. The more the merrier, you know?

Public Speaking: Organisation Tips

The other day I was asked to write about how I approach public speaking from an organisational point of view. Things like “do you have a general roadmap”, “how do you start creating your slides” or “do you use spreadsheets“ and so on.

I thought this was really interesting, so here we are, without further ado: tips on how to keep your life as a public speaker organised.

The Trello board

Just like almost everything else in my life, it all starts from a Trello board. My Trello board for public speaking helps me navigating across the grand scheme of things: biographies, headshots, speaker media kit, talk titles & abstracts.

trello-ps-board

The first column on the left has static info as well as a bit of meta—always explain how to use the board as it has to be accessible to mentors or colleagues. As I write this article, the Info column has four cards: a readme with instructions, a card for the Speaking Media Kit with the link to Dropbox (I’ll talk about this later), my biographies, and the abstract structure.

Second, third and fourth columns are New Ideas, In Development, Completed. Every card in those three columns is a talk, with the abstract in the description and everything else—comments from peers or mentors, checklists, links, attachments and so forth—where appropriate.

Every time I have a new idea for a talk I just create a new card in the New Ideas column. There’s no such thing as Hmm, shall I add this here? Hmm… not sure if… hmm… at this stage. Wild ideas must be encouraged. You never know.

The In Development column have only talks that I’m currently working on. Might be talks that have been accepted for an event, talks that I’m preparing before applying with them, or talks that already exist in some incomplete form for some reason. When a talk is in this column I want slide deck and speaker’s notes to have enough meat as soon as possible. When the talk reaches that stage (talk ready to be delivered, but if there’s time I’d appreciate the opportunity to give it some extra love), I apply a label to it, which I named “MVP” (buzzwords, yay), but remains in the In Development column.

The Completed column has only talks that are ready to be delivered or have been already delivered.

Talks are moved around among those three columns, with the usual movement being left to right—New Ideas ➡️ In Development ➡️ Completed.

Labels help a lot with the process. No label means it’s a regular 30–40 min talk. Labels can include workshops, lightning talks, flash talks, keynotes, “MVP”, etc.

Biographies

You’re probably asking why biographies. The answer might be more than one, notably type of events (I’ve got a bio specifically for WordPress events), and languages. Always keep them updated and make sure they reflect the speaking application you’re putting together: if you’re applying with a talk about business development, make sure your bio highlights your experience with business development.

Abstracts

My abstracts usually have three short paragraphs. In the first paragraph I define a problem, an issue, a current situation worth talking about. In the second paragraph I propose a solution, which normally is the major part of the content of the talk. The third one is all about the ideal audience (answering the question “who’s this talk for?”).

The folder for talks

I have a “Public speaking” folder on my computer, which is sync’d to my Dropbox account. This folder has two folders inside: the Speaker Media Kit and the Talks folder. The Talks folder has one folder per talk, and every talk has a “Images” folder (with all the image files that I use in the slide deck), and the Keynote presentation(s). Why plural? Because if I give the talk at different events the deck will inevitably change (from the event hashtag to cultural adjustments).

To recap: Public speaking ➡️ Talks ➡️ Talk name ➡️ Images folder & keynote file.

The Starting Deck

When I start creating a presentation for a new talk, I don’t want to start from scratch. No one likes blank pages, and let’s be honest here, some elements are common across different presentations—every slide deck has at least a cover and a final “thank you” / “questions?” page, right?

In my Talks folder there’s a “Starting deck” folder, which is set up in the exact same way of other talks: an “Images” folder, and a Keynote file.

The Keynote file has a cover (with dummy title, subtitle, hashtag and background, plus my Twitter handle and company logo), a slide about me, a couple of slides about Human Made, and a final “thank you” slide.

Every time I have to do a new talk, I will go to Trello and make sure the talk is in the In Development column, then duplicate the Starting deck, move it to its talk folder that I had created beforehand, and give the file the right name.

It’s definitely easier and quicker to do it rather than to explain!

Speaker Media Kit

I mentioned the Speaker Media Kit a couple of times already, and it’s time to go a bit deeper on this.

A SMK typically is a folder that has your biography, headshots (include only those you’re happy with, as they’re going on the event’s marketing campaigns, website, etc.), contacts, speaking topics (all the topics you’re comfortable speaking about, with some issue / solution-based explanation, very similar to talk abstracts), and testimonials.

It’s particularly useful when event organisers want your complete profile as a speaker.

The Speaker Sheet

An alternative to have separate files is a “Speaker sheet”, which has everything in one single PDF file. I’m a fan of this solution, in fact my SMK has only a PDF and a folder with headshots.

I would love to know how other people involved with public speaking keep everything organised. There are a million ways to do this, so please do weigh in with your processes or feedback in the comment section!

WCEU, the Italian WordPress Community, here we go again!

WordCamp Europe 2016 is just two days away! It’s going to be the biggest WordCamp ever, with way more than 2000 attendees expected.

A12s, Humans and other WordPressers at Cocoquadrat (photo from https://www.facebook.com/cowork.coffee)
WCEU organisers, A12s, Humans and other WordPressers at Cocoquadrat (photo from https://www.facebook.com/cowork.coffee)

Vienna—whose duty to organise this year’s edition was publicly announced at the end of WCEU 2015 in Seville—is already experiencing an abnormal flow of WordPress enthusiasts from all over the world. Make sure you keep an eye open in coffee shops and co-working spaces (or interesting cross-overs between the two of them): we like showing off our passion with t-shirts, stickers on our laptops, someone even tattoos.

Of course I’ll be there with the awesome crew from Human Made, ready to hug everyone I know and meet everyone I don’t.

I have a special relationship with WordCamp Europe. WCEU 2013—the first WCEU—was my first WordCamp ever, and as Italian and co-founder of Italia WP Community, I cannot stress enough how much important WCEU has been for us.

If you want to know more about this, it’s all in the article Emanuel Blagonic wrote about us—and other communities—on the WCEU blog, and my Medium post for the 1st birthday of Italian WP Community.

See you all very soon!

WordCamp Sofia: My talk and slides

Last WordCamp of the year, for me, in Sofia (Bulgaria).

Here’s the video of my talk. The feedback I received was remarkably positive, people were interested on the subject and follow up a lot afterwards on social media and email. Looks like the people of Sofia loved me almost as much as I love them. It’s so great to get the chance to visit Bulgaria.


And here are the slides. For this deck I chose to go with almost no images, some emojis, a minimal colour combination that I really liked, and a couple of fonts that I think will become a staple on my slides.

photo header credit: Bunny and Mimsey

WordCamp Norrköping – Report, interviews and my talk

One month ago I went to Norrköping (Sweden) and spoke at the local WordCamp. Here’s the report I’ve written for the Human Made blog.

Watch also the official recap video:

And here’s my talk, Table tennis & Meeting Rooms: How to Get Things Done in a Co-working Space:

Enjoy! 🙂