Obrigado Lisboa!

Second Time Around

This week I took my second trip to the city of Lisbon. Last time I visited as a tourist to take in a MotoGP race with two good friends, this time I was a guest of 3g Office at their 2015 Lisbon Workplace Conference. I flew over late afternoon on the Wednesday and took a couple of hours to reacquaint myself with the Bairro Alto, a beautiful historic district in the heart of Lisbon.

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Stranger On The Town

I was joined on Thursday morning by bright sunshine and Andy Swann, who was also in town for the conference.

Sunlight Over Lisbon

We enjoyed a lovely walk together before heading over to Microsoft’s new Lisbon offices for the conference. When we jumped onto the subway it was a warm sunny day, but by the time we got off it was hammering down with rain. Andy and I splashed around in unfamiliar territory getting absolutely soaked. We eventually found a taxi and jumped in, dripping wet. The driver took us to Microsoft, all of 150 metres round the corner! Sardines are a famous Portuguese dish, and Andy and I arrived into the conference hall as wet as any sardine swimming in the neighbouring river Tajo. It was a fun, albeit unusual way to make an entrance.

An Environment for People to Thrive

Andy spoke about the workplace as an environment for people to thrive. He was good humoured and positive in his delivery and took a nice gentle swipe at a few things too, including the mot du jour – ‘disruption’. I’m sure he will share thoughts on his session somewhere soon, for now – here are a few snapshots (sorry my iPhone camera really doesn’t cope in poor light).

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Most of the event was presented in Spanish, and I found it oddly interesting trying to interpret what was going on purely from the visual aids.

The Art and Soul of Better Work

I was on last and spoke about the art and soul of better work. The session was based on my work using art as a way of exploring how to make improvements in what we do, and some personal experiences related to the importance and power of getting to know one another better. As I practice this work more and more (to date almost 500 people have experienced Art for Work’s Sake), I am finding it a little easier to talk about it with sincerity and confidence. I still get nervous, and on reflection I could have shown more examples of real work done by real people in this space, and the session was really well received. Here are the visual aids I used – and if you click the link you will find some of my speaker notes and links to further relevant resources too.


The art and soul of better work – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

After Hours

With the formal proceedings over everyone enjoyed some time to talk over a few drinks, before a few of us headed out to dinner. Prior to our departure I was fortunate to speak with Nelson Paciencia who kindly allowed me to share his notes from my session with you.

Conference Notes

Nelson is a talented artist – I encourage you to take a look at his work.

Dinner was great fun, and afterwards our hosts insisted we carry on into the night. We had a lovely evening and before I knew it, and with far too little sleep, I was back at the airport heading home.

To close – here is a very short video showing a few Lisbon highlights…

…and a lovely conference sketchnote, by Maria.

Conference Sketchnote

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