Announcements! Announcements! Anno—unce—ments!

Mindcamp Mindcampology

We recently received the following impassioned plea from a devoted Mindcamper:

Please try to keep the announcements to a minimum. Whatever you were planning, cut the number of announcement periods in half, and then reduce the actual announcements per announcement session by at least 66 per cent.

I/we (believe me, I do speak for many!!) have at times felt inundated with the frequency, number and length of the announcements, about everything
under the sun. It impacts as overload — often even disturbing either golden silence or a good conversation.”

We hear you! And thus we have set the following challenge for this year’s Mindcamp…

We are asking, in what ways might we have NO audio-broadcast-over-a-PA-system-during-meals-announcements at Mindcamp?

We have a few ideas, but we are open to more. So here’s our challenge: comment on this post with your ideas on how to eliminate mealtime announcements altogether from Mindcamp. Prizes will be awarded to the originators of our favourite ideas — judged on the basis of subjective, biased, and completely irrational criteria. To give you all time to incubate, the winners will not be decided until August 10.

Please don’t send in your ideas by email! We want this to be a conversation. Just put your ideas in “Leave a reply” below to submit.

(And thanks W/L/B for your feedback! You get a prize automatically!)

Comments 12

  1. Here’s my mini brainstorm. 1. Have an old fashioned announcement board in a convenient common area. That way, the only announcement you’d have to make is that there are new announcements—check the board. 2. Supplement this by tweeting your announcements. 3. Add announcemens to the web so anyone with technology can check Facebook and the Mindcamp Blog/site. Possibly have a communal computer that people can use to check. 4. Get one of those digital signs—you know, the ones that has lights like a bad clock radio or the signs in the subway—and have the announcements run continuously on the sign. Um, Um, sorry, gotta have breakfast. That’s all for now.

  2. Put the announcements on a powerpoint/Keynote presentation and have the announcement slideshow continuosly running in a common area on a laptop. Maybe this could even be hooked up to a “YMCA” big screen TV. One advantage is that it would be really easy and ultra fast to do. If you wanted you could create a template beforehand. have it running at the enntrance to the eating area maybe.

  3. Sounds like change is afoot. Since I have not yet experienced a Mindcamp it is hard to know what to suggest. However if we are co-creating the Mindcamp culture, what would happen if the prize is the change itself- creating the camp we want to have, generating change in accordance with changing values, meeting the other change makers, the conversations getting richer, allowing silence as an option in public spaces. This question/issue might be a a part of the pre-mind camp for presenters

  4. As there are people going and leaving at beginning of lunch as well as near end of lunch periods I FAVOR announcements. It’s exciting to be in that culture. Others can wear ear plugs when you announce that you are going to announce. And use a nice big gong. We nourish the mind with announcements and create more and/or better conversation and we nourish the body and soul with the great food ! Don’t we ?

  5. What’s an announcement? It’s the quality that counts. If it’s important that I know the info in the announcement then it’s not an announcement. It’s vital to my getting the most from my time at Mind Camp.

    I suggest we restate the problem: What is a useful, interesting announcement?

    I say down with boring announcements up with announcements that lead to learning and inspiration!!!!

  6. If the “announcement” is interesting, leads to my learning more from my time at Mind Camp then I suggest it is value added to the event and I encourage it.

    So I say up with valuable information being provided. Down with boring……

  7. I suggest that we have a Mindcamp Cryer that would go around tolling a bell after each,session announcing any changes shouting Hear Ye, Hear Ye …

  8. digging John’s suggestion of a running slideshow on a large screen / wall / TV and simply reminding people with a key message that it’s there and important to see… as for my own random unedited thought… announcements should embrace their interruptive nature by being more performative / surprising to quickly grab attention and hold it only as long as necessary, i.e. a man in a banana suit runs through the cafeteria shrieking that there are new and potentially critical announcements on the TV… and the next day the same announcement is sung by a volunteer operatically… and so on and so forth… if you go with John’s approach you could even recruit a fresh and impromptu volunteer to offer the same key message differently at each meal… after all, one opposing force of perfectionism is play, and one opposite of boredom is brevity so perhaps an approach along these lines invites a bit of both?

  9. 1. Simple, elegant “Announcement cards” placed at a spot at each table. At the start of Mindcamp, ask people to check for announcement cards at meals to keep up with important info and changes.

    2. Same idea, just have the person whose seat hold the announcement card read the announcement to his/her tablemates, preferably in dramatic fashion.

  10. Go for the stomach!

    Assumption 1: People need to eat.
    Assumption 2: Food is probably centrally distributed.
    Assumption 3: People will go there to get food to eat.

    At this place/these places we can share announcements as already suggested…

    – word of mouth or
    – a poster/whiteboard, or
    – monitors, or
    – marker scrawled on individual napkins, or
    – messages on the food itself, or
    – add to the list…

    The skinny: post/spread key announcements at all-important and much-salivated-over food distribution locations.

  11. Or…

    If

    (a) meal time and announcements need to be unassociated

    and

    (b) announcements need to be (more) quiet

    Perhaps a post-it note board (or wall) in a common area could work. Post-it sized announcements might encourage brevity, a single location might keep things simple, and having a few markers and post-it notes keeps it open, and perhaps even invites creative messages.

  12. What if we are asked at registration: On which email address would you like to receive your announcements in text? Like perhaps a blackberry address for example. I realize this is only one option for those of us not on twitter.

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