The Flow of Flow

🙋‍ Bec here, myself & the Flow Perth ambassadors recently had a reset session, which helped us define what we do and get some cadence into the once chaotic operating rhythm. So here's my very first blog post #influencer #thoughtleadership (jokes).

  • People are busier now than they ever have been
  • We claim we're over-worked, and under paid
  • We spend our lives staring at screens

So why on earth do we run this little ol' Flow thing? Working on tech problems. In the weekend. FOR NO PAY 😲....?

It feels good to give back

I don't have some fancy statistic to back this one up, but when we brainstormed, this came up A LOT. We're all from Corporate backgrounds so it might have some thing to do with the red tape, maybe even that we sell intangibles to people to earn our keep, or the fact that before all of this capitalism we're just cavemen that are built to trade blankets, berries & wheat.. but whatever it is, we know that we have the capability, and we may as well put it to use. And what's one weekend when we have another 51 right?

Also, when people ask me what I do.. I often want to be more interesting than the 'strategic comms girl at Bankwest'.. so it's also a nice fall back. My Uncle lives and part runs an Eco Village in Currumbin Valley, and he once asked me what I'd been up to - my excited outburst about my brand new house, designer cat and trip to New York weren't as well received by someone who sustainably lives off the land and helps the community around him live their best lives. So at the end of the sentence, I chirped in with "I also run a skilled volunteering programme that helps charities" - just to give me some character.

We learn a sh!tload and diversify our skillsets

We're a pretty diverse bunch with years of professional experience under our belts, but working in an Agile format as a product owner, on a brand that you know little about with the added pressure of getting things finished in 12hrs is an insane learning curve.

The squads we work with throughout the event also come from various backgrounds so you can get a completely different perspective about how to solve the problem you're working on, whether that's; how to reach target audiences, how to fundraise, how to cut code etc. Additionally having key decision makers with us through the hackathon style weekend, allows us to identify an opportunity and action it straight away. Sometimes we don't know how, but we band together and figure out. Almost instantaneously.

We've also built a network around Flow Perth and met some awesome people along the way. I've brought uni students, colleagues and friends along. Some people have scored jobs out of these connections. A few of us have picked up work for our side hustles. Plus when I have a crazy entrepreneurial idea 💡 over a few wines and a bento box, I know a heap of super smart, fun nerds that will make it happen.

We can make a difference that impacts a heap of the community

Did you know that one in five Australians have some sort of disability? And the number that live on the streets has risen by 14% in five years? That's a huge amount of people that access the services of some of the charities we support, so spending a little bit of time to optimise their operational assets makes such a huge impact for these organisations to be able to spend their time & scarce resources on other crucially important stuff.

The first Flow Perth event that I worked on was with Autism West. The CEO was a professional Lawyer and the Project Coordinator ( / marketer / HR person / designer) was a trained speech therapist. We smashed this event out of the park, in 12hrs we; redeveloped their app, optimised their website and app for search, built out PR and social content templates, diversified, commercialised and re-priced their product for the business so they had a new revenue stream - but we couldn't have done it without them making quick decisions, adding value and making us really empathetic to their audience. I was in awe of their skills and they were in awe of ours - but it's just a completely different implicit set of skills that you don't really realise you have, until you do something like Flow.

So how does it work?

The Flow of Flow contains three phases:

  1. Discovery: this is where the Flow Ambassadors consult to charity partners and identify problems to solve. This is generally an eight week process where we challenge the problems they've brought to the table to ensure we're solving the root cause and that we're the right group (plus we can recruit the right volunteers) to do so.
  2. Hackathon: this is the event where we have squads of volunteers and a clearly defined problem per squad to work work work. The kick off is on a Friday evening which consists of a briefing and high level brainstorm with the squads. Then we get back in for a full day on Saturday and half day on Sunday. We upskill the charity partners in lean and agile thinking/methodologies along the way with a focus on finishing. There's no point in us half developing a solution when they don't have access to, or dollars for any developers.. so we break things down and aim to complete.
  3. Results and value: this is a debrief with the charity partners and the ambassadors to have a retrospective and ensure they can measure the impact. This helps us ensure we're breaking things down small enough for the next event and we don't bite off more than we can chew.

So that's why! We genuinely want to amplify the impact that charities have on the community and would love for other people to get on board - don't devalue the skills that you have, every single person can make a difference (plus we get a heap of coffee and food throughout the weekend events).

So I leave you with this: 

  • What kind of things would you tell your greenie Uncle you did when asked?
  • You know those warm fuzzy feels when you do a good deed, do you want more of them?
  • When you need to lean on a network, who will it be?

Help us help others by getting involved to be a Flow Perth volunteer! Don't devalue your skills, and don't let them go to waste. #giftingpossibilities #go2flow

 

Flow Perth in Cahoots!

Super excited to announce that Flow Perth will be helping Cahoots on the 21st July 2017!

We've spent time understanding the top 5 problems that they face and will be looking to make this the biggest and bets Flow Peth yet!

The Cahoots team are a brilliant, dynamic and forward thinking group who are really looking to make a step change in the organisation.

Problem statement and skills required to follow.

I'll be working on getting the marketing material together and lets bring our A game!

 What a team!

What a team!

Welcome 2017

After having an amazing 2 week staycation, Xmas and New Year, I am back on board and ready to see what we can achieve this year!!

We have a couple of charities who have reached out to us at the end of 2016 so we will see some Flow Perth movement in the next couple of months!

My top self improvement missions for Flow Perth for 2017:

1. To better understand how social works and how I can add value while on the move to give Flow Perth greater exposure and hopefully more events!!

2. To add content (blog/social) about Flow Perth every 2 weeks.

3. To get 2 Flow Perth events in 1 year (a first)

Lets go get em!!

Happy 2017!

That's a wrap!

So Flow Perth 4 has whizzed by and what a great experience & learning!!

We added bundles of value to better improve networking at business events!

Everyone who volunteered was INCREDIBLE and we are so lucky to have such wonderful support, skilled volunteers and can-do attitude here in Perth WA!

Some highlights of the weekend:

1. A clickable prototype to increase the value of networking at business events

2. A framework for event logistics and event designs to amplify the networking experience

3. A pitch deck & transition plan to support further investment to get the prototype to an MVP

4. Five real businesses joined us for a working lunch and their engagement shaped the above solutions

5. We canned 3 green fields ideas after minimal time invested as we could see the value in other areas of focus.

Well done Flow Perth volunteers, Flow Perth Crew, Uncles Joes Mess & Bankwest for your continued support, which allows us to keep bringing the MAGIC!

Cheers!

Ricardo

We have a date for Flow Perth 4!

Wow! Wow! Wow! Aug 19th -21st - Flow Perth 4 - be there!!!

The Flow Perth Crew continue to amaze and inspire me!! We have a date for Flow Perth 4 - helping out the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) here in WA. The crew have been busy creating

  • An analysis pack to ensure we get to the outcomes for each pre-event workshop
  • A social media calendar to get out message out there and gain more traction with supporters and volunteers
  • The logistics plan to ensure everything runs smoothly

All of the above is now in one single plan/view - which is just incredible! These people are giving up their time and skills to ensure that @FlowPerth is sustainable for the future, which means we can help more and more not-for-profits.

 

We are also lucky enough to have:

Bankwest, our primary sponsor, continue their funding; Sarah Fong Photography to support us by taking loads of great pics and further developing our website and @UncleJoesMess continue to cater for us even with new ownership!! Cheree, great stuff - really looking forward to working together and eating some amazing food on the weekend!  http://unclejoes.com.au/

Next up, we need YOU! Skilled volunteers to help us make Flow Perth 4 a MASSIVE success!!

Let's do this!

 

Flow Perth and CCI get together

Well, what a great week we had! Here are the highlights:

  • Flow Perth get the structured analysis approach documented (a key step in making us sustainable)
  • Flow Perth head out to visit CCI for our second round of analysis
  • Rikki-Lee has a gorgeous baby!!! Congratulations to our wonderful event organiser!! So happy for you all xx

Thank you to Ryan, Sham, Matt, Vindya & Sarah for your efforts in co-ordinating and running a successful workshop down at CCI!! Looking to be ready for an event in Aug? Watch this space...

Have a great week all.

Ricardo

Flow Perth Crew kick off 2016

2016 is a big year for Flow Perth!

We have rallied around our vision, mission and purpose.

Already we have engaged 2 not-for-profits to assist later this year.

Now the rubber hits the road and we meet for our first 'official' crew meeting. I'm super excited and privileged to spend time with the Flow Perth Crew - they are a brilliant bunch on a mission - to create a place where skilled volunteers regularly have events to give back to the community.

Early April we agree our roles within the Crew along with a few pics by the very talented Sarah Fong! I'm tossing up between 'Wing Commander' cos it sounds cool and 'El Capitan' - We may also need costumes and a space ship but not sure we can fit that into our 2 hour window.