What does the future of music look like…

#weeknotes S06 EP10 – week ending 28 April 2019

A week spent thinking about what the future looks like and how might we do things differently now to meet needs better.

Working on

As ever it was great to catch up with Dan Slee this week as we plan the Vital Facebook Skills workshops. We talked through the practical aspects of the workshops we’re planning but also got stuck into some chat about ethics (see below for what’s got my brain into high gear about this recently) and futurology.

We’re both ex-journos and enjoyed having our minds blown by this article on what 5G might mean to the future of the profession. It was interesting to think this through as to what it might mean to how the public sector press offices and beyond might have to react to the changes which are coming. Which also got us reflecting on how the sector has fared over the last 10 years (which was when Dan and I were among the first getting social media into local government). An interesting conversation which sparked some ideas on where I want to take my thinking next.

It was also the Reckless Yes strategy day this week – we got together and worked through how we want to take the business forward, and plans for each of our artists. It was a really stimulating day and brilliant to get time to take apart the traditional industry models and deals and try and put them back together in a way which is more fitting for modern music fans, and in favour of artists. There were some wicked problems we came up against – we have a juicy list of ‘how might we’ questions – and will continue to research and prototype solutions to some of these with the help of our artists and their fans.

Some of the immediate shifts we’ve made are to try and clarify how all the things we do fit together with a refresh of our content strategy, and to look again at how our time is spent. It’s really interesting to get to do some service design and systems thinking for this business and I’m excited to get more people involved and collaborating on shaping what we do so it’s really right and not just the same industry thing again in new clothes.


I absolutely devoured Ruined By Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do To Fix It by Mike Monteiro this week. The book came to my attention through a tweet and 24 hours later I’d read the whole thing with that fluttery feeling of resonance in my chest growing with every sentence.

About ethics it is much recommended read for anyone who considers themselves a designer, and those who don’t but have (or should have) even the smallest say on the design process, anyone who considers themselves a disrupter, and anyone who cares more about ramifications than aesthetics when it comes to what technology is doing to and for us.

I’ve started working through the reading list recommended in that book and am deep into Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Champ. From there I plan to pick up on some recommendations from Dan Slee which are about history but fit thematically with incremental shifts in societies perception and tolerance. If you have a book to recommend – fiction or non-fiction – leave me a comment below or send me a tweet.

Listening to

A backlog of demos sent to Reckless Yes but not much else. I have a list of new releases I want to get my ears around but the deep focus work this week has meant I’ve opted for quietness over music.

What’s next?

It’s back to term time next week which means a refresh of my working practices – I’ll be focused on bringing daily exercise back into my routine (after a long and lingering illness) but also into time-blocking more successfully to progress at pace each week. This will start with making Monday and Thursday my deep focus day, Tuesday and Wednesday my meeting days, and keeping flexibility in the end of the week. I’m excited to see how this works out for me and what difference it makes to progressing on big tasks across multiple clients (and my own business). 

Original source – Sarah Lay

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