Digital Tea Party – Working with the Asda Foundation


This Friday I’ll be running another Digital Tea Party, and this is one with a difference. This Tea Party is being supported by Asda Foundation as part of Asda’s 50th Birthday celebrations. I am really pleased to be working with Asda on this, and I am extremely grateful to the inestimable and indefatigable Emma Bearman for helping to make it all possible.

The event will take place at Westerton Close, Tingley, Leeds and we are working with ASDA Morley who will be providing food and drink, including, of course, a cake, as well as supplying a couple of Android tablets to help get residents online.

As you probably know, I’ve been working hard to promote the idea that the best way to get older people online is to present new technologies in familiar, fun, environments, and to seek to find digital champions from within groups rather than forcing everyone to try to use equipment they are not comfortable with from day one. And it is further pleasing that Asda have come on board with this particular event as I have been advocating for some time that companies who want people to use their digital services need to get involved with assisting those who struggle to use them.

There will be plenty of social media content associated with the event, which takes place between 1pm and 3pm this Friday (7th August). And look out out as well for some of the other exciting things Asda is doing to mark its 50th anniversary, including the recent “Cake My Day” Campervan tour.

Where is your passion?

While walking the dog this morning I heard an interview on Radio 4’s Today Programme with one of the victims of the Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal. Towards the end of the interview she questioned the motivations of some of the officials who had failed to act when she had approached them with complaints. She said, “if you do a job you should do it because you are passionate about it. Where was their passion? Where was their desire to save children’s lives?”

I often question how we have come to a way of organising society which treats far too many people as wage slaves who spend their days wishing for the clock hands to come round to 5pm so they can escape their drudgery. I myself have experienced having my passion for making the world a better place crushed out of me by risk-averse management and structures. Does it really need to be like this?

There are oh so many factors behind the Rotherham situation, but a good part of it must be down to organisational cultures, where people who did want to make a difference were blocked or squeezed out of the system to avoid rocking the boat. I know, I’ve been there.

So, if you are a manager, please think about what you are doing to allow people to flourish in your organisation and to pursue their passions. Passionate people make good employees. Compliant and subservient people do not. And, if you are an employee who is being prevented from following your passions, then, if you can, get out now and find somewhere where you can be happy in your work.