We work in a world where it is all too often all too easy to avoid taking a position, sticking with it, making a difficult choice and seeing it through. Inertia in modern organisations is sometimes down to this collective procrastination.
Julie Drybrough (@fuchsia_blue) posted a really interesting and thought-provoking piece on individual and collective contribution yesterday and I hope that the opportunity afforded by the challenge I am about to describe will show that to debate in the old-fashioned sense means taking a perhaps contrary position that may force you to examine a little harder the merits (or otherwise) of the alternative.
So this is another challenge to you, my followers and blog readers and to myself. As ever, you get the chance to be an active participant. This one gives you the chance to have your say on my blog in a unique way.
In this blog/Twitter crossover challenge, one of my followers will be arguing the case for or against in a debate with a mystery topic also chosen by my Twitter followers.
This time around, I am ably assisted by the wonderful @AilsaSuttie who is an HR Director in the world of media and has herself volunteered to act as an independent adjudicator.
The construct is simple. As followers of me on Twitter, you have until midnight (British Summer Time) on Friday 19th April to put yourself forward as an opponent to me in a written debate. If you would like to write the case for/against the topic, you should tweet both Ailsa and myself (@AilsaSuttie and @SimonHeath1) with the hashtag #workmusingchallenger. Ailsa will select at random from those volunteering (in a confidential process she will not be disclosing to me) an individual to oppose me in the debate. Simultaneously, you may also submit debate topics by tweeting both myself and Ailsa (@SimonHeath1 and @AilsaSuttie). The form of the tweet should be as follows e.g.: This house believes that television has a detrimental effect on society. No hashtag is necessary but you must include both of our Twitter usernames in the tweet so we can pick them up. Topics should come from within the sphere of the world of work. Topic submissions will be excluded from contention if they are likely to cause offence.
Again, in a confidential process undisclosed to myself, Ailsa will select from those submitted the topic for the debate and, also at random, my opponent for the debate.
At this point we will make public the identity of the debate participant and the debate topic. The selected participant will be given the opportunity to withdraw should they wish.
Once the participant is confirmed, Ailsa will conduct a coin toss to decide who will argue for and against the motion. This will also be conducted confidentially and the result will be published via Twitter.
To be clear, submissions to debate and of debate topics must be with Ailsa and myself by midnight (BST) on 19th April. By volunteering, and, if you are successfully selected to participate, you will be committing to provide a completed response to the debate topic by midnight (BST) on Friday 26th April. Ailsa will make arrangements to receive the two written sides of the debate. Once Ailsa has verified the veracity of the submissions, I will post both the for and against submissions on this blog and Ailsa will add a comment to validate the post. This will happen no later than midnight (BST) on Sunday 28th April. The written arguments must not exceed 500 words.
Then it is once again over to you, my followers and readers. There are two ways in which you can register a “For” or “Against” vote in the debate. You may either add a one word comment to the blog post or you may tweet both Ailsa and myself using the hashtags #workmusingfor or #workmusingagainst. The voting period will be from midnight (BST) on the 28th April until midnight (BST) 3rd May. The final result of the vote will be tweeted by me (after independent verification) on Monday 6th May.
I hope you’ll enjoy the results and feel moved to take part.

NB: The successful topic submission will not be edited, excepting where a profanity or subject matter might result in people being unable to access or read the resulting transmissions due to firewall restrictions. I have no desire to act, however inadvertently, as a censor. However, I am committed to accessibility, so hopefully we can keep it relatively clean so as many people as possible can participate. Ailsa will use her discretion in this respect and her decision is final and irrevocable.


One comment

  1. […] Julie Drybrough (@fuchsia_blue) posted a really interesting and thought-provoking piece on individual and collective contribution recently that provoked what became known as The Speakeasy Challenge. […]

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