While I have only been to Manchester twice, my vinyl collection has a lot of music from that fine city. Just off the top of my head, Stone Roses, Smiths, Elbow, Charlatans, Swing Out Sister, Inspiral Carpets, Badly Drawn Boy, James, Joy Division, New Order, New Fast Automatic Daffodils, Paul Young …
Apologies if I’ve mixed a couple up and I have probably left out a good number.
Over the last 18 months or so Tim Burgess, lead singer of the Charlatans, has been doing something quite remarkable.
He set up Tim’s listening Party on Twitter. Every evening he invites a band member or sometimes a producer to join him and fans to listen to an album.
This means you have 100s or even several thousand people playing the same record at the same time, all commenting on their memories. The Band members get into it too, giving background stories to the songs. I’m not sure how Tim manages this, but there have now been nearly 1000 shows.
I’ve re-discovered old music, found new-old albums from great bands, and found a load of new bands. Having Andy from OMD talk about Architecture and Morality was a highlight, David Bowies’ pianist, Mike Garson, recently discovering that the lead singer of the Super Furry Animals, Gruff Rhys, has several awesome solo albums was another. And I can’t stop playing the Lathums and Tim has published a book, the proceeds of which go to a Musicians’ charity. While nothing really beats a live gig, what Tim instigated, and now nurtures is quite remarkable. He has made the world a better place.
So here they are…
The first ONE THOUSAND @LlSTENlNG_PARTY albums.
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) October 5, 2021
What has this got to do with HR and HR Tech?
Well, Tim’s listening party illustrates the power and benefit of a remote community. When you have shared purpose and a skilled, committed organizer, magic can happen.
Some questions for you.
If you aren’t creating the policies, frameworks and incentives for people in your organization to collaborate effectively remotely, who is? Tim didn’t wait for the record company to do this, he had the idea and got on with it.
Do you have a plan to connect remotely with your peers in other companies? Again, be like Tim and get started.
A lack of live events should not mean you can’t be learning and growing. There is so much great stuff online.
What are you doing to encourage diversity and inclusion in your online communities? Again, learn from Tim. He created a friendly space, do the same.
What is your favourite band?
Some questions for your key vendors.
In the absence of in presence conferences, what are you doing to bring your community of users together?
What features in your technology encourage genuine collaboration?
Who are your fans?
Can you explain your ecosystem, and how you nurture it?
In the past 18 months how has your product roadmap changed?
When you talk about engagement what exactly do you mean? How are you actually measuring it?
When events return, let’s make sure they include a band from Manchester. That is not a question, it is a requirement.
If you haven’t heard it, Tim’s latest solo album is brilliant, and it would be remiss of me not to link to the Charlatans’ The Only One I Know.
Thomas Otter is a leading advisor for emerging HR tech vendors and their investors, guiding them to build better products and be more successful. Read his new column every month at UNLEASH. Visit, otteradvisory.com