Show the Thing: a quick and engaging way to share what we’re working on
Showing our work in whatever format and stage it’s at is more important than showing a final version of something
You might have heard the phrase ‘Show the Thing‘. We’ve been doing this recently at dxw. For 6 weeks at a time, we get together online, for half an hour on a Thursday at 4.30, to show each other what we’ve been working on. Anyone can show the thing, and it can be on any topic as long as its something that’s relevant to dxw.
Why we do it
We’re a fully remote organisation, so having a slot in our diaries where the whole company can come together and talk about our work is really important.
How we do it
We do series of Show the Thing and so far we’ve had 2, both of which lasted for 6 weeks each. We have a facilitator who does all the behind the scenes stuff like sending out meeting invitations, filling the slots, and making sure the sessions are being recorded.
We use a Slack channel to add links to the recordings, and for any follow ups like questions or links to useful information. We also use Slack to announce who the speakers will be each week.
There’s a Show the Thing spreadsheet that everyone has access to and anyone can add their name to a slot. The only information they have to provide is how much time they need (most people take 10-15 minutes), a subject, and who’ll be presenting. The facilitator will also contact people to make sure that the slots are filled.
For the first couple of sessions of a series, we show some slides to:
- let those who haven’t been before know what to expect
- remind people that it’s being recorded
- share the agenda for that day
The overall theme for our Show the Thing sessions is “the scrappier the better.” Showing our work in whatever format and stage it’s at is more important than showing a polished final product or version of something. People don’t need to use slides or demo something, they can just talk.
We also make the transcript available from each session in case someone wants to refer back to it, as people often post links or questions.
What we’ve talked about
We heard from 15 people in the last series and they presented on a range of topics. As well as lots of updates and demos on our client projects:
- our Earth working group talked about the work they’ve been doing
- a couple of colleagues spoke about what was involved in organising the first ever UK CharityCamp
- our CEO did a presentation on the wilderness years before GOV.UK existed
- there was a history of dxw in pictures
When we asked for feedback from staff they told us that they enjoy the sense of community at Show the Thing, and they enjoy the discussions that happen during and after it too. But we can always get better at showing the breadth of work that we do at dxw.
Here’s hoping that we continue to make Show the Thing even more successful with each new series.