#Blogtober: The Art of Recognition

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04 / 10 / 2014 12.01am

By Doug Shaw


#Blogtober Weekend Special: Saturday 4/Sunday 5 October

This post is about four very simple ideas that help make recognition matter.

In the middle of a recent week’s canvas of work was a trip to Tate Modern to enjoy the Matisse cut-outs. I had organised the trip through my business to see what we could learn and apply in our work from Matisse’s creative efforts in his later life. Through the exhibition we observed that simplicity can be very powerful, and often requires lots of practice, the ability to adapt is vital, and in the right environment, creativity can flourish against the odds of age and infirmity.

I returned home two days after our visit to find a bright purple envelope waiting for me. I opened it, and inside was this beautiful hand-made card:

Doug Shaw - thank you

What a lovely surprise! In addition to the beauty of the card, there were four things that struck me about the experience:


  • It was unexpected.
  • It is personal.
  • It is relevant – I love the simple genius of making a cut-out card after visiting an exhibition of cut-outs.
  • It is timely – we visited the exhibition on a Wednesday afternoon – the card is with me on Friday.
Thanks to Hilary who made and sent me the card – what a pleasure. I’m really grateful. This simple act of recognition is on my office wall and is a powerful reminder to me of the importance of saying thank you in a meaningful way. 

I hope it strikes a chord with some of you too, so that the next time you spot someone doing something right, you might choose to act on one or more of Hilary's powerful triggers for great recognition.

Doug is a facilitator, writer, speaker and artist and helps people to communicate and collaborate more effectively through the use of conversational techniques, artistic practice and smart use of social technology. Doug believes we do our best work when we are doing things with and for each other, not to each other. You can connect with Doug on Twitter @DougShaw1 and via LinkedIn

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