Introducing a new feature on the blog, Q & A with speakers, a place where you can get to know them on a more personal level and get some unique insights into what makes them tick.
Today I would like to introduce Barrie Bramley:
Barrie, who are you and what do you talk about?
I'm often described as a disruptor of thoughts, and can be counted on to bring alternative and creative perspective to the table. I often think of myself as a curious wanderer, fascinated by how people engage with each other and the world around them. I like to speak about change, innovation and trends that are bringing about change, innovation and trends. I've been speaking for around 15 years now, mostly locally, but at times fortunate enough to have spoken on some international platforms as well.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of what I do is the diverse range of people and businesses I both work with and speak to. I get to take things that have become difficult for people to engage with and find ways to unlock them so they can be successfully executed in a particular business environment. It requires that I'm always learning about something I didn't know before, and finding different ways to help people move forward.
And the worst?
The worst part of what I do is that I don't always get to see a process I was involved in be completed. It can be a project I'm involved in for a few months, to a conference grappling with a particular challenge that I'm invited to speak at. Leaving is the worst part.
What message gets the most Aha! reactions when speaking to an audience?
I don't think there's a specific message that get's the most 'aha moments' in an audience. But when people suddenly join the dots of what's going on in their world with a model or a framework that I'm presenting, that then gives them understanding and a sense they can get on top of their world, lights go on in the audience. It's a combination of what's going on in their world meeting what I'm saying. So ensuring a good connection between a speaker, their message and the audience is critical.
What message is the hardest to put across, but you wish people would understand?
I think the hardest message to get across is to show people the mental models and thoughts they have learned somewhere on their journey that constrain them in their current context. People can't see what they can't see, and standing on a platform helping them to both see the unseen and then think about what that means for their future is a pretty tough challenge.
How would a fun working day look like to you?
My funnest working day would involve being part of a group of people working to find a solution to something they've not solved before, and then collectively finding a way to move forward that no-one had seen. That moment of discovery, of seeing what was always there, is really difficult to top in my world.
A fun day off?
My funnest day off would be a mix of getting lost in a good movie, taking a run/walk on my own to dive into my thoughts, having lunch with one or two good friends with some laughter and good food, and ending it off with more friends and a braai. I'm horrible at braai-ing but I love them.
If you could meet any famous person, still living, who would it be and why?
I'd like to spend half-a-day on the deck of a large ferry, crossing a very very calm expanse of water, standing with Malcolm Gladwell or Robert Fulghum (not both at the same time). I love how both of them look at the world. When I read them their thoughts surprise my thoughts. I'd want to attempt to understand how they look at the world, and why they look at the world in the way they do? The 'why' is always important to me. I think I'd be exhausted after half-a-day.
What do you most look forward to in the future as you expect it to be in 5 to 10 years?
I hope the future surprises me in the most beautiful way, because I do worry about the future of the next 5-10 years. I'm not completely convinced it's going to be universally amazing. I fear the divide between the haves and the have-nots is going to become more and more pronounced. I would like a computer I could talk to, who'd understand the stuff in my head and help me express it in some form of creative expression. Perhaps in painting or sculpture? I'm not particularly artistic. I envy people who are.