The purpose of this website is to shine a light on what happens when something becomes taboo or undiscussable in a group, team or organisation. Our mission is to not only give voice to people who would not normally be heard, it is to raise questions at a profoundly human level as to how and why some conversations are hard to have, and the cost of this in human, financial, organisational and social terms.
We offer a new outlet for case studies and stories, and also opinion pieces for those who have a particular perspective on the territory we are exploring.
What we are after is content that is thought provoking, revealing and reflective, that shows evidence of critical thinking; equally important are whether it is in the service of learning and creates the conditions for individuals and organisations to speak their truth.
Please excuse anything here that may state the obvious, or fails to appreciate your own knowledge and experience: we are a small team, and this document covers a lot.
What we’re looking for
The overarching themes are:
- Undiscussables (case studies) – examples of how, when and where things have become undiscussable, the cost and lessons learned.
- Discussables (case studies) – exemplars for how to create cultures and relationships for open, honest and resilient relationships and organisations.
- Opinion pieces (editorial/comment i.e. contributor submissions) – this could be a piece that offers a perspective on either of the above, or offers a perspective on events that have been in the news, whether past or present e.g. Jimmy Savile in the UK; sexual abuse in the US Military.
Undiscussables.com is here to question, challenge and learn, so we invite you to do all three. We invite you to be passionate, critical, and reflective and to tell a story vividly, accurately and succinctly.
What is the difference between a case study and a contributor submission?
Right at the outset we make a distinction between a case study and an article for submission. Case studies follow a different process and if you have one of those, contact us directly. Case studies, given that they are almost certainly about real organisations and people, need to be assessed in terms of context (do they ‘fit’ with what we are looking for?) and content (will it be interesting/useful and is there any risk of libel?). So we take care to make the distinction – it is safer for you and us.
A contributor submission is an opinion piece or article around the territory of undiscussables, rather than focusing on one organisation and people within that. Think if it in terms of a comment piece in a newspaper or magazine. They will still go through an approval process, just not as in depth as for case studies.
What we want
- Personal stories: the human element is what makes this interesting and relevant.
- Insight and evidence of impact on people, organisations, business, society, the environment.
- Contradictions and paradoxes.
- Data and evidence if available.
- Accuracy and citations. What are your sources? Please use Harvard format (we are not an academic site, and we also want clarity around evidence).
- Full disclosure – do you have a relationship to or with your subject(s)?
- Humour – if it’s dark, there is often something worth laughing about, however blackly comic and absurd.
- Narrative – no narrative, no story. Essentially, there needs to be a thread the reader can follow, a story to tell.
- Opinion – if it is interesting/controversial/thought provoking and preferably supported by evidence, we’re more inclined to accept it.
- Length: between 200 and 500 words max. If you need more, convince us.
- Video: please ensure you have permission to link/include. We will need verify you have permission, and appropriateness of content.
- Documents: if you wish include links to a third party site where the reader can download document(s) relevant to your post, please send us details plus why it is important we include this.
- 140 character abstract, for use in promoting the piece via social media (we may edit this).
What we don’t want
- Score settling, dirty laundry or bitching. Want to rant? Find a big open space elsewhere and go for it.
- Libellous content: think about what you are saying; if it is not in the spirit of learning you are missing the point.
- General pitches and academic theses, although well-researched and referenced, are not what we’re interested in here. Pitches with purpose and a point are welcome.
- A rehash of what is in the news without a new slant or angle.
Please send pitches to email@example.com. If we like your idea, we will get in touch within two weeks, and we can take it further.
It is your responsibility to ensure that copy is accurate and independently verifiable (wherever possible).
We will ask you for contact details of people interviewed and sources of factual information – we may check facts as part of the editing process. Your interviewees will need to be aware that they might receive a call from our team to ensure accuracy. If you are interviewing off-the-record, we will certainly need to know who they are, and may need to contact them.