Monday, August 30, 2010

Are Conversations Still Alive and Well?

Mitch Joel, in his blog Six Pixels of Separation asked "Are we seeing a new shift in Social Media? Are the conversations dead? Were they ever - really - alive?"

Yes, Mitch, conversations are still alive although floundering. Our organization ICCO (International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations) not only creates venues to have these generative conversations but make sure we keep the numbers small so we can approach the topics of the day, the future, and what organizations are living from multiple perspectives to create solutions. Those conversations don't happen talking at people.  They happen at in person edgy conversations that aren't happening anywhere else.These conversations continue through social media. Our Facebook, LinkedIn groups are alive and well and we continue the back and forth that was started in person.

I believe people engage in social media to get messages out there, and perhaps to get input. I see the power of blogs (evident as I'm posting on one right now) and how blogs like Mitch's get my mind going so I can share my perspectives with you.  I don't believe gathering a gazillion twitter followers and letting them know I'm having coffee at the Starbucks in Washington is going to stimulate (sorry about the pun) anyone's thinking or learning.

So again I find myself waffling about whether or not to keep my twitter going.

Conversations are powerful. They're necessary so we don't become a superficial world. In my book Leaders, Their Stories, Their Words, I explore this with Barry Libert who insists that a combination of social media and in person conversation is what's necessary to keep a healthy balance. I agree. Connection happens in two way conversations. Thanks for the reality check Mitch!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Passionate Creatives

One of my favourite sites, is filled with edgy manifestos, insightful material and brings together great minds who aren't shy about sharing their perspectives. My kind of people! I read one this morning which really resonated about the Power of Passionate Creatives by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison.
"Everyone can be a passionate creative. We all have the capacity to become passionate about some element of the world we live in. And passion fosters creativity, especially if we have the discipline to master the practices required to drive performance to new levels."
It's a great read and will get you thinking. I'd love to hear some of those thoughts. 
The Power of Passionate Creatives 
And if you'd like to read the whole book....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What's Changed in the World of Blackberry?

The constant here is Blackberry's reliability (as reliable as one can be in the world of technology) and consistency. I've been using a Blackberry as far back as I can remember. It almost never lets me down, and keeps me connected no matter where I am in the world.  In times of crisis, my clients can reach me and I can support them in whatever manner necessary and while keeping confidentiality which is paramount in my profession.  That too is a given. None of that has changed.

The Berry is a technology tool and, unlike what some people think, doesn't have a mind of its own (although hmmm sometimes I wonder) All those are givens.  Nothing's changed there either.

Controversy abounds around Blackberry because of its reliability.  What a concept. 

What has changed is how some people view that reliability and security as a potential threat. In order to be reliable, RIM has to exist and be profitable. In order to be profitable, they have to, in some way without compromising their integrity, make sure they don't alienate countries that buy the product and keep it profitable.

That's where the conversation has to happen...within the place where everyone feels supported, non-threatened and the company can thrive. It's about behavior, expectations, assumptions and accountability. That's the conversation I want to be a part of. You?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wisdom vs. Knowledge Continued

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about Wisdom vs. Knowledge. To expand on that for a moment...

Learning is more than gathering information”. Learning life's lessons, definitely and learning what lessons to hold onto through your life, absolutely. It's learning to learn.

Students are getting ready to go back to school and have to start asking the question "What do I really need to learn in order for me to create a future I love?  Who do I need to surround myself in school who will positively impact my future to be?

In this electronic age it's easy to create superficial relationships on Facebook on Twitter and by texting as many people as you can in the shortest amounts of time. What is that bringing you? Is it using your focus and time to your advantage or filling it up with 'whatevers and whoevers'?

This is the time (excuse the pun) when you're going to have to learn how to really make the best use of your time. When you're 'on', be 'on' and learn and absorb as much as you can…the tangibles and the nuances and subtleties of life. When you're off, fill that space with people, activities and experiences that will fill your life and not just fill up your life-'time'.

You will be bombarded with stuff.  Be smart about what you choose to pay attention to and what you choose to ignore. Getting to know people, connecting with people in relationships and making the choice to continuously be a learner will always serve you.

It's a start.

Hold onto some things and let go of others. Learning to make those choices will be the best lesson you ever learn.

Oh and for those of you who are long past school age? Whoever said this only applied to that generation? Ask yourself "What am I unwilling to let go of?" and "Why?"

Monday, August 09, 2010

What (Who) Are You Paying Attention To?

Friendship survival guide: Barbara Mahany has some great points here. And to take it a step further, how about relationship survival guide? Sure you might go out Sat night, but when's the last time you went out on a date during the week on the spur of the moment? Or do you let the 'I have to pick up the kids, do the laundry, watch that program' get in the way of deepening a relationship? Hmm...chores vs. someone who's (supposedly) important to you. What (who) are you paying more attention to?

I can imagine some of you poised and ready to flex your fingers and start typing every reason in the book why you are so busy you don't have time for a middle-of-the-week date. You're about to defend your POV to the hilt. For those of you who are married I'm hearing "I see her / him every day? Why do I have to go on a date?" For those in a long term relationship in separate abodes, perhaps at the beginning you did the spontaneous stuff but do you continue to do that to keep the relationship alive? Stuff you used to do those first few months such as sending notes in the middle of the day, surprise phone calls for no reason?  Those things that don't take much time but do take thoughtfulness. The kind of things that create a smile on someone's face for hours afterwards and gives them the feeling that they're important.

Friends, partners, family...this applies to all. Yep laundry has to be done and there are other times to do it (like when you are watching that special show, maybe even with your S.O.?) and no, you don't always have to pick up the kids if they're old enough to bus it, and whisking your partner away for a dinner out on what was a crazy busy day just might be the perfect gift to show someone how much you care about them.  

You get my drift. 

It's not about busyiness. It's about taking a moment to think about someone you claim to really care about. And if you're about to give me a what for for bringing this up? Just before you press send ask yourself "What or who am I fighting for?"

The laundry will be there tomorrow.  But will that person be?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Why Do I Blog?

I don't write often enough, I know. My readers tell me that on a regular basis....which means they're reading and wanting to read more. There isn't a day that goes by when I'm not asked "Why do you blog?" 

I blog to share, to get my thoughts down in some semblance of coherence. I write so I hear what you have to say on all sorts of topics and write because writing doesn't come easily to me.

To quote one of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin, "Blogging is free. It doesn't matter if anybody reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matter is the meta-cognition of thinking about what you're going to say. How do you explain yourself to the few employees - or your cat - or whoever is going to look at it? How do you force yourself to describe - in three paragraphs - why you did something? How do you respond out loud? If you're good at it [blogging], some people are going to read it. If you're not good at it, and you stick with it, you'll get good at it. This has become much bigger than, "are you Boing Boing or The Huffington Post?" This has become such a micro-publishing platform that you're basically doing it for yourself... to force yourself to become a part of the conversation, even if it's not that big. That posture change, changes an enormous amount."

Beautifully stated.

So stay tuned as I'm going to be writing more often and look forward to hearing you, what you want to be reading, what you're living and what your three cents are.