What’s happening?


April 13th, 2009

imgp3411Is it a cliche to say we live in amazing times? Maybe all times are amazing. I’ve been taking some time over the last few days to step back from the business and the busy-ness to see whatever there is to see. Over the last couple of years I’ve been learning to use new tools, and rediscovering some old ones. Some of these tools are on the web, some are hanging about my office, and some are in my head.

Some of these tools have enabled me to find and connect with like-minded people no matter where they are (some of you may even be reading this). I think that’s good. I think it’s also good to connect with people who are not like-minded. Otherwise it’s too easy to fall into the trap of believing the world is actually how we see it. Me and my like-minded mates.

Conversations. One-on-one, one to many, small and large group conversations, synchronys and asynchronys, peer-to-peer and face-to-face. Superficial. Intimate. Phatic and convoluted. Passing and in-depth. Lots of tools for that.

Bonds are important. Bonding, forming relationships. Maintaining bonds. And strengthening bonds. Lots of tools for that too.

Links. Conversations. Bonds. Is that it?

Ideas. Connections. Discovery. Learning. Sharing. Is that it?

Complexity. Chaos. Control. Influence. Is that it?

Designing. Creating. Being.

So there’s plenty of tools to enable all of this. New tools are being developed every day, providing a vehicle, a platform, for…

…a new way of living that we are learning as we go.

That has lots of implications. If we have to learn as we go, what happens to the old tools that served us well? What happens to what we knew? How do we build skills in learning, and adapting, and opening our minds to possibilities?

These are the new skills needed to be in business. Knowing how to blog, or use twitter or slideshare or whatever new tool emerges tomorrow is part of the journey. There’s also a deeper purpose, and a way of being in the world that supports all that. A way of seeing, of knowing, and of interacting that brings together what we know to be true: there is no control, we can’t foresee the future, the old tools and processes and systems that have served us well no longer work. What we are left with is imagination, wonder, openness and creativity. These are the business skills for today.

1 Comment so far

  1. Eva Schiffer on April 14, 2009 7:26 am

    Viv,
    You made me smile again, talking about you and your like minded mates… The other day I listened to a radio program about the effect of heterogeneity on group performance and self-assessment. They quoted a study that showed that groups that have to accommodate a stranger (someone who is different from the rest) tend to achieve better results. But – and isn’t that interesting – they think they are doing worse than the more homogeneous groups.

    So the question the authors pose is “Is the pain worth the gain? http://netmap.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/liljenquist_2009_pain_worth_the_gain.pdf

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