As i sit at the airport, contemplating a long night ahead, i’m struck by the connections that reach out from here. On friday i’m running a Masterclass in Singapore, but already i’m connected to participants: sharing stories, building bonds, tweaking the design. To spend time together will be great, but our community, fledgling as it is, already helps me to learn.
Our Social Learning Communities reach around the globe, connecting us in ‘sense making‘ spaces. Effortlessly.
Social Technology, effortlessly connected, effortlessly connecting, is powering the Social Age. Agility gained through the ability to curate, share and ‘sense make‘ within our communities. On our terms.
Organisations can be part of the conversation, but they don’t own it: it’s co-created with the community and stronger for it.
Which is why the first instinct of organisations, to procure technology, may be exactly not what’s needed. Instead…
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Three days of reflection, learning, sharing and connecting is a luxury: one that i value greatly. I’m just home after those three days in a country house hotel, spent with a group of around fifty thinkers, practitioners and friends, reflecting on our craft. It’s time away from routine (such as i have) and time that can be luxuriated on learning. It is, of course, essential to find such time.
I was able to share copies of the Social Leadership Handbook with a group of people whose opinions and input i value greatly: a nervous moment as these are people who have seen the ideas develop, who are experienced, who will analyse and reflect before giving feedback. In other words, exactly the type of people we should be seeking out in our communities.
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If you plan on a long term relationship in the social media arena, you need to think about trust as a two way street. You must provide it and expect it, and not tolerate those who do not reciprocate.
The currency of trust is hard won. The best view I have of it in an organisational context right now is “predictability and consistency of response over time“. In other words, we can learn to trust an organisation if we know where we stand, but if their response is erratic, we can’t.
Why does it matter?
Trust in organisations is different from trust in people. They are entities. The trust we invest in them is part of our half of the social contract. In the Social Age, as we move towards newer models of learning, we need to have trust in the equation. Where we ask people to disclose something of themselves, to share and learn within communities, we need trust.
But at times of change, it’s hard to see it. The very consistency we crave is undermined by hollow promises and change in circumstance. So we…
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The Social Age rewards agility: the ability to frame and reframe problems, to deploy our communities and experiment, question and react at speed. It’s less about mastery of process, more about communication and collaboration. Social Leaders demonstrate a rounded skill set: a holistic mastery of these skills and a consistent demonstration of these behaviours over time. Reputation is founded upon this consistency.
In traditional terms, it’s a mixture of hard and soft skills: sure, there is an element of technology that needs to be mastered, but there is very little process. Social Leadership is more about storytelling, sharing and reciprocating than it is about performance reviews and competency frameworks. It may exist alongside these things, but the authority is garners is consensual, granted through the community.
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Introducing momentum is the thing: starting the ball rolling. Inertia is the enemy of change, but overcoming it can be overwhelming. In the Social Age, the ecosystem is in our favour though: amplification and momentum are inherent in socially led approaches. Engage with communities, build reputation and social authority, lead socially and effect co-created change. Simple. Well, almost…
It’s a matter of balance: formal structure and a clear strategic imperative aligned with socially moderated thinking and leadership. The organisation creates the space: the community gives it momentum within a frame.
I’m fascinated by the changes underway in the NHS right now: the Healthcare Radical approach is empowering individuals throughout (and alongside) the formal structure to champion change. The very word ‘radical‘ is emotive and using it in an organisational context, brave. The foundation of the project is to…
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Forgive me for writing a post that’s neither reflective nor necessarily relevant to anyone else, but today sees the publication of “The Social Leadership Handbook” and it’s a proud day. The culmination of over a year’s writing, this is my first ‘proper‘ hardback book (‘proper‘ meaning it feels more real than a digital one. I still hang onto the old ways apparently…).
I spend my time charting the evolution of the Social Age: a time when change is constant, facilitated by technology and survived in communities. The nature of work is changing and organisations or individuals have to be agile to survive and thrive. My work takes me from the ways we learn (both social and mobile learning) through to culture (how it’s formed and adapts to change) and even into creativity and innovation (the ways we co-create meaning and discover…
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One of the trickiest elements of dialogue for some writers is attribution. That’s right, the old “He said, she said.”
Generally, problems occur because well-intentioned writers don’t want to lose the reader. They’ve been taught that attribution is key to ensuring that we know who said what, to whom, and how they sounded when they said it. Some writers believe attribution must convey emotion or the reader won’t know that Mary is screaming because she is upset, as opposed to whispering sweet nothings in her lover’s ear.
The problem is many of the tactics writers take to prevent these problems create entirely new issues in their writing. Let’s look at a few situations and consider possible solutions.
1. Problem: Using “said” is repetitious. How about we spice it up by replacing said with screamed, whispered, growled, snarled, snapped and whined?
Yep, “said” is repetitious. It’s also short, effective and generally…
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Swarthy, thickset and boasting tattoos upon his tattoos, themselves layered around the scars, the man next to me turned to his son, a little bruiser sporting jeans and baseball cap, and asked the question, “What do you do when someone hits you son? What do you do when they hit you and just don’t stop?”
Across the country this week, small children, my own nephew and niece included, are starting out at new schools: an adventure in education, making friends (some of whom stick around for life) and an ability to navigate the plethora of social challenges it entails. Not the least of which are dealing with falling in love and falling in hate.
The four year old tyke turned to his dad, eyes all earnest, glimpsing across at the promised cake stand in the cafe and said “Step back Dad?”
“That’s right son, step…
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