CHANGE – And Now For Something Different
Change signifies life and the movement through time we all take part in. The dual focus I have taken within this blog has been about things I have a long-time and deep abiding interest in AND the phenomenon we loosely and broadly call “social media” and the business and more human aspects of it.
As of this past few weeks my more business-focused writing will take place on the blog that is part of my new Social Sapiens site. Some of those will be cross-posted here (and vice versa…) as they have aspects of my passion for being human online or how what happens online impacts us in real life. I intend to continue to write for this blog in broader areas that include many of the things I’ve written about before, but that business owners and entrepreneurs may or may not find as directly pertinent to their bottom lines (although my hope is that the work published here will be valuable and thought-provoking to whomever takes the time to read and consider it…).
Please join me on my other blog soon, and keep your eye here for more articles too!
Which Tribe do you belong to?
That seems to be an over-riding, occasionally unsaid, concern in our society. Conservative or Liberal? Religious or Agnostic? One percent or ninety-nine percent? Blue collar or white-collar? Introvert or extrovert? College Graduate? Technical? Gender? Race? We have innumerable ways of identifying, classifying and limiting the understanding of ourselves and those around us. Labels and categories carry assumptions and expectations, whether they’re true or not. And how much of this relies upon context? It’s something that has challenged our species for all time and it doesn’t seem to be getting better….
That’s a pretty broad brush with which to start a conversation.
Signature of Richard P. Feynman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is much too easy to burrow into your business and go deeper into the knowledge, building more depth and expertise in that area so you can be an even better resource for your customers. But doesn’t this turn you into a “one-trick pony”? For example, in my social media consulting business, does it truly broaden my mind and stretch my intellect to become more facile in the inner workings of Facebook and Content Marketing…or is it kind of “more of the same”?
I have other interests. You do, too. How do I indulge them, push the boundaries of my interests, and maybe even develop new ones? I need to consciously expose myself to knowledge I probably wouldn’t otherwise, and I have to set aside the time to do it. This is a challenge as an entrepreneur, but to not do it means that I’m less likely to keep growing intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. There is also a much higher probability that, in exploring some of these new landscapes, I might come across a couple of new ideas that inform and impact my business in ways I have no way of anticipating now.
So, where do I start?
Illustration by John Tenniel of the Red Queen lecturing Alice for Lewis Carroll’s “Through The Looking Glass” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been in a number of conversations lately where my colleagues and friends are grappling with staying on top of their game, so to speak, both online and in the office. Not only are we coping with the well-known information overload, but we have the desire to improve, deepen and expand our skills, knowledge and expertise. Each of us is evolving a methodology to accomplish this, but it changes a lot and, with so much change, it can be difficult to feel like you’re really progressing. It feels so much like the Red Queen‘s comment in Lewis Carroll‘s Through The Looking-Glass : “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
I’ve noted a sea change in education and learning about which there has been quite a bit of virtual ink spilled. The phenomenon known as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) has been added to the education lexicon, much to the joy of futurists, learners everywhere, and to the consternation of a number of university and college administrators. Like most things, I can see the light and the dark, along with the difficult.
I have been thinking about a post by Tac Anderson on his NewCommBiz blog about making mistakes, crisis-based decision making and how we learn. It specifically got me thinking about organizations that learn and those that don’t really, or at least not very well (or easily).
Things move terribly fast in today’s marketplace and the halls of business. We blame it on the Internet, on the 24-hour news cycle, on our growing propensity for being “always on and connected” and on “everyone else.” There have been countless barrels of ink spilled on the importance of failure for learning, both as individuals and organizations. Even just thinking about how you learn personally will confront you with the first attempt at doing something, assessing how well that went, tweaking, trying again, etc.
So why do we not get it? I’m not saying we drive for failure (although that seems to be the direction of some I’ve noticed….), but, short of life-and-death, why do we not accept that failing is at least as important as not failing?