My good friend and associate Gareth wrote a piece this week called ‘Conversation is the New Currency’. I think the post is interesting and I disagree with his assertion about newness. Long before social media ever existed and (insert religious being of choice here) willing, long after too – conversation will be vital. It is indeed a currency older than the Roman Sestersius. The fag break, the lunch break, the hello on the way into work, the goodbye on the way out – all these and more existed long afore ye twitter and ye olde Facebookke.
Rob Jones has written a piece called ‘The One With the Wrong Era’, in which Rob challenges Gareth’s assertion through the lens of his father. Both these posts are well worth a read, and if you’re not already following Gareth and Rob on Twitter, I think you’ll get a lot of value from doing so.
I’m sitting in the sun, reading and absorbing all this stuff when I spot Matt Alder (yeah follow him too) tweet about Rob’s post. Matt said, ‘Agreed, we’re just going back to being human.’ I love it, we’re just going back to being human. If I was some kinda inspirational tweet guru I’d stick that top of my list, or at least on a t-shirt.
Before Frederick W Taylor came along and fucked everything with his well meaning and bonkers ideas around command and control, we used to get stuff done at least partly through talking with each other. Talking, learning, sharing; skills, ideas and methods. And as Rob’s post shows us, we still managed even though FWT’s ideas became widely adopted. Some of the best examples of engagement in the broadest sense and between the broadest range of stakeholders, occurs through the art of conversation. Yes we need to listen, do, feedback, improve, loop the loop and all that. But we’ve all been there. The best places we work are the ones where useful conversation helps to make work better, where the art of conversation is seen as inspiring, not inconvenient, winning not wasteful.
We’ll be talking more about this stuff at the upcoming Stop Doing Dumb Things event on June 27th if you’d like to join us (I couldn’t resist!), and it’s the subject of my talk at the Ohio SHRM in September, although Matt’s title is waaay better than the one I’m currently using (note to self – change it!).
We’re Going Back to Being Human. Thanks Matt.