What did I learn at ConnectingHR Unconference yesterday?
Wow! Am I lucky I don't work in an office and have to deal with office politics and beauracracy! I did once, didn't go well; don't really feel like trying it again.
I went for a day of "deep listening" which kind of got thrown out the window first thing when I decided to initiate a discussion on why I was there: using digital storytelling skills (or digital literacy skills) in business.
The reaction was tentatively positive but reservered. In a positive working environment that was beginning to or had already reduced the levels of or the solidity of a hierarchy, it was perceived that it would be accepted, even a good thing. But where hierarchy still reined, with lots of politics, and self-interests and no ownership then it was perceived as something dubious, a bit like "big brother." Sure, I can see that. The last thing I want is to create another case where someone's webcam flicks on by remote to make certain they are at their computer and working.
Two other concerns arose:
1. There is an older generation that just won't do it, any of it. @oraruth laid into me about this and had an excellent suggestion, one that has the potential to create deep, values based relationships between employers and (especially increasingly project-based) workers: mentoring, pairing an old hand with the bright young thing.
N.B. in this case, it is important to work with the old hands to get them to build confidence, as research shows that it's a myth that older people can't pick up new things. Slowness and response time only decrease when you think they should rather than that actually being the case, it's all about confidence in your abilities (see C. Davidson, 2010).
2. The trust/self-awareness hurdle is the first one to be bridged; i.e. the first stage in social media is to realise that what you have to say matters. How do you get someone to realise that?
Any thoughts on that last one? What do we think out there?
[image credit: Creative Connection artists drawings; my photo]
I want to thank everyone at the unconference yesterday for welcoming me and for their enthusiasm about my Rethink Work project.
You can download my notes from the day here (.doc file).