I’ve been working with a diverse group of Learning professionals in Madrid today, exploring the Social Age and the ways in which learning has evolved. I sketched this up with a small group, to capture the narrative of ‘what learning is about in the Social Age’ and share it now, not really as a finished or polished framework, but rather in the spirit of #WorkingOutLoud.
Sticks and stones may break bones, but words are, allegedly, harmless. Or maybe not. There can be a violence in communication, not an act of physical aggression, but aggression nonetheless. The violence of vitriol, carefully constructed to cause pain. I was struck by this in a conversation about change, a conversation that moved to blame, fault, and tribalism.
When the banks collapsed in the last financial crisis, there was a phrase bandied about, that some were ‘too big to fail’. This week i’ve been pondering something of the opposite: are some organisations ‘too big to succeed’. I’m not thinking specifically of their headcount, their geographical spread, or the physical weight of their buildings, but rather more the radical complexity of their networks, the unknowable nature of their knowledge, and the sheer inertia of their formal hierarchies. Possibly good organisations, probably doing good work, but ultimately doomed to fail through their inability to understand their true dynamics.
Social Leadership is a style fit for the Social Age: it’s about building social authority, reputation based leadership that is consensual by the community. It’s complimentary to formal leadership but vital at a time when formal authority delivers a diminished return.
In this podcast Julian talks about the Six Tenets that any Social Leader will adhere to: These are: Be Curious, Try-Learn-Try, Share, Be Humble, Tell Stories, Be Fair and Protect.