I was a little amused seeing the above description of connection and how it differed in meaning with North America ! gun problem? …….never!
I observed something really interesting (to me!) last week.
Whilst travelling into central London on the train last week, the Thameslink train was totally, 100% rammed! Standing room only, hot and stuffy.
At this more difficult of travelling times, I found it really interesting that:
- A man was sitting on the aisle seat, marking his territory basically telling anyone to go away and not to ask him to move
- On a group of 6 seats, the middle seats on both sides was left empty between a mix of men & women
Neither of these situations is unusual. I am as guilty as the next person of doing these same things, well more 2) than 1) to be honest, but nevertheless, these societal norms are so common now, but today I question why?
Is this a London thing? A city thing? Or just a ‘new’ learnt human behaviour thing?
I ask if this is ‘new’ as although many of us are talking about rehumanising the world of work, bringing it up to date from the often now out of date command and control model, where for me human connection and the ability to be who we truly are will unlock latent potential, there was a time when employers used to build whole towns to ensure the welfare and safety of their employees i.e. think Cadburys.
So how have we gone from employers actively looking to build safety and security into the fabric of their business less than 150 years ago to people building virtual walls between them and the person standing next to them on the train in 2018?
We can hypothesise in many different ways but I personally feel that the reduction in connection between humans at work and the employer-employee relationship-dynamic are major factors. Do we know we truly are? Do we know how we impact others? Do we care?
I have observed a lot of discussion on social media during the last week in particular around psychological safety, or indeed the lack of it is many instances, so I question if this is a key contributing factor to the relative disconnect between who we are at home and who we show up to be at work?
Positively moving forward, the advent of technology is starting to help reverse that trend.
There, rightly, is a lot of challenge to using tech too much, being ‘always on’ etc, but for me personally, I truly sense, and I am experiencing personally, a rapid re connection and clarification as to who I am as a person, who I am at work and indeed who I am outside of work. The alignment around all 3 areas has never been so strong for which I am grateful, but why do I share this?
The title of this blog is connection.
Without the advent of technology, especially social media which for me is mainly Twitter, LinkedIn and a little Facebook, it would taken me months longer, if indeed I ever found them, to connect with so many influences in my life including Perry Timms, Helen Amery, Katy Snell, Juan Castillo, Kelly Swingler, Rob Baker, Catherine Beater, Georgie Pinder, Jo Kandola, Luke O Mahoney, Han Szurek, Jayne Harrison, Rav Billan, Karen Bevan, Piers Thurston, Matt O Neill and just so, so many more.
For every one of these connections technology has been THE or a majority enabler of me meeting, sharing, learning and growing with this awesome set of people.
So if connection is set to be as important as I feel it is going to be, and according to Joshua Cooper Ramos book The Seventh Sense (HT Perry) it will be as EVERYTHING is about networks digitally and personally, is now the time that we start to re-look at establishing the more humane, inclusive, but modern model of business that Cadburys once led with?
I do not have the answers of course on this, but I do have deep seated belief that there is so much more of our ‘self’ that everyone wants to give.
Benefit Corporations are now becoming a more common discussion at just the right time I feel which do build in more humanity & sustainability into their business models:
I truly believe that we all want to be so much more connected (not in an extrovert-centric way – just in basic humanity way) than we are today, but our organisational design in many instances, the fear & the short-termism, reduces psychological safety such that it dampens down our ability to connect.
I just cannot help feel that with the positive momentum behind changing our org design to more freedom based structures and the focus on increasing meaning in the work we do, that we may just get to a state during the next generation where people are happy to share their train seat or be comfortable to sit in the middle of those 6 seaters with someone that they don’t know on that train journey home.
Who knows, they may even talk to each other 🙂
Connection for me is everything and I am grateful to all of those, in every area of my life, that I am connected to today. Thank you.