• Colin Pinks

“Noticing the Absence of and the Presence of…”

…Observations and provocations, in the liminal space between the before and after


Have you noticed what is really missing for you or something that has been brought into sharper focus, in this time of transition?


This is not the exception, it is simply the latest state in a shifting system.

Things will never be the same again.


Yesterday is different from today, tomorrow will be different again. We adapt all the time.

It’s only that more pieces have been moving a little more rapidly and randomly.


What have you noticed and what has been absent?

When you embark on getting a perspective for next year, where will you invest your attention and energy?


Not spend. Invest.

A few thoughts that have come up for me….



SPACE


Where has the space gone?

We are spending more time on meetings and calls.

Where is the space in between?

The space to chat, to hear what you did last night, to build community cohesion.

To breathe or get into something in some detail.

Some of the best encounters I’ve had this year, have been when there has been space for people to be quiet, to think between responses and allow unhurried conversations.

Space allows our creative unconscious to make connections, to build.

Rather than a reflex response and getting in your point, before the hour is up.

In times of uncertainty, we need to notice, pay attention, make sense. We use downtime to bring things together and make connections.

Without space, we will only make the next step, rather than an inspired, unexpected connection.

Where are you creating space for you and those you collaborate with?


COMMUNICATION IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY


Some communications have been good. Clear, appropriate and empathetic.

Some communications have been nothing but a shitshow. Unclear, mistimed and using an alien language from the Nineteenth century.

In times like these, surely clarity should trump ‘persuasion to hold power’.

Science and facts should lead AND be able to bridge the gap to the people.

Science has a job to do, to communicate even better, to cut through the noise of power

So how are you getting your vision and value across, of what you hold dear?


PEOPLE FALL BACK


We like foundations.

When we are uncertain, we fall back.

We shouldn’t be surprised when people settle on what they know, rather than embrace the new.

How can we give people foundations, so they can adapt on top of them?


ENERGY


People are flexible, but it takes energy.

It takes energy to adapt, to withstand.

When the human loses energy, the chimp inside will take over.

The human is the collaborator, while the chimp is the survivalist.

The human will share, while the chimp buys all the toilet roll.

How will you invest in your ongoing, operational resilience and stay aware of your energy levels?


IF YOU THINK THIS IS BAD…


This is a soft launch for Climate change!

Thank god I’ll be dead in 30 years.

There will be greater tests to come and planetary wide challenges to face

But even though I don’t have kids, I still want to be part of the effort.

I still care. I’m part of the human race, not only a chimp.



WE NEED TO BE BETTER HUMANS


We have created a world, which we are finding it hard to function in.

Tech craving our attention, difficulty to concentrate.

If we can not evolve fast enough, then other measures are required.

The education system must evolve, from making good little office soldiers.

What do we need to do, to be better humans?


COMPLEXITY IS ANATHEMA TO LARGE ORGS


The over-simplification of large organisations and the driving of knowledge into rigid processes, rather than some being retained in the human fabric of organisations has led to an inability to cope with complexity and adapt to changing conditions.

Agility is not a process, it is a way of thinking and state of being.

Embrace the ideas of complexity, rather than reductionism.

In what parts of your work, would you benefit from a more improvisational mindset?


LOOK FORWARD, PAST THE COVID-19 FOG


It looks like immunisation will occupy the world until 2024.

With an action plan in sight, invest some attention to the transformations needed over the next 5 years, past the horizon of COVID-19.

Where will you place your attention, once January arrives?


COLLABORATION


Technologists should stop telling us how to do human interaction. (I say that as originally one myself)

Zoom is not enough, by itself.

We need to understand what we can’t do remotely.

What only happens when we are in the same room.

When we can get together again, let’s lose the CEO broadcast and focus on building connection. Exchange stories and build ideas together.

How are you building the agenda of your next collaborative session?


NUANCE


Where has nuance gone?

There are different ways to crack an egg

One size does not for all

Customisation is not the same as flexibility and adaptability.



I NEED TO PAY MY BILLS


We hear this on almost every news report.

But what are these bills?

If you are a shop or in hospitality, the main complainants, then this will be your rent.

Many governments, have handed out money to keep them going.

Effectively, the government has simply been paying landlords for their property, with the poor business owner still being on a knife edge.

I’ve not heard one landlord complain.

I’ve not heard one story of businesses being supported by a landlord.

After all, a landlord, you will be on a 20- year plan. They have greater scope to ride the wave. But no, quite the opposite.

All the governments are really doing is keeping the property owners in milk and honey.

The establishment keeping the status quo. No surprises there.


Wouldn’t it have been better for these places to have been let go?

Not to waste the money keeping these places afloat, in times when it is impossible to trade?

Let’s face it, the barrier to entry and setup are low. They will pop up again, once the market returns.

Isn’t this part of Schumpter’s Creative Destruction or Christianson’s Disruptive Innovation, that we continually trumpet about, an essential part of a flourishing landscape.


This is what we should be doing.

Not sustaining models that are outdated, but embracing the Creative Destruction to create the space.

Space for new ideas.

Space for new experiments.

Space to revitalise our outdated support systems.


Without creating space, it makes it more difficult to allow things to flow into that void. All we create is resistance when we only operated in tight crowded spaces.

And so we return to space!


Where are we creating the space to talk about complexity and to embrace the nuance of life?

Where are we talking about how to educate for the world we have, rather than the world we had?

Where are we collaborating to meet the challenges that threaten our civilisation as we know it?

Where are we placing our attention and investing our energy?


How about here.

How about soon.

How about you


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