Talking shops

I took part last night in an wonderful event organised by Jonathan MacDonald. He had assembled a really interesting group of nine people, each involved in the web and the changes it is enabling, to have a “discourse” that was filmed and will eventually be shared on the web. The group were from a wide range of backgrounds and we had a blast riffing on the given topic of signal versus noise in the modern world.

At the end Jonathan expressed the concern that he wanted what we were doing to be “more than a talking shop”. There is a common nervousness about groups or events that don’t, or can’t, actually “do” anything. But everything mankind has ever achieved has started as a talking shop, that is how ideas get shared and people get inspired to change and do things differently or to do different things. Yes if all you do is talk you never get anywhere but, as the group agreed, all change happens with individuals finding a reason to do things differently. To find that reason they have to understand and be exposed to new things. One of the most powerful ways to be exposed to new things is to be in conversation with others who stimulate and engage.

To bring about change and cope with the challenges we are all facing we need more talking shops not less!

2 thoughts on “Talking shops

  1. We have a phrase at work—‘offsite fever’—for when people get together outside of work and come up with a million ideas for how they are going to change everything. The problem is that you get back to your desk and just carry on as before. Everything gets left in the ‘graveyard of good intentions’.

    With our most recent offsite we are adopting a consciously achievable approach by just having a few small things that we sign up to changing with an understanding that we can build from there. Feels a lot better than usual.


    1. So true. I often say to folks, and not just because I want the ongoing work, that it takes more than one offsite workshop to bring about change. Entropy is a powerful force!


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