Just a brief follow up to yesterdays piece: so the presentation went very well. I found the narrative. As ever, i’m reminded that learning is a process of discomfort, disturbance, and making things safe again. Climbing the ladder, one rung at a time. Then discovering that there is another ladder beyond this one. We may never achieve enlightenment, but as long as we are willing to keep taking the steps, we will at least get to enjoy the view.


You may have noticed that this weeks posts have been short: i’ve been very focussed on this session, feeling little energy to do much beyond that. But i’ve tried to keep writing to #WorkOutLoud through the good and the tough. Sometimes i can write 1,500 words for the blog, illustrate it, and find some new thinking, whilst other days, it’s just a reflective space. I think the key to writing is to just write.

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I’m highly nervous: tomorrow morning i present the work on Black Swans and the Limits of Hierarchy. And i made the mistake of rehearsing it.

Black Swans - how formal systems fail

I am very rarely nervous: i spend a good chunk of my time in conversations. Sharing, exploring, developing ideas. Some of this work is well understood, some much newer. The work on Black Swans is experimental, is incomplete, is a new space. My language is not complete, my thinking is not fully coherent. I do not have the full narrative.

And so i am nervous: nervous that i will trip, that i will stumble, that i will be proved an idiot as i fail to convey those ideas which are floating in my head. It’s not the fault of the rehearsal that i’m nervous: that simply made me realise that my story was stilted, and for someone who lives by stories, that’s a terrible thing.

So i’m doing what i can do, in the context of the Social Age: much as i #WorkedOutLoud when I wrote the paper, i am now #NervousOutLoud as i prepare to present it. To work out loud is to share your weakness as well as your strength. Your thinking as well as the final story.

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Social Leadership: My First 100 Days #WorkingOutLoud

You may have noticed that the title has changed: as I’ve been sketching out ideas for the cover this week, i revised the title. That’s what #WorkingOutLoud is all about: iteration and revision, holding open the space.

Social Leadership 100 book cover prototype

I’m 60% of the way there with the writing: it’s easy to measure percentages when you’re writing 100 practical activities, and i can work through around five in a sitting.

The open question is how to illustrate it: i’m envisaging doing facing pages, text on the left, an illustration on the right, but am slightly daunted by the thought of 100 illustrations. The obvious thing is to keep them simple… we’ll see how that goes. I’ve decided to finish the writing before tackling the pictures.

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Social Leadership: the 1st 100 days. #Sharing.

I’m making good progress with a short book on ‘Social Leadership: the 1st 100 days‘, which will be a practical set of activities to follow to start you on your journey. It’s very grounded and intended to take a couple of minutes a day. The book itself will be small, square, illustrated on every page, maybe spiral bound.

Social Leadership the 1st 100 days - sharing

This week, as i travel heavily, i’m just sharing extracts as i go, today, a section on ‘Sharing‘, which is the third of the nine stages of Social Leadership.

The NET Model of Social Leadership

I’m also exploring whether to Kickstart the book production, as that’s something i’m seeing more widely around both writing and music today.

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#WorkingOutLoud on the 1st 100 days of Social Leadership Book

I’m working all this week on a short follow up to the Social Leadership Handbook, entitled ‘Social Leadership: the 1st 100 days‘. As the name implies, this is a more practical text, outlining activities for 100 separate days, based around the nine core aspects of Social Leadership. It’s intended to take a few minutes a day, and provide a personal narrative of the journey once it’s completed.

Social Leadership - the first 100 days

Can you learn to be a Social Leader in 100 days? Well: part of it is mindset, which you can arguably attain on day one, whilst part of it is specific skills, such as ‘storytelling‘, which may take a lifetime to master.

The NET Model of Social Leadership

The barrier to Social Leadership is often momentum: we feel we are simply too busy to change, so we don’t change. It’s not enough to do what we’ve always done and call it ‘social‘. To be a Social Leader, we need to be thoughtful, reflective and, above all else, willing to learn, willing to change, willing to help others to do the same.

I’ve started exploring options to use Kickstarter or Unbound to crowd fund the book. I haven’t done this before, but it may be an interesting exercise in community engagement!

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#WorkingOutLoud on Social Leadership: the 1st 100 days

I’m travelling heavily this week, so using plane and train time to finish a short new book called ‘Social Leadership: the first 100 days’. As you may have gathered… it’s 100 practical activities for Social Leaders to undertake in their first one hundred days.

Social Leadership - the first 100 days

I’ll be #WorkingOutLoud as i complete this. Today i’m working on the ten activities around ‘Storytelling‘ in Social Leadership.

The Social Leadership Handbook is available now, here.

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Dangerous Space: Confronting Uncertainty

I just finished delivering the new work around “Future Technology: Innovation and Impact”. This work involves thinking at a high level about the multitudinous aspects of organisational learning and performance that it will impact. That’s another way of saying that this is not yet applied. It’s a dangerous space. This thinking is not a presentation of final ideas, but rather sharing as I evolve what i actually believe to be true.

Illustrating the work on Future Technology

For me, navigating these dangerous spaces, confronting our uncertainty, sometimes in very public ways, is part of learning. If we stick to the things that we know are true, we will never find new levels of truth.

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