We live on islands of belief, carefully forged by our immersion in local culture, established education, held in tribal groupings, dominant doctrine and ideology, and internally reinforcing: to be within the tribe reinforces the strength and resilience of the tribe itself. There’s nothing wrong with this: it’s the foundation of any sort of social cohesion: we are part of the tribe precisely because we are on the island.
But within a known space of belief, a local geography, it’s hard to see distant lands, to hear distant voices. It’s safe and comfortable within our known sphere of hearing, and to venture beyond challenges those things that we know to be true.
Our Organisations are large spaces, oceans, holding many different islands, some of which are known, others which lie beyond the horizon, or far beyond our reach. The challenge of interconnection is not simply one of technology: you can build a durable boat to connect the islands, but it still needs bold adventurous to cross the ocean.
If we are to build more Socially Dynamic Organisations, we must move beyond our local shores: our challenge is not simply to hear more of the voices on our own island, it’s to hear voices from other shores.
In the context of leadership in the Social Age, the key strengths are to hear other voices, to engage across our differences, to listen with humility, and to engage with respect. Our challenge is not simply to understand the landscape, it’s to voyage across it. To connect our islands of belief.