My Practice

My work is held in a principle of #WorkingOutLoud, whereby i share my evolving thinking as i travel. It’s reflective practice and in this work some ideas solidify, whilst others remain nebulous, or fail.

There is an archaeology and architecture to this work and way of working: most of the central ideas in my practice i can trace back to being both trans-disciplinary and evolutionary in nature. In that sense i am inescapably a connector and storyteller, a discipline which is held less in certainty than constant curiosity.

Under this method of working, there are times when my work is divergent, sometimes terrifyingly so, and other moments when it converges. It’s a rather self predatory approach whereby one has to consume one’s own certainty to move forward: latterly i have tried to formalise this approach with the ‘Fragments’ work (where i deface and deconstruct my own legacy work around learning theory, methodology, and practice).

Over the last ten years or so i have found some organising principles: the overarching one is the notion of the Social Age (whilst although the definition has changed, the paradigmatic nature of change persists). Today i describe my work as happening at the intersection of formal and social systems. It is consistently research based, evidence informed, and increasingly dialogue based.

Latterly you will have seen that i am finding some vertical organising principles, as well as horizontal connectivity: so the context of the Social Age requires us to redefine the Organisation (‘The Socially Dynamic Organisation’ book), requires leadership at the intersection (‘Social Leadership’ and it’s modular aspects of ‘Quiet Leadership’ and ‘Daily Practice’), social collaboration at scale (‘Social Learning’ and the associated work on ‘Trust’, ‘Communities’, and ‘Power’), and a broader understanding of change itself and the culture that forms the backdrop to that.

I think my current research and writing reflects this: ‘Identity’, ‘Social Currencies’, and ‘Experimentation and Failure’. These are broadly granular aspects of that defined system, not specifically challenging to that system of understanding itself.

If (and it’s always an ‘if’) i can pull this work together, i think it will define the first major book on ‘The Social Age’ itself.

With all of this in mind, i have started to spend some time considering my own practice, and this sketch is a first attempt to do that: today, i will take a broad tour of this space.

I should stress that this whole ecosystem that i seem to have created and inhabit is almost entirely accidental: however, by good fortune, partly as a result of momentum, and partly due to the communities that inhabit it, it does seem to work. At least for me, and for now.

The Blog is still my first reflective space: the principles that i had when i founded it remain true today. To write for myself, to be unafraid of exploring, to avoid certainty, and to retain a positive nature and tone to this work (not to avoid conflict, but to always be constructive).

With over two thousand articles, covering a very broad range of topics, the Blog remains (for me at least) the primary landscape of my work, and the first place to dig to explore the taxonomy and archaeology of the ideas within it.

Inherently this space is trans-disciplinary and it is relatively easy for me to see the origins and foundational nature of certain ideas: the way my work frequently relates to landscape and uses visual-spatial ideas to navigate. The way it refers to social vs constructed systems. The way it focuses on ‘meaning’ as a created artefact, not a natural phenomena. The granular and tribal nature of social systems, and the tendency to clump and cluster. I see ‘power’ as a foundational construct to understand most of this. And latterly a focus on the ethics and values underlying individual behaviours within the system. And so much more.

There is no natural boundary to this work: it is, essentially, an understanding of how the world is changing, and how we will need to reformulate our systems of organisation, productivity, effectiveness, education, government, and belief, as well as associated systems of trade, freedom, belonging, habitation, innovation, change, and society.

So quite a lot.

It’s not intentionally ambitious: simply that there are no natural boundaries.

Through this week i will expand upon aspects of this reflection.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Personal Learning Network, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Practice

  1. Thanks for this Julian. It’s interesting to see it all laid out like this as a drawing/map with all the places/artefacts you are at. It makes me think of my own.

    I’ve since gone off social media completely which has now changed these artefacts. Where I had LinkedIn and Twitter as my spaces to build networks and share my work, I am now at a loss at times still exploring ways to ‘be seen’ and yet at the same time, vehemently not wanting to get back into these spaces. In your research, have you seen any place or people who, used these open and public spaces, but then decided to close them off.

    I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on this aspect and in some ways it’s like rebuilding an identity – maybe not rebuilding – but more like reclaiming – at least claiming it back from how it had moulded and changed with years of social media use….

    Interesting? (I’m pontificating, I have no answers. I’m just going with the flow).

    • julianstodd says:

      Hey Helen, i hope you’re well – i’ve certainly found it useful to map and explore this space for myself. This ‘curation’ that you describe, taking yourself out of some spaces, searching for others, it reminds me of what we talk about in Social Leadership – what can you leave behind? Some spaces serve their time, then become stale, or simply are not right for who we are today. So we seek out, we quest for, new ones. I’ve found that SubStack has become a valuable space for me in the last year, whilst other spaces fade. We are all, always, a work in progress. Still: in whichever space, i look forward to staying connected!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.