Today, it’s all about networks, something you were most likely not taught about in school. This means that most of our education is useless in understanding the world as it currently exists. Yes, useless.
The always erudite and coherent Harold Jarche is in a straight-to-the-point mood in this article on the need for network fluency.
Yes, we need to build fluency in how networks operate, and our very active role within them, as they usurp organizations and tribes as the most powerful force in our communities and workplaces.
However, it is a single sentence within the article that got me thinking today:
For individuals, the core skill [for such fluency] is critical thinking, or questioning all assumptions, including one’s own.
Working out loud (WOL) is part of this process of questioning one’s own work and positioning; and then answering those same questions. It is critical thinking made bare. Sometimes the answers are definitive – this is how it is now. More often, they are placeholders for the next iteration of thinking.
WOL is a constant challenge. It is a wrestling match with oneself; and the outcome is always both defeat and victory, as beliefs mutate, positions shift, gaps appear as others disappear.
WOL is edge work, as one risks toppling over the precipice of one’s own preposterousness. Our own network of colleagues, friends, contacts may scratch their collective head, with a ‘what’s this guy up to?’ shoulder hunch.
Still, it is profound work. If you follow the arc of learning – and unlearning, relearning – then you will discover something from the deep well of humanity within us all. It is an invitation to the inner workings of every individual’s genius.
OK, enough pomposity for one day.
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