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May 2008 wrap-up: mess or dazzling facets of a diamond?

What a month!

I am a psychologist with a strong background in HR consulting (the stuff you don’t see – pay, job, organizational design, etc.). I am a Zimbabwean. I was living in the Asia Pacific, and now I live in the UK. I teach in universities and have a lot to do with Gen Y. And I am seriously into social media – you know, blogs like this, Facebook, etc.

All of this came up in my blog this month. To a newbie, it must seem as if I am jumping from one topic to another.

The big event in Harare this May was waiting for the Presidential results to be announced. While Zimbabweans were waiting-and-waiting, and while the most horrible violence escalated, artists went ahead and held their annual Harare International Festival of Arts, with a catchy title, the Art of Determination. Pithy puns, in the midst of despair, and art that is timeless.

At the other extreme, quite by chance, this May I stumbled on the phrase and cartoon character, Mr Kiasu. Through Mr Kiasu, I met Singaporean social media evangelist, Daryl Tay, who alerted us to a great presentation on social media for beginners. Kiasu is also an symbol of determination – but of the dog in the manger sort – I don’t want it, but you can’t have it. A safer place to be, perhaps, than in Harare right now, but actually, less healthy psychologically than the Art of Determination.

And that is the diamond in the center of this all – that strong sense of survival and expression that underlies everything we do.

  • It is the subject matter of positive psychology.
  • It the key process we are managing in the HR office (despite the paperwork) where we have one goal – to produce a prosperous, happy firm.
  • It is the key process that social media leverages or liberates.
  • And it is why social media is a fascinating challenge for managers, marketers, HR, psychologists and anyone else who think ‘people & enterprise’.

My other posts pivoted around this theme of making positive spaces

– where we have freedom to pursue our interests & our identity

– and where giving freedom to others expands the freedom we have ourselves.

  • The pattern of an unconference and the success of Bucks08: here
  • How to understand the value of the community created by social media: here, here, and here
  • And a ‘twist in the tale’ of Clay Shirky‘s keynote address about the centrality of participation in the expectations of Gen Y and Digital Natives who come after them.

And as for diamonds

De Beers has announced that it is moving its diamond sorting house from London to Gaborone in Botswana (you saw No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, didn’t you?).

Makorokoto, Amahlope! I salute you. The significance of an industry always associated with London moving to Africa is huge indeed. We are proud!

Thanks

I have many people to thank as well for a great month.

To newcomers to my blog, Daryl Tay social media evangelist in Singapore, Jackie Cameron Gen Y coach in Scotland, Dan Thornton community marketing manager in Cambridgeshire, Paul Imre social media guru in High Wycombe, Peter Koning social media guru on Facebook: welcome and thank you for making this a productive month for me.

Scott McArthur of HR 2.0, hope we will finally meet! MediaCampLondon on July 5 is a date?

Steve Roesler, OD consultant Stateside and conservation master extraordinaire, thank you for linking to my article “Who moved my mouse?“. You sent me a lot of traffic!

And a very big thank you to Chris Hambly of Audana and the Social Media Mafia for a most productive and enjoyable meet up at Bucks08 and for all the on-line interaction afterwards.

If you are interested in modern management and haven’t checked out Steve Jurvetson’s Flicker blog, I recommend it highly. And, if you like rockets, check him out on TED too!

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3 Comments

  1. scotchcart scotchcart

    Got it Daryl. Fixed. And good to meet you.

  2. “Social media guru” – wow that’s a first. Thanks 🙂

    I’d be interested in your observations of how HR is affected by social media, particularly Facebook. What are leading edge recruiters doing – beyond just looking at applicants’ profiles? Also what can we all do to ensure our profile is not killing any potential opportunities for us?

    Talk to you soon.

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