15 months ago, this blog was my ‘miscellaneous’ – the place where I thought through up-and-coming ideas in management, psychology and HR. I didn’t worry about readers or structure. I just jotted down the things I was thinking about and followed my own thought process. Not surprisingly, my posts tended to be a bit abstruse and relevant only to a very small group of people interested in the same field.
Nonetheless, this blog surprised me by growing quite nicely and Zen poet, Ned Lawrence, who has been part of this blog from its outset, has encouraged me to write for a lay audience.
I’ve been trying to find the focal point and particularly, the joint project that we would be undertaking together. I have lots of online conversations with people around the world about management and careers. Those are one-on-ones. The question any serious blog should answer is – what would readers like to talk to each other about?
In what way can this blog facilitate this conversation and the capacity of people around the world to find each other?
Types of blogs in management, psychology and HR
I see the new ideas in management, psychology and HR as being on two continuum (or continua to be pedantic).
On the first continuum, our interest stretches from self or personal leadership on the one hand, to building a team or group on the other. The first end looks at personal development, motivation and happiness – all topics I have been writing on at some length. The other end looks at finding support, mobilizing teams and finding the joint path where many of us can travel temporally together. Issues much like focusing a blog, for example.
The first end is well covered in the blogosphere. Steve Pavlina, Steve Roesler and many others, some giants in the field like Steve Covey, talk about personal development, productivity, emotions and interpersonal interaction.
The other end – attracting support and developing critical mass for our projects is barely covered – or I’ve missed it! So that is the end that I think this blog should cover.
The second continuum stretchs from a place to be defined, to the mysterious world of management. Some time ago now, I worked with linguists who taught me some tricks for analyzing language and they made me very sensitive to passive sentences. One of my linguist colleagues believed that when we are unwilling to name the actor in a drama, we are usually staring at some kind of corruption.
In 18 months in the UK, I’ve noticed that many people whom I respect and admire are given to ‘reifying’ organizations. The organization does this and the organization does that.
No – Organizational Behavior 101. Organizations don’t do – we do. I get a lot of traffic, particularly from India (hello!) – to my posts on HR and the recession. I am still interested in HR and the recession. I’ve spent a good three decades in HR. But I lose interest when we pretend that organizations are magic. Organizations are us. If we work for a bank that has been running foolish systems, that is our failure and our shame too. If we took out an overpriced mortgage – well, we took out an overpriced mortgage. The organization is us.
The end of the continuum which talks about management in a rather disembodied way is also well covered in the blogosphere. I don’t need to go there.
I’m interested in organizations were each and every person takes responsibility for what we do as a collective and where each and every person speaks freely about where we are going and their part in our venture. I cannot accept anything less. I am interested in management where we are the managers, and we take responsibility for the effects of our actions – all our actions and all the effects – the surprising ones too.
The positioning of this blog
So what I am going to do in this blog is tilt it towards an area that I think is neglected – the quadrant where we are mobilize support for our ideas. I’ll say that again where WE mobilize SUPPORT for our ideas. The quadrant where we negotiate a common cause with other people.
I would like this blog to bring together people who are pursuing their own dreams and who are interested in the dreams of other people. Our common cause will be our sense that we have a mutual journey together and that an essential part of our journey is negotiating our shared activities.
These are the kinds of topics I am going to write about, at least until I get some feedback from you.
- Where is work is going? What exciting areas of work are emerging? Who is doing this work? Where is it happening?
- How do we find like minded people? How does the internet offer us opportunity to work with like-minded people across the globe?
- How do we make organizations where we can work together respectfully? What are the principles of working effectively and fairly together?
- And finally, how can we be our own HR managers, so to speak? While we are busy working, how can we keep an eye on the issues that HR managers usually manage?
- The future of work
- Interpersonal relations, organizational structure and employment law
- Pay (!) and attracting the calibre of people we need for the project we have in hand.
You are invited!
I hope you will come with me on this journey and find companions along the way with whom you can share information and maybe even conceive and execute mutual projects.
Please don’t forget to bookmark the blog, or better still subscribe in Google reader or your usual aggregator. Save Flowing Motion in Delicious and Stumble it too!
I’m looking forward to this journey with you and arriving at end of the recession, richer and happier, and with vital, interesting and healthy connections right across the globe.
Thanks for the mention, Jo.
You bring up an interesting point regarding mobilization (on the psychology of motivation?) and its’ lack of coverage in the blogosphere.
Regarding organizations, my experience with work has been that the resultant errors on a macro-level is a systematic problem and not the people.
Execs and management have a tendency to blame the employees when things aren’t right because they don’t want to admit that the system they created was the real issue.
And perhaps that points to an underlying problem with the way traditional business is conducted… i.e. a hierarchy.
I’d forgotten I’d written this. I started my envelope scheme yesterday. I use old envelopes and every day write down the best url I found and the best person I met (even virtually) – best being in terms of my personal ‘organization’.
Sadly, the hierarchical school of management always did charge people at higher levels with success of the whole venture. Current business leaders seem to have forgotten their responsibilities. Blaming the loss of a battle on the lowest foot soldier displays the ignorance of why they were appointed.
Anyway, I think the internet makes them increasingly irrelevant. People ‘sitting’ in positions will be outrun by people using the internet to organize. In time they may find ways to entrench themselves. Right now we are in a phase of business by the people, for the people and with the people.
Nice to see you around again!