Courage is what it takes

Courage is what it takes...

This month, I’ve led ‘thinking meetings’ at three different organizations as part of processes to help communicators and others understand the evolving nature of the business landscape in which the people in each of those organizations dwell.

We’ve considered trends that matter and the essential steps individuals must take to best prepare their businesses for the new (to some) ways of engaging with others – both within and without the organization – where the direct rewards will not be financial but instead closely connected to earning influence, trust and reputation.

Increasingly, the conversations about social business (definition 1, definition 2) are focusing on the steps communicators must take to encourage mindset shifts and behaviour changes within their organizations, first and foremost. Those steps require courage and perseverance, often (usually, in many cases) in the face of strong and relentless resistance to change.

Indeed, it is all about organization change and not about social media or other enabling tools. It’s also about facilitating change in small steps rather than tackling the big and seemingly huge-and-impossible picture.

I’ve been using a simple deck that is 85 percent the same content that’s relevant to whoever I’m speaking with, with 15 percent that’s specific to a particular organization.

This deck focuses on listening – a courageous step for many when the desire or pressure to talk instead seems overwhelming.

I’ve embedded the 85 percent version below, lightly edited for public use, so you can get a sense of where I’m taking this story where the element of being courageous is central. Once you see and understand that, it can become far less daunting to determine what you actually must do.

The deck draws upon some broad concepts I first presented in a keynote speech at the Like Minds conference in May 2012. Luke Skywalker and Yoda played a starring role in that session.

Today, they’re accompanied by more down-to-earth concepts including The Hero’s Journey as envisioned by Brian Solis that is all about taking courage and is one of the most compelling perspectives that bear strongly on the tasks facing communicators today.

If you have perspectives on those tasks, please share them. We can all learn more that will help us take courage.

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