Thursday, 23 February 2012

Can neighbourhood websites increase neighbourliness?

Today I spoke at the Housing Technology conference with Kevin Harris of Networked Neighbourhoods about  neighbourhood websites. Here's the presentation:

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Who we are as people has a greater influence on our success than anything else

The further I get in my career, the more I realise that success doesn't come from any special knowledge or skills - most of which can be taught. Instead it comes from your personal values and how you demonstrate those in the way you behave. Who we are as people has a greater influence on our success than anything else.

Who we are as people comes down to our values and beliefs. These are formed through the way we've been brought up, who our family and friends are and what they think and believe, how we were educated, the experiences we've had, what we've been exposed to, the choices we've made (and had made for us) and that wonderful piece of internal magic or chemistry that makes us one in seven billion on this planet.

For engagement practitioners, who are interested in stimulating organisational success through employee engagement, that's a difficult thing to get our heads around. Everyone is different, with individual values and beliefs and yet we need them to come together to achieve one goal, and that will call on and make the most of their different opinions, talents and strengths.

How do we make the case to each individual to align their values to the organisational values and how do we facilitate behaviour that enables and encourages that?

I think the first step has to be self-awareness. We have to give our organisations and the individuals within them the tools and techniques to learn more about themselves, to feel they can be honest about who they are and recognise how that impacts on the people they manage or work with.

Through self-awareness, managers and staff members can discover who they are and who they are not, what their values and beliefs are, what they need from work, and how they can have greater respect for the other people they work with.

As organisations, if our people are self-aware (or at least aware of the need to be self-aware), that's the starting point for a conversation about how we work together. Starting with ourselves, knowing who we are, allows us to better know each other.

I like this quote from Benjamin Franklin: 'Observe all men; thyself most.'

This beautiful picture of Earth has been kindly borrowed from NASA's flickr stream.
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