Sometimes it takes what feels like weeks to be ‘awake’ enough to see the meanings or lessons in a single situation and then sometimes, they happen in a fleeting moment. Some lessons travel in packs and my brain is filled with three or four articles in a matter of seconds. They come at any time of the day or night, while I watch people share a cigarette outside a bar, friends catching up for dinner on a Saturday night, or like today, sitting in the back of a cab making my way home to our little loft apartment in the Sydney CBD.
I am a member of the Executive Management Council of Australia and every three months the members come together to attend continuous improvement events. Usually a half day lecture or presentation delivered by a keynote speaker who is a leader in their field. I feel so privileged to be a member of the Council and have access to insights on current research, cutting edge innovations and emerging trends. Today was no exception with a thought-provoking lecture on Knowledge Management and it’s evolution over the past two decades delivered by a visiting Professor from Hong Kong.
It’s about people connecting with people, not people connecting with paper.
What I gain from these sessions is unquantifiable there is no doubt, but it is usually what I learn afterward that is the most simple and yet valuable lessons that money just can’t buy. The Professor mentioned in his lecture that the most effective method of knowledge transfer is essential about people connecting with people, not people connecting with paper. This quote seemed insignificant at the time however it echoed in my mind as I made my way home. Why? Well, when I am left alone in my head for a while, I generally I like to look for the hidden angels in a happening, the little pieces of gold that are hidden within a situation that takes reflection to unlock. This is what I found when I turned the key…
Lately my phone has been chewing through battery like there’s a discount on electricity and as a result I seem to be joined to a power socket for most of the day…this my friends, does not make for a mobile device! Needless to say today was no exception. I leaned over to check my phone and there it was the blank screen with the red battery image on the screen. Not even an hour away from my trusty power cord and I had been delivered a lifeless battery. The normal pangs of anxiety did course through my veins and lasted long enough for my brain to perform the usually family member status checks:
- my love is at a work function until late, tick, he’s ok,
- my daughter is at home safe and sound, tick, she’s ok and
- the two fur babies are with her so, tick, all is right with the world, no need to worry…carry on!
What appeared in the beginning to be stressful turned out to be a refreshing change and healthy reminder of days past where I was extended the opportunity to be with my friends, totally uninhibited by self-imposed restraint of cyber connectedness. I had forgotten how freeing the feeling was and once I was able to accept that I had been forcefully disconnected from anyone who was not physically standing in front of me, I was in a bubble of real, authentic conversation with people whom I share so much in common. We shared successes and downfalls, gave and received advice laughed and learned for hours to come and all without checking phones or posting status updates to our news feeds. It’s as if it were a friendly reminder scheduled by a higher power to get back to the people because that is where life’s lessons are learned and in that moment of clarity the Professors words rang loudly in my ear. People connect with people not with paper. A simple statement that we all seemed to have forgotten.
In the lead up Christmas, it’s a health reminder to be with my people in real time while I have them right there with me.