Harvey Nash HR: Net. Working or Social Pacifism.

Posted: November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


Asked by my good friends Harvey Nash HR to come and briefly address a networking event of theirs in Brown’s Birmingham was one of those where I had no hesitation in accepting.  Spreading the word on social networking is pretty much a calling I cannot deny and actually I utterly love doing.

An intimate setting greeted me on arrival and yes, people were networking.  IRL.  In Real Life.  With no script and no deck, I took to delivering and started with my favourite Don Tapscott quote.  (No-one had heard of Don but that’s not important right now).  This is not an information age; it’s an age of networked intelligence.

And that was a deliberate start.  We network for a range of reasons including social comfort, acceptance, belonging, security, ego whatever.  However there’s such a lot to be said about the increased insight and acquired wisdom that comes from networking that alone justifies what Harold Jarche has called your PKN (Personal Knowledge Network) or PLN (Learning).

I guess I am a little frustrated by others questioning why networking (esp digital, social networking) is worth it when in my mind people are orbiting planets and never landing, exploring and learning more.  It’s like we’re comfortable in our “must know” worlds of employment law; HR practice or management theory when in reality we could be stimulated by pioneering research; active experimentation and case study sharing that is abundant on social (and real life) networks.

I tried to hit many of the reasons why networking is tough.  The social awkwardness; the lack of belief that anyone wants to know about me and what I have to say and the mistrust that by “being networked on” something’s being sold.

Truth is, awkwardness can be overcome with authenticity.  Belief boosted by shared passions; tribulations and opportunities and mistrust replaced with positive regard for other human beings intentions.

The usual “where do you find the time”?  “What about narcissim?” “Inappropriate postings – what do you do” .  Not being critical of my audience because they were genuinely curious but it’s like we’re still in a situation where many I can only describe are practising social pacifism.  Actively opting out; voting to not participate; fingers in the ears at all the noise created.

Just to be clear; this is not me saying “everyone must tweet and blog and vine and pin”.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea to shout out loud their thoughts or post images that strike their soul or signify their moment in a fantastic place.

Yet social pacifism to me means chosen isolation from amazing people; content and opportunities.  My experiences on social are so positive.  Enriching.  Enlightening. Enabling.  Alliterations Aid Accentuation.

So I guess my urge is that people need other people and networking of whatever variety is the chance to expand horizons; to forge new connections that may lead to solving problems and that we’re just better off connected and together.

Harvey Nash HR did that tonight.  They set something off to connect; share and get people thinking.  Doing follows that and I hope some social pacifists are rethinking their exclusion zone and thinking inclusion zones.

It happens one post at a time.  It takes time to get right but yields huge benefits.

We are Social.  We network for a reason.  We connect with a purpose.  Let’s get Net. Working


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