Going Dark

Posted: December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

I vividly recall the box-set series 24 – a real-time elapsed 24 hours worth of espionage and endeavours in national security with Jack Bauer.  It was there that I heard the phrase “going dark”.  It meant going off the grid, disappearing, being incommunicado.


I’m going to be doing this from COP 23 December until 4 January.  Not going to send a single tweet; respond to any social media posts on any other networks and certainly not picking up any e-mails.  I’ve had one of the noisiest years of my life and I need silence.

I am though, going to read and learn.  Sketch and map.  Design and draft.  It’s nothing ridiculously ground-breaking I need to design.  Nothing outrageously innovative I want to sketch.  Nothing particularly out of the ordinary I want to read up on.

I want to go dark as an experiment and as an exercise in solace and serenity.

I crave some learning that’s symphonic and not staccato or compilation-based.

I value the chance to make sense of the world and my mind.

I love pace. I love challenges that require creative thinking and doing.  I love the rumble of dissatisfaction I have that I don’t know enough.

Yet this year more than any I can recall I want to love darkness.  Relish being unplugged from the Matrix.  Desire a break from the constant attention to everything.


Increasingly, my dissatisfaction with what I know and the impact I have, together with the desires I harbour to change the world of work, defines me.  I feel an urge.  I sense a shift I want to be part of.  I crave the challenge of making the biggest differences I can to as many people as I can.

I am excited about the possibilities to shift the tectonic plates of work pretty much all the time.  I just don’t subscribe to the “it’s all hyped/crap/pointless”.  I’ve been this enthused about making more positive things happen for a long time now and certainly since moving into the freelance world, realised just how much opportunity there is to be part of some very special things.  I see a lot of blogs, posts and chatter about the rubbish state of the world, the crap offer HR has, and the hipster-fuelled hyperbole of new acronyms and trendy buzzwords.  I simply don’t believe in that take on the world.

So I have a sense 2016 is going to see some good things happen.  The more people I speak to, the more partnerships and collaborations I get involved in and even the more boardrooms I walk into: I sense a shift.

To people.  To things that matter.  To a more spiritual and enlightened way to work.

Work’s a hot topic for us all.  Not just because of economic recovery but because of all the work there is to do to

  • improve the education system;
  • reshape health and social care for an ageing and more diverse society;
  • repair the planet;
  • look after each other;
  • protect us from evil and destructive forces; and
  • bring back to social fabric to the way we live, love and lead.

So no robots aren’t going to make us all irrelevant: they’ll help us create the space to solve some of the most complex psychological and societal problems we face

So no digital isn’t the dark destroyer or the default denoter of success.  It’s transformation using digital that will win in the game of gains and exist in harmony with us.

So no millennials aren’t that different – we’re all growing a different perspective on life and want work to be more flexible and imaginatively put together.

So no HR won’t get the boot from the company org chart.  It has a fantastic opportunity to be morphed into a change, design and learning powerhouse where the accumulated marginal gains of understanding people and motivational science together with digital technology and process design, reign supreme.

I have predicted this already in a post over at HR Zone: 2016 will see us enter into the learning economy and become more startup oriented. Learning economy will see us value not industry but adaptability and ingenuity.  We’ll learn our way into new solutions.  We’ll teach ourselves how to be more inventive and impactful.  We’ll develop ourselves into more consciousness about our impact and influence on others.  Startup in the sense of fun-filled, adventurous application to the way we work AS IF we were a garage-based new enterprise.  We’ll see the start of unleashing of entrepreneurial spirit as the way companies pivot and adapt; break old orthodoxies and become more ethical and purposeful.  

So I’m off the grid from COP Wednesday and thought I’d just get one more post out in the spirit of unashamed enthusiasm about the future.

A future I want to help create.  A future we’re all looking forward to being a part of.  A future where we learn our way to success.

Because everyone deserves better learning.

  1. gretchelina says:

    Love it! I’m an HR pro as well and sense a similar shift. Enjoy your period of silence, and may it be rejuvenating. 🙂

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