I started to title this post “On Being in Two Places at Once,” but can one really do that?
One can more easily appear or publish in two places at once, and I wanted to say a few words on that.
I intend to let these musings emit on a number of frequencies and forms. My personal blog is what you’re reading here. My employer’s employee-blogs site will also contain versions of what I write. And I’m experimenting with one of my favorite tools, Slack, by posting blog dispatches there, where they’ll be joined by comments and contributions by my collaborators at my employer and perhaps even my client,
Here’s what I wrote, in a series of messages, to start out the new channel:
Welcome to a form of my blog that begins today about my experiences living physically in Seattle and working full-time and in real-time in London. This is going to be fun!
Dispatches will post here, where we can treat them like we do posts in any other channel, with comments and other people’s contributions and comments. I’ll also post to my personal blog, FeelingAgile.com, and to an Accenture blog that I’ll create as soon as I ask my friend Janel to guide me through how to create one of those.
Is this effort well thought-through? Most assuredly not. How can one think-through what one can’t yet conceive?
Time is moving fast, or at least events are. A week ago, I was in Seattle, still two days away from boarding a plane to Heathrow to being my first month living and working in London. Seven days later, I’m back here in my Seattle living-room workspace, beginning the various incarnations of this blog. And it’s not even the beginning of the Monday workweek yet!
Tune in, ponder, and contribute! This is—I hope—going to be interesting, both as an experiment and, if I/we/y’all write it well, as a blog!
But first, this message from my spirit guide sponsor. “Remote” seems to be the hardest word; it’s doesn’t have great connotations, even in the “remote control” sense. I picked this title for this blog-channel so people searching for the two other newly created channels, #remote-virtual-teaching and #remote-virtual-coaching-engagements, would stumble upon this one too. “Virtual” is a bit better, suggesting that all the virtues of whatever it is one is doing are still present and delivered, but the virtual-reality wave might have flavored that a bit too much, with it’s uncanny-valley feeling of being not-real.
Semantics, you say, but in the U.S.—I’ll be using that phrase a lot, as my being and heart are in two countries whilst this experiment unfolds—the Republican party has made decades of inroads into dominance of American political life by paying attention to the semantics and metaphors that guide our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, and our choices (see The Metaphors We Live By and master of re-framing Frank Luntz) among many others, including “noted semanticist” S. I. Hayakawa)
So what do we call this? I’m going to go out on a limb, even though I’m not comfortable or skilled at prognosticating: this is what the future is. The Current Crisis is just one more straw that’ll, instead of breaking the camel’s back, will help build our new house. We’ll see if the wolf blows it down, or if it turns out to be much sturdier than we thought.
One last semanticalistic note: I called this channel “remote_virtual_LIVING” because I don’t think the dichotomous “work-life” balance exists. Rather, we exist in a diunital “both-and” world, where work and living are difficult to tease apart.
I just threw away all of the telephone books.
For years, they’ve been delivered to my doorstep, from a few different companies. For years, I’ve unwrapped them and placed them on a high shelf. For years, I’ve never touched them. Why, oh why, have I bothered to waste time and space for all those years?
Because losses loom larger than gains.
I first saw that phrase in Chris O’Leary’s brilliant, one-page distillation of the the forces behind successful innovation. Chris points out that “people find the threat of loss to be far more motivating than the promise of gain.” And I see this every day as I work with teams that are trying to get better at doing what they spend their days doing, delivering business value to their customers through software.
“Change? Sure, that sounds like a good idea. There are lots of things wrong here. Wait…I need to do stop doing that? But I’ve always done that. Why? It’s the right way. Results? Well, yeah, when we do that, it doesn’t always work, but that’s just because Dave over there isn’t thinking things through when he…”
Change is what we want other people to do. But the rule is this: if you want to engender change in a group dynamic, go first. Be the change you want to see in the world. Charity starts at home—wait, that’s a different maxim. But you get the idea.
So I no longer have telephone books at hone. What’s next? The land-line telephone’s already gone; maybe I drop the VoIP service I got to save my long-time phone number? Stay tuned and see.