I have just returned from speeches in Pretoria and Chicago, speeches to very different audiences, the first to senior leaders in education, the second to senior leaders in HR. The hospitality shown to me at both was fantastic and as is often the case, I had time to have a meal and a conversation with the organisers. We talked a great deal about the impact of the global economic crisis and about the challenges facing us, our children and our diverse organisations; education, health, the armed forces, tax offices. We talked about human challenges on local, national and global scales and yet again, I realised that we are all dealing with the same issues; they are of course, well rehearsed; change, risk, creativity, productivity and efficiency.
The epiphany for me has been that you can distill the world’s problems into common themes and optimistically, we can therefore find solutions by talking more, sharing more and isolating less! When I started out on this journey, moving from the classroom to the speakers podium I was worried, very worried… I knew I had something to say about education and schooling but wondered what I would have of interest for audiences in a corporate realm… Very quickly, I saw the links and I have been fascinated by them since… But my global adventures have led to another revelation; the generic links that work across continents as well as corporations, because the solutions all rely on humanity.
As a result, I have a plea to make; please, let’s get over ourselves! And actually it’s just a matter of emphasis… We have got to stop reacting tribally by dismissively saying, ” What do THEY know?” and asking inquisitively, “WHAT do they KNOW? For example, if we want teachers to be more inclined to action research, let’s ask the medical profession. if we want to create more entrepreneurial cultures let’s ask Brazil, if we want to understand human leadership ask great school leaders. After reading this, make yourself a promise, that by the end of the week, you will have shared your challenges with someone who lives life in a different realm to you… Because some WHO, on earth, KNOWS!