This is my very first blog post. I have spent the past five weeks trying to think of something profound to say but have come to realize that all the conversations that interest me have actually been going on for some time. That’s the price you pay for getting into the game so late.
After more than thirty years in IT, I am exploring something new, exciting and, on a personal level, very meaningful. When I think of how I got here; all the jobs, all the companies, all the countries, it wouldn’t seem to be much of a stretch to sit down and write a blog post. Yet this is unlike anything I have ever done before. I come from a generation where I have always felt as though I needed permission to speak. From growing up during South Africa’s darkest days in a generation where children were meant to be seen not heard and only speak when spoken to. From a colonial school system where the concepts of hierarchical authority were reinforced every single day, to every company I’ve ever worked at until now, I have always felt the need to seek some level of permission before I could speak. Amazingly, today I can save this post and have it published immediately (well almost immediately) without any corporate filters whatsoever. I had no idea it would feel quite so liberating.
I suspect though, that I may not be alone. There are probably a lot of people in middle and upper management who can relate because they grew up with the same values. Spare a thought for them because I’m not sure that the concepts of social networking come naturally to this generation. I can feel the frustration in the writing of people on the leading edge like David Churbuck who desperately want us to pick up the pace, but, unfortunately, I think that we may be closer to Jeremiah Owyang’s view of social media in the corporation because these attitudes are so deeply ingrained. So even though everyone involved in the social media space recognizes that the movement is irreversible, it will take time, patience and a lot of understanding before Enterprise 2.0 becomes the norm. I am thrilled at the opportunity to come along for the ride at my new job here at Social Media Group and I look forward to finally being part of the “conversation”.
Welcome to the conversation, Kevin!
Looking forward to hearing what you’ve got to say and I hope you enjoy the adventure.
welcome to the team, kevin. you are right, you are not alone. it feels good to work for a company (and in an industry) where opinions and ideas matter. In fact, it’s our currency.
I’m of your generation (an ex-Cobol programmer) and I thank you for such an honest post!
I too am learning to give myself permission to use my voice…this is my first true self-initiated blog comment.
I must admit that I (as a consultant) use blogs as a quick and dirty project management tool – my comments in these are all work related, and yes – I have had some hesitation from the “traditionalist” generation about using a blog but once they get the hang of it they seem to love it!
But to my real point…I received your article from Feedblitz, I read it with great interest and relate so well to your story but I was left wondering…who exactly is this? Had to link to the blog to see that you are a “Kevin”.
Made me really wonder – with this need of mine to know more about the person behind the message – in order for our generation to adopt the 2.0 philosophies do we have to surrender this need to know so much, as well as learn to use our voices?
Thanks for taking the time to read the post. My initial response to your comment was, “knowing the person behind the message gives it credibility” but then I realized just how much that perpetuates the bias we have. I think you’re right…learning to use our voices also means learning to listen to the voices of others, regardless of who they are.
Kevin, I hit myself with that bias too – active listening and realizing that content is our currency (as Zoe mentioned above) are key points.
My concern for the future generations, as we continue to transition from Me (knowing who I am and valuing that) to We (the social network and peer group)…is the loss of the individual to the group – it’s a fine balance, that’s for sure!
Congratulations, Kevin, on your first blog post. And, you’re right, it’s never too late to join the conversation!
What we find on the Internet – the conversations, the information, the ideas – changes who we are as people, and directly influences the choices we make, both in the marketplace and, more importantly, in life. The conversation has never been more important.
Looking forward to your insights! Well done!