Visions of silence and solitude


Adobe’s visual trend analysis shows that we are increasingly seeking images of silence and solitude. 

A far cry perhaps from the striving, fiercely aspirational imagery that accompanies familiar business visions (mostly there is a line or arrow on a graph going upwards… and a handshake…).

According to Adobe, "We’re seeing a growing demand for images that convey comfort and regeneration; images that take us back to nature, that show that less is more. Viewers are responding to imagery that offers respite — these images operate like a breath of fresh air to the viewer. They present a break from a demanding and confusing time."

A break, also, from the paradox of an uncertain, unpredictable business environment where top executives are charged with deciding the vision for the organisation.  Leaders set a vision in generalised, simplified, often hopelessly grandiose, terms and everyone is expected to join them on 'the same page' regardless of the variety and complex nuances of our own visions.

Yet I've noticed that top executives rarely go on the leadership development programmes where 'managers' work on vision.  

I wonder what images of business success would look like if they did? 



Adobe on visual trends.


Steve MarshallComment
Connection and Independence

The ability to connect well with others, forming an effective sense of contact, togetherness and community while retaining our independence, voice and autonomy is a difficult balance but Fritz Perls' 'Gestalt Prayer' relieves us of any sense of guilt or failure while holding open the joyful potential:


I do my thing and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I,

and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.

If not, it can't be helped.



Fritz Perls on Wikipedia





Steve MarshallComment
Relational spaces in a transactional world

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

(Not quite Voltaire) 



I wonder how Voltaire would have fared in the highly charged, unequivocal discussions and aggressive debates that characterise today's political and (social) media communications?

Assertions are made, positions are taken and defended, it gets personal, and the shouting starts.

Troll. Rocket Man. Dotard. Deplorable. Front-stabber. Remoaner. Pleb. Denier...

More than ever, we need people who can ‘hold’ a conversation; help us avoid binaries, work with uncomfortable complexity and avoid the collapse into unfounded certainty.

And, we need the courage and resolve to relentlessly empower each other in the creation of relational, dialogic, shared spaces that catalyse generous, considered, critical conversations worthy of Voltaire’s offer.  




Sticklers will know that the Voltaire quote is thought to be a misattribution by Evelyn Beatrice Hall as an illustration of his beliefs in her book, ‘The Friends of Voltaire.'

Jane Riddiford ~ "Vision grows in the footsteps of shared commitment" - The Photo-Dialogues





Steve MarshallComment