Holding Focus



"Ignore everybody" - Hugh McLeod


A flurry of conversation popped up on Twitter this week picking up from my '#VUCA People' blog of a few weeks ago. Simon Heath chipped with his own excellent piece, written three years back, on VUCA. (In fact, while you're there, check out the rest of Simon's blog... His views cut a swathe through Business BS; 'The Lexicon of Bullshittery' is a masterpiece.)

The business change world has recently seized upon 'digital transformation' as the latest 'go to' mantra and, for change folk like myself, it feels like there a growing anxiety about we can stay relevant and helpfully facilitate change in a digital world.  It's a growing conversation and I can feel the nervousness building...

And then... Paul Stanley dropped into a tangential convo; "You remember what happened when photography went digital?"

"Erm... yeah.  Everything and nothing."

The visual world shifted. Photography became ubiquitous, participative, democratic even. Cameras are everywhere and everyone is a publisher.  

But the real stuff of photography, fundamental questions of composition, narrative, representation, aesthetics, ethics, communication what we see, how we see and the way we reflect the world, stayed the same.

So, as change or 'organisational development' practitioners, whether we tread with trepidation or enthusiasm towards the promises and threats of digital, our 'core curriculum' remains.  

Digital will change the world but we will serve it well if we continue to work with the enduring questions of voice, participation, ethics, care, identity, inclusion, democracy and connection.

That's our stuff.

In a noisy, chaotic, busy, distracting digital world, let's find the courage to hold focus.



Thanks to @nickparker, @stevexoh, @SimonHeath1, @alteredattitude, @MayvinLtd, @chrisnicholsT2i (all worth a follow) and other Twitter friends for the inspiration.

Hugh McLeod's 'Ignore Everbody' list will keep you on track and his book is great.

Also, from my Kindle, take a look at Cal Newport's 'Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world.'

For photographers, I stole the 'core curriculum' label from Tod Papageorge - well worth a read.

Image from a (digitally) edited participative photography project with Global Generation.


Steve MarshallComment