Ain't talking 'bout loveWhat makes you cringe? What are the things you think we just shouldn't really talk about in business?
32st March 2018
Ever say the wrong thing in a meeting? Something which made people uncomfortable? I did. And it got me thinking: was what I said wrong because they were uncomfortable? How would I know?
So during a big presentation, I dropped a clanger. A boo boo.
In a presentation about customer centred design I spoke at work about love and hope and family and I said that I believe that on the inside, our customers are bright and simple and bold and honest, not complicated and difficult and nuanced. It seemed natural to me: we were talking about banking products which affect people’s lives, families and worlds very deeply.
This caused some sniggering. And I got called out about it by my manager.
I was told that this was unacceptable. The senior people, I was told, did not like hearing me speak about such things. Which is a problem because it’s what I genuinely believe. And uncomfortable though it made them, none actually disagreed, they just didn’t like someone talking about emotions at work.
This is of course an organisation which talks about disruption. About being challengers. Don’t we all in this new digital age?
But how do you have disruption without discomfort?
Isn’t real disruption – not just tinkering with processes or sticking to a long term transformation plan – inevitably uncomfortable? Isn’t it bound to make you genuinely shift in your seat and not want to think about it?
As Saatchi said, love is the second most powerful motivating force in the human experience. Talking about something that powerful should make you a bit nervous. But we have to talk about it, because it’s what makes the entire world go round.
Shouldn’t real disruption, real steps into the unknown, feel creepy and cheesy and cringey and weird, exactly because they’re unexpected and unfamiliar?
Now read this…
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Or look at this…