Being Human

In order for the promised benefits of Enterprise 2.0 to become reality people have to be prepared to say what they think. Sadly in conversation about this many people say something along the lines of "most people don't want to think". I am beginning to suspect they may be right. The biggest challenge to getting people to share isn't to do with technology it is to do with very personal challenges and issues that relate to their sense of self and their relationship with their employers. I find it really sad that through school and into the workplace it can become not worthwhile, or even dangerous, to think while at work. What was it about the corporate world that made this seem a sensible outcome? What was it about the individuals and the culture that made this a reality for many? What can we do to help make it different in the future?

I am going to tackle this topic in my session "Being Human" at Social Business Edge in New York in a couple of weeks time. My blurb for that session is as follows:

This whole Enterprise 2.0 thing can make it seem as if we are talking about something radically new but aren't we just getting back to the future? Aren't we just in a small way rediscovering being human at work? The whole Protestant work ethic thing about work being hard and dour and even scary has become so pervasive in so many workplaces that it has made sense to leave a large part of ourselves at the door when we arrive at work. But aren't we leaving the best parts behind? The creative part, the social part, the very attributes that make us human and enable us to be the best we can be? How do we help this inclination to be more human at work to grow? How do we allow ourselves to tap the most effective parts of our characters in a place where to do so has, in many cases, been downright dangerous?