2019-05-05 Digest

Contributions: Amanda Mull | Esko Kilpi | Annie McKee | Rahaf Harfoush | Ziauddin Sadar |

Beacon NY - 2019-05-05 — I am headed to Seattle to visit Microsoft for a few days, so the newsletter might be a bit erratic this week.


Social Now 2019 — Lisbon Portugal — 6-7 June 2019

Developing digital leadership in a unique fusion of workshop and social tools demonstrations. See below at the footer for more information, or visit socialnow.org.


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AirPods Are a Survival Tool for Open-Plan Offices | Amanda Mull brings research by Ethan Bernstein and Sally Augustin to bear on the discussion about the negatives of open offices.

Although headphones can help filter auditory interruptions, they can’t block visual ones, which … can be just as disruptive to performance and focus.

[from Days on the Savanna]


From the fossil era to a post-fossil, post-industrial era | Esko Kilpi suggests we have turned a corner, lurching out of an industrial, extractive era of social evolution, to a post-industrial, sustainable era where work — and workers — are demassified and recontextualized.

What is most desperately needed is a deeper understanding of the complexity of life — and not being afraid.

[from Welcome to the Postnormal]


Keep Your Company’s Toxic Culture from Infecting Your Team | Annie McKee takes on a problematic topic, and offers advice about surviving in a 'toxic' culture, meaning a setting where you are pressured to act counter to your own beliefs.

[from Tell Me A Story]


Hustle & Float: Reclaim Your Creativity and Thrive in a World Obsessed with Work | Rahaf Harfoush recently published a ChangeThis manifesto (I had forgotten about those) making the case that we've lost the thread on creativity by becoming all hustle and no float, terms she's borrowed from white water rafting:

As it turns out, there are many similarities between the way we white water raft and the way we work. The rise of the creative economy has engendered a work ethic among creatives that focuses exclusively on the hustle.


Our culture idolizes creativity but worships productivity. These two contradictory ideologies are now colliding. And we’re caught in the middle.

[from I Contain Multitudes]

Quote of the Week

All that was ‘normal’ has now evaporated; we have entered postnormal times, the in-between period where old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have not yet emerged, and nothing really makes sense… We will have to imagine ourselves out of postnormal times—with an ethical compass and a broad spectrum of imaginations from the rich diversity of human cultures.

| Ziauddin Sadar, Welcome to Postnormal Times

Social Now 2019 — Lisbon Portugal — 6-7 June 2019

At Social Now, enterprise social tools battle it out for the chance to be voted “the best tool for my organisation”.

Every year, Social Now shows ways of improving internal communications, collaboration, and knowledge sharing and retention. This 8th edition Social Now 2019 will also pay special attention to several key questions:

  • how leaders can adapt to fully rip the benefits of digital transformation efforts; and,

  • how to use enterprise social tools to identify, nurture and develop great digital leaders.

Cablinc is a fictitious company with very real challenges. At Social Now, you will hear:

  • amazing speakers offer practical recommendations to help Cablinc;

  • platform vendors tell “day-in-the-life” narratives of smarter work practices at Cablinc;

  • peers from real organisations share their own experiences, in short talks and in the innovative “peer assist” session.

Come to sunny Lisbon. Join a small group of 100 professionals for 2 days of practical talks, rich debate, great networking, and gorgeous food and wine.

Click to register, or for more information.

Social Now uses a totally different lens to zoom in on key questions about social tools. More of a workshop than a typical tech conference, and dedicated to on-the-ground exploration of tools, rather than abstract theorizing. It's my third (fourth?) Social Now and I can't wait. | Stowe Boyd