ECF2011: 'Human’ is the new ‘professional'

more like people
more like peoplemore like people
‘human’ is the new ‘professional’,[object Object],Dismantling ‘professionalism’ to enable people-powered change,[object Object],@hackofalltrades,[object Object],Liam Barrington-Bush, Concrete Solutions C.I.C. ,[object Object]
Image ‘Not forgotten’ used under CC license from ‘khaugli’ on Flickr,[object Object],Imagine you’re at the pub...,[object Object]
SOCIAL,[object Object],MEDIA,[object Object]
SOCIAL,[object Object],MEDIA,[object Object]
We know protocols are different for...,[object Object],Letters,[object Object],Phone,[object Object],Email,[object Object]
Social media is the ‘smoke break’ of organisational campaigns & communications,[object Object]
Because campaigning is ‘professional’ for us, doesn’t mean it’s ‘professional’ for...,[object Object],Our supporters,[object Object],Our beneficiaries,[object Object],Our donors,[object Object],Our activists...,[object Object]
The trouble with ‘professionalism’*...,[object Object],*Besides making stock photos like this one acceptable.,[object Object]
The trouble with ‘professionalism’...,[object Object],1. The pressure to always be right,[object Object]
The trouble with ‘professionalism’...,[object Object],2. The inclination to centralise everything,[object Object]
The trouble with ‘professionalism’...,[object Object],3. Forgetting how to write as we speak,[object Object]
The trouble with ‘professionalism’...,[object Object],4. The  power (imbalance) of professionalism,[object Object]
So ‘professionalism’...,[object Object],Makes it harder to build relationships,[object Object],Increases  power differences,[object Object],Makes communication less clear,[object Object],Leads to rigid, time-consuming processes,[object Object],Reinforces the status quo,[object Object],Undermines trust,[object Object],Makes it harder to get things done,[object Object]
So what does a ‘human’ e-campaign look like?,[object Object]
I don’t know!,[object Object]
...But ‘trust’ and ‘flexibility’ seem pretty important...,[object Object]
How human is your organisation?,[object Object],Practices two-way, conversational communications, inside and outside its walls?,[object Object],Supports autonomousleadership to emerge from all levels?,[object Object],Encourages broad, open, equal involvement in organisational decisions?,[object Object],Trusts staff totake risks and try new ways of campaigning (without reprisal)?,[object Object]
Liam Barrington-Bush,[object Object],,[object Object],,[object Object],@hackofalltrades,[object Object],07775732383,[object Object]
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Editor's Notes

  1. Very briefly, I want to highlight the problems w/ what we call ‘professionalism’ for our online campaigns, try to understand why we keep getting stuck with it, and hopefully spark an ongoing discussion on a couple of the elements I’ve seen to be pretty critical to creating alternatives...
  2. This would be a clear violation of the conventions of the space, right?As absurd as this seems, it also isn’t that far off how a lot of our organisations use social media.
  3. And I think this is because we’ve got the emphasis wrong...
  4. One of the most unfortunate things about social media, has been that by calling it media, we impose a whole range of old understandings to something that essentially requires us to put those understandings on hold and do some exploration.
  5. I doubt I need to expand on the benefits of a smoke break, or the benefits of social media to most of us here today.
  6. But because its what most of us do ‘professionally’, we can easily forget that our issues are not remotely professional to the vast majority of people we’re talking to about them... So we get back to the pub analogy again...
  7. Our reputation is based on a kind of expertise that assumes we know all there is to know on a subject. This is unrealistic, and creates insecurities because most of us know that we can’t always be the most knowledgeable people on every issue related to our work.The ability to come out and say publicly ‘We have no idea if a no-fly zone in Libya is the right thing at the moment!’ or Which mirrors the same culture affecting politics, in which politicians have so little public trust, in part at least, because they pretend to know everything, even when it’s glaringly obvious that they don’t...
  8. ...As a result, pull hold our hands close – we don’t want others to see that we have anything other than a royal flush at any given moment, so we pull decision back to the middle, giving fewer people a chance to legitimately impact the choices we make.
  9. ...Which often isolates parts of our organisations from other people who are not in similar positions. When we end up in overly homogenous groups, we develop acronyms, shorthand, jargon... We start calling ‘conversation’ ‘dialogue, ‘stories’ become ‘case studies’, the results of our work ‘outcomes’... And we gradually make even our more informed supporters feel like idiots for not understanding what we’re talking about...
  10. ...if people don’t always understand us, or feel that the language we use is too far from their own, we can give the impression of being in an ‘ivory tower’ – even if this is still a low-budget charity office. If we are communicating very differently from our beneficiaries, members or supporters, and perhaps not even giving them a chance to be involved, we are holding the power in the relationship
  11. But there are 2 recurrent themes I’ve noticed.
  12. Both of these things keep coming up in groups and discussions, but we never seem to have a chance to delve into them in the way we might like to. Maybe because they are often espoused, but rarely practiced.What is it that keeps trust from being practiced in your office?What leads to rigidity and treating rules and policies as absolutes, rather than guidelines?
  13. Possibly worth posting anonymously by a water cooler, or in a shared kitchen space...These are aspirational ideas, but I find they can be good yardsticks to regularly check yourself up against.For those not interested working towards this approach, I highlight a Tweet that I saw the other day as I started working on this presentation....If human is the new professional, professional is the old amateur...