Tuesday 5 October 2010

A whole lot of heart

Intelligence and heart. And social media, that's here too. But. Intelligence and heart.

I've hidden behind a computer for a long old time. I've kept beneath the parapet, never telling anyone what I thought, never venturing an opinion and sometimes I think never actually having one. I contributed to discussions only when others were drunk so they'd forget the words I'd say in the morning but grabbing the fleeting opportunity to test the water in expressing something. Anything.

Then someone asked a question. I knew the answer to the question. I knew I knew the answer but still I hesitated, because the person asking the question was a Head of Service and whilst I was entirely comfortable with expressing opinions with my then HoS, because he was my mentor and I trusted him and worked so very well together, I didn't know the person asking the question at all.

But I knew the answer. So I wrote the answer in an email. I didn't send the email for 48 hours. I came back on Monday morning, retrieved the draft and reread it. And I sat at my desk in my portakabin and I looked at the words I wrote, and I wondered who'd written them and then pressed Send.

The person I sent it to was @marcschmid

He forwarded the email to @tomstannard - I use their Twitter names because the conversation started on Twitter. A job became available in their team. I was told I had an interview over Twitter. I was told I had the job over Twitter. We still sort work stuff over Twitter too. And email. And face to face. It's as natural to all of us as breathing to use the right channel for the right time in the right way to get hold of the right person at the right time, depending on many different factors.

I explained this today. It got the usual reaction 'wow sounds like you lot have got the hang of this social media thing'. Well yes.......and no. But today I learnt that we can hold our heads high. That we are innovating in company, ever growing company, but we are still ahead some. That I was wrong in my assumption that everyone else was ahead of us. They're not. That we are using social media well and in the right way and I cannot take credit for that, all those foundations were built way before I came along.

But I also learnt that I know what I know. I think what I think. And it is the same as others think, I am not alone, I am not an army of one. I learnt that women can stand in front of conferences and speak and people will listen. I learnt that intelligence and heart are not things to be hidden, but things to be shown with no consideration for those things being unusual or strange.

I learnt. So much. I have 6 pages of notes thanks to the NWEGG social media conference I attended today. I talked and learnt from people, I discussed and enthused, and was enthused at. And oh, but there is nothing I love more than someone enthusing at me. It's the fuel that I need to continue to think, to continue to brainstorm, to continue the epiphanies. These are my dreams for the future, tell me yours, tell me yours, please tell me yours? What do you see? What would you want if there were no barriers at all? Imagine a world built from the ground up, what would you wish for? Can we create that, can we shape that, can we, is it possible? Why must we be constraind by what we've always done? I. need. that.

I need to wrap this feeling up and take it with me. I need to not forget. I am not stupid. I am not leading us down the wrong path. I am not speaking alone. I am not alone, I am backed up by research, great minds, innovative people, shiny people.

Intelligence with heart. Be smart and care. Don't be ashamed of having a brain which you enjoy thinking with and don't be afraid to admit that you care. These are the things I learnt from many many awesome people today.

For the sending of an email, for the pressing of the Send button, for the asking of a question, I am grateful.

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