Blog: Neville Hobson – Take Courage…


Do. Or do not. There is no try. Yoda’s words from the Empire Strikes Back. And they’re on Neville’s wall – because fear is what holds so many of us back.

You need to recognise that this is disruptive stuff in organisations. This isn’t about Facebook or Twitter. it’s about people. Think about what you have to do to enamble people – and about the risks. Think about the difference you can make, and where you fit into the whole landscape. You’ll probably think it’s too big – as Luke did before Yoda said that quote.

It’s not about the software, it’s about what the user does.

Try is a cop out. It lets you excuse yourself when you don’t do something.

Your responsibility? If you have an idea that you believe that you can do for your organisation – you have a responsibility to do something that matters. “Giving it a try” is a cop-out. He doesn’t always succeed. We all make mistakes. But your midset shift must be in gear properly, if you want to execute properly. If your boss is the boss from hell – you have to surmount that. It takes courage.

Esther Dyson said “Always make new mistakes”. Try something new, a new approach. The lack of celebration of failure in the UK has been mentioned before today. In the US they’re better about it.

What can you do right now? You could be the catalyst in chaos theory – the beating butterfly wings in Japan that cause a storm here.

You have to calculate your risk. You have to be able to convince people who will do their best to stop you – and this can be career-risky. If the cons outweigh the pros – it’s suicidal, and you need to adjust your approach. You need to understand the changes happening in society that impact on your immediate landscape. We’re still in early adopter time. There are still more people who don’t sue social tools than those who do. Do your preparation.

Take the lead to eliminate to FUD. People see change as a threat to their authority, power and control. Gauge people’s views before you take your big ideas. You will have enemies. If no-one hates you, you’re not doing anything worthwhile. You need to know who your advocates and detractors are. Know who the movers and shakers are. Who do people listen to? There will be those who try to block you. And most of all, listen. Listening is paramount.

Winston Churchill: courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.


Live blog written by Adam Tinworth at Like Minds, Exeter May 25th 2012.

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