Teaching a Lesson and Thinking Together

The Making of HackFwd from HackFwd on Vimeo.

Whenever you're walking alone, especially at night, are you ever afraid that someone will jump out of a dark alley and say something smart? Instead, you probably worry that someone will jump out to "teach you a lesson", to put it mildly.

We live in a society where it's easier to worship physical conditioning, or the process of getting fit, with some consequences.

The origin of this example is not mine. It comes from the days when I was deep into the world of anthropology, learning about culture, environment, and human development. All functions develop by use, the human OS is interconnected. Why a sound mind in a healthy body (mens sana in corpore sano) includes both.

I'm quite amused when people look to resolve misalignment between their research and findings and something they think someone else has said or written by tweeting about it — looking to teach a lesson, which is quite different from thinking together.

This is subjective, I realize. However, I find thinking together to be more interesting. Using conversation as a way to draw out information, examples, data, and hypotheses. Yes, theory is part of it. What you would call learning lightly — not getting attached to an answer by embracing a good question for exploration.

When did theory become the bad guy? Every discovery starts with formulating a theory. The English word theory was derived from a technical term in Ancient Greek philosophy. The word theoria (θεωρία – I did enjoy reading ancient Greek more than Latin) meant "a looking at, viewing, beholding".

It is generally viewed as the opposite of action. Looking at and thinking are meant to motivate doing in a more appropriate way. How else do you go about doing? Picking stuff at random? Using intuition? Experience? Pray tell, where do these come from?

If the purpose of thinking is to comprehend, the point of thinking together is to create an environment of mental and physical availability to discovery in the moment, which has value because of the experience of deconstructing and reconstructing information.

Repeat after me (e.g., just "best practice") has its place. Observe and put things together is about learning the skill of connecting things, observing how the variables fit together, how they compare, and how to fix them — this is most practice, thinking by doing.

It's not just about technology, it's about finding what you weren't looking for.

I consider the Premium Newsletter a medium for thinking together in a more intimate, information, and research-rich setting. The March issue went out this morning and it included a complimentary copy of a Google+ Guide authored by Guy Kawasaki as extra bonus.

I developed the Conversation Agent Workshop as on opportunity for you to tap into the collective knowledge of Frank Eliason for customer service in social, Wil Reynolds for search and content, Robert J. Moore for business intelligence on purchasing intent, and my own more than twenty years of results in corporate environments.

This is a not to miss opportunity that will not be repeated.

I'm putting a couple of things to the test with it, including doing it in Philadelphia. I'll provide an update on what I discover here.

What are the benefits of participating?

  • you actually learn about doing by doing
  • you will get lots of face time with facilitators (we're keeping the group very small)
  • you will have a buzz-free day with hands-on people

Early Bird discount ends today at 12Noon. Sign up now, if you'd like to save $100 (enter the promotional code "Work" to save another $50).


[quote from the video: "if you help others, you get back much more than you could have dreamed."]