Changeboard Future Talent — A “Problogue”.
This Is How We Do It
Ok so problogue ISN’T a word it’s a portmanteau: Prologue and Blog smashed together. And with co-founder Porteur Keane in mind, a portmanteau felt like a good thing to use for this piece of writing.
Changeboard is what Porteur Keane co-founded with Jim Carrick-Birtwell and they are also the creators and shaping forces behind a team effort that is the Future Talent conference. A 4th iteration on 29 March 2017 was my first (2 previous attempts weren’t so successful with clashing commitments).
This problogue is NOT going to go through each session in a replay of the conference agenda. That would be a commentary.
This problogue IS drafted to set the scene behind themes that I will unravel in 4 blogs mixed of different speaker content and insight plus my own take on the world for a little bit of seasoning.
What this problogue also does is pay tribute to the people and the concept that is Future Talent.
Porteur and Jim would — and did — say how instrumental ALL of the Changeboard people and partners are involved in making this a success. For sure, the speaking line-up is impressive and the content of these speakers isn’t what you’d expect at an HR conference. Not really a company case-study fest like we’re often used to. Instead we had sports brilliance; artistic prowess; philosophy and business wisdom with only really a passing nod to the thing that is HR as a practice field.
In fact Future Talent gives us a broader playing field and not something where we need to get too bogged down in any specific bastions of HR as a profession. Indeed, this event is suitable for ALL people at work who have the care of other people in their “portfolio”.
- So are you a budding entrepreneur just setting out, with people joining your ranks as “soldiers of growth” for your fledgling venture?
- Are you a big established giant in the merchant world who wants to check in what’s really useful to know — and then do — about the future of your talented people.
- Or you’re a consulting partner to clients who want you to be their sage and their guide to the world.
One other dimension I’d like to offer to this is the networker. For we were all there to network and we were all there to be networked with.
And it’s a networker that I’d like to offer as the real power behind this event. For — as Joshua Cooper Ramo elegantly describes in his book “The Seventh Sense” — networkers are the new caste. They are the future talent. For merchants, soldiers and sages were once the ONLY 3 categories of worker. Try it, I’ve mapped all the “professions” we have now and they are either in a merchant sense (selling something and trading something): soldiers (fighting for justice; peace; protection; care; our well being and security); or sages (sharing knowledge; wisdom; and artistry).
In the book, Cooper Ramo talks about how powerful the network is and proceeds to give some obvious and less-than-obvious examples of where the age of the network is really upon us. From insurgency to the financial crash to the new tech companies and their seemingly-anarchic ways of organising and working.
We are though, at present, being led into the future by a class of leaders and managers who don’t totally understand networks, and a collection of new technologists who don’t totally understand the world.
Cooper Ramo also describes the 19th century as the cult of the offensive — competition was king and you had to defeat it. The 20th century closed out with the cult of the disruptive; you won if you out-shaped and out-thought others.
The 21st century then is the cult of the seventh sense of networking.
A feeling for how networks work, joined with a sense of history, politics and philosophy that helps us better understand the dynamic of now and into the future: the training of a vigilant instinct is what Zen Master Nan Huai Chin calls it.
And we had a vigilant instinct trained at this event. With some insightful content, lots of moments of wisdom, and lots of what we call common sense, this was a stimulating flow of conversational, presentational provocation. We were asked to be vigilant about (and therefore following blog posts will cover)
- Trust — in ourselves; in others and in the institutions we’ve created that are workplaces;
- Emotions — in how we conduct ourselves at work and with the other people that are part of our — as Sir Clive Woodward calls it — teamship
- Artistry — for in what we do, there is often WAY more than a process. A sensing, an intuition, a feeling and therefore a representation of how we are in a form other than a completed task
- Vision — what do we see when we look at the future, at ourselves and those around us; the world we want to be part of and the organisations where we bring human endeavour to impactful actions.
It takes a special kind of approach to bring a special kind of event like this to life. I’m a regular at many “work-related” conferences and this is one I feel blessed to have been a part of.
My next 4 posts will feature on Changeboard’s own digital place but I felt I owed it to them, for showing the faith in me, to cover their precious thing, with an introductory post. To invite you to join me in future thoughts, about future talent and about the future WE want to be part of creating.
Check out the hashtag on Twitter #ChangeboardFT for more micro insights from participants and partners alike.