Euan Semple - Smile London

The impact of conversations on Information flow

Interview with Euan Semple

SMILE CONFERENCE, LONDON

“The challenge is pulling conversations together and getting to a critical mass. The risk in all these situations is to worry about technology rather than about conversations. Some clients tend to get buried in what’s become a large IT project. This morning, there have been examples where people have invested …”

Transcription

Euan: The challenge is pulling conversations together and getting to a critical mass. The risk in all these situations is to worry about technology rather than about conversations. Some clients tend to get buried in what’s become a large IT project. This morning, there have been examples where people have invested a lot of time and money in technologies. They’ve given up because they didn’t get the engagement. I don’t like the word ‘engagement’… They didn’t get enough energy from the system. So what I found funny – I tweeted it- that all of this, is about having bloody good conversations at work. And do whatever it takes to have that happen. But people get “busy” about who owns it, technology, channel-type thinking, etc.

Raphaël, KP: A lot of influence is based through comments… if people are skeptical about a decision, they gonna challenge it through conversations, and definitely, it’s true. But the starting point and the end point for me is still the note, the wiki part where you put things in clear. For me, it’s more like a loop.

Euan: Totally. That’s the point. Even within a wiki, you have a malleability that’s really attractive. It can be made to be as current as possible. But at some point you export that as a PDF, to make that the “rule” if you like.

Raphaël, KP: You shouldn’t…

Euan: But people do. They want to fix it the way you described but anyone with any sense will look at the wiki and the ongoing. There’s the face-to-face conversation, the online conversation,the wiki ongoing malleable document. Then, there’s the fixed point that you need for legal. You need all of them and you make judgments where you go depending on your needs. If you get too wedded to the fixed point, then you engender risk. So you have to make sure that fixed point keeps getting adapted as the conversation goes forward.

Raphaël, KP: Isn’t it industry-specific?

Euan: No, it’s down to individuals. The places where it sticks is where somebody is putting the energy, the effort and care enough to make it happen. I actually think in the long-term it will happen everywhere, but what we’re talking about is getting it happen a little faster. And that takes very often a committed individual.

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