Well, my first day in my new job at the Fred Hollows Foundation was really very good. The travel time to work was better than I expected (so that was a great start!) and I met some wonderful and committed people. The feature of the day was conversation – the largely informal conversations with people in the organisation about things that are going on and things that matter.
Now, I am also reading Patricia Shaw’s book, Changing conversations in organizations (thanks, Chris, I have nearly finished it). The book is somewhat hard going to read. Yet I can see how important conversations are within organisations to extract real meaning and real contextual understanding. I can certainly see how established hierarchies often make conversations difficult or prevent them from even occurring.
Shaw says: “we are daily involved with others in forming and being formed by the evolving ‘situations’ which we experience as the sensible interweaving of our actions with another” (p.72). In other words, our personal context is dynamic and evolving within the context of our conversations and relations with others. These features lead to behaviours and actions that affect the organisation.
To my mind, conversation (communication) seems like common sense if one wants to discover any meaning about anything. My experiences today have only sought to reinforce that view to me.