Johnnie Moore

Are brainy people allowed to rant?

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

My last post on Lovemarks stirred up some strong responses. Most seemed to agree strongly, so it’s welcome when someone comes along to disagree, as Stuart Henshall does in the comments.

Stuart is – in my book – a good blogger who puts a lot of work into very well considered posts. I have a lot of respect for his views. I also want to challenge what I feel is one implication of what he says. Stuart argues: “Here is a collection of brainpower being wasted with ranting and personal attacks,” and continues “My suggestion is to be challenging in a more positive way.”

Yes, I’ve been thinking I want to add a post or two setting out an alternative view and I mean to do so. And what follows is provoked by Stuart’s comment but I’m not suggesting that he is taking an entirely opposite general position.

I think some of the best blog entries – my own and other people’s – are the rants. This is not an accident, nor is it a mark of some fatal moral flaw. I believe the world of organisations gets stymied if we subscribe to a narrow view of politeness and being positive. There is more to life – much more – than the purely rational, yet much business discourse avoids completely many powerful “negative” emotions.

I really distrust the idea that some emotions are “negative” and others “positive”.

What makes blogs fun – at least for me – is when I get a sense of a real flesh and blood human being behind them.

I love Improv and its principle of “Yes, And” – but this doesn’t mean that we simply go around being agreeable. That would be deeply dull. Sometimes the best way to show up to a relationship is to say No. Sometimes we won’t even see the way forward until we Stop doing what isn’t working. One or two of my strongest friendships are with people I strongly disliked and disagreed with when I first met them.

Also, consider this. Until a week ago, I just felt queasy about Lovemarks. I wrote a couple of mixed cautious posts elsewhere about my views. Then I read Chris Lawer’s original post which definitely qualified as a rant on the subject. (Chris has toned it down a little since, pity). This catalysed my views, energised me, and made me realise that I don’t have mixed views on Lovemarks, I have a deep gut dislike of it. Then I post a rant, and several other people come out in support. It isn’t reason alone that has brought us together, it is passion – in this particular case, in the form of anger.

A few years ago, I sat in an encounter group whose facilitator said “I like anger, it can be very energising”. At the time, as an anger-phobic, I felt rather alarmed by this view. Not any more.

And no, I am not saying all expressions of anger are good. But I am saying that Anger gets a bad rap a lot of the time. Used well it can be powerful force for good. (Consider Jesus and the Money Changers; What is that got Bob Geldof to create Band Aid?)

Debate welcome.

Share Post

More Posts

Rambling thoughts on models

I went down to Surrey on Friday for long walk and pub lunch with Neil Perkin. We’d originally planned to run a workshop about agile

Planning as drowning

Antonio Dias offers a fascinating description of what goes wrong when drowning: What separates a swimmer from someone drowning is the way a swimmer acknowledges

Leadership as holding uncertainty

Viv picks out some nice ideas from Phelim McDermott on the subject of leadership. “We love the security of the illusion that someone is in

Concreting Complexity

I’ve been thinking about the urge to scale things lately – see here and here. I understand the concern with being able to effect big

The absurd

In moving house, I radically downsized my collection of books which I can highly recommend. I used to think I’d one day find a reason

Rewriting history…

Thanks to my Improvisation friend Kelsey Flynn I rambled into a letter cited in Margaret Cho’s Blog (go to Letter #1): Lately it seems like

Who says fun is dangerous?

I wanted to share this email doing the rounds this morning… AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE After every flight Qantas pilots fill out a form called a gripe

Yes, and…

A quick ramble on the nature of paradox, inspired by a blog on the value of both fear of the new and curiosity

More Updates

Emotional debt

Releasing the hidden costs of pent up frustrations

Aliveness

Finding the aliveness below the surface of stuck

Johnnie Moore

Living systems

I tweeted this post by Andrew Rixon last month: From Social Networks to Living Systems – Some principles to reflect on. It’s brief and well worth reading in full. I

Johnnie Moore

Power games in groups

Chris Corrigan has a thought-provoking post on power games in supposedly participatory processes. I guess this is the nub but the whole thing is worth reading. Those of us who

Johnnie Moore

Ben Franklin and Conversation

Ben Franklin on building community through curiosity, dialogue and modesty. Wise words from “the first American”.

Johnnie Moore

A380 tickets on Ebay.

Singapore Airlines are going to auction all the seats on their inaugural A380 flight for charity. On Ebay. Strikes me as a small but good bit of marketing.