Harold Jarche took a peek at the Edges of Work and he tweeted one line which got a bit of retweet action. That always attracts my attention as a kind of weak signal. It was this:
People will go to the edge more willingly if they’re in the right company
This is why it’s worth thinking about things like the warm up for meetings. The demand to get straight down to business can mean people don’t really open to each other and that can reduce their effectiveness. There’s some good research on the value of what some call “small talk” and things like social sensitivity.
If we don’t create some warmth and trust in the relationship, people are less willing to go out on the limbs that offer the chance of insights and breakthroughs. And it’s why so many insights occur outside formal learning spaces, in corridors and coffee breaks, where people often more able to relax and less anxious to perform.
This idea of good companionship is one of three principles we suggest might guide setting up good learning in organisations. I’ll blog about the others another day.