Reflecting on being at the excellent “Stop Doing Dumb Things” unconference on Wednesday this week, one comment kept surfacing above all others in regard to effective engagement – “re-invent lunch”.
It helped me to connect the dots to other areas of my activity – and in watching the tweetfall from yet another (please, no more) “future of work” event yesterday, made me think that perhaps in our “greed for the new” (as Nietzsche said) we have been in too much of a hurry to leave behind and scoff at the ingredients of our past success. We are in mortal danger of betraying the golden rule of change.
It’s perhaps time to recognise that “old ways of working” still have much to offer, and if we trample over them to reach the unknown future, we may regret it. Things like….
The mystique, magic and hidden secrets of signatures, drawn with fountain pens, tracing the flow of the ink to the abrupt, stubbed dots
The sensory delight of carefully opening and unfolding a letter on thick, textured paper, speaking all the while of its importance, and the slow, deep intake of breath as you start to read
Handwriting, as mesmeric as watching the breaking of waves
The arresting calm of conversation flowing, with time for the silence of the reflective pause
Quiet undisturbed contemplation, without the sharp deflating puncture of a beep or vibration, and blind to the clock
Petty cash and cheques, swift payment, a receipt, satisfaction – respect, the only term or condition
Lunchtimes, sacred, anticipated and patiently consumed, alone or generously shared
Arrangements adhered to, without fear of the last-minute scythe of an excuse-laden text
Real names, and a single identity – respectfully remembered and addressed – handles only for doors and cupboards
The social pillow of beer after hours, or even just before – and the delight in the immediacy and willing of colleagues, thrown together yet open and sincere
So – be careful not to trample on the beauty of the past….