The Power of Shared Perspectives and Preventing our Prejudices Leading Us
Paul Laver, Human and Co-founder of One Minute to Midnight
Every Monday here at One Minute to Midnight we spend an hour sharing ‘inspirations’ from the world with each other. Lockdown has <strong>not</strong> put a stop to it. Every working week starts with this session so that we can see the world through each other’s perspectives, getting to know one another a little better, stimulating our minds, embracing the new and building stronger connections as a team. Everyone is on mute except for the sharer who tells the story behind their piece. The inspirations can be on anything. There are no rules. We continually surprise each other. We have a little time at the end of the sessions to think of themes and implications … sometimes there are clear connections, other times not and often we find things that are in direct conflict with one another.
This week we had:
An article from the New York Times debunking the myth that Zoom meetings are great, highlighting the increase in stress and tiredness as we move from one virtual room to another trying to pick up non-verbal cues from the rolo-dexing faces in front of our eyes, whilst being distracted by the curious wallpaper behind our boss’ head
An article in the Guardianextolling the virtues of the Zoom virtual library rooms where everyone is silent and the positive affect these have on productivity
A podcast on the amazing human beings and philosophy behind Patagonia
The life and times of the Bloomsbury set from Bonnie Greer via the Tate Walks of Art
The hideous creation that is the Monopoly ad (oops no judgement)
The 'Zeitgeist’ from Weekday which is a limited edition printed T-shirt collection capturing - well the zeitgeist of our times each week
So, what did all these have in common? Maybe nothing, maybe something, maybe we will all find different connections. What they do demonstrate, to me at least, is the incredible diversity of thought and creation that there is around us all and the subsequent, individual lenses we see this diverse world through.
Of course, as humans we must seek to put patterns and models over the top of our worlds so that we can make sense of them and take actions to navigate our own ways forward into the future. Indeed, it is part of our job as human beings … but we should never lose site of the wonderful diversity and complexity of the world around us and the opportunities it gives us. As I descend into the LinkedIn wormhole of article after article talking about the new normal, a phrase I’m fucking tired of, pontificating how things will change in a certain way or even remain the same after this ‘thing’, one thing strikes me about all of these hypotheses – they universally appear to be based on huge generalisations and / or assumptions on very specific bits of evidence that often merely confirm in going personal directions of travel. Why not stand back, helicopter out and observe with non-attachment the many things that are going on objectively and think yes things will certainly change as they are always changing, but which of these changes feels most right for me now and into the future. Then and only then plan for this future in terms of the ways you may need to think and act differently from before yet remain as true to yourself as you can. So maybe we should give ourselves a little bit of time to explore a few options or scenarios before we act, as there will not be a singular change or mono-dimensional response. There will be no new normal but many ways of continuing to exist as there always has been. We will all need to pick one or two that we feel are best for us, try them and if they don’t work, try another and another until we find one that works best for a time – whether that be personally or if we are wearing our business caps for our brand / organisation or indeed team.
One thing is for sure, here at OMTM we will continue with our Monday morning inspiration sessions so we see the world through each other’s eyes and give ourselves options and scenarios to explore moving forward so that we are not trapped on the tramlines of our own habitual thoughts and ways of looking at the world.
Have as good a week as you can my friends.