Beware of Knotworks – Networks with Ego

Rabbit Carrot ego ecoI do not know who the artist is who drew this cartoon, so I cannot acknowledge them, but it seems to be quite famous and has been doing the rounds for some time now. I added the ego – eco element myself, and ego is something I would really like to explore as we move from a hierarchical society to a networked, co-creative society.

Credit: Paul Baran 1964

Credit: Paul Baran 1964

You may have seen the image above. It comes from Paul Baran who in 1964 was concerned about the ability of a communications network to survive a nuclear strike. The concept is that in a centralised network, there is a single point of failure which makes it vulnerable to attack. Not so in a distributed network, allowing communication to move freely despite some points failing.

Ego vs EcoYou may also have seen the above image on your social networks or certain presentations. Again, I love the image but I do not know who the original artist was. There is just one thing about this image though, and that is that it is somewhat polar, in that there are two points, one or the other. You are either ego-centric or eco-centric.

As we move into our networked age, we hear a lot about co-creation, the collaborative economy, the networked economy, conscious innovation and conscious capitalism. This is amazing and I know of quite a few people who are dedicating their lives to help us make the transition to this new reality. These people are amazing and I love them.

BUT.

Yes, there is a BUT.

It’s not that simple.

It’s not a decision you make and then you are there.

Just using words like ‘co-creation’ and ‘network’ and ‘collaborative’ are not enough. The reason is EGO and it is EGO which results in counterfeit KNOTWORKS instead of authentic NETWORKS.

Let me explain.

Credit: Simon Robinson

Credit: Simon Robinson

When we contemplate fractals, we are taken out of the normal Euclidean mechanistic three-dimensional reality, and our consciousness is guided towards a more expansive movement of thinking. Take a look at the fractal above, and see if you can ‘move’ through it. See if you can find journeys within it.

In a previous article I talked about learning journeys and the expansion of consciousness. I attempted to model this journey using the fractal above.

Credit: Simon Robinson

Credit: Simon Robinson

The move from EGO to ECO is not so simple. We have to lose a huge number of preconceptions about reality. We have to lose the thing that is often most precious to us, and this is something many of us are not aware is operating within us. This thing is our EGO.

It is our EGO that sees the world as separate to us. This means that other people are separate from us, and when they are separate, this can often lead to feelings of fear. The fear comes when we are not confident about ourselves, and we fear of others having what we do not have, because they are superior in some way. EGO is fuelled by our insecurities, and when we act from a position of EGO, sometimes all we know how to do is to attack others, bring them down, destroy their reputations and show how we are better.

But this is the rabbit with the big showy green carrot tops but very little the ground.

Why does the image speak of humility? (The quote comes from our book Holonomics). When we are humble, we have an ability to see. Literally, we see more. We see the patterns, the causes, the motivations and ego which drives a person’s behaviour, sometimes patterns which they themselves cannot see, or are not aware of.

When all our actions and desires come from an ecological consciousness, we act from a place which has the desire to benefit the whole. A whole group, a whole team, a whole family, a whole organisation, a whole tribe, a whole society, a whole planet.

Solutions to our complex problems we face today are so wicked, we do need co-creation. We need dialogue, we need networks, we need everyone contributing their very best to the whole. We need to be innovative, but the problems come when all our efforts seem in vain, our ideas are rejected and our grand visions come to nothing. Why? Maybe it because what we thought was a network is in fact a KNOTWORK.

How does this play out? With apologies to Damien Newman who created the squiggle of the design process, instead of design and innovation projects wonderfully and magically happening like this:

Credit: Damien Newman

Credit: Damien Newman

What we end up with is something like this:

The squiggle of Knotworking

The squiggle of Knotworking

Knotworkers are those people who disrupt our disruption. We have to be careful with knotworkers, and ensure that we can detect then and know when their actions are likely to be destructive rather than disruptive.

We have to be care with those Knotworkers who talk the talk but in fact whose actions and motivations come from hierarchical thinking, from hoarding treasure, from a desire to hold on to power, who plagiarise and steal other’s work, never acknowledging their sources, and who are threatened by others. The role of the leader in the new collaborative economy is one of nurturing people on the journey from EGO to ECO. It will not be easy, but this is a journey all leaders will have to embark upon.

It is so fascinating to see Knotworkers who are on the spiritual path, on their journeys, but who have not yet broken out of Ego. These people can be frustrating in the extreme, as they know not what they do, and a great lesson I learned was to value the word DISCERNMENT rather than JUDGEMENT. When we are able to discern, we are able to see the harm that people do to others, and the harm they do to themselves, the missed opportunities they lost due to seeing others as a threat rather than a co-creator, and this is important as those who act from ECO can be vulnerable.

How many of us have believed in other people, shared our knowledge, only to have it stolen from us rather than being offered opportunities to collaborate and co-create? We have to watch out for this, and this is a part of reality, but that’s fine as everyone is on their path, every one of us is on a journey, and who is to say that this person is here and this person is there. Discernment not judgement will see us right.

There is a solution for authentic networkers and that is to do all you can to find people of the same vibration, people without ego, acting from an ecological consciousness who can see who you really are. You are special, you are needed, you are so important at this moment in which we find ourselves. Just watch out for Knotworks. No need to be hassled. It is absolutely unbelievable when we find ourselves with others who are authentic. We can have conversations which are life changing. This is something I feel I will be writing about very soon.

But in the meantime we just need to listen to Yoda. Ultimately, it’s not about other people. It’s about us. We just need to be mindful of our thoughts. That is all.

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On Creativity, Ego and Transformational Leadership

Glorious Brazilian books you haven’t read

It’s no easy task for any Brazilian author to be published in English, and this is because doing a good translation is really quite expensive. While of course Portuguese and English share many similar words due to the common Latin roots, the grammar is extremely different and so it takes time and effort to really understand the thought, and translate the thought rather than just the words themselves. So any publisher who is already receiving a huge number of unsolicited manuscripts will also have this factor to take into account, and so we find ourselves in the position of having many absolutely excellent books here which are are still not known.

So for quite a long time now I have been thinking about writing a new series of book reviews celebrating Brazilian books that you haven’t read, ones which have only been published here in Brazil and are only in Portuguese. Of course a very significant proportion of visitors to Transition Consciousness are Brazilian, but they will probably not have read all of these books either, so hopefully there will be something new for everyone in this article. So let me now tell you about the books you see in these photos:

Brazilian books

Será Que É Posível? (Is it Really Possible?) by Sergio Chaia

Sergio Chaia has had an amazing career, reaching the position of President of Nextel Brazil and he is now the President of Symantec Latin America. In this book he tells his story of how he reached these positions of leadership, but the reason people should read this is that Sergio is also a practicing Buddhist. Therefore his understanding of leadership comes from a position that understands self-knowledge as the most important quality of a leader. This allows authentic leaders to develop emotional bonds to the people they have responsibilities for, and to allow them to inspire and transform others, rather than seeing others as a threat to be destroyed.

Maria and I interviewed Sergio for our own book Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter, and of course he discusses many of these issues, allowing us to introduce his philosophy to a non-Portuguese audience. This is a wonderful book, well worth a read from those who wonder if big business really can be transformed.

Empresa Orgânica (Organic Businesses) by Jair Moggi

Jair is a friend, an economist and lawyer with 30 years of experience in helping businesses and organisations to transform. He is the author of many amazing books, and in this one he asks us to consider organisations as organic, living, intuitive, flexible, adaptive, connected and intelligent beings.

This is quite a short book but extremely profound, and highly practical with many reflections for the reader to consider. Jair is also one of Brazil’s leading Anthroposophists, teaching the philosophy of the educator Rudolph Steiner, and so this is also a deeply spiritual and ethical work which will guide the reader into some extremely deep insights about the organisation of work, harmony, energy and flow.

I really would like to mention a second book of Jair’s, co-authored with Daniel Burkhard, The Spiritual Capital of the Company: The Importance of Intuitive Management in Business. On the surface Brazil has an extremely dire business environment, mired in systemic corruption coupled with the worst bureaucracy you could imagine. But there are beautiful books such as this, and Jair is still extremely active introducing these teachings into a wide range of businesses, and so this is an extremely special work that should be celebrated.

Ligue os Pontos: Poemas de Amor e Big Bang (Connect the Dots: Poems of Love and the Big Bang) by Gregorio Duvivier

Gregorio is one of my favourite comedians, and I know him not so much for his television work, but because he is at the cutting edge of disruptive new media here in Brazil, being one of the founders of Porta dos Fundos, a comedy collective who have developed a huge following with their internet-based sketches. I love his comedy personas, which can actually be quite Britishly downcast, but he is also quite a philosopher and in this book we find him playing with Portuguese to deliver some wonderful lyrical prose, although with Gregorio you are never that far away from a little silliness too which is always a good thing in my book.

Hiper (Hyper) by Fabio Novo

Fabio is well-known in Brazil as a therapist, coach, lecturer, spiritual philosopher and holo-activist who has travelled widely on his spiritual quest after many years in a successful executive career in marketing and new media. This wonderfully printed hand-sized novel builds on his philosophical opus Holoplex, being a fictional account of his adventures and spiritual discoveries. Fabio is heavily involved in many events and activities outside of Brazil, and I do believe Hiper will be available in the coming months in English which is brilliant.

A Caveira de Hamlet: Questionamentos Malcomportamentos sobre a Vida, a Verdade e o Futuro (The Skull of Hamlet: Badly Behaved Questions on Life, Truth and the Future) by Homero Santos and Fernanda Santos

An finally we arrive at a book, written by father and daughter, whose title should signal to us the ambitions of this monumental work. It is idiosyncratic in nature, in a manner which allows the authors to speak to us readers in a very personal style, relating their insights to us directly, via dialogues, discussions, reflections and interviews with many other Brazilian thought leaders and change makers. This is a book to stimulate our creativity and deep questioning of who were are as human beings and where we are going, covering a huge amount of ground in the process such as entropy, chaos, Gaia, happiness, divinity, sustainable development, conscious capitalism, transition, and finishing with a reflection on the trinity of soil, society and being. In Portuguese this is the poetic trinity of solo, ser and sociedade.

So there you have it. Five different Brazilian books – deeply profound, lyrical, creative, exciting and brilliant in their own unique ways.

On Creativity, Ego and Transformational Leadership

I’ve been having some great conversations recently on the theme of transformational leadership with some very amazing people, and these conversations have triggered a few thoughts I would like to share.

I’d like to start by returning if I may to this metaphorical model of the four qualities of knowing – earth, water, air and fire.

Credit: Simon Robinson

Credit: Simon Robinson

Earth thinking is our every day three dimensional mechanical thinking. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, it helps us navigate our world which we experience as having four dimensions – three directions and time, even though our science tells us that our world is quite the opposite of how we imagine it to be. Earth thinking is one of solidity, solid concepts, it is the world in which we are grounded, reassuringly familiar, predictable, controllable and knowable. Many people are so comfortable in this way of knowing our world, they are so rooted to it that they are unable to engage in any meaningful dialogue, so sure they are of the facts, of reality, that their version of reality is the true one.

When we engage in true dialogue, we move into a more fluid way of thinking. Our concepts become less fixed as we realise that we may have significant things to learn from others, and we are therefore able to adapt our concepts as we take on the alternative perspectives and points of view of others. Conversations can flow when barriers are removed, such as our certainty in our own beliefs, our desire to learn, our abilities to listen without judgement.

Air is much lighter than water, and when we transform our thinking again we are able to achieve ever higher levels of inspiration, sometimes without truly understanding where this inspiration came from. In yoga and other practices there are many breathing exercises which are used to calm the mind and achieve a deeper level of mindfulness. Air thinking is not bounded by limitations or restrictions, our concepts collide and fuse in a heightened level of creativity and insight.

Fire is the element of transformation. Just as we are scarred of fire as it can burn us, we are loathe to enter into fire thinking as it involves the dissolution of ego. We can not transform ourselves with this thinking unless we can leave our prior selves behind, and many people are unable to take this step into the fire. Fire is higher than air, since we no longer separate that which we observe and attempt to comprehend from ourselves. We no longer comprehend and aim to comprehend objects which are separate from we subjects. It is only by entering the fire that there is an alchemical transformation enabling us to reach a depth of profound comprehension which previously eluded us.

The journey to understanding and experiencing wholeness is by no means linear. It is a transformational journey in which we need to change the quality of our consciousness. For me the journey is captured in this fractal of wholeness.

Credit: Simon Robinson

Fractal of Wholeness

When we start on a journey of transformation, a deep learning journey, we often do so within a small field of knowledge. As we develop confidence, and our knowledge and awareness expands, so does the learning journey. Each circle can therefore represent one aspect of the journey.

Credit: Simon Robinson

Credit: Simon Robinson

And so if we return to the four qualities of knowing, we can now see that as well as there being a dynamic journey of outward transformation, there is also an inward path of grounding, where we take the insights gained from an expanded level of consciousness and awareness, we being to craft these insights into inspirational ideas, we then prototype these ideas, and then implement them back in our familiar sensory world in which we live.

Credit: Simon Robinson

Credit: Simon Robinson

This transformation journey is one of creative insight, and will be familiar to many designers and other creative people, including leaders. However, there are certain traps, and this is something not often talked about, but we do need to address these factors, as this journey is not such a simple one. It is in fact a hero’s journey.

The first trap is to read books about changes or levels of consciousness and to confuse academic or intellectual comprehension with intuitive insight. There is a world of difference between those people who talk the talk, and those who walk the walk. An authentic leader has walked the walk through this journey, and there is no escaping from this. You can’t study your way through this journey, it is experiential.

The second trap is one of being caught up in our egos. This journey is one from ego-centric consciousness to eco-centric consciousness, but something extremely deep and difficult to put into worlds happens in the fire stage. Many leaders, especially in the West, have become leaders through ego-centric consciousness not just of themselves, but of a society which rewards ego-centric behaviour. In our new reality which is emerging and being co-created, this is no longer working, but there are still people who are not actually aware that they are acting from a place of ego.

The danger here is that we may believe that we have reached the fire stage when we have not. We may still be threatened by others (ego), as opposed to recognising who they really are and seeing how they can contribute, co-create and belong to an authentic whole (eco). This is a very tough lesson for those already in leadership positions, probably one of the hardest lessons of all I would suggest.

The third trap is on reaching the level of transformation, the fire, you are so affected by the transformation that you do not know what to do with the insights. Fire burns, and so people on this journey need to be prepared for it. It also very much shows us why we need mentors, guides and authentic facilitators to hold the space for us and to be with us on the journey.

The fourth trap is one where you reach the stage of fire, of transformation, but you get so blown away by the depth of insight, you then attempt to articulate yourself from here. This is a huge lesson for leaders, since in order to inspire, you have to be able to address people at the level of their conscious awareness, and not your own. The solution to this trap is to realise that the journey is not one-way, you have to buy yourself a return ticket when you set out, and you return through the very stages you came through on your way.

So how do we develop the new generation of leaders who will be inspirational in the transformation of society, the ones who will be fully participating in conscious innovation and conscious capitalism? The answer is that new leaders will need to be able to find a balance in the four ways of knowing – fully utilising all of their faculties of knowing – thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition.

The Holonomic Operating System

The Holonomic Operating System

Maria and I call these four ways of knowing the Holonomic Operating System. In November we will be running a workshop Holonomic Thinking: Upgrading Our Leadership Skills and Systems Thinking for the New Economy, and in this workshop we will be exploring this mental operating system in depth, in order to really understand what this means both for our own ways of understanding the world, and also in terms of the implications for the design, implementation and communication of truly sustainable brands.

These are very exciting times, and if we can find this level of authenticity inside ourselves, we will be able to make a huge impact in both our companies, organisations and brands, and our communities in which we live and work.

Wholeness, Holiness and Sacred Economics

Transition Consciousness mapYesterday I took a look at the map of visitors for Transition Consciousness. It is quite amazing to see just how many different countries it reaches, so firstly we would like to say a huge thank you to all who come and read and also share. I do hope my articles are of interest and of help.

As you can see, most people are from the UK and US, with a very large number coming from Brazil, which is not surprising as that is where Maria and I are based, and also we have quite a few readers from Canada.

However, as well as all the other countries we also have visitors from Australia and India, and recently I have received a few messages asking about Holonomics there.

In Australia, Holonomics is also downloadable from Amazon Australia: www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JZQZSR0

For India, the eBook of Holonomics is available to download via Amazon India: www.amazon.in/dp/B00JZQZSR0

Human Values in EducationOf course in Holonomics we write about the Indian programme Education in Human Values, which was created in India in the 1960s, but which is now being implemented around the world, including in Brazil. Maria took a two year course in this programme for educators, and rather than taking it into schools, she is taking it in boardrooms.

Holonomics coverWe are moving into more conscious times, with conscious capitalism, conscious innovation and conscious consumption. This message is being heard by many presidents, CEOs and directors from many of the world’s largest organisations. We still have a lot to do collectively of course, but change starts with the recognition of the need for the five universal human values to be present in all we say, and all we do.

Holonomics teaches people to comprehend systems at the deepest level, where we understand the meaning of authentic systems, in their authentic wholeness. Understanding the wholeness in systems is to understand holiness, and so this is our contribution to the comprehension of economics as sacred.

Related Articles

The 10th Brazilian National Sri Sathya Sai Congress on Education in Human Values

Holonomic Thinking and Service Design

Service Design NetworkI would like to start this post by letting those of you in Brazil know that this year’s Service Design Talks will be on 4th October in São Paulo. These will take place at Escola Design Thinking (The School of Design Thinking), and I have been invited to talk about Holonomics, holonomic thinking and the relation to service design.

For more information and registration please check out: www.eventick.com.br/sdt2014
Service Design Talks 2014

This gives me a chance to share a few thoughts on how holonomic thinking can help transform the way we approach service design, especially when we are involved in the analysis, specification, design and implementation of complex services.

I had a great time on Wednesday at the São Paulo Service Design Network meet up, which brings together service designers, user experience designers, customer experience designers and product designers in an informal atmosphere where we can share insights, ideas and also support each other too. I was asked about Holonomics, and the main insight I talked about was how half of our book is about the dynamics of seeing.

Understanding the dynamics of seeing is for me what separates a true designer from say managers whose work is in some way related to design, for example business development. It’s all about understanding lived experience, and while service designers are steeped in getting into the customer experience, those executives who are the ones who have strategic and operational responsibility for the service usually have no idea at all about this aspect of design.

The Holonomics Platform

The Holonomics Platform

And so if we start with the holonomic platform, we see that there are three core elements – mental models, systems models and business models. Our treatment of mental models is not cognitive as such, it is phenomenological and hermeneutic, it is about the way in which we experience our lives as meaningful.

Seeing demand

The slide above comes from my systems thinking module for service design, and as you can see, the theme of ‘seeing’ runs all the way throughout. There is no point moving into systems thinking, or rather, attempting to introduce systemic solutions if the managers and executives responsible for the service can not see the system. Literally. I am speaking literally.

This is why I spend a huge amount of time with students and clients exploring mental models and the dynamics of seeing. because once they get the way in which we have a direct experience of ‘meaning’ (we do not perceive objects and then add on the meaning afterwards), then they are able to start to understand the concept of flow, how work flows through a system, and how systemic elements can result in good people performing badly.

charlie-chaplin-modern-times

Holonomics is all about people and planet, and when we design services badly, we end up with a monumental amount of waste:

  1. Physical – resources, equipment, travel, meetings, documentation – you name it
  2. Marketing – a company has to spend around 6 times more to win a new customer than what is needed to retain a happy customer
  3. Psychological – the psychological toll a badly designed work environment can have on a workforce, harming their motivation, health and well-being

In a recent post on storytelling and sensemaking I spoke about much of this waste in high level IT projects in the UK. It is worth repeating:

  • Rural payments agency (subsidies to farmers) spent £32 million on a failed system. They then rehired the same IT company to do more work.
  • HMRC (UK tax office) spent £9 billion on an IT led change. 2m pay have paid too little tax, 4m people have paid too much.
  • 160 out of 9,000 health organisations are using a new patient record system costing the NHS £12.7 billion.
  • A project that was meant to save the Department for Transport (DfT) about £57m eventually cost £81m
  • The BBC abandoned its Digital Media Initiative (DMI) at a cost of £98.4m last year.

Freedom from Command and ControlCan you imagine the insane levels of waste in all of these projects? What was missing was a holonomic understanding of the projects as a whole. One of the great writers on this topic is John Seddon, who has translated the Toyota Production System for service organisations, and just as in Holonomics we explain the dynamics of seeing, in his book Freedom from Command and Control, chapter 6 is titled “Learning to see, leaning to lead’.

So this is the challenge for service designers, the fact that they are attempting to implement changes that leadership simply cannot see, and therefore cannot appreciate. Where Holonomics comes in, is that it explorers leaders, and in fact every single member of an organisation, a value chain or ecosystem, with an expanded level of consciousness, so that they start to understand their systems as an authentic whole.

Holonomic Thinking

Those leaders who are inspirational are the ones who give meaning to our lives. Those business leaders who inspire us help us understand our contributions to the whole, and ensure that our work is meaningful. They also understand that there is now a huge shift towards conscious consumption, and businesses are responding with conscious innovation which itself is a part of a shift towards conscious capitalism.

Human Values

The final aspect of Holonomics I do of course need to mention is the role of universal human values. While there is this shift towards conscious capitalism, innovation and consumption, there is a huge difference between discussing these concepts and actually implementing them. The difference between those great organisations I have had the pleasure to know and work with, and those who are still struggling, js the presence or absence of human values – peace, truth, love, non-violence and right action.

When these values are present, an organisation becomes sustainable, resilient and agile. People know what they need to do, they know what is best for the whole, and they act with full consciousness and consideration for others. The next generation of service designers will be designing with a very different logic, an organic logic that understands a service from the point of view of process, flow and meaning. You understand both your own contributions and the impact and effect of your actions on others. This has huge implications for sustainable brands, because service designers will de designing for authenticity, and this can only be done from when you have a holonomic understanding of the system.

I really looking forward to the service design talks. It is brilliant to see service design taking off, and it has been great to meet and share ideas with guys here in Brazil who are at the cutting edge of service design, UX and customer experience design. i will be sharing some of my experiences which relate to the history of smart phones and the mobile internet, from the perspective of holonomics. I am also really looking forward to hearing the other talks in the morning, and taking part in the workshop in the afternoon too. I hope to meet some of you there. It’s going to be good :)

Links

Service Design Network Brazil

Related Articles

Some notes on storytelling and sensemaking

Developing Sustainable Leadership and Holonomic Thinking

Complexity, Flow, Mindfulness and Holonomic Thinking

Some notes on Business Design, Customer Experience and Systems Thinking

The Human Factor: BT’s Design Thinking and Business Design in the early 1990s

BT’s OnePhone – Understanding the difference between the customer experience and design thinking

Holonomic Brand Values: What can we learn from a Brazilian gym?

A Brief (and Personal) History of Mobile Telephony 1992 – 2002

What Is Holonomic Thinking and Why Should You Care?

Holonomic Thinking

Holonomic Thinking

Tamay Kiper has written an article for Sustainable Brands about our book Holonomics, in which she writes:

In a fascinating new book, Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter, authors Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson reveal what it means to ‘think holonomically’ rather than mechanically. The book aims to not simply present this elegant mode of systems thinking, but also to give examples that make readers aware of a set of ideas not commonly discussed in this particular combination.

Holonomics brings biomimicry, life cycle analysis, systems thinking, spirituality, nature’s interconnectedness, philosophy, literacy, physics, biology and business all together in a way that opens readers’ eyes to uncommon dimensions of thought that could still have very practical applications. The content is arranged in three easy-to-follow parts that build on one another: The Dynamics of Seeing, The Dynamics of Nature, and The Dynamics of Business.

What was really great in this article was seeing the way in which Tamay picked up on our exploration of the concept of belonging together, and how this relates to systems thinking and the understanding of authentic wholeness in a system:

Holonomic thinking encourages the understanding of relationships in their wholeness. This perception of ‘wholeness’ comes from both scientific and artistic consciousness. When perceiving phenomena, the underlying organizing principles appear in the imagination, in a place of authentic ‘belonging together.’ The better we see the ‘belonging together,’ the better our mental models will be — there will be effective feedback loops and we will become more aware of our own thinking, and also aware of mental processes and experiences that are otherwise hidden from us. At the same time, we shouldn’t become so entranced that we confuse any advanced model with the deeper truths of reality, the totality of which cannot be modeled explicitly. Holonomic thinking emphasizes the ‘belonging’ and the meaning of the systems and their coexistence.

To read the whole article please follow this link: What Is Holonomic Thinking and Why Should You Care?

Maria Sustainable BrandsAt this year’s Sustainable Brands summit in London, Maria and I will be running a three-hour workshop and also presenting a plenary talk, both titled Holonomic Thinking: Upgrading Our Leadership Skills and Systems Thinking for the New Economy. To see the whole programme please take a look at the Programme Overview.

This one tip from Gilberto Gil will transform your experience and use of Twitter

Folks

There is something I feel I need to share with you, which will help transform your use and experience of Twitter. I know some of you know this tip, but it still seems that many of you do not so with the help of Gilberto Gil, together we will explain.

Bela Cozinha

Tonight Gilberto Gill appeared on the very excellent programme Bela Cozinha (Beautiful Cooking) which is presented by his daughter Bela Gil. It is a programme in which Bela, who graduated in Natural Cuisine from the Natural Gourmet Institute and Nutrition and Food Science at Hunter College in New York, teaches us how to cook very healthy and ridiculously tasty food. Maria and I love Bela Cozinha and watch it a lot.

Credit: GNT

Credit: GNT

As this was the opening of a new season, after the programme Gilberto, Bela and his other daughter Preta had a question and answer session with viewers.

Now here is a question asking about how to use green banana flour:

TweetVerena may or may not be thinking that this tweet was broadcast for all her followers to see, but in fact it wasn’t. Because she started the tweet with @ and someone, this tweet was only seen by those people who follow both her and Bela.

Let’s look at how Gilberto is answering people tonight:

tweetGilberto is replying to Kappsmariana, but did you see what he did? In order to avoid starting with an @ he started with a dot. He could have started with anything, but as he is a Twitter whiz, he now knows that this tweet will be seen by all 1.03 million followers that he has.

If Gilberto didn’t do this, but just replied to peeople starting with their @names, it would be a pretty poor question and answer session, since the answers would not come up in our feeds. Of course we could all follow the hash tag, and I know most of you will know about these, but the people not following the hash tag would have lost out on the opportunity to know what was happening on Twitter this evening.

So now you know. If you want to ensure that your tweets are seen by one and all, don’t start with an @. You can rephrase the tweets if you don’t want to go for the whole ‘start with a dot’ business too. Be creative.

And you know what, as I have been writing this article Verena has just said thank you to Bela:

TweetShe does, it now seems, know that she has to start with something, and in this instance she has gone for the ” look tonight. Gilberto knows. Bela and Preta know. Verena knows. And now you know too. Happy tweeting :)

Oh, and if you want to follow us on Twitter I am @srerobinson and Maria is @DoraMoraesR.