Communicating for dreamers – crafting messages to communicate new ideas
Last night I got petrol in my tank by being part of a discussion dinner co-hosted by Dr Pritpal Tamber and addressed by TEDMED speaker coach Denise Graveline. Denise asked what people wanted out of the evening. Themes included how to communicate new ideas and concepts, how to get a minority view across, how to be seen to be influencing within an organisation, how to pitch to a VC and how to make a distant possible event relevant to an audience used to thinking conventionally and in the present or immediate future. One person said that they had no communications issue but wanted to meet interesting people. I meet interesting people every time a client walks through the door – but last night I met a whole table full and it was great.
I don’t know if Chatham House rules applied so won’t mention names – but I was excited by the people. There were lots of titles, doctorates and serious jobs around the table including TEDMED and IGNITE speakers – but that wasn’t what created the buzz.
Everybody there was trying to achieve something – often reframing whole “things” into new categories rather than just tweaking existing solutions to acknowledged spaces and problems. There was an excitement and an eagerness and an almost revolutionary spirit co-hosting the great food and the intoxicating “what if” thoughts. Many of the people there had left great and well paid jobs to DO stuff. New stuff is often hardest to describe and communicate because it doesn’t fit tamely into our lazy mental filing and classifying boxes of “Ah, I know what you mean – that’s A or B or C.” New ideas, new vocabulary, new thought processes and new concepts…new thinking.
Conservatives are often accused of being backward thinking – and some are. Conservatives are at their best when they keep testing and pushing the status quo, and then combine CONSERVing that which is good and solid and sound and being revolutionary about that which is not.
George Bernard Shaw said “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” Last night there were loads of dreamers at dinner.
It is more fun being with dreamers and doers. Some may laugh at the thought of taking dreamers seriously – but then they will probably also use a laptop or a tablet and post updates on Facebook. Both of which few would have dreamed of a couple of decades ago. Perhaps, we Conservatives should test the status quo and the “givens” more rigorously, conserve less blindly and think more like revolutionaries. Looking back at our past, the great leaders of our country are those who have done just that.