The latest Transition Swap Shop news (Chidham, West Sussex), got me thinking about how Swapping is pretty key of lots of things. The swapping of glances from new born baby to parent and back is built in, we are Exchange People, we swap looks prior to falling in love and swap looks prior to engaging in a fight, as seen by anyone who has watched the face to face meetings of heavyweights prior to the big matches.

A lot of our learning is based on swapping ideas, thoughts, actions, learning is best as a cooperative action not a one way filling of an empty tub. Parents and teachers who tell children what is true get no-where near as good progress as those who exchange open thinking. The same is true at work for bosses and employees by the way.

Blogging is a good example of people engaging in shared learning, as is the development of Wiki, both leaks and encyclopedia Twitter and Facebook.

The increasing number of Transition groups across the world needs some kind of Wiki Blogging, and it is great that the Transition Network are going to ‘hire’ a few bloggers to help them along. If this is of interest, sign on here.

In the Transition Movement we exchange information usefully. For example, some people might find this information on Inverters very useful. More often, comment on information is as useful or more useful than the information itself. So, for example, for the Inverter information just linked to, people might find my comment about my problems with Inverters helpful. When on a Solar Powered Finca in Spain, the Inverter was a big problem because on days without sun the Inverter would take a substantial part of the energy, not just the comparative trickle it takes when a lot of electricity is being generated. When you rely on solar power, you realise that it is what you get at the end of the line of inefficiencies that is important, not some notional figure and percentages.

When considering solar panels, it is the swapping of experiences that leads to soundly based decisions, not the glossies from the sales teams. It is the matching of someone with someone else, both having the same kind of house in the same kind of location with the same kind of incomes and the same kind of lifestyles. Now we are talking. And Swapping.

Solar Panel Companies would do well to read the book The Conversation Manager, how to do well or badly in the engagement between people, inside and outside your company. In the book there are lovely and funny stories of how companies did well or did badly through their swapping thoughts and information with customers. In one story, people eating at a KFC restaurant swapped video from their mobile phones of rats running around the floor, and within a week KFC lost 20% of its stock value.

So I hope the Transition Culture Blog to be started will include engagement with those companies which have most direct impact on all of us in Transition. And if they don’t come to us, maybe we should go to them?






One response to “Swapping

  1. What I think is that it is all easier said than done and that people in the business of engaging aren’t necessarily in the business of creating anything other than dialog which is good during different intervals along the way….but there comes a time in the process when its time for action and making those kinds of decisions aren’t always going to be popular.

    Leadership isn’t a popularity contest. It’s in many ways a thankless job so someone has to really really care about what they doing to go ahead and do it anyway in spite of the many who line up to take potshots along with the few who have the courage to go the distance.

    In the end, what really matters is that the ring that connects it all got put in the hands of those who could do it the most good in the most efficient manner possible with the resources at hand.

    I have a plaque that sits on my desk daily that reads “anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm,” to serve as a reminder to me most critics don’t know what they don’t know: they can only speculate.

    If I had my choice of ideal teams to be in a fox hole with then a lot could be pre figured but that’s not always the case or the option so instead knowing what you are faced with, what the goals are (or intended goals anyway) you do the best with what you have. Anyone can do a lot when they have budgets that allow for it, but the glory happens when you do something that is impossible because you have neither the people nor the budget to do what others are able to do because they do have that…..and going ahead and doing it anyway: that’s just character building and takes guts most just don’t have alongside a vision. It’s the vision that takes you through when all else fails.

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