I was taking tea with Herd author Mark Earls in Camden on Friday (yes, we are in England, folks) when Mark spotted someone he knows. He called out and they had a brief conversation.
Turns out it was Pat Kane, lead singer of 80s pop sensation (I think that's the right phrase pop pickers!) Hue and Cry.
The delicious discovery? Pat is rather more than an ex-pop star. He, I discovered thanks to Mark, is a brilliant thinker and the author of the Play Ethic.
A quote from the blurb:
"The Play Ethic shows how play is fundamental to both society and to the individual, and how the work ethic that has dominated the last three centuries is ill-equipped to deal with the modern world."Not a million miles from Stowe's high valuation of playfulness that he's been describing recently here at Reboot and here at WidgetWebExpo.
My takeaway so far (and I'm off to order The Play Ethic, by the way) is that people enjoy changing things, taking the mickey out of things, passing things around, playing with ideas, tools etc with a sense of joy. Being 'business serious' can be quite enough to kill ideas.
The gladiatorial my-idea-is-bigger-than-your-idea stuff that goes on in too many meetings is a fight to the death. The surviving idea doesn't come through better - it comes through with bits chopped off and toughened up so much that its now harder than ever to get it to trust a friendly hand when it reaches out (to collaborate, build on, share, co-create).
If the ideas were played with rather than fought over we'd find ways of making the game better, together. And this of course applies to the better digital tool sets groups are using to form with.
I like this very much. At least, I like the direction this chance encounter has prodded me in.
I was not looking for Linda, Linda found me? It's a Hue and Cry lyric. And a great description of how the Play Ethic discovered me...