Time travel? Sounds fun! How about back to 2009 when Christopher Locke, David “Doc” Searls, David Weinberger, and Rick Levine collaborated to create “The Cluetrain Manifesto” with a long list of 95 Theses I don’t suggest reading through. But, since I have, I’ll share number 52/95, which most certainly underlies the remaining 94.
“Paranoia kills conversation. That’s its point. But lack of open conversation kills companies.” – The Cluetrain Manifesto
Humans are creatures of habit, led by emotions. Our brains don’t want to work. They want to keep you alive, fed, and reproducing. Thinking just gets in the way. Thinking is the first cause of paranoia. Being scared, being afraid, not knowing the outcome is totally acceptable. It’s totally okay to not know the unknown. Nobody does. Get together with a group of people who all have 100% unconditional trust in one another and nothing is impossible. Have open conversations. Be trust worthy. Put your trust in others. You can always trust someone’s intentions. If your group, your squad, your company, all has a goal they’re trying to reach, any open conversation in line with that goal will push your organization forward. What’s to lose? What’s to be afraid of? If you can have open conversations with your customers, with your employees, with your friends, neighbors, relatives, you won’t just survive. You’ll flourish. Get paranoid and that conversation was dead before it started.
In short, The Cluetrain Manifesto is very long, and if you were to retain any information from it at all, let it be this: “Paranoia kills conversation. That’s its point. But lack of open conversation kills companies.”