The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Little attention

In the last months, I joined an initiative seeking to develop an alumni network. As the project evolved we received a lot of feedback. Much of it highlighted enthusiasm, not all of it has been supportive, and a lot of it showed the desire to contribute. All of it was to be expected in its form and has been helpful through its content.

One of the most powerful learnings however has been the silence between moments of connection.

It’s nothing spectacular. It’s simply, that we’ve been lucky to receive attention when we connected. But in between little happens if no one repeats the message.

Whatever others noticed, it was perceived through the lens that was available to them. That is, what they have been interested in and what is their current focus of attention. The other details we communicated remained mostly invisible to them.

It is a chance as well as a problem.

But it is normal as it corresponds to our ability to be present to a group we don’t know that well. And it corresponds to the visibility we could establish for a project that is in an early phase and still developing. The attention we received addressed the information we provided and much of it was sucked into the details that are not yet established, that is the information we could not provide. These reactions involved some anxiety. The common ground established given by an alumni network leads to people expecting some familiarity with our project. However, it’s a familiarity a project that has barely started cannot provide.

It is only through regular repetition of our core ideas that the familiarity and the core ideas themselves will develop.



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