Simon Sinek speaks about how homeless people ask for money. He convinces a woman to change her message, and she makes more in two hours than she does in a whole day. Good move on Simon’s part. Then she leaves. She met her daily quota.
The question that this raised for me is whether Sinek was actually successful in his advice to the woman.
Sinek wants us to focus on the giver and his or her motivation. I am glad he does. He wants us to think about why we should give to people in need, or affirm workers in the workplace.
Now, as good as this video is, Sinek needs to look more deeply at what is required to change the social and organizational environments that we all inhabit. If you want Mark Laita’s videos, you see the effects of broken environments on people. From my perspective, the range of crises that we are experiencing globally is the product of broken environments, whether social or organizational.
All intentional change must begin with what we know. The line between what we know and what we do not know is a broad one. In that former is information, experience, and knowledge. On the other side of that dividing line is conjecture, opinion and the spectacle of the real*. Social media straddles those two ways of understanding. It presents the perspectives that suggests that because we have read a blog post or watched a video that we now have some definitive knowledge about something. Coming to know what you know is not a passive experience of absorbing other people’s knowledge or opinion. Instead, it is an active search for understanding on many levels. I want to show you the practice that I use to understand the world that surrounds me. In doing this, I hope to show you the difference between genuine knowledge and mere opinion. Why does this matter? When you know what you need to know, you are less susceptible to being manipulated by people who use ideologies as a wedge to divide people and communities.