Today I was flipping through presentations from a conference I couldn’t attend, and I found a fairly informative one, despite the presenter not being there.
I got toward the end of the presentation, and, like all cliche presentations (also, I’m guilty of doing this), it ended with a quote. The quote was actually a Tweet, or, at least it was attributed to a Twitter user.
Who was that Twitter user? The presenter. It was hardly a secret. He had his Twitter handle listed right on his title slide. First I accidentally laughed out loud. This guy has a lot of guts, huh?
But then I thought about it more. It reminded me of the blinders we all accidentally put on when we’re in our own business. I thought it was only inside of Higher Ed; Admissions not talking to Marketing, Athletics and Student Activities never collaborating…all of the things that we complain about all the time. Each department has their own priorities, looking at them so closely that they forget about the bigger picture. Moving outside of Higher Ed taught me that those blinders exist pretty much everywhere.
It may not be between departments in a business. Maybe Marketing talks to Legal, and HR eats lunch with the IT team. Even if there’s no silos in a business, sometimes, the business has blinders too. The language, the daily routine, understanding of where it is and where it’s going; all that is foreign to those outside of it. Sometimes, we forget that.
Maybe it’s for other, unfortunately, selfish reasons, but maybe the presenter chose his own quote because he couldn’t look outside of himself. Reading the paper very close to his face, only seeing a few words instead of the whole sentence. Even if we’re outside of Higher Ed, it’s tough to remember that life goes on outside of our business, and sometimes, we need to clue people in…especially so that they don’t have to resort to quoting themselves in a presentation.