I know we’re not the first community members to meet each other physically, but I wonder if we’re the first to do so since having joined the community? So it was particularly great meeting in London last night.

We got through a lot of stuff, including our childrens’ interests in lego and american girl dolls, but I’ll leave that for another time. More relevant to the community, we discussed:

Social capital - we both agreed this is important, and increasingly so, which I guess you’d expect, since this is the topic we’ve connected over. But I also valued Michal’s perspectives on social capital outside organisations, eg the way she has been developing and using social capital in her own role as start-up founder (linking with a programmer, a local data scientist and pulling in her husband’s skills as graphic designer just for a start) as well as the way she acts as a parent - scaffolding her daughter’s relationships and ensuring she talks about her and her friends, not just her as an individual. We also talked about the way the UK parliament is starting to address Brexit in a slightly more social way now.

This social capital community - we talked about how difficult it can be to establish a community and that social capital itself may not be the most compelling topic to establish a community around. I posted on this before. For Michal, it’s about lack of understanding what social capital means, as well as unwillingness to see relationships as capital. We talked for a bit about how I see it as value - which I’ve posted on too - and why that’s a useful perspective to bring forward, even it’s not very emotionally compelling. So whilst the topic may not draw people to it that easily, it’s important that more gain an understanding and an opportunity to discuss it.

HR technology - I think I came across Michal during 2017’s HR tech conference in Las Vegas, which I was following on Twitter. We discussed this show, and others, and agreed their agendas are still too focused on Personnel rather than Personal. Technology works best when it provides value for individuals, not just HR. I’ve posted on this elsewhere quite a lot too. Those of you in or close to HR may also be interested in Dave Ulrich’s recent article on the topic, and my / other comments on this, especially as Dave suggests phase 4 of HR tech is about social experiences and connection!

Analytics - we also talked about the need to use ONA and other analytics to provide value for individuals. This comes firstly from providing them with the insights developed from their own data and secondly developing support based upon the insight. I also talk about this here and addressing wearable people technologies in the Social Organization say:

“The mistake that organizations like this are making is to use creating value technology in a value-for-money way. What I mean by this is that they are forgetting that wearables are about helping people do more for themselves. To take the data from these wearables and treat it like data from the HR system of record makes no sense. The opportunity is not to use the data but to give the data back to their people to help them do the right thing for themselves. It is not the quantified organization that is important, but the quantified and enabled person!”

By the way, I provide my own links and the above paragraph simply to illustrate how closely aligned Michal and my perspectives seemed to be - not always a good things from a network perspective, I know, but made for an interesting evening.

We also talked about Michal’s start-up and system, Starlinks. I described my existing understanding of this as a survey based ONA system which provides insight and feedback on individuals’ networks to help them develop their own effectiveness. I also learn more about, and liked, its simple four-question survey, the way it’s used continuously to gain data and offer suggestions for improvement, then again to gain more data on those improvements, etc. And also the way it’s being positioned to support leadership development, partly because not enough people can get their heads around ONA, but also because it is about improving leadership network behaviour. And I especially liked Michal’s plans for its future development, eg potentially using AI to help make further suggestions about other people and individual might benefit from networking with.

Hope that’s all reasonably correct, and it was great to meet you Michal!

And - I look forward to more meetings with community members, or would be good to hear when you meet with others here as well.