Conversations take time

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 3, 2008
Filed in Collaboration

Watch & nailA few weeks ago, about the time of the 2020 Summit, I met with Dave Pollard at the Athenaeum Library on Collins Street. Dave was visiting from Canada. I’ve been a long-time reader of his blog and was excited by the prospect of finally meeting him face to face. As serendipity would have it Michael Sampson (Sharepoint collaboration guru) was also in town (from New Zealand) and joined us.

When you meet a person for the first time and you know there is plenty of things to talk about, the standard one hour meeting makes no sense yet I’m surprised how few people make time for longer conversations. Dave, Michael and I talked for 3-4 hours and it was only in the last couple of hours we got into the juicy topics. Yeh, yeh, I hear everyone saying, “We’re soooo busy,” but you know what, you need to make time for great conversations. The time excuse is our defence mechanism so we can say no to requests. How many times have you seen people greet each other with the words, “how’re going? Real busy! Me too. Do you want to get a coffee? Sure?”

Well, I see something we talked about inspired a new post from Dave on his vision for how we might work in 2020. I’m glad to see it is filled with stories and concepts of collaboration.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. Yeh. Time.
    The great challenge is to persuade executives in organisations that in order to nurture knowledge sharing and collaboration, we must invest time in meetings, talking. This affect the ambiguos positioning and the image of atories in the business scene. Yet, somehow I do see that we are facing a silent and slow move in mangerial pattern from “Tell/Order” towards “Tell stories”.
    The ‘strange’ thing is that eventhough executives tell stories, that tend to under-estimate it or ignore it, or – they tend to see it as ‘not serious’ within the organisations arena.
    The same, BTW, with social tools and their slow flow inside organisations: executives strat to see their importnace as infrastructure of telling stories (with Photos/Flickr, Videos/YouTube, etc.)

  2. Eva Schiffer says:

    Hm, I like this. I think it relates to the fact that we often learn most when we talk about things we didn’t even plan to talk about and to do that you need the time to meander away from the well-traveled road, talk with kinds of people you wouldn’t normally talk with or talk about unusual issues with the people you do normally talk with. When you look at the immense effect that the one inspiring conversation can have, or the one missing link that a (previous) stranger can provide, then this is not wasting time, but an open invitation for something good to happen…

  3. I congratulate your team for facilitating to bring on a single platform: tacit, tangible and local history.
    KM is still dull, void of show and tell, otherwise.
    I came here looking for Chandni kapur’s profile. And, interestingly found two of my own professional leaders, Nacy and Dave–your associates.
    Stay connected.
    Best, MT

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