The power of hobbies in building community

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 23, 2009
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

On that day when Adelaide’s temperature reached 46.7C I was running a workshop for the spatial modelling and drafting community of practice. Their ritual is to have a BBQ for lunch, which seems a little crazy given the heat but that didn’t stop us. We all retreated to air condition comfort to chow down on our lamb chops and snags.

Into my third bite I noticed an animated discussion between two of the engineers talking about their love for motor bikes. They’d worked out they both had an interest in German classics and one was describing a fuel tank issue he was having. Mid-conversation one of them jumped up to retrieve a motorcycle magazine to illustrate his point.

Then in an instant the conversation morphed into a description the magazine-wielding engineer was having with a fighter jet he was working on. He was facing an intractable maintenance issue that was causing him technical and political pain. They delved deeply into the issue. You could see that there was trust and respect in the conversation and this trust and respect was at least partially developed while discussing their hobby.

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:

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