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Die of nothing but a rage to live



I am hurt.
A plague a’ both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone and hath nothing?”

I’m not a great believer in cliques. I got over that at about the same time my balls dropped and my voice started to squeak.  But I do believe in community.  I believe in true community. The problem though is that very soon weak people seek identity from being part of something and that is when a community can become a clique. And then when the cliques form the strong start to use them for their own ends.

And what was once a community becomes a series of tribes and the attributes that were frowned upon in others suddenly manifest themselves within. People emerge and start to use the opportunity for self aggrandisement and personal gain. Ideas are quickly quashed and group think takes a grip. Tribe turns against tribe as a means of firming up their own identity and soon all sense of community is lost. 

And what was good turns bad, what was laughter turns to tears and what was hope turns to disappointment…………


“No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

18 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/25/2010 09:49


  2. 11/25/2010 10:04

    Quite so.

    Cliques alive and well in the social web, led in many cases by those who arrived first and consider everyone else following to be unwelcome peons to be ejected from territory they have rushed to demarcate. It’s understandable really; there’s a lot to be gained from being in possession and we’ve all had opportunity enough to play the role of clique leader at some stage or other.

    The question we must ask ourselves is:

    Are we excited at learning from newcomers, or are we instinctively hostile to their presence? Do we look forward to explore the unfolding social web together, or do we look back and defend a fixed position within it? The answers will tell us whether we are clique formers or not.

  3. Doug Shaw permalink
    11/25/2010 10:11

    “Coercive power is the curse of the universe; coactive power, the enrichment and advancement of every human soul.” Mary Parker Follett

    “I need to learn to shut the fuck up sometimes.” Doug Shaw

  4. garethmjones permalink
    11/25/2010 10:45

    There was once a group of children that mostly got on with their lives and had little awareness of each other. Then, through the initiative of one or two, they came together. They shared a common interest and felt some camaraderie in the spirit of play, of being together.

    They met, they shared their common interests and all was well. Some participated more than others. But then a small minority sought to dominate the play, always wanting to pick rounders when others wanted to play british bulldog. It suited the rounders players for they were better at rounders than the others.

    But it didnt suit the others, and rightly so. they were bored with rounders. They said many times “Maybe we could play british bulldog or something else instead?” But largely the request fell on deaf ears.

    Then something started to happen. The group formed into 3:

    The rounders players

    The ones who were vocal about playing something else

    Everyone else

    The rounders players carried on doing what they had always done. The ones who were vocal about doing something else, surprisingly, didnt do something else. They just sat on the sidelines sulking about the fact that no one was doing what they wanted to do. The rest simply played something else.

    I know the origins of this post, and I agree wholeheartedly with its intent. But, just as the ones in the clique are undesirable, so are those that simply sit on the sidelines and complain.

    #connectinghr is not a show. It’s not a production, a film or indeed a political party, intended to entertain. Its members or participants are not the audience. It is simply a gathering. If you are sitting looking at connectinghr waiting for someone to entertain you then you are wasting your time. You get out what you put in.

    Where it goes is up to the people that take part, not me. I’m not going to, and never said I would, set the agenda every day. I don’t mind investing time and energy – in the website so people can post blogs or point to it, in the events so we can come together. But the movement is ours, not mine.

    So my thoughts are thus:

    If the tune is not one you want to dance to, then put on another record. There is no single DJ, all genres are catered for. But its up to you to spin the vinyl of your choice and dance with those that like that particular record. It is totally acceptable. Don’t sit on the side in a huff complaining about how crap the music is. For that is as bad as being in a clique.

    Despite how it’s starting to sound and look, we are not children. The community, the gathering, will and should do what the like minded people want to do. That means some will want to play one type of music and others will want to play another. Does that mean we all can’t come together and share our love of music, respect each others choices but recognise the overall value? No.

    But then again, it’s only usually when we grow up start behaving like adults rather than children that we realise this.

    • 11/25/2010 12:14

      Gareth. thanks for the long comment. I should start by saying that I think you over estimate the importance of #ConnectingHR to me. This post wasn’t centred just around the #ConnectingHR community, the quote from Romeo and Juliet is/was intended to make that clear. It was more about behaviour that I have observed in more than one tribe.

      But I would make these points exactly about the #ConnectingHR tribe. Not as a disaffected “member” because I have never seen myself as that, but as a critical friend. The sort that would tell you that you are dressed like a plonker…and wouldn’t let you go out for others to laugh at you.

      My blog is my space where I am free to express my views. What I read in your comments are “if you want to be in my gang then you need to shut up and work to make it better”. You don’t push a wheel barrow by getting in it. Whether it is the #truconferences, #connectinghr, #hrevolution or anything else….if I don’t agree with the behaviour I will speak up. Whether people choose to listen to it, that is up to them.

      I’m sorry that you seem to feel emotional about this, my guess is that some of this is driven by an underlying sense of frustration yourself. I don’t want to make things worse, I want to make things better. But you don’t make an elephant leave a room by ignoring it.

      First pint on me next time I think.

      • garethmjones permalink
        11/25/2010 13:08

        Stop taking the piss out of my long comments 😉 I cant see why there is such a big deal, or a point to be made to be honest. We all make our choices i guess. Im still not sure about the wheelbarrow thing either!

        And I am frustrated, yes. But in my mind its just like the whole supplier thing all over again. At the end of the day we just make our choices, do what we want to do, not criticise others. I too would like to broaden the conversation beyond SM, into other areas of HR, but rather than sit on the fringes complaining about the fact that the conversation isnt going that way, I just decided to step in and lead next weeks chat about non SM related HR stuff! Why dont others do the same instead of having a bloody debate about it.

        Im not intending to exclude anyone. Not even the self promoters to be honest as, with all communities, they will be outed or ignored by the wider populous.

        God, its so ‘handbags at dawn!’ FFS!

        Yep, first pint on you next Tuesday for sure 😉

  5. 11/25/2010 12:11

    Tribes are very trendy in America. Seth Godin. Marketing guru. Blah blah blah.

    Lemmings are lemmings. Cliques are cliques. I think tribes are only useful if you lead the tribe.

  6. 11/25/2010 12:14

    Wank 2.0?

    On one level I’m flattered.

    On another, perplexed.

    Just what the hell do you think you’re playing at NOW??

    Plain old HRD, with jolly but limited HR things to say or Philosopher of Daily Life?

    Alain de fucking Botton?

    I just can’t decide who I like more???

    Oh well, unconditional love knows no bounds……

    Stay away from Shakespeare and Orwell, though. Books. They do you no good.

    “Get stewed. Books are a load of crap”

  7. 11/25/2010 12:31

    I don’t understand a single word of this.

  8. garethmjones permalink
    11/25/2010 12:59

    Henry, that is the funniest comment i have ever read without understanding a word.

  9. Robjones_tring permalink
    11/25/2010 14:25

    Henry – if web 2.0 is defined as applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration then keen to understand how wank 2.0 works? Surely by it’s very nature it precludes collaboration?

    Gareth – although involved in the beginning on this conversation (on Twitter) I took a more passive role than our kind host and decided that since I didn’t like the game I wouldn’t play. Being a relative newcomer to some of the groups you discuss I don’t yet feel comfortable to do whatever it is I’m meant to do with the wheelbarrow but merely requested that the agenda does from time to time talk about HR not just social media. Whilst I am sure there are value for some in those conversations, I wonder if it’s not the same question being asked in different ways and answered by the same people giving the same answer in different ways….

    TheHRD – nice to see the soap box alive and well, the “hugging, be nice to people” stuff was freaking me out

  10. Aussie HR Chick permalink
    11/25/2010 23:36

    I just want to comment on Peter Siddle’s hat trick 😀

    • The Engaging Engager permalink
      11/26/2010 03:59

      ….I suggest you find better fly half before you do (“only sing when you’re winnin”)….and that doesn’t just apply to the cricket chick chaps….!

      • Aussie HR Chick permalink
        11/26/2010 07:11

        I had a very bitchy and probably unreasonable response for you…..

        instead I give you express permisson to appreciate a great moment in a game

  11. 11/29/2010 10:29

    @Wendy Jacobs – If that is a request it should be A man or just Men……

    @Hung Lee – Great points. Are we excited about learning from newcomers? That is a question and a half.

    @Doug Shaw – 🙂 That made me chuckle out loud.

    @garethmjones – Sometime you need to be outside rather than inside to change the direction… in a wheelbarrow….that is the wheelbarrow thing! 🙂

    @laurie reuttimann – Tribes are only useful if you lead the tribes. That is why you are clever and I am dumb….why didn’t I say that?

    @Henry – I’m still not talking to you.

    @Stephen O’Donnell – Que?

    @garethmjones – Don’t encourage him or he’ll quote more Larkin.

    @robjones_tring – “I wonder if it’s not the same question being asked in different ways and answered by the same people giving the same answer in different ways….” Correctamundo!

    @Aussie HR Chick – Ahem……517-1 Three lucky balls do not a bowler make……

    • Aussie HR Chick permalink
      11/30/2010 00:03

      I don’t disagree….but it is great to watch 🙂

      Now, back to our normal programming.

  12. 12/01/2010 09:35

    Ever thought about how #lateshift #earlyshift & #SocRecCamp might be perceived?

    Cliquetastic perhaps?


  13. 12/02/2010 12:27

    @Alex Hens – Fair comment, on the #socrecamp point I vividly remember and early exchange with @lisascales where she asked if I was going. My reply was that I hadn’t been invited at which point she said it wasn’t exclusive and she wouldn’t be going if it was. That, for me sent out a strong message.

    As for #lateshift and #earlyshist, I think you would struggle to show that they were in anyway a clique…..everyone seems to join in.

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