As the world keeps churning, work today is all about learning

to sell is humanThe title of this post is what Dan Pink, in his book To Sell is Human, would call a rhyming pitch. He also discusses the question pitch, and I followed his recommendation in the Pitch chapter and developed my own.

Are things more complex now, than they were five years ago?

Your Work? Your Markets? Your Customers? Your Profession?

I also developed a Pixar pitch:

Work used to be fairly straight forward. You had a job, knew what to do, and were paid to do it. Then the Web appeared. Everybody got connected to almost everyone else. All these connections made things more complex.  Some work was automated. Some of it outsourced. Much of it became more complex. Making sense of complexity, and developing ways to keep up, is how I help people and organizations.

Finally I created a one-word pitch: SENSE-MAKING

The Pitch chapter also explains the Twitter pitch (140 characters) and the subject line pitch. These are all excellent exercises to focus on your business or mission, and I will continue to refine mine over time.

Here is Dan’s pitch to continue reading the book, subtitled “the surprising truth about moving others“:

Here we confront a paradox. There are no “natural” salespeople, in part because we are all naturally salespeople. Each of us – because we’re human – has a selling instinct, which means that anyone can master the basics of moving others. The rest of the book will show you how.

I found the book quite compelling and much of what was covered, such as improv skills for business, are areas of interest for me. The chapter on Clarity was directly aligned with my work on personal knowledge mastery . In it, Beth Kanter is quoted using my Seek-Sense-Share framework in her Content Curation Primer and earlier post.Kanter-PKM

In this chapter, Dan also proposes that you seek out the “one percent”.

Don’t get lost in the crabgrass of details, he [Pink’s Law professor, Harold Hongju Koh] urged us. Instead, think about the essence of what you’re exploring – the one percent that gives life to the other ninety-nine. Understanding that one percent, and being able to explain it to others, is the hallmark of strong minds and good attorneys.

This is the essence of sense-making in PKM. It is about seeking information and knowledge and distilling it so that you can make sense of it and then it is ready to be shared. Seek, make-sense and share (then repeat).

2 Responses to “As the world keeps churning, work today is all about learning”

  1. Trisha Liu

    Harold, ever since reading about your upcoming workshop (or did it already start?), I have had “seek-sense-share” on my mind. Thank you for this book review. It is next on my list (after I finish “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do” – Euan Semple).

    I have seen your weekly roundup posts and thought it was such a great idea that I started to create one of my own – taking what I had tweeted or shared that week and summarizing why I thought they were share-worthy. It was such a challenging exercise, was taking me so long, I didn’t even complete the first one. That’s how I know I need help and a lot more practice on the “sense” side of things!


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