Clear Content, Foggy Context, Skewed Perspective

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Knowing the Content Does Not Equate to Knowing the Context

Without the Context Your Perspective is Skewed Without Fail

About The HRIS World HR Dog Series™ #HRdog

An in depth look at why, metaphorically speaking, the technology tail is STILL wagging the HR dog for more than 30 years.

Today, there are a lot of changes occurring simultaneously and not just in technology and Human Resources -- and unless you know where to go to fully unplug for the rest of your life, the changes are affecting everything we do, everywhere we go, and at all levels

On top of all the changes, the rate of change in technology is the highest of all rates of changes -- if you don’t like seeing taillights, then you need to

    Learn how to think instead of what to think -- and learn this rather very quickly...
    Learn how to discover what are the right questions, not just good questions as well as discover who they should be asking, even if not connected with him or her yet...
    Learn how to discern influential and effective differences that will provide the most effective results as oppose to just discerning differences...
    Constantly learn what principles create the most effective changes as well as provide the best directions (principles which are not, by the way, taught in the world of academia)...
    Constantly discover where to find the most influential and wise counsel they can get, again even if they are not connected yet...
    Learn how to find, research and discover the context of a problem, situation, and/or content and not just know the content -- a dying art of which many are not aware is even dying...
    Learn what an entity must do to protect itself from misuse of technology at any level

Notice all this has nothing to do with the knowledge anyone needs to apply their trade(s) and/or skill(s)...

There is also a massive confusion over means and ends -- especially within leadership. Though their focus needs to be on the well-being and sustainability of their business, the rate of changes happening in nearly all arenas is forcing even their hands away from the thoughts and practices of the past to something new. Yet most do not know what that new something is, only that they need to change -- resulting in unwise actions that are more than costly.

We highly encourage your participation in this series as it is all about the Future of Work as well as the future of education, technology, leadership, even our personal lives.

Start a conversation in the comments and/or if you have some thoughts to share in the form of a post then just reach out to us by clicking the contact us button on the lower right of any page.

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Let’s start at the top

Knowing the full context of the content we use as well as discerning why decisions were made they way there were in that context is fast becoming a lost skill.

And given the amount of information available to us doubles every 60 hours, what does that really say about us?

Could it be the quality of the information being added is equivalent to junk and trash??

Or is it we are just settling for what feels and sounds good to the situation at hand as well as the current argument (meaning we have abandoned virtues, principles, and integrity)???…

And maybe, just maybe… many of us just don’t test our beliefs well enough to discern all this????

How This All Started

In a quick note sent to a friend on a social media platform, I provided some counterpoints to a post he had on his account.

We both have similar as well as countering ideas and he does maintain a humorous disposition on top of keeping an open mind.

Truthfully, I sometimes envy him as he can see humor in something I can’t (and then do, thanks to his sharing).

My friend’s post was of a political nature — which, being a social media platform, caught the attention of a 3rd party who shared his thoughts as well….

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So did this 3rd party share his opinion(s)? Or his thought(s)?

What I will say is the points he brought up were valid — but they were also way out of context given what I have already learned from original source documents…

And once context is skewed with any conversation at any level on any topic, it brings into question the value of our words as well as our integrity…

What We Do With What We See, Hear

Whether we are debating, conversing, sharing thought(s) or opinion(s), content as well as context matters.

What we have read and/or heard usually falls into 1 of 3 categories almost systematically, though it usually will go through a process…

  • A new belief — usually occurs when we keep hearing something often enough to finally accept it (a trick sales and politics relies heavily upon)
  • A true belief — a voice we listen to often and think we can trust, a counsel we pursue, or a hero we admire…  as well as something we keep hearing all the time and have accepted it for whatever reason…
  • A false belief — it goes against either of the above 2… makes us uncomfortable… or could be a judgement we toss towards the belief as we don’t agree with it, for whatever reason…

Now true and false are also relative, as what we believed 10 years ago will have shifted from one to the other as well – so where does something become real and something become false?

Because we said so? Hardly…

Because many people say so and we have heard repeatedly that one thing is true and the other is false?  Hardly…

Yes – hardly….

Or have we forgotten about Galileo? Hitler? Freud? Pol Pot? Mao Tsé-Tung? Lenin? Stalin? Or many other situations where the ‘truth’ was suddenly not the truth?…

Think this through – some of you are already palming your head into your hand wondering why you are even reading this…

Are We In the Process of Making Context Illegitimate?

Notice context has nothing to do with where most of us will categorize what we hear (and for some, even say)…

There are some that WILL question the context of what they are hearing or reading, however the majority will see how it all fits into their current belief system and then either junk it, judge it, and for the most part walk away from it…

Most everyone does  — but what if that idea, content, keeps coming back and keeps building?

Let this bounce around for a moment…

Social media platforms aren’t designed for context… Unless there is a serious debate being pursued, which usually is not the case – most of the time everyone is claiming they are right and anyone with an opposing thought is loopy…

All this is our own fault: what we permit, what we tolerate, we can’t change.. or even stop…

We are slaves to a thought, idea, or opinion until we decide to make a change away or towards it… Question is: are we moving in the right direction?

The mistake many of us make — us meaning yours truly has done this as well — is we read part of something that someone else wrote about what someone else wrote about what a historical figure, event(s) or a bestselling book shared…

And then at some or several levels, place it into 1 or more of the above categories… Until we are comfortable to where we have placed it

Have you noticed all this is not about intellect? Nor wisdom? And for the most part not about discernment? But for the most part all about feelings? Emotions? Not for everyone but definitely for most…

Here Are My Questions

In this day of knowledge is power
just how infrequently are we filtering, vetting, questioning, challenging our own beliefs
before we decide to categorize it to any of the three?

That power we are seeking is only as good as the integrity of the knowledge we gain and pursue
it is also part of the form as well as base to our beliefs…

That being so, shouldn’t we be testing all this?

How quickly in social media are we jumping on someone else
when our emotions, and/or convictions, get tickled the wrong way?
Or even ignoring them altogether?
(That’s not an open door for anyone to be rude!)

Qualifying this knowledge is one thing
testing it altogether something else…


The Indirect Path of Context

So how does content, never mind context, get skewed? Many of us as children have played that game in school where we form a circle with the instructions that we are to whisper into the ear of the person to one side of us that which we heard from the person to our other side. The person to start the process was given a handwritten note of what to share, and so the process started.

We also discovered, if we had a patient and wise enough teacher, the larger the circle the more interesting the outcome.

We all know the outcome, even if we haven’t played the game: the final share of the message was nearly indecipherable to the original handwritten message, and many times humorously so.

This is a principle most professional editors as well as excellent investigative writers know all too well –

The more any information is exchanged

through reiteration, books, word of mouth, even the media

the more it deviates not only it’s original content,

but it’s original context as well.

If you’re a pilot, sailboat or similar sport enthusiast, this principle is also known as ‘the more the moving parts, the more likely something will breakdown’… And what about editors and writers that don’t know this principle? Well… you REALLY need to learn this principle..

What Social media has done is to only magnify all of this (remember the larger circle bringing more interesting results?) — not all of us will place what we hear into the beliefs categories right away, thus remaining in the question of what to do with It all…  But how quickly many of us do…

How many of us test any of our beliefs when we feel slighted?

Better yet, how many of us have learned to listen to our convictions instead of our emotions during such times?

It would make sense that like-minded are least likely to challenge one another… But isn’t that like trying to sharpen a knife on a sponge?

With the rate at which new information comes at us, should we really be jumping on everything we haven’t tested — just because we can?


The Man In the Mirror

Back to context…

Journalism, reporting, and even research today is far from the professional endeavors of yesteryear; personally I believe it to be more of a polished tabloid than anything else. And it is all this that provoked me to give up TV 30+ years ago…

What was bothering me about it all?

The lack of tested context and the want of so many who deliver what they say as truth…

Today many will be quite elaborate about context when they are trying to sell you… And they usually will do that with content that only discloses or sells their interpretation of the context they want you to believe is the truth.

Meaning the ‘right’ content, depending on your definition of right, will provide the ‘right’ context, again depending on your definition of ‘right’…

So, many will believe what they see, hear, experience through such a manipulation. But not everyone…

So how does anyone get through all this? How does one discern from a manipulation to a fact? A truth? A reality?

Well, in a nutshell, we have to relearn an old  principle:

Stop using the same thinking

that created the problem

to solve the problem…


Are We Questioning What We Are NOT Hearing, NOT Seeing?


And think about that for a moment.

That concept was shared with us by one of the greatest minds ever — Albert Einstein, the master of thinking things through differently. Do we all have to become Einstein’s? In a word, no… But if you’re that brainy, go for it!

Einstein discovered this principle worked not only in science but at every level in life…

Principles are like that, we just can’t shake them — just have to get to discover them and get to know them… and it seems lately rediscover them and get to know again…

Ever notice the most worthwhile things in life are and have been hard to get?

Discerning what is the real context and the delivered context takes time, study, research, effort and discussion — we’re not seeing much of any of that anywhere unless you’re searching for such.


The Internet is What We Make of It, Not What Happens to Us

Part of what I love about the internet is NOT all the new information coming through, though much of it is interesting… What I love is the access one has the original source content, as written by the thinker… Without the filters provided by multiple, or even hundreds, of writers over the years, decades, even centuries,  who are wanting to put their own viewpoint on what the author was trying to say, or meant to say…

Remember that circle of whispering children? These writers would be the ones changing the content… As well as context…

Did these secondary writers have good intentions? Most do… Yet when has good intentions ever amounted to much of anything in the long run??

Aren’t we getting tired of ending up with an empty sack full of emotions???…

If you think about , this basically sums up most of the ‘conversations’ in social media…


How to Change Gears

Here’s another principle… And I’m going to shift from the 3rd person plural to personal nouns….

Changing the following 3 things in your life will change your perception of everything around you, 4 when you include Einstein’s principle as well…

  • Qualify the voices you listen to — just how well will their information stand up to being tested wisely? Are you listening because they make you feel good and you feel safe in their questions? What about the voices that make you think ? Even uncomfortably so… What are you doing with those voices?
  • Question yourself on why you have selected who you consider your hero(es) — and notice this changes as you change…
  • The person whom you seek for counsel — do they push back and challenge you with questions? Or simply tell you where you need to focus? Are you being pushed to determine your direction or are they telling you what direction you should be going ? Is their counsel for their own satisfaction? Or to make you think through your questions?


So Why All This for an HRIS Blog?

In one word: perspective…

We can’t solve the problems we have with the same thinking we used to create them in HRIS either…

When we are trying to solve a problem not only with the same thinking but with a skewed perspective as well, how can anyone with any level of discernment fully believe we will come to the best solution?

What we practice to do well at one level we end up doing at all levels — from social media to our desks…

If we are practicing one set of ethics in social media, another at work, yet another at home, yet still another with our friends… who is really kidding whom?

Most people can’t even keep track of their own lies never mind several sets of ethics — choose one and stay with it until you a convicted to change them for the better.

All this lack of clarity, political correctness, misinformed and unclear context has only lead to a huge confusion over what are the means and ends in content (as well context) for many — especially, and unfortunately, from those who are leading us…

A LOT of context is being ignored for the sake of content — meaning principles, wisdom, discernment of what to do and what not do is becoming lost as fast as we are changing ‘for the better’…

Which has had me wondering the ‘for the better’ for whom, as our perspective is all skewed…

History of all nations as well as businesses have already voted that the ‘for the better’ would only benenfit those in power, those that lead, those that are reliant and dependent upon others to make decisions.

The only time those that are dependent upon others to make decisions did well is when their leader was humble, true to him or herself, and lacked any form of an agenda.

And from what I have seen on so many levels, that type of leadership is sorely missing.

How can we REALLY ask the right questions?

If our perspective is being skewed by incorrect context, if we have leaders who are confused over means and ends, then how can we be?

This is why we need to get a conversation about all this started… NOW…

Least we keep permitting the tail to wag the dog…

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Garrett O'Brien

CEO, Chairman, Publisher, Editor at The HRIS World Research Group

Garrett is the publisher, editor, writer forThe HRIS World Research Group, which includes The HRIS World, The HRIS World Research, The HRIS World Jobs, The HRIS World News, The HRIS World NewsMagazines, and The HRIS World Videos

With more than 20 years in roles as a client executive sponsor (#thwCES), project manager as well as functional/technical lead, Garrett is sought for his expertise for project insights, thought leadership, and team management globally.

He has been involved in large-scale and complex implementations since 1991 and has recently moved his operations to be with his wife in Brazil.

Garrett has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest talents in the industry, and constantly shares his experiences and knowledge through content and webinars.

He maintains his fluency in Portuguese, German, French, and English with his various endeavors and contacts..

When not working, you will have to be adventurous to stay up with him as Garrett loves motorcycling, gunnery, boating, sailing, flying, and sports fishing -- and accompanying his wife on her various likes

About The HRIS World Research Group

The HRIS World blog, which is read by more than 50,000 from more than 160 countries monthly, manages to have more than 550,000 pages viewed monthly. 40%+ of the audience are decision-makers in their organization (and about half of that being C-levels!).

As CEO for CGServices USA Inc, he focuses on multi-provider, multi-line implementations consultation for HRIS systems

Council and Education Member of Gerson Lehrman Group Council, helping institutions of the world leaders meet, engage and manage experts across a wide range of sectors and disciplines.

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