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Working the Future blog: our latest insights and future of work sensemaking

The Power of Strangers: The benefits of connecting in a suspicious world – Joe Keohane, 2021

2023-09-08 09:56

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Reading Room, FUTURE OF WORK, 21st CENTURY LEADERSHIP, CONNECTION & BELONGING, LEADERSHIP, LEADERSHIP RESILIENCE, HYPERCONNECTIVITY,

The Power of Strangers: The benefits of connecting in a suspicious world – Joe Keohane, 2021

Joe Keohane presents a fascinating history of our natural human capacity for bridge-building and explains how some of our greatest human successes have...

The Power of Strangers is a beautifully researched book about the value that comes from relationships with others. In the post-lockdown world, it’s no understatement to say human connection has suffered. How we communicate has been hugely impacted by social distancing and the introduction of remote and hybrid working. We’re becoming increasingly isolated from one another. This book is a wonderful antidote to the social divisions that pervade life in the 2020s.

 

We’re regularly told that seeking out diverse opinion is a critical skillset for anyone tasked with creativity and innovation at work. Yet it’s never been easier to hide away in siloes of comfort, surrounded by others who think and behave like us. Getting uncomfortable, we’d argue, is key to success in the future of work.

 

As language graduates, we’re more than familiar with the discomfort of full-scale immersion into different cultures. There’s nothing more character building than having to (because your personal safety depends on it) converse with strangers in a language you’re not confident in.

 

Joe Keohane presents a fascinating history of our natural human capacity for bridge-building and explains how some of our greatest human successes have come from our ability to develop relationships with strangers. 

 

Steeped in anthropology, psychology and other social sciences, Keohane shares stories of individuals and organisations actively helping rebuild connection and community in society today. The Western world has never needed it more. 

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