word-work

Word-work

Alan Moore, in his brilliant new book, Do Build: How to make and lead a business the world needs, asks:

How will the language we use define us?

Pause and sit with his musings:

All culture starts with language. Language is meaning-making; it frames and holds worldviews. Look at our current world and see how leaders and politicians use language to frame mindsets and beliefs. This can have deeply divisive results.

I know through my work that the language we use can create a space, an environment and a culture that is collaborative, that holds and nurtures trust, and celebrates creativity and autonomy. This is all down to our choice of words. If we use the language of war, how does that affect us? If we use the language of power, this could influence actions taken. As the writer Toni Morrison said, ‘Word-work is sublime … because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference–the way in which we are like no other life.’

This application of language, what we say and how we express ourselves, becomes the nervous system of an organisation. It starts on the inside and manifests on the outside, defining how we act and what we believe in.

Will you use the language of empathy and compassion? Strip away the jargon. Use plain language with craft and skill. Even make your language poetic.

Yes, we will. Thanks, Alan.