A time for talk, a time for action

I have attended many events in the social innovation and changemaking space, and a phrase I have heard a lot is “WE NEED LESS TALK AND MORE ACTION!”

I have heard this said with a lot of gusto and a great dose of frustration, and perhaps for various reasons. For some they have attended so many networking events and seen these as ‘talk-fests’ that never eventuate into anything. For others their drive for action is so much part of who they are that talk-without-action is so genuinely frustrating to them. People even throw in statements like ‘walk-the-walk’ rather than ‘talk-the-talk’, as if integrity is somehow only linked to or expressed by those who are in action.

Do we undervalue the role of talking about change? Or are our ways of talking about change so generally ineffective, disconnected or uninspiring that we are prepared to forget it and march straight into action?

When I think about true dialogue, speaking and listening can be a process that provides connection and deepens understanding of ourselves, others and the world. Perhaps when people denigrate talking, they are denigrating the type of talking that doesn’t allow them to connect with others or enter into a deeper space of meaning. Our binary thinking therefore dismisses one in the favour of the other. What if the process of changemaking requires both talk AND action?

My sense is that action without talk is highly dangerous. Or let me say that another way; Read more