Bubbles. They have fascinated us since we were babies. In fact, my heart fills when with joy when I think of the day I took my own daughters to the children’s museum and watched them step inside a bubble hoop. They popped the huge bubbles and realized how fragile the bubbles were and understood bubbles were nothing to fear. Despite our “big time, high tech” thinking, whether we see kids at play, blowing bubbles at the seashore, or for an ice-breaker, when we give bottles of bubble solutions to executives at a “serious” sales meeting, bubbles lift us to an innocent and fantasy place. They bring out our play.
Bubbles can also Trap
What I love about Emma Burstall’s quote is her recognition of a deeper philosophical problem with bubbles. Life tempts us with its froth and bubbles. For some of us, the focus has been on becoming froth and bubbles rather than being authentic. We may choose fluff and easy answers rather than being kind, expressing love, having courage to do the right thing; making our own way when others pressure us to take another.
Unfortunately, far too many business leaders, association executives and social media influencers fail to see how their bubbles trap them. It is as though we are so fearful of bursting the microscopic wall of the bubble and walking through to the other side we stay within its confines.
Much that is troubling in today’s world is that we live within our own bubbles. Business executive Jon Bostic urges us to live outside our bubbles. Bostic advises: “We cannot continue to live isolated lives…that means we must act to sustain everyone through war, political unrest, pandemics, pollution, or whatever else we face.”
We are in this together and like it or not, our lives are beautifully interconnected. Below are three steps to get outside of ourselves and to become more interconnected and open to life itself.
1. Information – We are information sponges. That’s the good thing. However, it is easy to go down the rabbit hole of only accessing the points of view of those who agree with us and ignoring those who don’t. This is particularly easy to do if your go-to source is social media, or only one cable news station, or passing along hearsay.
Understand that media sources get invested in a point of view, cling to it and then pass it along. If you find yourself devoted to information from only one source, chances are you will dismiss other information sources. Instead, find out the truth for yourself. Be curious and open to what others say, people with whom you may not necessarily agree and experts who have a different point of view. By all means, when you read something on the internet, ask for sources; do research and don’t react “knee-jerk” to information, but respond to it with thought.
2. Innovation – The Canada Business Network in their piece “Use innovation to grow your business,” explains that innovation is a creative process. We must draw on numerous ideas from inside and outside of the business. The ideas of our employees and managers are important but so are the ideas of “customers, media reports, market research published by another organization, or universities and other sources of new technologies.” The quickest way to be locked in a bubble is to say, “we’ve always done it this way.”
3. Inclusion – A Deloitte market research study found: “Diverse and inclusive teams outperform their peers. Companies with inclusive talent practices in hiring, promotion, development, leadership, and team management generate up to 30 percent higher revenue per employee and greater profitability than their competitors. Without a strong culture of inclusion and flexibility, the team-centric model comprising diverse individuals may not perform well.” However, as a mom, I think back to watching children at play. Children do not live in bubbles of their own making, they are taught to stay in bubbles until, as adults, they become afraid to leave. What a shame to live in such fear.
We may know of those who want us to live in their worlds of froth and bubbles, but it doesn’t mean we are bound to do so. Pop a few of your own, break free and find a whole new world. Re-discover what we knew as children to better connect, stay curious and be open to possibilities.