David Wilcox is a ‘social reporter’. He’s always been a journalist, started out at the Evening Standard in the early seventies, when pay was okay and liquid lunches de rigour: “But then, the price of oil quadrupled – and everything changed.”
He’s now interested in ‘how you can do good stuff with new stuff’.
“People are more confused than usual…I’m helping people find meaning in messy situations.
“People [in large organisations] don’t get out – they aren’t aware of what’s going on in the world. They’ll come out one day for a conference, and that’s that.
“The ‘we can’t’ bubble is very common. Why should people change? It can be very lonely. They’ll have to learn new skills. They’ll probably be unpopular. It’s easier to keep ploughing the same old track.
“Im interested in, if you are determined to pursue change in your organisation, where do you find the network and support to keep at it?
“Web 2.0 stuff is bringing a lot of issues to the surface. Leadership issues, collaboration issues. You can see them popping up all over the place.
“In the social reporter role, I’m asking, well, what are the stories here?”
And while David might appreciate recognition for his work, he certainly doesn’t want praise – at least, not of the simpering (old-fashioned) type:
“The term leadership is okay but ‘leaders’? I balk at ‘leaders’. There’s an organisation called Common Purpose and they send me emails beginning ‘as one of the leaders of the future…’ What does that mean exactly? They’ve got it completely wrong!”