|3/10 of the Fellows at our leadership retreat|
Yes, I describe Acumen as a venture capital firm that invests in social businesses throughout the developing world. Yes, I discuss our two-month training in NY that will prepare us for work in the field. And yes, I explain how my nine months on the ground will be spent consulting for a water investment in Pakistan.
But no, I’m not sure this message is clear…
Eight days later, I was in a training session with Acumen’s Director of Business Development, struggling through an exercise from a Stanford psychology experiment called tappers and listeners. Essentially, we were to use the enormous conference room table to tap (not hum or sing) a song, while our partner tried to listen and guess the song. As Sasha debriefed, I realized I’ve been falling into the same trap many in our space are also stuck in: tapping away to a song that most others have never heard.
I thought back to the dinner table – and dozens of other past conversations – and reflected on how many people must have been straining to listen as I rapidly tapped (or banged) away to songs in my head. I recognized that if we’re ever to sing along to the same tune, I need to do several things differently: simplify the message (e.g., take out the buzz words), share more stories, and allow my passion to come through.
These are things I’m working on, and I hope that my friends will continue to give me feedback – or blank stares – until my “singing” gets better. But so that they won’t be left in the dark until that day arrives, the Acumen team has put out a great video that seems to succeed in all the areas I’ve failed.
Hopefully, this will help us sing along together…