Nick Looby: ‘What problems are we yet to recognise?’

Published on December 5, 2022 by Alex Eade

In this article, communication specialist and author of ‘Modern Zombies’, Nick Looby, picks up on some key themes within his book, specifically relating to the importance of real human interaction at work, and the power of the team. Nick’s book focuses on the ‘communication virus’ that we are faced with, where there is so much noise, social media, and addiction to mobile devices that we have stopped truly thinking and actively listening. The world of communication is becoming less human, and ‘Modern Zombies’ is a book full of strategies, techniques and stories to help turn this around.  So, over to Nick…

There is massive value, but understandable reticence, around office-based communication, collaboration, and company socialisation. Face to face conversations, small talk and sharing ideas in a human-centric way so often trumps tech-based interactions. How we think and how we explain our ideas has the power to separate us from AI models and can deliver immense value and with the right minds in the room, can and does separate us from the masses.

Without human-centric communication and face to face interactions that are rich in empathy, rapport and resonance we are left with a shallow pool of cheap, easy and convenient transactions. Left unchecked, we all suffer. Teams lose their togetherness, new (often younger) staff never feel part of the rich mix and, ultimately the company culture dissipates, innovation recedes and retention is a nightmare. You may still function and get stuff done but you are nowhere near your true capabilities.

Most organisations have fallen in love with efficiency and human interactions are far down the list of priorities. So be it. Many of these organisations will not attract or hold onto true thinkers.

Some organisations, the courageous ones, have already seen (or will soon see) the unwelcome changes in the pulse of the business and the very fabric of how their teams operate. These are the companies that are worth working with.  

Overcoming the anxiety of returning to the office, with its new uses and focus, and enabling everyone to embrace, engage, celebrate, and collaborate better than they have ever done is where human-centric communication finds its home. It’s no longer about slaying the metaphorical zombies, we lost that war some time ago, it’s about true connection, relationships, empathy, cohesion and enjoying each other’s company to bring out the power of the team.

One plus one plus one = many. There is massive power in the many.

As the communication landscape continues to evolve at an incredible pace, any communication specialist worth their salt has to be open to evolve, pivot and explore the ground that has yet to be trodden.  My book, ‘Modern Zombies’, was oddly ahead of its time and trod that uncomfortable ground.  We should not fear the uncomfortable, it’s coming whether we are prepared or not!

We should be talking about culture, about innovation and about retention.  If these three subjects are not on your agenda, then hold tight, everything is about to change.


If you’d like to pick up your own copy of Nick’s book today, you can find it here or head over to Footprint Digital’s Linkedin between 5-9th December 2022 to enter a competition to WIN a copy of Nick’s book, alongside 4 of our other favourite books.