Paradigms have shifted
We’ve all had to pivot. Big things are happening in the world (the pandemic) and it means that we’ve had to reinvent how we work. And many of the things we have done seemed impossible challenges just a few months ago. So what’s the lesson?
Since the introduction of the computer into mainstream business practice, we’ve been told that we can work from home, or work remotely, and that commute times will drastically reduce or be eliminated.
But the expected big shift didn’t happen. We still went into the office. We kept up the commutes. But now we have made the switch. Why?
The risk changed. The risk used to be: what if we move to remote and home working, and it fails? Which led many of us to avoid the risk, keep the status quo, and justify it.
Then suddenly it became: if we don’t make this remote and home working succeed, this company will fail. The stakes are high. Now it’s about our survival. Now we act and do everything we can to make it work. All those jobs that couldn’t be done remotely? We’ve found a way to make it work. It’s not perfect, but it’s working.
The truth is, when we try to avoid failure, we, well, fail. Yet when we put all our resources into finding a solution, we succeed. We don’t know how long it will take, but we succeed.
How does it work? We start with the minimal viable product version: the bare minimum to make it work. Then over time, we improve and make it better. Right now we are probably in iteration 2 or 3 with home working.
The perspective that helps: The Gift
There’s a question going around at the moment: What’s the first thing you will do once social distancing ends? It’s a nice question, letting us dream of the things we miss and can’t wait to get back too.
And there’s another question that helps us find the gift in this situation: What’s the thing that you want to keep?
In our conversations with our clients, we’ve heard:
- creating new or renewed focus for their work
- better defining the boundaries between work and private life
- getting off the treadmill of work work work
- reconnecting to purpose and what really matters – and making decisions based on that, rather than “should”
- questioning what are we doing? And should we be doing that?
- experimenting – taking new (and old) ideas and actually trying them out – instead of discussing whether we think they could work
Comfort zones are shattered
The comfort zone of “this is how things are done” has been completely shattered. We’ve had to invent new ways to do things in order to survive.
And, it wasn’t as bad as we thought.
Yes, we miss in person contact.
Yes, there are online meeting mishaps where we get to see a bit too much of our colleagues’ private lives.
Yes, the stress of the pandemic is taking its toll.
But creating effective online meetings? It’s happening.
Getting the logistics sorted so people can work from home? Done.
Separating out what can be done remotely from what needs to be done on the premises? Also done.
We will always face “impossible challenges”. And when we focus on what matters, we will always find an answer.
Amber Rahim. Azkua Coach