Have you heard this before? A similar one I've heard is "Why would anyone want to do that?" It's a mentality that isn't new but seems to be more obvious of late. The landscape of how people communicate, interact and their expectation levels has changed. This isn't just from a social media standpoint but was also somewhat obvious in the political landscape to a degree this year.
Change is scary. Change can backfire. Eventually, a "but it's always been this way" mentality will bite us.
Timeless Wisdom Is Still Relevant
Now, there are some truths and wisdoms that will never become irrelevant. The book of Proverbs is a solid example of millenia old wisdom that still holds a massive amount of relevance today and will always continue to. There is great value in listening to wisdom from those who have been around for a while.
There was a mental adjustment I had to make when I first graduated, especially working in the social media world. I thought I knew it all regarding business because I knew social. However, business peers and mentors had seen more than one change in their lifetimes. I've had some good mentors that have helped me with discernment on chasing a shiny object versus a tangible change in business.
Ignoring wisdom from those who have been around the block a time or two is just as dangerous as the "we've always done it this way" mentality. Innovation is known for breaking rules but it's often strategic when successful, not reckless.
Changing What Has Always Worked
There may be some ways we've done things that have always worked. As far as we know, we don't have to do too much to change something and we'll always see success.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Consistency is a great thing - a comfortable thing even. It's not something you can rest upon. Andy Stanley was quoted in a recent CNN article (talking about his church) saying
"Nothing is forever. As soon as somebody thinks forever, that's when they close their hand."
However, part of growth is doing a constant re-evaluation of how we operate and look for tiny ways to improve. I haven't seen much success in resting on laurels but from constant evaluation and ways to improve.
My Own Growth
As part of my new occupational role, I've had to work hard to change some perspectives regarding digital strategy. Shifting opinions and trying to establish change is part of my job description. Sometimes it's rewarding and other times it can be discouraging. In that process I've had to change a few perceptions of my own.
I walked in from day one saying "we will not offer ____ as a service." Stood firmly on that ground. Since then, I've had to take a step back and re-evaluate that the needs of our clients (and the needs for our agency's growth) differ from what I've worked with in the past. Some approaches that have worked for me in the past don't necessarily see the same results in my realm of nonprofit and faith-based clients.
I've had to pivot my thinking on a lot of things including our agency-owned social strategy, my opinions on video platforms (YouTube vs Vimeo), and my opinions regarding community management. I went into my new job expecting to change people and opinions. I still try to. However, since then, I've recognized that if I want to implement change, I also have to be just as willing to change and improve things on my end too. There are a lot of professional weaknesses on my end that I've had to sharpen to be effective.
Why Is Change Hard?
It's easy for me to write about change. It's easy for us to recognize that we have to grow and that personal growth can be hard. It's another story to actually willingly go through that process. Why so hard?
I think one of the most humbling experiences we can go through is looking in the mirror and realizing that we aren't done. That, despite all our success, there are still areas that we could improve and things we haven't mastered. That we aren't perfect nor have all the answers. Even Tiger Woods, despite winning every title under the sun, decided to change his golf swing at one point because he thought it needed to be better.
Having a growth mindset is remarkably challenging but also very rewarding. Half the fun of life is knowing that we still have a journey of learning new things and growing at every stage of life.
What are some growth challenges you've had to face?