What do you do when what you’re working on doesn’t work?
Recently, I was working on a huge project, actually a team of us worked on it for months. Unsuccessfully I may add. Finally I pulled down deep in my soul and asked myself why? What I came up with was a surprising simple answer. Throw it out and start over. Luckily, my team mates agreed and we did it. Now the project is 80% complete in 4 days and moving forward. Successfully, I may add.
The act of starting fresh seemed radical at the time. Why start over when there is a draft in existence? Yet, following someone else’s thought process just wasn’t working for us. The team was like minded, and the previous author was not of the same mindset.
I think this happens a lot more in our lives than we think or realize. The profession I have worked in for 26 years is very traditional, bound in the mindset of “we’ve always done it this way,” along with “If it isn’t broke why fix it?” I’m sure that there are better ways of getting the job done, yet we got stuck in the muck of history and stayed there.
As a matter of fact, as I think back, there were many wonderful job opportunities that presented themselves to me during the 24 years of my career that I stayed at one place. Yet, I never took advantage of them. I stayed stuck in same place, the false sense of security surrounding me like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. Yet the reality of the situation is that change is positive. Sometimes we need change to keep out minds moving forward, new challenges, new opportunities to continue to grow and flourish.
There are times and situations where it is absolutely in your best interest to stay and work on things. Relationships and marriage come to mind. I am not in any way advocating rapid changes in those areas, however in the professional world, change is everywhere.
Technological changes are abundant, and not likely to stop evolving any time soon. Cellular telephones were a rare item for the rich and famous and now it seems everyone has a smart phone on their hip not only providing voice communications, but SMS, MMS, full internet capabilities, calendars, documents, and apps galore. There was a time when I actively resisted the computerization of my job, yet now I cannot imagine working without the systems that allow for information exchange. In fact, due to the time sensitivity of the profession, a wait of 30 seconds seems radically slow and uncalled for. Seconds are vital and time is of essence.
When looking for answers I always try to utilize various resources first and foremost to see how others whom have faced similar problems solved them. Why re-invent the wheel. Yet, there are also times when a good old fashioned brainstorming session with a variety of people may be able to come up with amazing new ideas that will be radical and highly successful.
Recently I have become enamored by twitter. At first I admit to being intimated by twitter. Few people I personally know tweet very often so off I went, out there on my own, unlike my safe world of face book. So many people are blogging and sharing information. It’s a veritable playground full of intelligent people all willingly sharing their knowledge and resources for free. I love it. I find myself eagerly looking forward to the chunks of knowledge that I am able to glean for free. From articles to books to resource documents and industry related news briefs, everything I come across is simply fascinating. Yet, if I had stuck in the traditional, I never would have followed the instinct to twitter and blogging.
So sometimes, I have to say, tradition isn’t the way, it’s making changes that improve.