How things are different: learning to love change

Pardon the Interruption

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The mallowstreet team has been working from home since the 7th March.  At the time, I told them this would either turn out to be an excellent but brief business continuity test, or look like a prudent decision. I was happy to accept either outcome. Today, I can barely remember what our office looks like. 
I’ve written about the velocity of time before, and an example is US unemployment claims. In just the past two weeks, about 10 million people in the US have filed for government support: that’s more in 14 days than during the entire financial crisis of 2008. And this is probably just the tip of the economic iceberg. 
You have to do things differently now. There is no rule book that I’ve been able to find. I cannot count the number of times I’ve told the mallowstreet team ‘we are going to do X. I have no idea how we are going to do it. But I believe in you, and I know we can do it, together.’ The best guidance I’ve found is from within people: led by their values, driven by their determination, and grounded in dialogue – it’s invaluable to listen to clients, peers, and colleagues. 
We are forming new habits (good and bad). Just because you used to do something one way a month ago no longer automatically makes it fit-for-purpose today.  I used to write a blog when I was ‘inspired’ to share my ideas. But for the past few weeks, I’ve tried to write every Friday morning – to share my reflections, mistakes, and experience of leading our team forward into the unknown. I find myself questioning things I held as sacred only a few weeks ago: set working hours, a physical office, certain measures of productivity.

In the craziness of each day, I know it is hard to take a few moments and reflect. But I encourage it. Make notes of excellent ideas and new habits that are helping you, and that you think will help others. Know it is OK that you might not keep all your newly formed habits, and that you might drop some existing ones you relied on only a month ago.

I believe we are living through accelerated evolution in its truest form: only those that adapt quickest will thrive. It can be scary, and people need to know they’ve got people behind them. I’m humbled and proud at what I’ve witnessed over the past few weeks, and have promised the mallowstreet team I will back them every step of the way to the other side. Giving the team space and confidence to think through previously unimaginable challenges allows them to meet the evolutionary challenges ahead. 
It is essential to remember: we are in it together, one day at a time. And we can only adapt to this new world by embracing the new, and recognising what to leave behind of the old.

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