Who moved my monitor?
It’s not about where we’ve been, but rather where we are going and how we are going to get there.
I attended a leadership event many years ago where they handed out the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” It focused on the story of two mice who navigated through a maze of challenges and decisions. It highlighted the lessons of going through change, how to adapt and be flexible in times of uncertainty, and how change can create opportunities.
So… who moved my monitor? A few weeks ago, I noticed at approximately 3 pm a bad glare streamed across my computer monitor. It occurred to me that I have been working from my home office during the COVID-19 pandemic so long that the sun’s position has changed through two seasons and now crosses my computer monitor. In fact, on a sunny day I need to close the blinds, which was not necessary in March or through the summer.
In speaking with others, as the seasons change, it has been a time of reflection. And just as the seasons change, our world will continue to evolve and change. Regardless of where you may be working these days, some key questions to think about:
- Are you adapting to or resisting change?
- Are you actively seeking ways to make something better or waiting for something better to come to you?
- Are you building bridges to stay connected or digging moats to isolate yourself?
- When something is burning, are you throwing water or fuel on the issue?
- Is your team stepping up or sitting back?
In June, Stanford Research* indicated that 42% of the workforce was working remotely. Until the pandemic, we took for granted the relationship building aspects that come easier with physically sharing workspace.
In fact, two of my team members were hired and on-boarded as we moved to remote. We adjusted to make the transition as smooth as possible; but I think we lost some spontaneity. It’s harder to grab a quick conversation when our schedules are booked back to back. Instead of stopping by someone’s desk to bounce off a few ideas, remote working makes this more intentional, the former water cooler conversation requires scheduling. Yet, there are many positives to remote working and the model continues to grow, from additional time gained from the elimination of a commute to the environmental benefits to enhanced work/life balance. Regardless of where one sits, the bigger challenge in a changing world is to challenge the status quo. It’s not about where we’ve been, but rather where we are going and how we are going to get there.
* Wong, May, “Stanford research provides a snapshot of a new working-from-home economy” (Stanford News June 29, 2020)