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Tips & Lessons for 2022: Change is the only constant—embrace it!

Advice
Albert Einstein said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change." Now more than ever, we need to build teams that don't just tolerate change, they love it. And we need to support those teams with practices and values that support adaptability. 

Relevancy for today

Zoom, scrum, Slack, async—the terms and tools we use to organize and manage our work didn't exist a generation ago, and Covid has dramatically accelerated the rate of change. Change means opportunity, but only if your team is willing and able to adjust to new information, new people, and new opportunities.

4 comments

Curt Holley Community Leader Jan 10, 2022

One of the blessings of Covid (strange opening line, I admit) is how it has force the hand of many organisations to embrace things like:

  • Truly flexible working arrangements...company wide!
  • Virtual means of collaboration (Zoom/Teams/Slack, Jira/Confluence/Miro etc.)

As well as having to support their people in (sometimes) new and empathetic ways, so that the success of the adaptability (and ultimately...the company) can occur.

As an aside, I have wondered more than once how different and more difficult the corporate worlds handling of a global pandemic would have been had it occurred in 2010, as the tools for remote collaboration and roll-out of laptops and remote access for ALL staff was so different as recently as 10 years ago (even less in some instances).

Like Josh Costella likes this

Query for you @Marshall Walker Lee - do you think change can only happen when embraced? Or is there a way to bring about change without even trying to bring about change?

PS - I agree with you. Just trying to see if this^ sparks more thought.

@Christine P_ Dela Rosa that's an interesting question. I guess my point is: Change is going to happen no matter what. Embrace it or don't—it's still coming for your team. 

My hope would be that we don't necessarily "try to bring it about," but instead we learn to develop practices that treat change as the water we're all swimming in. 

Attachment and resistance to change seem to be baked into the cake of human psychology, so this project of embracing change is super difficult. It involves promoting curiosity and continuous learning above almost anything else, and it requires us to be more vulnerable and more tolerant of small failures. 

Maybe the short-term opportunity is reducing the amount of time teams spend tail-spinning as a result of unexpected changes (to staff, to the products we sell, to our customers' needs and expectations). Make change expected, and design your team to bounce back quickly.

Like # people like this

I like it. Solid end takeaway.

Daniel Eads Atlassian Team Jan 11, 2022

I've seen this absolutely crush companies in other industries. The pace of change is happening faster than ever but clearly going remote thanks to the pandemic is a watershed moment in most industries, including tech.

You would expect well-known, desirable tech companies like Apple to be onboard with this. They changed the music industry, and then changed the phone/computing industry. But they've pushed for a return to the office rather quickly, although they had to suggest four different dates to return to the office because of the changing circumstances. This has led to some Apple employees quitting.

The lesson here is that nobody is immune - not even the companies who've changed industries or society. Perhaps, especially not the big changers.

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Curt Holley Community Leader Jan 12, 2022

Interesting...I hadn't heard about Apple's desire to get back into the offices. So much for "Think differently"

Hi @Marshall Walker Lee 

   Many companies have adapted in a "forced" way, but I know that many are looking forward to all this to end to return to the offices because basically they do not believe in remote work

    Some have worked wonderfully for them but others have not. Let us remember that behind each screen there is a human being and not everyone reacts in the same way.
 

    It is a complex issue and the perfect situation unfortunately does not exist

Cheers

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