Change, Chaos and Creativity
The bottom of the Change Curve is often a time of chaos, especially if the change was unplanned. That chaos might require creativity for recovery and growth. A more positive perspective is that it can provide an opportunity for creativity.
Covid has presented change on a level most of us have never experienced. It has required change for survival. Fortunately, our health care industry found preventions and treatments. In our workplace, you might be among the many leaders who quickly converted to a hybrid workforce. If so, congratulations!
Here are two ways the chaos of Covid impacted my work and provided potential improvements:
- As many of you know, I direct Willamette University’s Leadership for Attorneys in Business. We quickly learned to teach online and converted to an online program in 2021. We resumed in person instruction in 2022, but are considering delivering supplementary instruction online in the future.
- Much of my consulting and coaching went online via Zoom when Covid struck. I admit that I was a skeptic, but my clients and I have found that online coaching works quite well. In the future, I anticipate my coaching will be hybrid, which will expand the geographic scope of my work.
As we emerge from Covid, leaders are continuing to explore new ways of doing business. Among the many decisions they’re contemplating are how much time to require employees to be on site and whether or not to downsize office space. Both are overarching questions, with multiple variables. The design of office space is changing, without question. Urban areas are changing. How can we be creative, in order to make positive changes?
Recently, I attended a presentation by Nicholas Bloom, hosted by Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt and their Managing Partner, Graciella Gowger. One of my takeaways was that, while working at least part time from home increases productivity, working fully from home decreases creativity. People are more creative when they spend at least part of their work week on site with colleagues, whether they’re collaborating to solve problems together or simply energized by leaving their homes, changing their environments and being exposed to other people.
Let’s focus on what we can control and remember that this time of chaos is an opportunity for creative change.