Change is often a question of time; when and never if. One of the worst and naivest things we could do is think or assume it can’t and won’t come. Pivoting, a change in direction or strategy, if done well can move us forward; make us better. Managing transition is not always easy. We have to make sure we ask the right questions. We have to start with the right step. As I navigate change I remember to start in the past. Looking back move forward.
As with many other posts here, the principles are relevant for both life and leadership. Hopefully you can find application for your context. Again, I’m no expert, writing is one of the ways I work through things. Here’s to looking back move forward:
Cliché isn’t always bad. It’s annoying and tiring to hear, but this doesn’t mean they’re always wrong. This applies to the idea of looking back as point of reference. When navigating change, you cannot, and must not ignore the past.
The most obvious place to start is with the question, “What have I learnt in the distant and recent past?” An awareness of lessons learned is, must be, a deliberate act. This is not to undermine serendipity or things learnt subconsciously. Even the learning that ‘pounces on you’ needs some deliberate action.
One needs some sort of discipline to harness and benefit from learning. This makes reflection, for example, important. In reflection, tools such journaling coming handy. I’m not always consistent” with journaling but I’m a huge believer.
When looking back to move forward pause and appreciate the lessons of the past. At this point, don’t try to appropriate them. Just take note and acknowledge.
As you look back, questions to answer include:
- What’s been in my heart in the past?
- Of that, how much of that have I managed to live out?: (In the leadership or organisational context, you might want to look into how well your mission has been executed).
- What was in my / our heart from the beginning that needs to be in the future?
- What has made me / us come alive?
- What has been in my heart from the beginning that needs to come out in the future?
Again, don’t try to appropriate anything. This stage is more about being a student, learning, more than anything else. Learn.
“Looking back move forward” is the first post in a working series on pivoting, navigating change or transition. Stay tuned.