Disruptive times have many pieces shifting at the same time. We can feel overwhelmed by the changing demands of our workplaces as our offices become more digital; navigate different generational perspectives; and respond to increasing complexity. Likewise, there are significant shifts in the political and work environments - in our social and digital relationships and increasingly in changes we are experiencing in the natural environment.
These changes and demands seem to be coming at us at a rapid and unyielding pace. As community change-makers, we have choices to make. We can hunker down and focus on the delivery of micro-services which support individuals in our community at times of stress and challenge. Or, we can embrace these disruptive times as times of opportunity and experimentation.
In the paper Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers I explore the skills and capacities needed to navigate the waves of change that we are currently experiencing. These skills include reflecting on the mindsets that we need as change-makers to tolerate, and in fact, embrace ambiguity and change. It also requires leaders and their organizations to become increasingly agile.
A surfer does not always ride the first wave but watches the horizon for opportunities for larger waves. The surfer dodges and dives through the water and waves, carving a path forward while being drawn by the current towards the shore. This analogy suits an agile approach, leaders need to move forward at the same time as keeping their view to the horizon of possibilities.
Tamarack has identified five interconnected practices which can help community change-makers navigate the waves of disruption. Building our collaborative leadership skillset; understanding how to authentically engage others; bridging innovative practices; understanding the value of collaboration and evaluating impact are critical skills and practices.
Surfers spend hours building their skills to successfully ride the ultimate wave. Likewise, change-makers need to invest in their practice to achieve deep and durable impact for their communities. We invite you to read this paper and share your thoughts about community change. We also invite you to join us to build your change-maker tool kit by accessing our online resources, joining our upcoming webinars or attending a Tamarack workshop.