My dad taught me, “There’s no right or wrong, there’s just different.”
As a young child, and probably into my teens, one can imagine this rhetoric was repeated any time I was in-fact, in the wrong. Much to the dismay of my parents I’m sure. It is fitting now however, in a world of hyper connection, complex stakeholder matrices, and a significant shift in how we embrace, and celebrate diversity, the line between ‘right’, and ‘wrong’, is very blurred, and perhaps, the line doesn’t exist at all.
I’d suggest ‘right’ is intrinsically related to the context, and perspective it sits within.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR HOW INDIVIDUALS WORK?
For individuals, it means there is a significant strength in genuinely being able to shift perspective.
- offers an ability to share vulnerability, where it might be hard to otherwise.
- allows a chance to consider success in an entirely different language.
- offers a chance to look at something tired and old, with a fresh set of eyes.
- offers an opportunity to connect, to understand, and to embrace difference.
- offers the ability to step into someone else’s shoes.
- challenges you to constantly adapt, to develop, to grow.
If we think about how most of us work today, very little encourages, or challenges us to shift perspective. Now let me be clear - that’s not to state what we work on, and who we work with, doesn’t encourage, or even require, a constantly shifting perspective, but rather the way in which we are supported to go about work, certainly does not. Think about it, for many of us:
- For 5 days a week we come to the same workplace,
- to the same fixed, assigned workstation,
- where we sit with the same colleagues,
- following processes, so we do our work in the same way.
AND THEN WE'RE ASKED TO INNOVATE, TO THINK DIFFERENTLY, AND TO CHANGE?!
Imagine if the way you work encouraged you, perhaps even forced you to challenge, consider, and change your perspective everyday, and throughout your day. If at any moment, you were empowered to sit next to someone new, or next to no one, a view, a vista, or a blank whiteboard, a noisy space, a quiet space, a new space.
Practice makes perfect they say, so surely, if we were to shift our perspectives more often, be exposed to the perspectives of the people around us, we might become better at shifting perspectives, understanding perspectives, more adapt to change, more capable of overcoming challenge.
I believe in the power of the Activity Based Working philosophy because it empowers, and it challenges individuals to shift, and challenge their perspectives. Some might say, “Ah, but you’re taking away my desk!”. I would say “You are being empowered with the ability to change your perspective whenever you want.”
BEING ABLE TO SHIFT PERSPECTIVE
If you agree that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is not as simple as black and white, that perspective and context matter. If you agree that being able to shift perspective is therefore valuable, and that it is a skill that can be practiced, and honed. Then you might also see the value in a way of working philosophy that encourages and challenges you to practice every day. If you do (or even if you don’t) get in touch, we’d love to talk to you about your perspective.
Promise we won’t think you’re wrong.