The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? Yeah, well, scratch that. It occurs to me now, the more things change, the more they change and that’s OK by me. And here’s why …
Last week, the Atlanta Braves did the improbable. They were hit hard by several season-ending injuries and a player suspension and their win-loss record was underwater for the first four months of the season. They finally got to .500 in early August. From there, it was perhaps the most unlikely of championship runs, culminating with a 7-0 road victory in Game 6 over the Houston Astros to claim the World Series trophy.
For fans of the “Bravos”, it had been a long wait.
Last Friday, as I watched on TV the victory parade through downtown Atlanta and on to Truist Park just north of the city, it occurred to me how different this was for me versus 1995 when the Braves last won the Series.
I’d recently moved to The States from London and I was immediately swept up in the excitement of that team. I distinctly remember celebrating after the Series clincher [also a Game 6 shutout, ironically] quite, ahem, lavishly as a single man in the Buckhead entertainment district of Atlanta. Fast-forward 26 years and, well … the more things change, the more they change. [That may become my new mantra.]
You see, I now have a wife, two children, a mortgage, a dog and a pair of businesses to run. This time around, I celebrated at home on my couch, not in lively Buckhead with hundreds, if not thousands, of other revelers.
But all is good. It was terrific then and it was terrific last week … despite being drastically different.
In much the same way, our personal lives and our work lives have changed significantly the past two years. [I won’t remind, or bother, you with details of what you already know.] Catch-phrases like “The New Reality” and “The New Normal” have been tossed about like so much salad. And while that may have sounded ominous and uncomfortable at first, it strikes me this isn’t the first time in our country’s history that a seismic shift of some ilk has occurred. And those worked out splendidly. Consider, among others:
- The American Revolution was a political upheaval that led to America’s independence as a constitutional republic.
- The Industrial Revolution took us from hand-made goods to manufactured goods and the ability to mass-produce things like textiles, automobiles, steam power and electricity.
- More recently, the Technology Revolution has shifted us from analog to digital and the internet, email and mobile smart devices.
These were all seismic shifts at the time and I’m sure plenty of folks were uncomfortable with their version of the New Reality when they occurred. Change, in and of itself, is a natural driver of human uneasiness but over time we generally realize these historical resets have been synonymous with progress and convenience. Imagine having to hand-sew your work clothes before hopping on your horse to go to an office cooled by open windows or heated by a fireplace in the corner. Then dip your quill in the ink well and hand-write your sales strategy for the upcoming fiscal year before picking up a block of ice on the way home to keep your perishables fresh.
Ah, no thank you.
Perhaps we should drop the “R” in “Revolution” in favor of “Evolution”. Because that’s what these shifts were … a point of radical change and advancement.
Now, we find ourselves in a seismic shift that began in early 2020 and continues … and will likely become mainstream, if it hasn’t already. This includes a shift in the way we live our lives at home, at work and anywhere in between like the local coffee shop, grocery store or the post office.
Even a shopping spree has been redefined. It can be accomplished without ever straying from the home. I know I prefer shopping online instead of having to burn time traveling to and from the mall to look through rack after rack, or shelf after shelf, for what I want. [On a side note, imagine having bought $1,000 of Amazon stock at its IPO in 1997. You’d have nearly $18,000 today!]
Greater convenience and more wide-ranging flexibility are wonderful byproducts that have tumbled from everything we’ve endured during this particular historical evolution in our lives. Americans are rethinking everything – where we live, where we work, what we do for a living, how many hours a week we want to dedicate to an employer versus family, friends or a leisure pursuit. Lately, I’ve seen a shift on LinkedIn where job-seekers are making bold statements like “I want to take back my life by finding a job with an employer who lets me work remotely and understands weekends and evenings are mine.”
Employers are finding, for the first time in history, they’re having to meet employees on their terms or there won’t be employees to peddle that product, service the IT needs, design the next cyber-widget, or manage company financials. More and more, people have decided they want to work fewer hours, travel more, avoid long commutes, and take their lunch break in the own kitchen, not a cafeteria. Others have opted for retirement earlier than they’d originally planned. Nevertheless, a ton of studies have shown, in most cases, productivity has either sustained itself or increased slightly. All in all, a win-win for both employer and employee.
If you’re a business owner, a manager, a director or other, simply get more creative. We can still do what we love to do in terms of a career but there are now new ways to accomplish all of our goals and objectives – whether they’re for the home or in the office.
So if you haven’t already done so, consider shifting your interpretation of the past 20 months. Hit that reset button and embrace life as we know it in 2021 and in the coming new year. Because perception is indeed reality and you might just discover a shift in your outlook will reveal that lining in the dark cloud wasn’t actually silver, it was gold!
P.S. – From all of us at dynami group [where we’ve happily adjusted the way we approach our work], we wish you and your family a truly warm and wonderful Thanksgiving however you choose to celebrate! In spite of all, we still have much, much to be grateful for … and, for us, that includes each of you.