I’m interested, if you’re in change management like me have you stayed in one industry or moved about? I’m definitely a mover. I’ve worked across many industries, from Finance and Government agencies, to Retail and Start Ups. Some people choose to specialise, but I’ve always been more of a traveller. Needing to move between each, picking up unique experiences in each role and replaying them to add value to another. This is probably more about my desire to take on new challenges rather than a well thought through approach, but it works for me.
The interesting thing I’m finding now is that as well as traditional industry specialisms being sought after, businesses are starting to seek those who have travelled though industry. Now, those who have ridden bucking bronco’s through regulatory change in finance, hopped on to public transport through government and backpacked through start ups are being recognised as having a unique set of skills. As organisations are on their own journey, working through how they are going to ride the relentless wave of change, they often need to have people around who have seen the many routes available.
Something else is happening too. Throughout this journey, businesses need to transition more quickly and effectively than their competitors, so it’s not only learnings from across industries which are useful, it’s external stimulus too. I’m always looking into how to collaborate better, be more creative, more innovative, think more quickly and be more nimble. I’ve watched many great talks from thought leaders, been to conferences and read industry articles. These are all great insights, they help you to follow best practice and keep you amongst the winning pack. That’s not enough though, the difference, the ‘ah-ha’ moments, the inspirations, often come from unexpected sources.
My best sources for unique concepts, have so far come about through a desire to learn about completely unrelated topics. I enjoy being constantly curious (some may say nosey), taking a break from my own internal chatter and really delving into another persons way of working, how they overcome challenges and how they collaborate.
As well as grilling Julie Mullins (our Hut63 regular) about how she transitioned from acting to project management, one topic which continues to inspire me is music. Having recently taken up the double bass (yes, midlife crisis probably), I decided to go along to a jamming session to watch and learn from professional musicians who were truly at the top of their game. The Spice of Life in Soho, London was the venue and the amazing Yolanda Charles was the host. As the musicians started, swapped over and jammed together, there was a unique sensation in the room. Yes, it was a collaboration, but there was a different vibe that you don’t normally get in a business context. Musicians of different levels of experience all worked harmoniously together, the more experienced interested in allowing those with less to still have their turn. Many waited patiently but were eager for those on stage to do well and actively cheered them on. Some just listened knowing that even though they’d come to play, they didn’t need to battle to be heard, they’d have their time. The energy, feeling of positivity, respect and desire to create something uniquely wonderful was inspiring. I left smiling, wanting more and realising that I’d not only been inspired by the music, but also how they’d worked together.
These moments always leave me with that feeling of an itch I need to scratch. I’m always on some sort of mission and at the moment it’s to use this inspiration and other moments just like it, to feed into my work and help me deliver change better, more quickly and more considered than before. So if you’re looking for inspiration, get off the laptop and take a break from listening to second hand ideas from those who are already out there. Meet up with those who make you smile, laugh, dance, be different, be yourself be spontaneous and challenge you. Whilst you’re having a great time, trust that your mind will still be working, connecting the dots, answering those questions rattling around your brain. Stay curious and you’ll answer the questions you didn’t even know you had. Those are always the most interesting ones anyway.