Looking Backwards, Moving Forwards

A playful reflection on the window of opportunity that faces our Organisations as they emerge, slowly, from the Pandemic imposed model of remote. This model contrasts ‘where we look’, with ‘where we are moving’.

Broadly, some Organisations are looking back: how can we drag things back to where they were before. Others are looking forwards: how can we maximise the opportunity of this disruption to become something new.

In parallel, some are actually moving forwards: making real changes, whilst others are, sometimes by default, moving back to old habits.

It’s possible to be looking forwards, but actually moving backwards. Conversely (or perversely) we may find ourselves moving forwards, but looking longingly backwards at the familiar world that is left behind.

To both look and move forwards is the space of great uncertainty, but also opportunity. To both look and move backwards may be comforting, but is surely also dangerous – unless i have misread the context of change. An alternative argument is that now is the very best time to move back to the legacy state, and let others do the costly business of learning and prototyping, before you move wholesale into the new reality that they build.

Looking forwards longingly, whilst the Organisation moves backwards around you is an illustration of constraint. Moving forwards whilst deliberately looking backwards is to pine for the past.

What the right answer is may not be clear, but what is clear is that to do so mindlessly, without at least taking the opportunity to observe where our hopes and behaviours are taking us, is naive.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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