I’ve been wanting to write on topics beyond remote and agile work for some time, but I’ve been struggling to describe the patterns I’m seeing — until now.  I  have a way to capture some of what we’ve experienced these last few years, how and why we’ve shifted our work, and why it’s been difficult for us to sometimes make shifts.

For now, let’s refer to this as differability: the ability to work differently.

This goes beyond what we experienced with the Covid-19 pandemic, though we all struggled to work differently then.  Some still struggle now.  But as an example, let me ask these questions of you:

  • Were we prepared to work differently?
  • How many of us were traumatized by the change and how many of us were not?  What made the difference?
  • How many of us were wanting to go back to old ways of working and how many were ready to explore new ways of working?
  • Also, how many companies and organizations struggled with the change and which ones thrived?  Why was that?

These are some questions I plan to explore in this newletter.

Sometimes it’s not a major shift that tests your differability.  Sometimes it’s a gradual change.  I’ll have a personal story to share later about my work as an agile organizational coach and why I needed to explore remote work.

A third scenario is when you are placed in a situation where it becomes difficult to work differently and you really need to work differently.  In a later article, I’ll draw some parallels between people with disabilities and working in toxic cultures.

Even this Substack platform is providing a type of differability.  Here are some ways you can interact with me and other writers in Substack:

  • You can like a particular newsletter by clicking the heart icon.
  • You can comment on a particular newsletter by clicking the comment bubble icon.
  • You can “restack” or share the article with others across Substack with or without a note.

This restack capability (also known as Substack Notes) brings out another aspect of differability: building community and resistance when you explore a new way of working that challenges the status quo.  If you missed it, Twitter blocked Substack links when this new Notes feature was released because Mr. Musk saw this as a threat to his recently acquired platform.

So if you want to continue on this discovery of differability, stay tuned.  Better yet, like, comment or restack with or without a note so I know what you find  valuable.

Let’s explore differability together.