We’ve all been clobbered by the waves of 2020. To watch for that next wave, I try to keep an eye on business and technology news. But, I’ve also been looking at different sources of inspiration to help look ahead. This snippet from Humans of New York jumped out at me:

“There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that’s how you get through the wave.”

When you grow up on Florida beaches like me, you learn this quickly. You can’t run or stand against a wave. The best (and most non-intuitive approach) is to dive under this big wall of water heading toward you. You need to go deep and dive in.

I’ve also faced waves of unexpected remote work years ago when I was assigned some unusual projects. First it was as a team lead, then a scrum master and then an agile coach. I couldn’t run away from the assignments and I couldn’t just face the wave with my typical agile or project management practices.

I had to dive deep into the principles to get through the wave of this new way of working. How did these principles originally inspire some of the agile practices. Did the principles give me clues on how I could adapt some practices or come up with new practices?

Eventually, I came up with many different ways to easily surf remote work and even came to prefer riding those waves that no one else wanted to touch.

I don’t want you clobbered by some of the next waves of unexpected shifts in work. You can reinvent the way you work if you see the advantages of working remotely and you dive deep on why certain practices were created practices.

Recently, I’ve been considering what you might face as you go back into the office. Two blog posts I wrote recently on “returning gently” to the office cover why you want to rebuild routines slowly and why it’s important to reflect on each practice.

Next week I’ll talk about a big wave that many may not see coming yet to the world of work.

Hope this helps!

Mark Kilby