I’m having the most amazing experience in this job. I am doing work that brings together all the skills and knowledge that I love to use (whether they are useful or not is debatable!) including working with a broad range of people who have creative ideas. But that’s not what’s most amazing. What’s really amazing is the ability to let go of order.
By my nature I like ducks in rows, I like plans, I like procedures, I like everything to match. By the nature of this job there are too many different ducks, swans, ibis and a couple of flamingos. The plans last about two days at the most and nothing can match. For example, last Thursday I had a day planned which started with a meeting. At that meeting the Dean said “That’s what we can try – make it happen by 4 pm this afternoon and we can all test it to see if it works. Okay?” So, there goes the day. But then, the magic happened.
Not being uptight and resistant to the change a whole bunch of people came together last Thursday to make something happen. We all strove towards a goal by letting go of everything we all had planned and the shared success was exhilarating. We also found a solution for a delivery issue we were facing which means I could then finally get onto paper some structure about distance education that I’d been thinking about for a while.
So, by letting go and I actually got to do what I really like and that was to develop a concept for how lecturers can use SKYPE in delivery for distance. It also highlighted the issue we have delivering under the ESOS requirements where 75% of contact hours has to be face to face for international students as SKYPE doesn’t count as face to face. Of course, in today’s world the definition of face to face is complicated. But I think that’s another post.
The upshot is, last Thursday was a changing point for me. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I can now. I can see how chaos is positive. I can see how me not constraining others or situations leads to magic. I can see how I can be a better employee by letting go. Not a bad conclusion to reach, just wish it had happened 20 years ago!