Change and Flexibility – How Pliable are we?

by Brenda Kortekaas, Community of Practice Coordinator

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Quote by John C Maxwell

I find myself in the midst of change once again in my life. I am not new to change; I am over 50 now and have had many big changes throughout my life. For those of you in my age bracket, we have seen crazy changes in our lives. We have had to learn so many new technologies in our “short life-span”. I think we have done well embracing all the changes. So where does change lead me now?

The big news is that my bosses/colleagues/dear friends and favourite dog are moving across the country for the winters. I am very excited for them to be closer to their family and yet at the same time, feeling a loss. “Growth is optional.” What does “growth” look like for me?

I can’t help but think of engagement and reflect on the growth of the D+A training practice over the last 10 years that I have been with the company. I started working very part-time with two other part-time jobs on the go. It was a crazy time, but I learned how to juggle many balls while still taking care of my family. As we got busier at D+A, I let go of my other jobs. I have now moved into a full-time position with D+A. Richard and Valerie have given me many opportunities to learn and grow in the business and to learn more about my own strengths and weaknesses. Moments of growth come at many different times and in many different ways. Once while sticking stamps on our commitment cards, I saw a comment that said “Pride makes you un-teachable”. I wrote it down on a sticky note and stuck it on my desk as a reminder to myself that I am never too old for change.

Like many of you, I have taken the iap2 Foundations program. One of the big take-aways for me was that engagement is fluid like life. It is good to start off with a plan, but we must be able to adapt quickly and move through the issues that are sometimes thrown at us. When we move in fear or pride, we are stymied and that does not get anything accomplished. There are always people who have been through similar issues in work or life, and we can call on them for another opinion or help. We do not stand alone; team work is essential.

One of the toys we put on our tables for training is Play-Doh. It has been around since the 50’s and has proven to be fun for kids and adults alike. We invite you to grab some of the Play-Doh on the table to see how pliable/flexible/moveable it is. I will be putting a container on my new desk, in my new office, with my sticky to help me keep growing and changing.