I really enjoyed reading this article in the New York Times on how frustrated employees can actually lead to your biggest breakthroughs in innovation. Personally, the best work I’ve produced in my career has been born out of a combination of professional frustration, immense commitment to my team and purpose, and someone giving me the space to explore.
When we’re dissatisfied, instead of fight or flight, sometimes we invent. Frustration is the feeling of being blocked from a goal. Although it sounds like a destructive emotion, it can actually be a source of creative fuel. When we’re frustrated, we reject the status quo, question the way things have always been done, and search for new and improved methods.
And related to this, a HBR article published this week, “Digital transformation is not about technology”, struck a chord. In fact, this is sort of the thesis of my last year of work. Successful digital transformation requires a balance between purpose and change management. The technology you adopt is just icing on the cake.
This week I announced two upcoming speaking engagements, and I am thrilled for each.
- June 6-7 I’ll be speaking at the Front Design and PM conference in Salt Lake City on design maturity and increasing your impact
- September 3-5 I’m speaking at Joint Futures in Helsinki on turning our design methods inward toward our organizations and business
I’m so excited for both events, as both groups of organizers have distinguished themselves over the last few years in changing the type of conversations we hold at conferences.
Finally, I’m so excited to take off for a much needed vacation this week. Burnout is real, and it sneaks up on you. The last few months have been ripe with change, some of it uncomfortable, and I realized how much of my emotional self I was investing into my work without feeling a purposeful return. It’s been exciting, but draining.
We’re headed to southern Arizona/California to see the superbloom. We caught it back in 2017 and I’m so excited to get a peak at a different part of the desert!
I’ve seen others express concern that becoming a parent will negatively affect their career. Certainly, there are examples of toxic companies that only want to hire 20-somethings with no children or worldly commitments (though why anyone would fund leadership with such short-sighted expectations is beyond me). Parenthood teaches you ways of thinking about, reacting to, and experiencing life that you can never understand until you’re in it.
Flexibility, combined with a strong foundation, makes us more resilient. The next time you’re facing a tough situation, feeling threatened, or standing your ground, pause. Consider whether flexibility may help you around the conflict.