It isn’t an overstatement to say that we are living through times of significant change. There are times when it can feel overwhelming when you think about everything that is going on in the world today: Covid-19, economic recessions, climate change, rise of populism and nationalism, eroding civil liberties, shrinking civil society space, #BLM #MeToo , biodiversity’s cliff edge moment.
Living and breathing social impact can make all of these issues feel even more acute as each one can affect the work that we do. At times when I feel the pressure of the world bearing down, I follow these simple steps to make sure I keep holding to the ground even as it shifts:
- Focus: you can’t solve all of the world’s problems. Do what you do, and do it really well. Understand how it fits into the bigger picture;
- Understand what your offer is and how it adds value (to your mission, goal, clients)
- Be as efficient as possible in the way you deliver value and results
- Collaborate: you can’t solve big issues on your own. Working with other organisations, other people, other consultants will help you to build something more impactful than you imagined;
- Be flexible: in a constantly changing world you don’t always know where the next opportunity will come from. Be alert and scan the horizon daily. Even when it seems that nothing is out there, opportunity is waiting for you; and
- Communicate: talk to people, read, join discussion groups, communities of practice, blog, send out newsletters. Make sure you’re fully engaged; and finally
- Take time to rest: don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ve constantly got to be “on” just because it is volatile out there. Taking time out is good for your mental health, physical health and your work. Sometimes you need to step away to see things more clearly.
Do these five points help? How do you make it through challenging times? What are some of your tricks that you use?