Doing things differently or doing different things?

Derek Moore tweeted this, and it is a phrase that stuck with me – ‘doing things differently or doing different things?’

That’s an interesting play on words and, when you think about it, a very interesting way to look at what we’ve been doing for the last 20 months or so of the pandemic. Are we doing our work differently, or are we actually doing different things?

In the drive to ‘return to normal’ (I read that as going back to everything we did before the pandemic – what we did, the way we did, and why we did it like that) I see that as a deliberate action to not learn from what we’ve achieved, individually or institutionally, since March 2020. That requires us to ignore what we’ve gone through to ensure stability in that time. That means we’ve learned nothing, absolutely nothing.

Since March 2020 we have done some things differently, and we have been doing different things. We knew we couldn’t work in the office, all together like we’ve been doing for years before, so we changed what we did and how we did it and have been doing things differently. At the same time, we’ve still needed to do the same things, but differently – we needed to communicate and collaborate, but we couldn’t just walk across the office and talk, we needed to do it differently.

I choose to look at the future as an opportunity to learn from the past and to make it better – whether this is based on something from last week or last year, there’s a lesson there for me. It could be about my management or leadership style, how I treat people (and expect to be treated in return), how I conduct myself, etc.

I choose to do some things differently (better), and I choose to do different things (grow, learn, etc.).

Photo by Mulyadi on Unsplash