In-house Issues: Constructive Destruction

My wife and I watched a wonderful small movie the other day called “Outsourced” about a call center that is moved to India and the culture shock the American who is sent there to train the new staff feels and is eventually transformed by.

There a picture of the Indian goddess, Kali, in the protagonist’s room that he finds particularly disturbing until his love interest explains that, even though Kali represents destruction, that destruction can be a useful bridge to needed change and new beginnings.

So here’s wishing the in-house design community destruction for the new year. The most debilitating mindset and barrier to our community’s success that I notice when speaking with our peers is a debilitating complacency, the accompanying fear of change and an inability to step out of the comfort zone we all are addicted to.

Many of us are dealing with serious problems that are preventing our and our teams’ success and professional fulfillment and we keep seeking answers that we believe are achievable and “appropriate” to our situations. Well here’s a toughlove hint – There are few powerful solutions that are appropriate if appropriate means not rocking the boat and taking personal and professional risks.

I’m not saying that incremental change isn’t a useful and appropriate (in the best sense of the word), but if taking baby steps is an avoidance tactic that allows us to sidestep taking action that is difficult but necessary to effect the change and achieve the goals we desire then we’re doomed to fail and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

So maybe some non-fatal destruction, whether it comes in the form of a project that fails because of being under-resourced, being passed over for inclusion in a strategic meeting or yet another round of budget cuts will be just the kick in the pants we need to get a little uncomfortable and uncompromising with our goals.