Book Spotlight: ‘Transitions’ by William Bridges

What does it look like when the entire world is in transition?

That’s rhetorical, of course – it looks like life in 2020.

A couple of years ago a mentor recommended this book to me when I was going through a life transition, and I found it very helpful. The other day I suddenly realised that it was newly relevant – to pretty much everyone in the world.

Book

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes

by William Bridges

Released 2004 (this edition)

70 days In

Seventy days. That’s how long it’s been since this strange new season began.

 

That feels like a significant marker. 70 days into a crisis unprecedented in our lifetime. It feels like a moment to remind ourselves of some things as we navigate the still-shifting sands of our new normal –

The Three Tensions of Virtual Collaboration

Getting things done in today’s world means getting things done virtually.

virtual collaboration

You may be part of a not-for-profit that needs to manage volunteers with their own day jobs. You might work in a traditional co-located office but partner with companies in other locations. Perhaps, like me, you’re part of an international team working across distance and timezones. Many of us, in different ways, now need to be able to get people to work together to achieve outcomes, but can’t just pull them into a conference room whenever we need them to hash out a problem or plan.

I have a bit of a working theory that there are often three tensions at play when we do this, and that being deliberate about our priorities and expectations as we manage those tensions can help us choose the best approach for a given situation.

Are you letting your brain breathe?

How many voices have you let into your head in the last 24 hours? Most of us couldn’t even begin to count. The ‘voices’ driving the various pieces of stimulus we encounter in any given day are legion – think of every post; every headline; every caption, photo and podcast.

‘Solitude Deprivation’ is the brilliant phrase from Cal Newport to describe “A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.”

When I read that, I asked myself – If I am constantly receiving stimulus, what chance am I giving my mind and heart to reflect meaningfully?

The idea that I may sacrifice my best thoughts on the altar of shallow stimuli is genuinely frightening.