It has been said that “we flex” for whatever, or whomever, walks in the door. In so many ways this is true and vital to our ability to serve. Essential to the success of our adaptive process is curiosity, impulse control, the ability to create space between thinking and re(action) and the checking of egos at the door. We adapt to be relevant. However, there are policies and responsibilities that we adhere to for fairness, good stewardship of the tools and stage and to ensure organization viability.
Can agility be weakness?
An agile organization plans and adapts. Agile, the Project Management Methodology, is marked by short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans intended to support quick and nimble forward movement. An agile senior is one with keen mental acuity. Agility depends on vision, goals and norms as well as experience of the administrator and governance team to deploy Adaptive Leadership Strategies.
A lack of skills or experience among team members, or framework for communication, or clarity of shared vision and openness to alternatives, any and all these things will empower the largest egos to “blow-up” in the process for everyone. In a world designed to help people find and use their voice like Community TV, that attracts egos like a bear to honey, the risks of implosion are real.
Agile needs scaffolding and every encounter must be a learning opportunity that feeds the institutional knowledge of the organization. Without openness to learning by all ‘agile’ can be the reason that efforts to thrive fail to even survive. Process matters, improved process matters more.
Can ‘Status Quo’ be Disruptive?
Transformation will happen regardless of the status quo in an environment where the pace of change and the expectations of a population are enabled by the ability to carry a computer in their pocket. Change could likely be a failed change without strategic objectives. Yes, status quo can be a barrier to success. Beyond inertia is the challenge of moving forward on two different footings: one geared toward efficiency/stability and the other innovation/change. No movement incurs substantive opportunity costs because in reality outside forces are moving.
Crowd sourcing of ideas
Small organizations by definition have limited resources. Rules or policies help to manage within the limits. In a more connected world engagement and collaboration are potential tools to overcome resource limits. However, these opportunities will consume resources as well. Alliances need to include an assessment of mission similarities, conflicts and opportunities. It is not as simple as a chat and a hand-shake to keep forward momentum and achieve outcomes across multiple domains of interest so it is essential to identified the shared visions.
In the Community Media World
Four decades of technology and communications transformation means there is no status quo regarding outside forces that impact creation and distribution of community media. This means relevancy needs to connect to an assessment of the original vision, the make-up of communities and the cultural influences on communications.
What this means on the ground at WPAA-TV is that policy is not evergreen, that decisions and regulations of the past are subject to reassessment and that we cannot assume we will remain funded or that our communities of concerns, skills and interest will consider us relevant.