The Growing Edge: Beyond the Comfort Zone

“Growth edges are the places that have fear on one side and change on the other. The edge is the place in the middle …It’s the gatekeeper to moving from the known to the unknown.”Kim Romain Welcome to my first ever blog. Preparing to become a blogger – I prefer to call them ‘thoughts’, offered up as gifts rather than sales pitches – has prompted me to think deeply about why I do what I do, and how. The term ‘the growing edge’ came to mind. You see, we all operate at the edge of our ‘what next?’ That threshold between what we are doing right now and the opportunity to stretch, grow, discover and innovate. In my professional experience, too few of us are brave enough to cross that threshold. Staying put means little changes, placing us in danger of becoming what the late and great Diane Ragsdale referred to as ‘permanently failing organisations’. As cruel as this might sound, it holds truth. That’s why I support arts and cultural organisations to cross the threshold of their growing edge and embrace their ‘new, different, better and smarter’. How? By asking searching questions, surfacing difficult truths, identifying blind spots, challenging world views, eliciting new perspectives, recognising and realising potential, amplifying creative muscle, encouraging risk-taking and equipping people with the confidence, mindsets, learning experiences and skills to flourish. All of this involves moving out of your comfort zone into the fear zone, then into the learning zone and beyond, into growth. Embracing your growing edge is not for everyone, for example, those who want quick fixes, or to outsource solutions, or apply yesterday’s logic to today’s problems – yet everyone needs this. As someone who is always embracing her own growing edge, I am excited about what the next few years will bring as I examine my own practice [we must all always do this], seek out fresh ideas and perspectives, and strive to develop new processes to address challenges and opportunities I don’t even know exist yet. Onwards. Thought exercise: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk to blossom.” Anais Nin

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Institutionalism, Organisational Culture, Organisational Development, Professional Development, , , ,