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12th September 2017 Bea Udeh

Be Foolish #ADA

Livia Filotico is Arvon’s Communications Officer and ADA 2.0 Fellow.  Livia shares her wisdom gained to date on the Audience Diversity Academy.

As part of my ADA’s training, I had a plan for a quick and easy digital campaign aimed at making Arvon more receptive to and engaged with diverse online communities. The plan was to engage the Twitter writing world through a conversation on biases in the craft of writing. Now, I like a good success story much more than a long list of reasons (feel like justifications) why things have failed. Especially when the subject of the failure is me. But fail I did and it was bloody useful. So here’s what you can learn from my failure.

– Time spent researching the right platform for your experiment is never time wasted. I made a decision out of the lethal mix of assumptions and habit. And it backfired.

– When it comes to radical change, a shift in consciousness needs to happen before actions can be implemented. Don’t try to run before you can walk, a wise woman once said. Don’t focus on external experiments if your organisation isn’t exactly on the same page as you.

– A shift in consciousness inevitably involves losing control and embracing vulnerability. You cannot change and stay in control at the same time. So take your pick and don’t try to do both.

– Experimenting requires both confidence and resilience. Use confidence to take ownership of your ideas and resilience to shrug these same ideas off your back when they prove not to be useful. To some degree, both confidence and resilience depend on your willingness to take risks, but don’t underestimate the crucial role a supportive environment plays.

– An agile approach to work will make your fall less painful when that fall inevitably happens. It’s like being a child again. You’re constantly stumbling on your feet but you’re not far away from the ground so falling is never too painful.

– Bear in mind you cannot be agile if you’re carrying around with you a heavy weight and that could easily mean facing your own fears and anxieties. To be agile, you have to allow yourself the privilege to be foolish.

– Mentors are the bread and butter of life. Seriously, if you don’t have one head over here right now and get yourself one. They will give you clarity, confidence and remind you why you’re dong stuff.

– If you don’t put yourself on the line, you won’t fail but you won’t succeed either. What is likely to happen however, is you will turn into a frustrated human, which isn’t good for the soul.