Old or New?

There are times when we need to reflect on everything we have around us and assess whether or not it’s still working, old or new, broken, no longer fit for purpose, or out of date and unskilled. Is it doing what it’s meant to do? Is it taking too long?

Think of your mobile phone and how long you have owned it? The older it gets, the more outdated it becomes, and the older software can’t handle all the new upgrades and updates that are getting dumped on top of it. So what do we do? For some, the simple choice is to get a new one, however, this is not the best option for the planet. If you were to clean down your phone, you might find more than enough space to last an additional six or even 12 months. In this disposable world, we live in, that’s sadly quite often the way we do things.

Switch that thinking into the rest of our lives; where are we working with ‘things’ that are out of date and not fit for purpose going forward? It’s not because it’s old, necessarily, and it needs to be changed for the sake of it. It’s because it’s no longer delivering the level of service, support or the mental requirements that you need now!

At the time of writing, I was in the centre of Birmingham in the UK, surrounded by beautiful (and hideous) old buildings that have been there many, many years longer than I’ve been around and for some centuries before that. Are they still fit for purpose? The Town Hall in the middle of Victoria Square has been there forever and it’s still fit for purpose. Yes, it has been remodelled, relatively recently and had a complete refit inside, making it very much up to date. The outer shell remains the same. It’s an old building that is fit for purpose going forward.

Now let’s consider the same thinking when it comes to your support team, the people around you that make up your backroom support group. How many of them are not actually challenging you or supporting you in the right way and not there when you need them TO BE TODAY?

I consider a situation a few years back, where friends were going through challenging times in their marriage. It was hard work to negotiate and very demanding of both mine and my wife’s time, putting pressure on us mentally and dragging us into all sorts of conversations, dramas and discussions. A few months later, once that situation had been resolved and things had moved on, we had our own personal crisis. The friend that we had been there for in the previous situation went AWOL and were not around to help us when we needed them. It was a bit of a wake up call for us.

That’s life, you might say, which is true, however, keeping these people around us is a choice. For the sake of our strength and wellbeing, we concluded that this particular individual was not fit for purpose for us and should gently be let go. They sucked our energy, marched to their own tune and were oblivious to the impact that their “issues” had on us. Yet, when we needed them, they were nowhere to be found. It was time to say goodbye to an old connection that was certainly not a mutually beneficial friendship.

We all have times when we need to move on from some friends, colleagues, partners, collaborators and employees and locate and upgrade to version 2.0. For some, you can try to refit, rehouse them or re-educate them in line with whatever else you need; beware they may not be able to make that step up. I am not suggesting change for change’s sake; they don’t have to be binned, just refreshed.

Now is the perfect time to consider the old versus the new?  Using the metaphor of a new mobile phone, investing time in getting to know the new phone might take you to a different level in far less time.Take that holistic approach when looking at our support network, having a combination of old and new, getting the right balance between technologically savvy versus the old quill and ink. Who have you got around you? Are they fit for purpose for the way ahead? Make sure you have the right people who genuinely have your back.

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