Do You Have a Plan B (To Z)?
By: Rachael Long
“Pivot with perseverance” is probably my favorite mindset to ask students about. You should see the eye rolls when I ask them if they have “pivoted” in a tough situation. While they, as well as me might not love finding an alternative plan, it truly is an important skill to master for all of us (even if it comes with an eye roll or two).
We live in a world where knowledge moves at crazy fast speeds and sometimes what we had planned won’t work. Over the years I have learned to not treat this as a frustrating roadblock, but instead a period of re-imagining other options (usually with a good Google search of ideas involved). I love how this one person described it as a “tool to discover additional growth—growth you might otherwise have overlooked” (Spoon, 2012). What a cool mindset when you consider that, right?
Yet, if you are like me, embracing the pivot and persevering into different plans can still be difficult. This is usually where I have to talk myself down from the frustration of my plan, in order to motivate myself to make the pivot. Here is a technique you might be able to try with yourself or in a small group, when needing to make the pivot. I call it BAPPP (because that is fun to say out loud and teachers LOVE acronyms):
B: Breathe, because I know that often times when needing to create a solution my first reaction is to do, not to be, and this can further dive me into a world of stress and frustration. Take a breath, there are many solutions ahead!
A: Ask, because question marks move farther than periods when making solutions. What is the end goal? What can I change? How can I adapt this? What other ideas were discussed at the brainstorming level?
P: Pause, because it is important to always reflect on what the end goal is. This midpoint reflection has saved me from a lot of bad plan B’s and Z’s, as I get time to look ahead at how the prototype or solution might play out.
PP: Pivot + Persevere, because you have momentum now and it is important to have confidence in your solution! YOU ARE A DESIGNER!
As you embrace the pivot that inevitably finds us all in our workplace, may it be a time of beautiful re-imagination and I hope that you, too, come to love plans B through Z. Happy Friday, friends.
Reference: Spoon, A. (2012). “What ‘Pivot’ Really Means.” Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/alan-spoon/what-pivot-really-means.html on 8/5/19.
The following post was taken from the ChangeMakers for Impact network, a part of Incubate to Innovate, a company that provides educators with best practices, tools, and an online collaborative network to transform teaching and learning experiences and environments using innovation to prepare students with 21st-century skills. To learn more, please click here.