How not to be clobbered by the the next wave shifting your work

published6 months ago
2 min read

time-lapse photography of ocean waves

We’ve all been clobbered by the waves of 2020. To watch for that next wave, I try to keep an eye on business and technology news. But, I’ve also been looking at different sources of inspiration to help look ahead. This snippet from Humans of New York jumped out at me:

“There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that’s how you get through the wave.”

When you grow up on Florida beaches like me, you learn this quickly. You can’t run or stand against a wave. The best (and most non-intuitive approach) is to dive under this big wall of water heading toward you. You need to go deep and dive in.

I’ve also faced waves of unexpected remote work years ago when I was assigned some unusual projects. First it was as a team lead, then a scrum master and then an agile coach. I couldn’t run away from the assignments and I couldn’t just face the wave with my typical agile or project management practices.

I had to dive deep into the principles to get through the wave of this new way of working. How did these principles originally inspire some of the agile practices. Did the principles give me clues on how I could adapt some practices or come up with new practices?

Eventually, I came up with many different ways to easily surf remote work and even came to prefer riding those waves that no one else wanted to touch.

I don’t want you clobbered by some of the next waves of unexpected shifts in work. You can reinvent the way you work if you see the advantages of working remotely and you dive deep on why certain practices were created practices.

Recently, I’ve been considering what you might face as you go back into the office. Two blog posts I wrote recently on “returning gently” to the office cover why you want to rebuild routines slowly and why it’s important to reflect on each practice.

Next week I’ll talk about a big wave that many may not see coming yet to the world of work.

Hope this helps!

Mark Kilby

(I have a few waves of announcements, but I think you'll find some of these useful)

P.S. I'll be at the Future of Work 24 hours Open Space event starting Friday, May 7. A new open space circle opens every 4 hours. If you want to talk about some of these ideas, you can join me there. Get 25% off the ticket price when you register with the code VMEMBER_06 at

P.P.S. I’m thinking about offering a different kind of course that helps you build a better remote team as you take the course. If you are interested in learning more, click here.

P.P.P.S. (or is it P3.S.?) I have some friends offering other training that can help you with other waves of change in your work:

  • If you want to truly build better understanding and collaboration within a group, I recommend the Clean 1 hour Taster or Clean for Teams course at I've been to both and I'm probably signing up for some of their other courses later this year.
  • My friend Michal Parkola had developed amazing training in the past on leveraging asynchronous communication. Now he expands that further to a broader range of leadership skills for online or in-person. If you are thinking of moving into a managment role, check out his Grow Together Academy.

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