Innovation

What to Do When Your Plans Encounter a Pandemic

young woman pinning notes on a bulletin board to keep track of plans

Now that at least some of the shock of living in a global pandemic is diminishing, it may be time to ask: How do we pick up the pieces and start thinking creatively about next steps—or, perhaps, even how to re-invent ourselves in a new world?

But before even beginning to try to answer that, it may be helpful to recall Anne Lamott’s classic insight into the creative process.

In Bird by Bird, Lamott writes: “the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.” There are no “good second drafts and terrific third drafts” for anyone, she says, without that first messy step.

That truth about creativity, like innovation, prompted us to talk recently with Mary Laura Philpott, Conference for Women speaker and bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink.

“Now, and moving forward with every passing week, we have to be even more creative because we’re not coasting on novelty anymore,” said Philpott, who has been compared to Nora Ephron. “We can’t coast on the excuses we had in the beginning, when there was a snow day-like feeling. We have to figure it out.”

If You Feel Blocked

But what if you feel like you don’t have it in you to create what comes next?

“What I always tell younger writers who ask me about how to overcome writer’s block is that there is no such thing. It’s a label we give to fear, when we are afraid of what we have to do or it is difficult,” says Philpott.

The same applies to innovation in business settings, she says. “There is no such thing as innovation block. There is fear. There is exhaustion. But we can do it.”

“I know many women in this audience are planners by nature and visionaries,” Philpott continued. “So many women at these conferences have told me what they were working on now, and what they were planning for five years from now.”

“I know it can be deeply demoralizing to someone who has that visionary tendency to hit an obstacle, and an obstacle that drags on a long time like this one. But we need to remember that time keeps moving forward. This is not life forever. This is life right now.”

Obviously, she added, we still have to focus on how to get through this moment. But don’t give up on your plan or vision in the process. “Save a little time every day to think about it.”


More from the May 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Embrace the Unknown, Goals & Priorities, Innovation Tagged , |

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No matter how successful you are, pivoting to a new career in the second half of life can present some uphill battles. With the reality of ageism and bias in the workplace, trying to rebrand yourself in a new field may feel overwhelming. Whether you want to change careers, find new purpose, have hit a mid-career stopping point or have opted out and now want to opt back in, you can find a new career that offers joy and impact. This panel of experts will share the skills you need to showcase, how to position yourself for success in your transition, and ways to connect with younger colleagues to find happiness in your encore career.

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Posted in Conference Sessions, Transitions, Success & Leadership, Innovation, Breakout Session Tagged , , , , |

How is Bias Affecting Your Organization? | 2019 Session

We all have blind spots: hidden unconscious biases that can influence the culture of our organizations and the career trajectories of all its employees. But when we learn how to identify these blind spots, we have the power to make change. Sharing best practices and lessons learned from their first-hand experiences, diversity consultant Tiffany Jana and this panel of experts will examine what helps break down these biases, and what all of us can do right now to create systems in which all people can thrive. You will walk away with concrete strategies to tackle structural bias—both individually and organizationally.

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James Clear: If You Want to Make Big Changes, Think Small

James Clear

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They also led him to be an expert in how tiny habits can help us reach our potential—insights he compiled in 2018 The New York Times best-selling book, Atomic Habits, and shared with the 10,000 people at the 2019 Pennsylvania Conference for Women.  

“So often we think that change is about being ambitious. But setting a goal is the easy part,” he said. “Excellence is not really about making radical changes. It is about accruing small improvements over time.” Read More

Posted in Latest News, Speaker Articles, Success & Leadership, Innovation Tagged , , |

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