Today’s Word: ‘Innovation’ as in … wondering “what good can possibly come from this?”

We’re navigating the terrain of change and transition every day. Those are two different things: change is situational; there is a physical element: a birth, a death, falling in love, a job shift, loss of role, making a move, retirement.

Transition, on the other hand, is emotional, psychological, internal. As the global pandemic continues to redefine our lives, there is plenty of change and transition.

The question remains, what will we do in response? Even if “the worst is yet to come,” we can certainly turn our energies toward creative ways of dealing with the unknown. As I’ve said before, “this ain’t our first (pandemic) rodeo.” As we embrace our creative impulse (if only to survive!), the extent to which we learn to innovate is the extent to which we will continue to thrive.

Susan Beaumont is a consultant, author, coach, and spiritual director. She works with faith communities and denominational bodies across the United States and in Canada. In a recent article entitled “5 Practices for Coaxing Order out of Chaos” she writes,

“Innovation occurs in predictable stages. It begins with a disturbance in the status quo, which the organization often tries to ignore or resolve. Eventually, the disturbance escalates into disruption, where it can no longer be ignored. As old processes and structures disintegrate, the organization enters into innovation and learning about its new environment. Eventually comes the emergence of new organizing principles and structures. Finally, the organization integrates what is novel into what it knows already—and finds coherence and a fresh identity.”

Disturbance, disruption, innovation, emergence, coherence. Let’s just consider what it means to innovate. Innovation comes from a willingness to look at our current situation and ask, “What good can possibly come from this?”

What have you learned about yourself in the past 50 days that has surprised you?

What are you doing more effectively today than you did 6 weeks ago? What’s the one best piece of advice that you’ve gotten from someone else that you’ve passed along to others?


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