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Speak It Into Existence

A friend of mine, once said that one of the most detrimental aspects of creating something, is to jump the gun and talk about it too early along in the process. They explained that, especially when making art, discussing your topic, can deter you from actually dedicating the time and space to creating it, using describing what you intend to do as a form of procrastination. Eventually, the feat of discussing what you want to do will feel overwhelming and you will avoid the process entirely. The same can be said for the people who partake in New Year’s Resolutions: declaring “I’m going to quit smoking” every January, but have returned to the crutch of habit’s past by the end of February once the support from the media, with their advertisements about the benefits of stopping smoking etc. cease.

However, equally, the idea of manifesting your ideas, your hopes and dreams into existence has been popularised via social media. Does speaking an idea into becoming a reality work? Sarah Jensen Clayton, from her article from January 2021, would likely argue that yes, this form of speaking change into existence does work. She explained that a solution to naysayers and those that Anna Sandberg called “laggards”, who resist change, is to “adopt agile practices, such as daily stand-ups, that enable continuous coordination and evaluation of new variables as they surface.”

But, what does this mean? A daily stand-up is similar to a morning briefing and an evening debriefing in a corporate setting, or in the retail sector. Some large workplaces, with a set start time for all staff begin their days with a brief, reflecting upon what happened on the previous day, congratulating the staff for a great day’s work, and potentially flagging up general issues, for example with cashier housekeeping, and not making sure a workspace is clean. This would result in almost immediate gratification in the form of changed behaviours.

In order to sustain these behaviours, Clayton suggested going ahead and “shift[ing] annual performance reviews to frequent check-ins”, suggesting that “the virtues … should be apparent”.

When making change, or intending to make a change in your life, whether it is seemingly calculated, random or manifested, Clayton’s words still hold gravity: “your change vision won’t be perfect. But it will make clear where you stand, put an end to any speculation and buy you time (though not much) to develop a plan.” You can go ahead and declare that you are going to quit smoking, maybe it has been advised for medical reasons beyond the standard adverts on TV about the correlations and causation involved with smoking (calculated) or, perhaps you’ve had a coughing fit, and felt the weight in your chest, swallowed hard, and said to yourself that that is enough (random), or maybe because it is January, and you wish to kick the habit this year (manifested). You can declare you are going to quit smoking, but, how you do you go about it; are you buying nicotine patches, are you going to go cold turkey, or are you going to quit through capping yourself, reducing your number of cigarettes until you no longer crave the satisfaction from nicotine after a long, hard, day? It’s all about planning how you wish to achieve a result.

And, of course, just like when you are striving to quit smoking “though your change vision is critical … that picture will seldom stay the same from the start of a change … to its finish.” Some days you might have only allocated yourself two cigarettes, and something pushes you over the edge and you have a third cigarette. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer trying to quit smoking, it means that, you had a third cigarette instead of only having two.

It’s okay to have these experiences, wobbles, struggles, and whatnot when trying to instigate change, and when it is a larger change, which impacts a wider scope of people, such as an institutionalised change, where procedures once part of the furniture are being thrown into a theoretical skip, you need to know that not everything in your office, in your company, in your corporate routine, can be recycled. Instead, as Clayton suggests “Managers should focus on behaviours that will be critical for the future of work and will support change objectives, such as working successfully on a hybrid team, supporting co-worker inclusion, practicing compassion and empathy and, yes, becoming more agile.”

Seeing may be believing. But, speaking is achieving. Speak an idea into existence, and you can lay the foundations for some significant changes.

Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (, is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address:

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