I’m not sure if you noticed, but 2020 hasn’t turned out how we expected.
- A global pandemic has killed 130,000 people (and counting) in the USA.
- We have all been hunkered down avoiding each other (to avoid COVID) leading to record levels of unemployment and economic collapse.
- The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have continued a long-running tragedy of racial injustice and led to nationwide protests and demands to abolish the police.
This isn’t a political newsletter, so I’ll won’t dwell on the causes or the solutions for these topics – but suffice to say that it has been a really rough year.
In times of great uncertainty and stress I have a tendency to retreat, to hide. I can think of days where I had a rough phone call, and I was totally unable to focus for the rest of the day.
When I ran Operations for Metaswitch, my team could tell things weren’t going well, because I would repeatedly throw a tennis ball off the wall of our warehouse to relieve stress. A little like this.
Within our industry, we’re obviously impacted by COVID just like everyone else, but for those of us in the Metaswitch ecosystem we also have uncertainty about the future of our favorite switching platform.
Will Metaswitch-a-division-of-Microsoft continue with exactly the same plans and product roadmap as before, or will things change? Will those changes be good or bad for telcos?
What does that mean for your future plans – for migrations, for new product roll-outs, for network upgrades?
Are you tempted to retreat? To freeze? To throw a ball repeatedly against the wall until you drive your coworkers insane?
Do the next right thing
If you recognize yourself in all of this, then let me share a couple of approaches that I try to use when I find myself struggling with uncertainty.
- Even if the long-term future is unclear, do you at least know what to do next? Can you “do the next right thing”?
- If you’re tempted to freeze – to do nothing – be sure to count the cost of that inactivity. Doing nothing is a decision too – and in choosing to pause you are losing out on the potential benefits of taking bold action.
- Is there anything you can do to reduce the uncertainty, or to better understand your options?
So tell me – either by replying to this email or in the LinkedIn comments – what’s keeping you up at night? What decision are you hesitating to make?
By the way, I think I’ve set a record with three pop-culture references in one article – let me know if you’ve spotted them all.