Suddenly the phrase “It’s the best I could do” is appreciated like never before. There is a global tolerance for imperfection and a reverence for anybody who is able to be productive in these uncertain times.
As a result, we have new sourdough bread bakers, teachers and doctors delivering service online, brick and mortar stores hosting online shopping parties, and kids making fairy houses with whatever they can find in the yard. And it’s awesome!
For too long our society has been caught up in perfection. From government policy to Instagram posts. It all needs to be perfect. There has been no room for correction, adjustment, or amendment without criticism. It’s not helpful and it doesn’t allow for bold change.
Survival has been the catalyst for risk-taking in these past few months. There have been mistakes but without people taking those risks, no businesses would have pivoted to new product delivery models, no organization would have adopted Zoom as a means of meeting, no Dad would have become a TikTok star and no broad sweeping government support packages for individuals, businesses and non-profits would have been rolled out so quickly.
I’ve seen first hand what happens when a group of passionate people with a wide range of views come together to tackle an issue. You’ve seen it too. A meeting is held and the issue is studied, analyzed and dissected. By the time the actual solutions are proposed it’s become complex, requires trial and error, and a risk lens is applied. At the same time opposing views have dug in. Unless someone at the table pushes hard and finds cover for the risk, the ambition to solve the problem dies for fear of backlash.
Is it time to rethink our end goal. Is it the perfect solution or taking a step in the right direction? Can we be tolerant of adjustments, corrections and second drafts?
As we plot the future of our communities and our province we need to make decisions with the best information we have in the moment.
Consider the village of Alma in New Brunswick with a population of 250 people, all of whom depend on 300,000 annual visitors for their local economy. Right now they are making tough decisions on how to balance safety and prosperity. They are going to need to make decisions that not everyone will agree with but they must move forward.
Act. Check. Adjust as necessary. These are the steps we all need to take as we innovate and possibly finding solutions to challenges that have existed for years.
We have a beautiful gift at our feet – a time when people are open to doing the best we can. A universal acknowledgement that perfection is pretty hard to achieve. A call for kindness.
This is the best chance we have for deep change. This is the time for taking bold action and recognizing that we will need to check and adjust.
As Voltaire once said, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” We need good right now.