As I wrap up my first month as Creative Lead at Blue Daring, it seems natural to write my first post here about newness. I’ve been personally experiencing quite a lot of it lately, as anyone does when starting out a new job. Absorbing a different set of clients, negotiating unfamiliar procedures, getting set up in new routines and physical spaces—where in the world are the folders kept?… Yet despite all the unknowns and pervasive questions it’s also felt oddly familiar. Why?
Perhaps I’m well practiced. Not at taking up new jobs, but at taking on newness. Part of the design process is embracing the unknown, accepting that we don’t know everything, and being comfortable at diving in to figure things out. I don’t really know much about far-flung topics like firefighting equipment, Cuban culture, or workforce education, but these are the worlds of our clients that I need to represent. And since part of my role as a designer and communicator is relating what’s really important about those things to other people, I get right to work at understanding all of that “newness.” In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job.
Being new at things is something most of us shy away from:
- What’s familiar is comfortable, and we tend to embrace, identify with, or even cling to those things we know we’re good at.
- We avoid practices that take time and effort—hey, I’m busy here!
- We learn that failing is bad, and overcoming newness implies an awful lot of stumbles along the way.
- We love to feel smart, and confronting newness’s lesson that “maybe we don’t know, maybe we’re even incompetent!“—is scary and to be avoided.
But getting comfortable doing the same thing all the time is no strategy for business growth and especially not in the (pardon the cliché) current economic climate. Eventually, it will be time to try something new, like it or not. So, embrace it! And find partners who are adept at new ideas and can not only make newness profitable but occasionally, well, fun.