Unfolding plans 197 – Visible spectrum of change

There is nothing more magical than a rainbow.  (There is nothing faster than a Post Office van but that is another story.)  There is something about seeing the ephemeral band of colours splashed across the sky that brings out the spiritual in me.  If there was one thing that would make me believe in a higher being then a rainbow would be very high up on the list.

I’ve never yet found the pot of gold.

Taking the romance out of it though the sunlight is split into its component wavelengths and what we see are those within the range of our visibility.  Apparently the visible part of the spectrum accounts for about one per cent of all of the wavelengths of light that occur.  So if we were able to see more the whole sky would be filled with new shades of reddish and blueish tones. There would be colours that we can’t imagine.

A rainbow though is a useful metaphor.  You knew I’d get there in the end.  Stuart and I were talking about new ways of working and a more agile approach to what we do.  We were lamenting the fact that the new ways aren’t one thig.  Everyone has a different understating of what being agile is.  I imagined a spectrum, a sliding scale, at which I was at one end, the blue end perhaps and the analogy leapt from there.

I think what worries people when moving from so called more traditional ways of working (remember that coming to work is a recent invention) to more flexible arrangement is that they will be railroaded into a one size fits all approach and for any approach to fit all it needs to be the lowest common denominator.  Yet so called new ways or modern ways of working need not be that.  It should be a broad church.  There should be no absolutes but rather a range of options.

There needs to be a visible spectrum of change.

You can work in any way that suits you and your colleagues best as long as it is somewhere between red and violet.  Being infrared is just too old fashioned while being ultraviolet is just too whacky to be acceptable.

Don’t take this too far though.  I’m not suggesting that the acceptable options represent only one per cent of all possible options but you get the picture.

Life is a rainbow, an arc in the sky, a wonderful trick that brings sunshine and hope on rainy days.  For everything we do there should be an acceptable range of behaviours, a visible spectrum within which anything goes.  We should celebrate the diversity of approach that humans can bring, we should bask in the glory of all the colours and learn from the different ways that people approach their lives.  A rainbow is a good metaphor.  It has start and an end with a below and an above. It is a sliding scale where the colours appear distinct yet merge into each other. There is stuff you can see and that which you have to believe in.

There is nothing more magical than a rainbow.

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