3 brilliant questions to inspire change
Have you been putting off making major changes in your life or at work? Do you want to kick-start change in the world around us, or your immediate community? Or are you feeling stuck and in a rut? If so, this post is for you. Recently I’ve been feeling all 3 of these things until recent events gave me a massive injection of inspiration I wanted to share.
This post has been inspired by 3 major May events in my personal life. I watched the epic Beyoncé Homecoming film (this was April and May as I’ve had it on repeat since it dropped!) . I went to the first Aspire for Equality Trailblazers event in L. A. (my first ever overseas conference). And after getting engaged 6 weeks ago, I’m getting married at the end of May!
The theme that links all of these events is that they all involve major, impossible seeming positive change. In Homecoming, Beyoncé shares the vision behind her groundnreaking 2018 Coachella (or #Beychella) performance. At Aspire for Equality’s conference, we were encouraged to be TRAILBLAZERS – whether at work, in our own lives, or for the world around us. And as for getting married, I don’t need to explain why that’s a major life change!
As a Strategist, I love asking questions. The good questions. Ones that help people think differently. Ones that drive action. So here are 3 really good questions that have inspired me to kick-start change.
1. Who am I doing this for?
At the Aspire for Equality event, we were asked the question: ‘Who are you trailblazing for?’. The answers in the room were wide-ranging – from family and kids, to colleagues and causes. For me, it was about paving the way for my team, being a role model for my family and creating opportunities for Black women (in the creative industries). For my exercise partner (pictured), she was doing it for the disadvantaged communities where she lived and the animals that she loved. For another person I spoke to, it was all about her children and grandchildren. But despite the differences in answers, one thing stood out. By thinking about WHO vs WHAT we’re doing it for, it fired our passion. It made us think about the impact we want to have on those around us. And it reminded us why we wanted to be trailblazers in the first place which was a really motivating way to start thinking about the change we want to see. So if you’re thinking about making a change, think about WHO not just what you’re doing it for.
2. What legacy do I want to leave behind?
Beyoncé’s Homecoming was praised for shining a spotlight on the unseen and often unrecognised excellence of Black college culture in the US. And one of my favourite things about the performance and the film is the fact that several of those involved (from Beyoncé herself, to the dancers and crew) talk about the legacy they hope it will leave behind. Beyoncé was clear about the legacy she wanted the performance to leave behind and it inspired every aspect of the incredible effort to bring it to life. This quote from the film sums it up perfectly.
“The Youth Need To See Greatness Reflected In Our Eyes. Go Forth, Let Them Know It’s Real” — Danai Gurira
So if you’re looking to kick-start change, think about the legacy you want to leave behind and work backwards from there. It might just inspire you to take your vision to new heights!
3. How can I make this happen now?
Aka J. F. D. I. Often when we are thinking about making big changes, it’s easy to find reasons why now is not the time. We haven’t got the budget. We haven’t got time. We need to make it perfect. We need to improve our skills. But these reasons can actually hold as back from ever making the big bold change we want to see in the world. So by asking this question instead, it focuses us on what we CAN do NOW rather than what’s stopping us. When it came to planning a wedding, lots of the literature recommends allowing 12-18 months to set a date. But that wasn’t going to work for us. So instead, we asked this question and it massively refocused our energy and priorities. AND in doing so, it broke down the obstacles and helped us understand how to make it happen just 6 weeks instead! (The wedding is at the end of the month so watch this space to see what happens).
So change makers, what can you do to make change happen now? What can you do TODAY to get going?
At Brand by Me, we LOVE helping organisations kick-start change. So if you’re in a rut, do get in touch, to see how we can reinvigorate your brand.