I’m in one of those odd moments where I’m ready to go but have a few hours before I have to leave for the airport. I can’t tell if I’m in a bit of denial, or if I’m good to go, but I feel ready.
It’s hard leaving my wife and son for two weeks. That’s the hardest part. I also feel a sense of obligation and duty to discover something useful and actionable, yet strategic to bring back with me to Vancity. It’s a responsibility to my fellow staff and our members that I appreciate and want, but I know that it’s critical to deliver something.
As I work on our next three years online with my WEB Team (Web Engagement & Banking), we’ve been putting our opportunities into three buckets. The Strategic (this aligns with our vision of Redefining Wealth), the Opportunistic (what will be easy to implement based on other work going on at Vancity, especially in IT and at Central1) and the Fixit (what do we just need to get right). I like this sense of planning, because it creates clarity on what is strategic and what we just need to get done.
I feel the same way about this trip. Meeting with cooperatives in Bologna, learning about cooperative economics, seeing different models of how cooperatives operative, innovate and deliver should give me the same three levels of ideas. There will be a strategic layer that aligns with our vision, where every transaction our members make at Vancity has some positive benefit or impact on the greater region and our citizens. Those things won’t be quick fixes, they will require some effort and planning and likely several steps to get us there. There will be some things we can do opportunistically, those things that are low hanging fruit or tie into other things we’re doing that we can try almost for the sake of trying. And there are those things we just have to do because it would just simply make us better.
I say all that, but I’m not sure what it will look like. Will those ideas come to me? Will it be a lot of philosophy and great discussion that will be a struggle to turn into action? Or can we get some stuff done?
In the meantime, I’ve said goodbye to Ivan for what will be the longest time by far that I’ve ever been away from him, and to Amy, whose support is always so appreciated. I’ve set my out-of-office messaging. I’ve written and submitted my first of three guest columns to ChangeEverything, which Kate will publish during my time in Italy.
There’s nothing to do except open my mind and go experience something.
If you have questions, let me know. If you want to understand something while I’m there, drop me a comment. Part of my obligation is to you, the people who somehow find what I write interesting enough to follow along. I am eager to engage in discussion about what I am discovering.
Assuming I can find wifi…