One question every producer should ask before they reject project change (and potentially miss out on the opportunity it brings)
It’s easy to think of all project change as bad, but doing the same old thing is how you end up with the same old thing. It’s why one of a producers’ core skills is knowing when to take risks — because innovation requires a departure from the status quo. Creativity thrives on randomness and disorder, and we need to lean into it if we’re going to capitalise on the opportunity there.
It starts with being able and confident to go off plan — to make constant course adjustments based on the changing shape and needs of the project context. And the only way to get good at that is (ironically?) changing how you feel about change.
We fear change, but I think it’s because we haven’t consciously processed that there are different types of change. There’s change we want and change we don’t. Then there’s change we see coming and change we don’t, and you want to be careful not to conflate one type for the other: just because we didn’t expect something doesn’t mean it isn’t desirable. A producer needs to know and spot the difference so the team can act in a way that’ll benefit the project the most.
All change is disruptive, so judging whether it might be valuable based on convenience will always result in a “no”.
A better qualifying question is, “How might the disruption be worthwhile?”
Get the right mix of people around the problem and explore the possible upsides before rejecting it.
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