change, choices, education

Step 190: Structured Flexibility and Flexible Structure

“At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.” ~ Goethe

This morning I had a terrific meeting with Dudley Blossom, the head of the Marketing Department at LIM College where I’m going to teach a class this Fall entitled “Guerilla, Viral, and Social Media Marketing.” We were tossing around ideas for the syllabus, getting it all down on paper. My first draft netted out at 6 pages, about 4 pages too long. To do that much editing, we needed to go back to the basics. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

This subject is so interesting because just when people think they’ve pegged the future of social media, there’s a beautiful disruption that takes content creators, consumers, and trend analysts in a new, never-seen-before direction. The way that the social media world exists today may be turned on its head by the time we wind up the semester in December. Still, we need to give students a sense of direction and give ourselves a way to change direction if the market warrants it.

What we need for this class is structured flexibility, or flexible structure. Social media, like yoga, like writing, like performance of any kind, needs to live in this in-between world. We have to be able to adapt on the fly. The more I think about my life and its directions, the more I see that I’ve been working on the skill of adaptation for many years, from so many different angles. A millieu of commitments made and commitments changed. As my friend, Amanda says, “You can choose 1 side or the other of an argument, but sitting on the fence is the weak position. And know that if convincing, contrary evidence is presented to you, you can change your position.”

I’m taking Amanda’s sage advice, and applying it to my syllabus for the LIM class and my life in general. Choices, and conviction behind those choices, do have a magic to them.

The image above can be found here.