I love a good list. Writing them makes me feel like I’m getting organised. Crossing items off the list brings great delight. Most gardening books, magazines, and websites are full of them. Month by month lists of what to do in the garden. Lists of which vegetables to sow when and when to harvest. And so on.
The challenge with these pre-made lists is two-fold. First, the light, soil, water, and frost realities of everyone’s garden is different. And this impacts your month by month jobs list. Second, the vegetables and flowers I want to grow are never all on one of the pre-made lists. Usually they are spread over 3 or 4 lists resulting in my need to consolidate.
Herein lies the challenge. Pre-made lists are generic, focusing on the popular items. However, our lives and work are not generic, they are specific.
This is also true in our approach to change and digital transformation. Lists are available. 7 step programmes to change. Or 10 principles of data protection. And so on. These lists, steps, principles can be helpful. They often give us ideas of how to think about our specific situation. How to frame it, lay it out, questions to ask. However, we always need to do the work of contextualisation. It is in the contextualisation that the lists become meaningful, relevant, and owned.
The thing is that most of us do not want to do the work. We want the pre-made list to hang on the wall and check the box. The reality is that you need to make your own list. It will pay dividends for years to come.