Going Swimming

by | Mar 18, 2022 | Ideas, Strategy


As a child I almost drown twice. Or at least it felt like it. Both times were in swimming pools. 30 years later I was white water rafting on the Nile River in Uganda, when I was thrown out of the boat mid rapid. I was likely underwater for longer in Uganda than I was in either swimming pool in Canada. But I didn’t feel like I was drowning. I remember the panic beginning to build, but eventually I popped up (about 3 to 400 metres from the rapid).

When we go swimming we may check the depth or look for rocks, but often we just check the temperature and jump in. If I watched our kids, it is how they approach a swimming pool. Although usually the jumping in is accompanied by shouting :). Most adults are the same.

And yet, as adults we are taught in project management to plan every inch of the project out before starting. In humanitarian aid, which is often implemented in complex environments, we still are forced to use out dated logical frameworks. Everything is linear, everything must be planned.

Perhaps we need to do more of what the celebrated author Margaret Atwood has said,

‘Never map it out, just get into it. Jump in, like going swimming.’

What could you ‘jump into today’?

Photo by Todd Quackenbush


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