Recently, I was reading a newsletter thread about life in Canada. It was full of descriptions of life experience – cost of living, politics, how safe people felt, worries, transportation, healthcare and so on. It was fascinating. My initial response was to confirm that it was indeed talking about Canada. It did not sound like it to me. This wasn’t my Canada. Or at least my experience of it or memory of it.
The thread was started by someone living in Victoria, British Colombia. The west coast of Canada and in a city. I grew up and lived in Niagara in Ontario, which is a few thousand miles away from Victoria. And I grew up in the countryside, not the city. And just to be clear, not the countryside out in the wild where farms are thousands of acres and your nearest neighbours are miles away. But still a farm and not an urban environment. And the thread was from this week. Not 20 years ago, when I was living in there.
Context matters. Not only for an experience about living in a country, but also for working in an organisation, working with specific people or working on change. Context helps us think about where, when, with what, and with whom folks experience the problem you solve or the change you seek to create. Too often we stay in the general, in the frameworks, in the theory. We tend to fear specifics. And yet it is in the specific context that change occurs.
What is the context you are seeking change in?