Friday, November 11, 2016

I changed their notebook: Thoughts on change

For the last four years, I've used the same Mead greenroom notebook for my day-to-day note taking at work. I've you have ever worked with me, you know I take a lot of notes. My brain works by writing things down, then looking back on them and reflecting.

So - these day-to-day notebooks are a collection of meeting notes, to-do lists, brainstorming sessions, problem-solving. It's all in there. I label them by the date on the top. Depending on the season at work, they can last 2-5 months.

I always buy my next notebook ahead of time. I like to be prepared. I typically browse the notebook aisle every time I'm at Target.

A few months ago, I noticed another type of greenroom notebook. Still greenroom (I like the feel of the recycled paper) but a little bit different. I picked one up, then decided to go with old faithful.

The last couple of times I was in Target, all they had were the new greenroom notebooks. So, I picked one up to try it. And I've been using it for the past few months.

I have not liked it. It's large. It's flimsier and the perforated pages tear out too easily. I decided when I go back to Target, I'm going back to old faithful.

And - there were none. I panicked! Posted on Facebook, pleading for friends to check their Target for my staple notebook, offered to pay shipping. Buy all that you see! I will pay for it! I need them!

After some googling, I realized Mead changed the notebook. Old faithful is no more. This is the new greenroom notebook and there is nothing I can do about it.

You guys - I am not exaggerating when I tell you I lost an entire afternoon of productivity over this. Me, the productivity junkie. I sat there on Ebay, Amazon, everywhere I could think of - looking for my notebooks. I was not happy. How can I rock without one of my key tools? I was mad at myself for not hoarding up on old faithful when I had the chance, and missing the signs that a change was coming.

Then - that night when I was driving home from work (yes, still thinking about my precious notebooks and how it was over) something hit me.

I changed their notebook.

Almost two years ago, I came to Myrtle Beach and became the News Director. This is not me taking credit, please understand that. This is me mourning the loss of a notebook and having an epiphany in my SUV.

I changed their notebook.

I preached "break the template" and "blow up the rundown" and "put the new in and kick the old out" until I was blue in the face. We added new people with a different vision and a faster pace and more newscasts and got a new set and a new graphics package. Things are very different than they were two years ago. We have had a lot of change.

We have a new notebook.

And you know what? They did it! My team persevered. I know not all of them liked it. They liked old faithful. They had done it that way for a long time, and done it well, and it worked.

Then I came in with the big, flimsy notebook with the pages that easily fall out. Metaphor here, people. Follow me.

I changed their notebook.
And they survived. Thrived. Made me so proud. Put up with me as I figured it out along the way. They trusted me.

So - I decided - I will be okay. If they could do it, I can too.
I need to break the template. Embrace the new. Change is inevitable. And it's going to be okay.
And I should practice what I preach, anyway.

I'm finally reaching the end of the flimsy notebook. And I haven't bought another one. I have a few to try. And it's going to be okay.
This is not a political post. I promise you it's super random that I am sharing my change epiphany three days after the election. This notebook thing happened the first week of October. Things have been a little crazy, so I am just getting to writing this out.

But - maybe we should all give the new notebook a chance. And if we don't like it, we will have a chance to try another one in the future. And we will be okay.