Um... the ball is in the air

I suppose in a literal sense it would involve some heavy equipment, a relatively large crew, planning, co-ordination and enough time to make it happen, but in a figurative sense it seems “moving the goal posts” is comparatively simpler — at least it feels that way.


Moving the goalposts (or shifting the goalposts) is a metaphor, derived from goal-based sports, that means to change the criterion (goal) of a process or competition while it is still in progress, in such a way that the new goal offers one side an intentional advantage or disadvantage. (Wikipedia)

A situation that is frustrating to be sure.

Although I will say, its cousin “Moving the goalposts while the ball is in the air” will bring the toughest to a knee (sometimes pounding the ground and uttering those icon words, “Damn you, damn you all to hell.”). In this case it’s all about chronology, the goalposts get moved after you have initiated the activity(s) to meet the goal — you kicked the ball, it’s in the air, it’s on target… and then the goal posts get moved. Incredibly frustrating for the kicker (and her team), figuratively speaking.

There is no commentary regarding how to stop this from happening — the world is a dynamic place; something it will always be. The posts will move because someone wasn’t thinking, deliberately wanted to shift the posts for their advantage, lacked an appreciation their actions would impact what you are doing, had to react to a situation outside everyone’s control, et cetera, et cetera. It’s simply a truism that the posts will move; not always, but more than you would like.

Stay aware, over communicate and validate what you are doing will still achieve your goal, and as they say, never assume. And if the ball is in the air when those goal posts move there are two options that come to mind — figure our how to kick another ball very, very quickly, or figure out where the ball will land, have a plan to pick it up, and kick it through the posts before they move on you again. And remember, even if you miss scoring, you have still progressed the ball, and that’s the most important thing,

All figuratively speaking of course.


Ridiculous beginnings...


All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or a restaurant’s revolving door.Albert Camus

If you are like me and don’t know who Albert Camus is I will save you the Wikipedia search: Albert Camus (Nov 7, 1913 - Jan 4, 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He also won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, and then died three years later.

This is one of the reasons I love just “wandering around” once in a while — one minute you don’t know, and the next you do. Not only had I never heard of Albert Camus, I’d also never heard of absurdism. Let me save you another search…

absurdism [əb-ˈsər-ˌdi-zəm] noun: a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe.

I suppose at the heart of this I simply like discovery and learning something new — it makes me more interesting at cocktail parties (although admittedly it’s utter conjecture). Aside from the joy that comes with discovering new things I did find the quote insightful, particularly if you are searching for something new.

This experience had me thinking of all those forced “brainstorming sessions” of the past and whether we ever really got anything new out of them — there was lots of discussion, lots of sticky notes, countless flip charts stuck to walls, and in the end, we always ended up with a list of activities that looked very similar to what we were already doing. I wonder if it would’ve been more productive to give everyone the objective, put $100 dollars in their pocket, and have them to wander the city for the day. Everyone would meet later in a park to discuss people’s experiences and what they came up with. No flip charts, no sticky notes, no group stretching exercises to “get the blood flowing”; just lots of conversation and discussion after a day of “discovery” (with someone taking notes). Or to Albert Camus’s point, something even more ridiculous.

Albert reminded me of a universal truism — if you keep doing things the same old way you will get the same old results. And this is fine, until of course, you start getting results you don’t want.

I wonder if this aligns with his thoughts on absurdism?


Maybe I should...


Lee and I have known each other forever, and although an exaggeration, we did start our careers together a very long time ago. I was in sales and he was my trusty Product Manager — we were a small group, misunderstood, laughed loudly, and most importantly, were very, very profitable. All in all, it was a great way to start a journey.

As with most starts, you ultimately find yourself moving forward and taking paths you never expected — mine had me wandering around North America and Lee found himself enjoying Europe. Our paths would cross once in a while and we would pick up where we had left off, and we always laughed. Social Media has made it easy stay connected and a quick note is always a click away.

One such note found its way to me the other day. It was a message that simply said,

“Graham!  saw your latest post. Sooner or later you are going to end up on a business video on the airplane entertainment system.  Best wishes...”

It made me smile and couldn’t help but imagine the celebrity that comes with closed circuit TV — it also had me saying, “Maybe I should”. Although there are a few hurdles that I’ll have to overcome, particularly the fundamental loathing that comes with having myself filmed or listening to my voice, none are show stoppers (something that will need to be addressed though). And when I weigh it against all the new skills I’ll develop, this really should be categorized as a no brainer.

To Lee’s point, it’s not that I don’t have a reasonable amount of content…

So here I am preparing for a little adventure that has nothing but upside because at the very least I will end up learning something new. There is some work to do for sure — I need to think of my formula, the production qualities I’ll use, what voice to use, the content needed (and a number of other things I don’t know enough to think of). What I can say is that there’s already a working title for my fledgling video series:

“Fasten your seatbelt”

It does feel right, and I’m certain it’ll position me well to enter the challenging and competitive world of airline entertainment. At the very least, I will ensure I do right by Lee.


PS: If Derek, Marc, Doug, Natalie or Francois happen to be reading this, I hope all is well.