Understanding transition, and how it differs from change, has been a theme to my past year. An authority on both, American consultant William Bridges developed a transition model that distinguishes three phases: an ending to the status quo, the neutral zone and a new beginning. In the end, we know things aren’t going to be as they have been; in the neutral zone, we know what isn’t but we don’t yet know what is; and, in the beginning, we get a sense of a new present.
The 2021 February/March issue will mark my introduction as Douglas editor, which is both an ending and a beginning for me. Over a year ago, I made a big change in my life. My husband, sons and I moved from London, U.K., where I lived for over 15 years, back to Victoria, where I was born and raised. Although I was the only one returning to a once familiar lifestyle, my transition “back” has in many ways been one of a newcomer.
I returned with the freedom to see “home” from a new perspective; my many questions driven by curiosity and enthusiasm to understand what has changed, which, given the year, has been exponentially more than I expected. Over the last few months I’ve re-immersed myself in the South Island’s economy through conversations with a wide range of businesses and old friends; conferences like SIPP’s Rising Economy Week and VIEA’s State of the Island Economic Summit; and the many webinars that have taken the place of talks, information sessions and meet-ups.
This issue will also mark a year since the first lockdown. Changes to the way we live and work that initially felt temporary, or characteristic of the neutral phase, are now long-lasting, revealing hints of what the new beginning will look like.
The stories in this issue bring to light the changes that our community has chosen to hold onto: from the acceleration of innovation in health care and the realities — both good and bad — of working from home to a passion for living and doing business on the Island. Changes that positively enhance ways of working across organizations and businesses of many shapes and sizes.
In the February/March issue of Douglas, business owners, thought leaders and specialists have shared their unique experiences of this transition. These collective responses to change, through innovation and adaptation, show so much promise for Vancouver Island’s future prosperity. In reflecting on these insights, we can identify what is working and appreciate this phase — with all its challenges, achievements and insights — for what it is.