Various forms of lockdown have brought many of us to a ‘liminal space’. Limen is the Latin word for ‘threshold’, the space in-between. One might find themselves in a liminal space upon being thrust by life circumstances from where they once were to a place where they have not yet found or settled into a new normal. Passage through the liminal space is typically an individual journey, however the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to an immense, collective liminal space, a global state of limbo.
We often enter a liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed, forcing us to transition in a way that we had not anticipated. The uncertainty and lack of control associated with such an experience is uncomfortable. Unsurprisingly, the liminal space is one we try to avoid.
While occupying a liminal state can be unsettling, we can choose to embrace this sense of uncertainty and vulnerability, using it to grow. It is difficult to predict what life will be like on the other side of this pandemic, but we can regard the liminal space we find ourselves in as an opportunity for innovation and transformation. By being open and receptive, we invite novel and creative ideas to flow.
There are more charities and not for profits than ever before and it is therefore essential for these organisations to consider what sets them apart. The human tragedy and growing need for support as a result of this pandemic is clear, but charities and not for profits should also recognise a chance to re-evaluate their business fundamentals, including strategy, planning, policies and governance. Such opportunities for review and improvement are rare.
As the Australian and global community returns to work over the coming months, we should approach this new phase with a revitalised sense of freedom, as well as an openness to new ideas and creative approaches.
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