Monday, May 21, 2012

worlds collide! (or, would liking Office 2010 more make me a better person?)

I may or may not have mentioned that, once upon a time, I was a technology trainer at a law firm, teaching  lawyers how to use their computers.  So I'm something of a Microsoft Office expert, though it's not a quality I whip out at a first meeting because, really, it's not my sexiest feature.

Recently I was upgraded at work to Office 2010.  For those of you who don't know (or don't care), it's pretty radically different from the version I had before:  instead of menus, which drop down, there are ribbons, which spread across (and aren't nearly as easter-baskety as I was hoping).  I could go into greater detail, but all you really need to know is that things changed, and I was not happy.

But here's the funny thing -- I work with change a lot.  I teach a class on resiliency and the importance of being able to flow with change.  I know that I should be focusing on the things I can control (e.g., my learning) instead of the things I can't (e.g., the fact that Ctrl+Shift+M no longer creates a new message but instead tells me that a feature in my voicemail isn't working).  I know that I'm in the "ending" phase, or possibly the "confusion" phase, and that, soon, I'll be onboard with all these great new features.  I know a lot about change, and yet... none of it actually makes it easier to use Outlook!

This is where the big question comes in -- am I more reluctant to changes in Outlook because I think I'm an expert in it?  And does identifying myself with the idea of "experthood" make it, in fact, harder to change?

I remind myself to have a beginner's mind with Outlook, to seek out other experts, and find work-arounds for the things that used to come "expertly."  But I won't deny that it's challenging and frustrating.  And it makes me worried -- am I more of an Office expert than I am a change expert?

And should I really be worried about being an expert at all?

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