Sarah McGowan Dear

We Heart Transformation

In Business Therapy, Clients on July 14, 2012 at 12:08 am



Recently a friend texted me asking my philosophy on facing change. Not exactly light fare for a text, but she was serious and as anyone who knows me well can attest, I’m always up for a philosophical debate on the subject.

“My serious and most obvious answer is – it’s transformative. I love change because it’s where the magic happens. It’s the place where we notice the details. When we’re too comfortable, we tend to miss a lot.”

And when we’re facing change, especially on a large scale, we tend at first to only see what we’ve always known, fearing what the change will certainly require of us: resilience, creativity and adaptation. But as the old adage goes, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.”

The precipice of change looks different to each of us and we approach it depending on how we’re feeling, thinking and doing at any given moment.

When we first met the good folks at the Altadena Urban Farmers’ Market (new name to be debuted soon!), our clients came to the table with varied perspectives, concerns and emotions. Some were excited and embraced re-branding, some were a little confused about what branding even meant, and some were hesitant about what an evolving identity would mean for the market’s sense of history, values and vision for the future. But each one of these perspectives added value to the process – by coming to the table feeling something, we knew that our clients were engaged, invested and would ultimately provide the nutrients for a healthy conversation around the market’s next evolution.

For our Make Your Mark winner, the precipice is a big one: what began as a radical experiment in hyper-local exchange quickly outgrew its grassroots. As a much-loved marketplace, its temporary closure has presented both challenges and opportunities that are rightfully a little daunting. But luckily for them, the great thing about working together is that you have the potential for far greater outcomes than if you face the edge alone.

During the market’s hiatus, its organizers have been hard at work re-imagining what the market will become when it re-opens in the Fall. And if our recent branding exercise with our winner is any indication, we’d have to say that the market stands to experience some pretty serious and magical transformation.

With a renewed sense of purpose, enthusiasm and vision, our clients offer proof that when we come together to create, anything is possible.

(We hope you love the featured video above on murmuration – another gorgeous example of the transformation that takes place when the many become one. From Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.)

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