Attempt the Impossible

Joanna Zimmerman

The first time someone sent me this article, I kindly accepted their suggestion and went on with my business. Though I like to remain informed about matters affecting my hometown, I was busy on this particular day and didn’t have time to read it. But, after receiving the article two more times, ignoring it proved much more difficult.

Titled “How A Young Community Of Entrepreneurs Is Rebuilding Detroit” the article, featured in Fast Company, describes how people of various ages and backgrounds are working to restore my hometown to its former glory. While the magnitude and approach of their methods differ vastly, they all seem to share an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to scoff at the impossible, while embracing the unknown.

After spending my entire childhood in this fading city, I know just how difficult rebuilding will be. But, because the article reminds us “Where everything’s broken, anything’s possible,” the thought of tackling this seemingly insurmountable quagmire of despondency leaves me not just inspired by these men and women but invested in the outcome of their efforts.

As all good writing does, this piece forced me to think about my own challenges, especially in the workplace. What is my version of the impossible and the unknown? What areas of my work am I not improving because I haven’t thought critically and creatively? If we’re lucky, many of us work in companies where “everything isn’t broken” — places where paths have been blazed and guidance is available.

Even in these settings, however, attempting to implement new processes can seem daunting. But I encourage everyone, as I encourage myself, to engage your managers, those you manage and your peers. You’re surrounded by invaluable resources, and it’s your duty to make the most of them, especially because you never know what may inspire your next great idea.

Detroit’s gradual rehabilitation is poignant because people are looking underneath the city’s neglect to rediscover its beauty. Attempting the impossible requires you to embrace the opportunities and challenges around you and occasionally approach situations in unconventional ways. This is not only a model for fixing what’s broken, it’s also a model for creating something new and better.

Reaching a Tipping Point

By Craig Messenger

Every successful company has a tipping point — a situation when a series of incremental changes reaches a level that triggers explosive growth. The key to creating an environment that nurtures these substantial changes — whether in your personal or professional life — is to take a hard assessment of your current position and find ways to leverage it. Obviously, this is much easier said than done. But being willing to take a series of small steps can lead to outsized results.

Zarca Interactive held an important summit last week for this very purpose. While we feel on the brink of a tipping point, the steps we take now will determine whether we actually reach it. Throughout the many sessions, the wide-ranging discussions enabled different departments to understand their common purpose, while also giving everyone insight into each department’s daily processes. We were left with a deeper appreciation for our roles and an understanding that every decision matters.

These sessions proved beneficial, but it was the larger message of the week that resonated more: namely, learning and adapting after making small mistakes is essential. While it’s okay to make new mistakes, as they provide new opportunities for learning, making the same errors repeatedly is unacceptable — it demonstrates stagnation rather than progress.

Though it may seem like I’m preaching, I feel there’s important truth in this message. Recognizing opportunities (which are often disguised as difficulties) for growth, and taking advantage of them, is integral to this company’s culture and the key to being successful with any company.

Training Day

My first three weeks at Zarca Interactive have been a whirlwind. While the amount I’ve learned in such a short time has been staggering, I know there’s much more to come. I’m being trained as a Client Services Representative, capable of assisting clients and colleagues with any issues they encounter while using our system. As such, it’s extremely important that I know the system backward and forward.

Learning the intricacies of the Engage survey platform has been a difficult and fulfilling challenge. Because every client has unique needs, our system is extremely flexible, containing a variety of special features. Since each feature has its own unique purpose — whether it’s commonly used or not — there’s a lot for me to learn.

Thankfully, I’m not alone. Strong team cohesion has made my training much easier than expected. I’m surrounded by brilliant coworkers, ready and willing to answer my many questions. It won’t be long now until I assume the full responsibilities of a Client Services Representative, and then I’ll be the one providing answers for our many valued clients.