Year One Feels Like The Wrong Time For A Reboot

When you’ve been around the sun a couple of times with program work that repeats each year, you’ve already got your checklists and your calendars in place. The start of each new program iteration requires fine tuning, editing. Circumstances may dictate that you blow the whole thing up and start new, but even then you’ll still employ the arsenal of contacts and materials you’ve amassed, only in a different configuration.

But when it’s your first time around you have to get to build all those things from scratch. You design the calendar you want, recruit volunteers in your way, craft your curriculum. There’s a ton of creative freedom there.

Except it’s only new to you. Someone was doing this work before you (and well), and the infrastructure she built didn’t leave with her. Leave aside the burden of being compared to a predecessor; putting your own spin on work that others were doing before you means that people should be able to recognize what you’re doing as roughly the same thing as what was being done before. Year one feels like a terrible time to reboot.

For goodness’ sake don’t copy what you found in the files. Only don’t ignore it.

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