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What’s behind great experiences: Adaptability

Every project has constraints. Money, time, technology, resources, etc. and we don’t like them at all. They don’t allow us to do the great things we imagined. The things that would be perfect and awesome. Our greatest work of all!

But… Is it really?

99,9% of times you will have some type(s) of constraint(s) on your work. The real challenge is how to overcome it and still build great experiences.

The psychology behind constraints

When we have less to work with, psychologists have found that we actually begin to see the world differently.

The above quote is taken from an article on Fast Company. This article is quite enlightening on what is creative work and the role constraints play.

If you think of creative work something that you do everyday, as part of getting things done, and not something purely artistic or a gift that you’re born with, you’ll notice that there are certain environments where you are more creative than others.

The study, mentioned on the article, referes two possible environments:

  1. without any constraint
  2. with constraints

On environment 1, the study observed that people had no incentive to think differently and we’re actually outperformed by people on environment 2, that when faced with constraints were led to think outside-the-box.

With constraints, things unfold quite differently. We dedicate our mental energy to acting more resourcefully. If you ask someone to design or build a product, you might get a handful of good ideas. But if you ask someone to design or build it while sticking within a tight budget, chances are you’ll get much better results.

So, short story, I see constraints as the article mentions:

Our problems, challenges, and opportunities may become more manageable with constraints that direct us to make the best out of what we have.

What you can do about it

Do not waste your energy complaining! Face constraints as an opportunity and adapt to them.

For example, you’re short on time? Face this as an opportunity to discover faster ways to work as a team. Short on money? You that amazing idea but doesn’t fit the budget. Find ways to simplify it. Most of the times, simple is better. You’re short on both time and money? Find out what is the best simpler product you can build.

The dark side

It might be impossible to work around some constraints and still build great experiences. In these cases think carefully if want to go through with that project, if yes I suggest that you try to negotiate the constraints to something more manageable.


This was the last article on the series “What’s behind great experiences”. Hope you enjoyed it!

What’s behind great experiences: Team Mindset

What’s behind great experiences: Communication

Author

Susana Vilaça

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