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  • Writer's pictureTidy Content

On being the tiniest nail

Looking back when another year passes, it’s easy to downplay or even forget how much we achieved.

At work, we might be worn down from fighting the good fight and wrestling with organisational inertia: the daily tug-of-war over the same old things, feeling like a broken record, now too tired to focus on anything other than a much-needed rest.

Change, impact and transformation sound great, grandiloquent - yet often exhausting.

Be effective, efficient, proactive, confident, assertive, impactful, influential, inspiring, and motivational. Don't sweat the small stuff, and keep your eyes on the prize. Dream big and work hard to put a ding in the universe.

Yet maybe our greatest achievements are the seemingly small and unnoticed actions and interactions of our everyday lives.

The kindness we show, the patience we have, the little acts we do to make other people’s days just that little bit easier, smoother or more pleasant.

Perhaps in the new year, when we’re asked to compose our resolutions, sketch out ambitious plans, write up our personal objectives, KPIs and OKRs, we should think about all the little things that will help us get there.

A thoughtful word, a nod of encouragement, lending an ear, a shoulder, or a pair of hands.

Considering the small stuff rather than worrying about the big stuff.

Wishing with American poet Mary Oliver to "be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful.”

Our highlights

✍ Content design

Jack Garfinkel, Medium

Scope’s senior content designer writes about how their team uses research to make decisions about content. They reflect on why it’s important to be clear about what we don’t know, and what we think we know.

📣 Language

Danica Salazar, The Guardian

Who owns the English language? With an estimated 1.75 billion people speaking it worldwide, Danica Salazar argues that the borrowing of words is part of the natural evolution of all living languages.

💡 Accessibility

Craig Abbott, DWP Digital

A reflection on how accessibility is no longer just a skillset attached to other roles but its own profession, which is changing the culture of organisations.

🔮 Trends

Jacob Stern, The Atlantic

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new chatbot in town. Is it a powerful new tool that could cause all kinds of trouble or just a meme machine, as Jacob Stern argues in this article? Take a look at these examples and decide for yourself.

💻 Digital

Anonymous author, I thought about that a lot

My Mum is 84 and she doesn’t have a digital footprint. In fact she is one of the 4.2 million people in the UK aged 65+ who have never used the internet, and she never will.” A powerful story that reminds us about the perils of ‘digital by default’.



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