Pedro Reis

This started as a post about communication. If you’re not interested in a long rambling about humans and growing and change, scroll down to the last two paragraphs. 

If you’re a parent you probably have gone through the wonderful menace that is experiencing humans change in front of your eyes. Not change like in a change of clothes (even if that seems to happen way too often) but change like: this child could barely hold their food inside of them and today is discussing things you can barely comprehend. And you know why it feels so overwhelming (and amazing)? It’s because it happens so unexpectedly fast and so often. We call it growing.

At some point, our bodies stop changing so fast and as it becomes less apparent - the change - we say we are becoming grown-ups. And we have learned that when we get there, change is not so welcome anymore. Changing ideas too often, changing jobs, clothes, hairstyles, relationships, and mood swings, are all seen as disadvantages. And why is that? It’s because society needs members that are consistently useful. It’s too hard to make a commitment to anyone, or to any one group, that is in constant change. So we hide and we hold and we fight change. And we believe that our minds also should stop changing. Growing. 

We hide our feelings and emotions because they might be uncomfortable. We hold actions because they are out-of-order. We fight ideas because they might be too crazy. And we stop growing.

So when we say “embrace change”, what are we really saying? Are we able to take discomfort? Can we live with uncertainty? Can we afford not to? 

At Komuhn we asked ourselves what this would look like. We put ourselves on a path to understand and allow change, complexity, difference, nuance, polarity. We did it because we think that if we want to do better we can’t stop growing. We have to be able and willing to always be curious and kind and optimistic. And this brings change and lots of it. We have outgrown ourselves. 

We have been so invested in this process that we suspended any attempt at describing ourselves, at explaining what we do, or starting conversations. But now we have procrastinated enough and we want to be able to do it with confidence and have fun with it. And it starts like this:

We don’t want to be grown-up, we want to be growing. How can we communicate this? How can we show this concept in content and in form?

My proposal is that we start by making this process exactly in the places where we want to be communicating in. And that’s why you're reading this. Instead of coming back here in 6 months and finding a new image, and new descriptions, and a new website, we want you here observing, criticizing, encouraging, helping as much as you want. We don’t know how it will all unfold but we like this way of finding it out.

Your turn. Any ideas?

Pedro Reis

What are you thinking?

Comments (6)

  1. charlene sequeira

    You spoke about not wanting to be grown-up and I completely agree. Because for me, being grown-up means having nothing more to grow into which is the opposite of what we want to be doing. Then there is “growing-up” that has two parts – the external face that encompasses achievements, new skills and outward metrics of being different and/or more than one was yesterday. But then there is the hidden internal “growing-up” the part where we are scared, insecure, uncertain and just plain lost. We don’t show that part often. And as we as a society have started to talk about human internal struggles on social media, certain professionals started to bring to light to very real human struggles of success or “growing-up” in their field.
    The idea of laying your journey open to external eyes is a intimidating yet freeing concept. Something like being on a nudist beach! 🙂
    An in progress website is a great way to show the present continuous tense of growing-up. I think it’s not a question of unfinished business, but a continuous journey with a variety of pit stops. No fullstops, just commas, semicolons, ellipses…

  2. Daniela

    We are change darers… we figured out one day… We started daring people to drive change within their context- and mostly we invented this ‘postion’ because none of the existing available job titles resonated with what we really were doing. Not being able to put into words what you do and package it in a compelling way for productiveness of the ‘grown-up’ world is a trait that many Pioneers and Misfits have. And adressing it directly is the best thing you can do! Engaging your audience in your outgrowing process and your thoughts is authentic and open! I personally have no idea why change is not welcome after reaching the age of 18 – but I tend to believe that this is only the case in ‘stable’, wealthy societies where people are suggested to aim for that one life-long job and practice routines and performance while not allowing for any type of radical change to mess with their ‘Key Performance Indicators’ . Luckily we get to make our own choices- and you at Komuhn have made your wise choices! So be brave and follow your own path even when self doubt pays a visit 🙂 Excited to follow this progress and see your team outgrow and never grow up! 🚀💃🏽

    1. Andréa Adão

      oh the self doubt. You just nailed it there, Daniela. Maybe self doubt is the best tool we human beings have in order to keep growing, and at the same time the one for we need more tools to be able to figuring it out and connecting to it.
      Designing a path is making decisions and existing in the vulnerable position it puts us into. And, for me, showing this process is committing to stay there, learning to put it into words, and sharing it with everyone around us.

      Thank you for your warm and encouraging words, Daniela <3

  3. nati

    I know you didn’t want praise, but how about appreciation and excitement? I have both after reading this and the main page. Is a fantastic idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing the journey

    1. Pedro Reis

      Thank you dear Nati <3 I didn't say we didn't want praise, I told you we were not looking for it! Meaning we want to learn what are your thoughts on this, what type of emotions and questions and feedback and critic it arises for you. But excitement and appreciation are appreciated 🙂 And coming from you it means a lot.

  4. Pedro Reis

    If you’re reading this, you probably have noticed we posted this in our unfinished website. We’re loving it! Learn more about this process here: https://komuhn.co/how-designing-a-website/ and let us know what you think about it, the process, not the website, I mean the website too if you want 🙂 Obrigado :*