Who doesn’t like to be comfortable? Comfortable ways, places and tasks make us feel safe, secure and confident. Familiarity provides reassurance. When we carry out research that is comfortable, we get the benefits of doing what we know, publishing where we know, and disseminating to whom we know, how we know.
Yet, comfort does not just shelter from sorrows, it contributes to them too. In his book, ‘The Accidental Creative’, Todd Henry casts comfort as an enemy of personal growth, creativity and innovation. Comfort beguiles into stagnation and stasis – ultimately harming the work we do and ends we seek. Instead, Henry challenges us to step beyond comfort to engage in that which truly challenges our knowledge, skills and experience.
If your research were to move beyond comfort in 2015, how would it be different? What new ways of thinking, seeing and funding will you engage with? What new designs and methods will you learn? What journals will your qualitative research be published in to reach new and different audiences? What new ways will your research change the world?
Stepping beyond comfort is challenging for any of us. Yet, doing so is important for all of us – from those doing early graduate work to seasoned senior professors sustaining long-term research programs. Nor is this step beyond comfort easy. Mentors can help by supporting us and organizations by rewarding us, but ultimately, the onus rests on the individual scholar.
As you move beyond comfort in your qualitative research in 2015, the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology (IIQM) is here to help. The IIQM-Atlas.ti Qualitative Master Class Webinar Series enables you to learn about the latest cutting-edge methods from international experts. IIQM’s workshops address the key skills needed for all types and stages of qualitative research in the modern world. The open-access International Journal of Qualitative Methodology (IJQM) publishes new methodological innovations and proposals and IIQM’s world-renowned international conferences disseminate your work and build your life-long networks.
We thank you and IIQM’s sponsors for your ongoing support and look forward to empowering and sustaining you to keep stepping beyond comfort in your qualitative research for 2015 and beyond….
Alex Clark, Chair, IIQM Strategic Advisory Board
Bailey Sousa, Acting IIQM Director
For more details on IIQM’s webinars, workshops and events, please visit the IIQM website (www.iiqm.ualberta.ca)