by Sara Luther
with all due respect...

…the itch is the point

I’ve been reflecting on some of the change-seeking work we do with fantastic organizations, and I notice a particular theme. Most people mean well, want change, and get excited when we’re “doing the work” together. They can feel the shift, they can see what’s possible, then….

…the bumpy reality of the day sets in. The tasks, the meetings, the decisions, the old habits, the friction, the struggling relationships, oh the noise, noise, noise, noise.

The impact? The bumps cause a motivation slump.

I believe these bumps are given too much weight. They are seen as a roadblock, a barrier, a sign of failure. Rather, I see the necessary and required tension between moving from the place you’re in, to the place you’re trying to get to.

For example, we often work with teams to illuminate how they are doing on factors such as trust and integrity. We open new and needed conversations and bear witness to what’s on track and what’s not. We encourage a reflective practice where the first “agenda” items are the ones that only you, the individual, can check off as done. So, when the day gets in the way of that progress, yes, it can feel itchy.

I want everyone to know, feeling the itch is, YOU DOING YOUR PART! You’re in, eyes open, there’s an awareness. The next step is permitting yourself time to scratch. Doesn’t that feel good!

Afterward, take a minute, celebrate, and commit to hitting repeat on that action item. Weave it into your full days, don’t ignore the desired change because your days are full.

Actively being involved in shifting a culture is not always easy and often itchy. However, it is compellingly worthwhile to try – bumps and all!