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Do The Work

Doing the work is fundamental. Yet, if we we’re honest, many of us are tempted by short-cuts. We look for quick wins. We settle for just enough. We distract ourselves. And when we look back over our shoulders, the mountain of work is still there, waiting for us. It might even appear to be a little bit bigger now. When we stop figuring out how to get around it, we realize that the only way to tackle the mountain is to start climbing. On why that’s a really good thing.



Storytelling In The In-Between Spaces

Liminality—the idea of in-between spaces as a source of growth and transformation—is a simple construct that’s difficult to live through. The art of storytelling is a complex, rich mine of insight with a similarly simple construct beneath it. The traditional of three-act narrative owes a lot to liminality, because it borrows a great deal from how to navigate the places in-between. Story is what shows us how to live, to imagine and to consider what’s possible. The same structure is what allows us to grow and succeed.



Inhabiting In-Between Spaces

I’ve been exploring liminality and in-between spaces in a few posts. And while the structure is simple, and the ideas it offers are profound and meaningful, actual living in and transitioning through liminal spaces is often anything but clear, ordered or certain. There can be a great deal of fuzziness, frustration and even fear. I thought it would be helpful to explore what it’s like to actually live in the in-between spaces.



Working In The In-Between Spaces

The idea of liminality is a simple one. It describes a progress by which significant transformation can occur. But within a simply presented model, there are a lot of moving parts. Attempting to navigate through in-between spaces takes work and effort. Knowing what to look for and what to expect helps make that a little bit easier.



Facilitation – A Peek Behind The Scenes

I more often share how I think, rather than how I work. This week, I shift that around a bit. I’ve been facilitating for decades, and learning and adjusting what that looks like constantly. What I’m finally (mostly) comfortable with is what’s in my kit. These are the essentials that I won’t go into a meeting room without. To some, it may be overkill, but it’s how I go in prepared.



Sussing Out Project Success

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague recently about how to represent project success, and to do so simply. He’s an accountant, and a municipal one, so he’s interested in money and politics are an inherent part of the equation. They are two ingredients that make the interpretation of success messy. It doesn’t have to be.



Language Gets In The Way

Language is critical. Navigating change involves creating language. At the same time the language that we use gets in the way. The words we choose to communicate our message are essential to our ability to create meaning. But we don’t always do a good job in exercising choice. We obfuscate and we obstruct. We choose obscure and complicated words because we think they sound good. In doing so, we undermine meaning. And we do so at our peril.



Change Is About Creating Language

Words have power. When we create change—and when we build processes—words become particularly important. Not for how we sell the process (although that’s also significant), but for how we define and think about the process itself. Taking the time to get words right is some of the most meaningful work we do in managing change.



The Role & Place For A Devil’s Advocate

We’ve all been challenged by that one person in the meeting who opposes everything, simply for the sake of opposing. Or because they’re afraid. Or because they just like to argue. The role of the devil’s advocate is challenged. It’s also challenging. But under the right circumstances, it can be hugely helpful.



Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

There’s a lovely expression that I came across a few years ago, that has helped me through some difficult and challenging situations: “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Or, in the original Polish, “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.” The origins of the phrase are a little uncertain, lost to the mists of time and…
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