“Dad, my shoes have shrunk!”
“My shoes shrunk, they don’t fit anymore.”
“Your kidding me!”
Our daughter’s first day back at school was this past Tuesday and as we were getting ready to leave, we dug out her school shoes from the pile. Discovering her shoes no longer fit was not what I wanted to hear 2 minutes before we needed to be out the door.
In the moments of panic, there was a lot of negative self talk happening in my head, mostly wondering why I didn’t notice this before and so on. Looking back, I realise our daughter spent the last 8-10 weeks either going barefoot or in her crocs. The last time she had her school on was sometime back in February or March. Unsurprisingly, she had grown.
Growth happens slowly. This is true in children, animals, and plants. And when we interact with them everyday, we often don’t notice it. But others do. And time gives us that perspective too.
Digital transformation and organisational change is like this too. Yes, there are moments of significant change like a growth spurt, but most of it happens drip by drip by drip. This is true of positive change, but also harmful change. And it can be hard to distinguish the two, especially at an early stage.
But is why we need perspective in our lives and work. We need that auntie who pinches your cheek while telling you how much you’ve grown. We don’t feel like we have, it is imperceptible to us, but we have. This is the power of mentors, coaches, and yes, even ethics board. They have distance which gives them a view we can never have on our own. They can ‘see’ things we can’t – both good and bad.
Shoes don’t shrink, feet grow, but often we need the shoes to realise we are growing.