We were literally between a rock and a hard place. A century old Cornish rock wall and a cement block wall. The 12 to 24 inch gap between was full of decades old rubbish, glass, metal, and soil. And interspersed were stones from where the wall had crumbled.
It was slow going, dirty work. Some sections were easily dealt with using a shovel. Others required a mattock. And still others crowbars, levers, and 27 different attempts. Due to the narrow gap we were working in, we often found ourselves in awkward positions.
But we kept at it. For hours. And we made progress. Maybe not as much progress as we hoped, but progress nonetheless.
Change, especially organisational change and digital transformation, is often like this. It’s slow, awkward, happening in challenging environments, and requiring many different tools. And often we get ‘dirty’ in the process. And yes, sometimes it happens easily, but most often we need 27 or more attempts.
Frameworks can aid the change maker(s) plan and analyse approaches to change. And what the pieces of the puzzle are. However, central characteristics of change makers are traits like persistance, perseverance, courage, consistency, and creativity.
Change makers show up. Consistently. They keep at it. Try new approaches. Yes, sometimes they pause, reflect, or get a second opinion. But they pause to keep going, to try again.
And while the progress is slow, they focus on the progress not on the slow.