Pace and Flex

by | Oct 23, 2020 | Change |

pace and flex

We’ve had a crazy 36 hours. Car accident, washing machine breakdown, child’s birthday and birthday party, architect meeting, oven replacement visit, insulation delivery, birthday present deliveries. All on top of regular jobs and parenting.

Everything came to a head.

In some ways it was inevitable. We have a lot of projects on and our scheduling seemed to be hit with many cancellations and rebookings.

Pacing is a skill. Change involves a lot of new things. Rarely does a change project happen in a way where it feels like we’ve taken out the old and slotted in the new. Change is rarely like changing or replacing a worn out bolt or picture hook. Organisational change is more complex. It has a lot of moving parts. Knowing how to pace the ‘parts’ is an art form. Yes, spreadsheets and gantt charts can help ‘see’ the pieces and an ideal path. But when does change ever follow the planned ideal path?

The art of pacing is often about flex. Where to have it and how much of it to have. And ensuring you can move the flex around so momentum can be maintained. You need flex because there are always unexpected incidents like car accidents which can’t be anticipated in the traditional sense. We can’t know when they will happen, but we can know that they will happen. Finance deals with these with a contingency line. Change makers use flex.

And here’s the thing. Sometimes change makers use flex to maintain pace while dealing with external influences outside their control. Other times, change makers use flex to pause, bring the team together, to see the big picture again.

Photo by Peggy Anke


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