Splitting with an axe looks much more simple than it is. I remember watching in awe as my Dad did when I was a boy. He seemed to know exactly where to hit the wood for it to split cleanly. Like so many things, it is an art form. And like most art forms, the artist chooses his/her materials carefully. Dad used to talk about different types of wood – I seem to remember cherry wood being his favourite. ‘Splits cleanly, smells delightful, and burns lovely.’
I’ve been splitting wood recently and I’m not very good at it (yet). If the log is dry enough that a small split line has started already, it helps me know where to aim for. If there is no split, it’s guess work for me. Guess work that mostly results in multiple thuds. I am learning though. And have the blisters and sore muscles as a reward so far.
Changing organisations and industries is a lot like splitting wood. An artform which is a marvel to watch when a true artist is at work. But most of us are learning. Learning where to inject change and how to find and then enhance the existing cracks. And yes, some of us are flailing around wildly hitting every which way.
The joy of a change maker is in those moments where we choose the right team, right tool, and ‘connect’ in the right spot and time. It is delightful. But to do this, the artists among us know, takes patience, listening, and practice.