A step we forget whenever we look at making change is to see what we already have available.
Very few of us start from scratch.
If you are reading this, chances are you have experiences, lessons learned, a network of
It’s so easy to get fixated on what we don’t have.
The gap between where we are now and where we want to be.
That first (often neglected) step of evaluating your current state can help you shrink the gap.
It just depends on the questions you ask.
It allows us to take a look at our current state through the lens of what we are already doing well.
Even if the answer is “not much” – appreciative inquiry allows us to search for the things that we might have neglected that are within arm’s reach.
- Is there a friend who already models this change or knows someone who can help? Who is doing this well?
- Do I have a tool that I can retrofit to perform a quick experiment?
- Have I done something similar in the past? What worked? What didn’t? What do I want to try this time?
- What resources are close-to-hand that I can leverage for this change?
- Is there a process or habit that I already do that can help?
- What skills and knowledge do I already have that I can leverage?
- What skills and knowledge are close-to-hand?
I have found that the practice of small experiments with whatever is lying around allows me to do the following:
- Learn on the cheap. I can see what processes need work before asking for expensive resources. It also allows me to more clearly identify gaps and WHY they are gaps. Often, the gaps are behavioral.
- Shrink the gap between where I am now and where I am going. The small experiments often prove that I have what I need, I just needed to shift my perspective and behavior slightly.
Appreciative Inquiry is an invitation to get resourceful. Use what you’ve got. Spend your time in early execution determining the human/personal challenges before spending money on a new tool you can blame.
By knowing what you have close-to-hand, you can get started on the change you wish to make more quickly. You may find the gap isn’t as large as you feared.