Saturday, December 06, 2003

Learning to Live with "Igor"

As promised, blogging has been slow the past couple of weeks due to the shoulder surgery I had before Thanksgiving. I'm pleased to report that the surgery seemed to have had its intended effect in getting rid of the bone spurs. However, I have also had to learn to live with a tender and weak right arm. I've nicknamed the arm "Igor" as it kind of just hangs there and I sling it around as needed.

And Igor has taught me several things. Take the simple act of brushing my teeth in the morning. I'm right-handed...and Igor is on my right side. Have you ever brushed your teeth with the "wrong" hand? Wow, does it feel weird. Clumsy. Unnatural. New. Different. Slow.

And very, very wrong.

It takes me a lot longer than normal to brush my teeth. My gums hurt more, as I jam the brush in from an unnatural angle. I can't think about other things as I brush...I have to concentrate on this very mundane task or else my bicuspids get ignored badly. I don't like it. I'm working hard at my physical therapy, so that I can get Igor up high enough to take over again. But it's looking like it will be another 3 weeks before he's "up" to it.

What I've learned, afresh, is just how uncomfortable change is. Doing something differently hurts. It feels weird. Clumsy. Unnatural. Slow. And very, very wrong.

When I come in, all flags flying, proposing some new lean implementation, it should not surprise me that folks resist. Because none of us want to brush our teeth with the wrong hand!!

Thus, having Igor here is a great learning tool for me as I continue to try to drive change. Change is hard...give it time and keep persisting. The "therapy" will pay off.

The best work I've read on this whole subject is George Leonard's little book Mastery. In it he described the physical and mental blocks to change. Very helpful, if you'd like to understand the change process in more depth..

I hope this is helpful.

Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me

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