When Stuck, Small Change is Beautiful

      5 Comments on When Stuck, Small Change is Beautiful

Some people feel stuck when forces make the situation they face seem insurmountable.

It doesn’t seem at all beautiful to them.

I always begin the project briefing with the question: What’s working that you don’t want to change?

Followed by: What will it look like when the problem goes away?

The answers to these questions make me confident they are going to get unstuck. Why? Because their answers are the framework for starting small changes.

Their answers are the first small changes.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together Vincent Van Gogh

Seth Godin assures us that the best way to get unstuck is to ‘start down the wrong path, right now’. Too radical? But, he goes on to say, “As you start moving, you can’t help but improve, can’t help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star.”

Here are two surprisingly easy steps to getting to small beautiful steps:


1. What’s the ideal outcome? What will the situation look like without the problem present in the future?

2. What’s one small step that will take us in that direction, i.e., we can see the small change happening?

Don’t look for miracles…look for learning and move away from letting the client think they are stuck.

You might not end up with perfect, but it’s significantly more valuable than being stuck.Seth Goin

Be radical in the small step and flush out the details in ways that will let the client see the progress happening.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Gandhi

Reload and repeat.

Why does this work?

As Coert Visser states in his article Assumptions In Solution-Focused ChangeThere is always already a beginning of the desired situation on which further progress can be built.

Let small steps towards the solution focused change we want start to make a difference.


5 thoughts on “When Stuck, Small Change is Beautiful

  1. michael cardus

    Small changes only seem small because we are not looking.
    Taking time to pause, and look back at all the small steps and changes that got you to where you are always makes people smile.

    1. Alan Kay

      Thanks. The change may seem small in scale, but it is attached to larger scale change. Later, in the context of the larger change we forget the things that got the ball rolling.

  2. John Leonardelli

    i think people are so afraid of failure that in the end we need failure in order to create innovation. Ask marconi, Edison, Jobs and Coppolla

  3. Pingback: When Stuck, Small Change is Beautiful - Marketing Talent Inc

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