January 14, 2015


We are currently undergoing major renovations in our home. One thing I have learned: retro-fitting older houses can be more complicated, and costly, than building new construction.

It is now 2015 and the time for considering New Year's Resolutions. It is comforting to know there is a regular time table for motivating us to reflect upon our lives and potential improvements we can make, whether they are minor adjustments or major transformations. Unlike house renovations, we can't  tear the whole thing down and start over. We are always, in a sense, retro-fitting, which may be why it's so difficult.

There are many approaches to change and various models, theories and strategies work for different people and during differing times in our lives. However, they all have one thing in common---the need for action.  Recognizing the problems and considering changes are important first steps. Analyzing the issues; reflecting upon what you wish to change and why; and carefully considering what it means to change: these are all worthy endeavors. But without action, they are ineffective.

Prior to my work in consulting, I was a psychotherapist. I sometimes encountered people who could conceptualize and articulate their issues in great detail, with insight, yet were unable to take the steps needed for making change.  One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons from these years highlights a potential problem:

I  believe in seeking help, like when confronting changes that seem overwhelming,  if feeling stuck, or simply wanting an objective point of view.  As a consultant, my business is all about engaging others in making change. Gaining clarity and insight is often the spark needed for getting started.  To avoid the trap of "analysis paralysis", however, one must move into action.

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015!  It may be a good year for some retro-fitting.