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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640
USA

773.271.1990

We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

The Right Lever?

Peter Nicholson

Shift vs Shove
"Call me trim tab." The phrase is on visionary Buckminster Fuller’s headstone. I’ve been familiar for awhile with the idea of a relatively small, strategically-placed implement facilitating an outsized change. Only lately, however, have I begun to internalize its profundity. The concept is applicable as much to how I manage staff members as it is to how we pursue greater sustainability. My default response to a challenge is to power through the resistance, in one way or another, believing in my impatience that this will more quickly produce the desired result. Through practicing yoga, I’ve come to grasp how relatively small adjustments, repeated over time, can produce more lasting outcomes, and are more easily sustained. Identifying and then manipulating “trim tabs” can be challenging. Discipline, judgment and patience are required. Being an effective change maker, or manager, can demand being more sleight-of-hand magician than brute-force strongman. Figuring out how to incrementally inflect my own impulses, of course, is the first challenge. But who knows, maybe big things could follow?