It could take a decade

Not all changes take a decade, but some do.

Today, Maria Finch (a thoroughly amazing woman) and I accepted YWCA Women of Achievement Awards for our work as Child Care Network co-leads.

What’s that mean?

We were the 2009 leaders of a fabulous team of women and men committed to expanded child care in our area.  Our big success was a contract for a more than $4 million child care center, set to open in January 2011.

January 2011 marks six months shy of a decade since I first inquired about what it would take to get a new child care center close to our workplace. Elaine still tells the story of the sad look on my face when she had to tell me, “Oh, sweety! We don’t have a child care center here.”

Why’d it take a decade?

Some say the timing wasn’t right before.  I can’t disagree with all of that claim.

But, I think the controlling factor was that in the intervening decade, an entire group of passionate people, inside and outside of our organization, learned and practiced how to skillfully drive change.

A few years ago, when the project really gained momentum, we directed our efforts not to forcing someone to open a center, but instead poured all our energy into removing one roadblock after another that stood between us and the center we wanted.

We made connections, gathered the data, made our case, poured over the details, kept the positive pressure on, celebrated all the small wins, and won people to our side.

Maybe your change will take a decade.  Maybe it will take longer.

Are you willing to drive until you get to your destination?

Why not try?

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