Reframing: What to do when you lack something you need.

I often work with groups who know where they want to go, have some good ideas on how to get there, but they are blocked.

When I ask why they can’t achieve the results they envision, they tell me things like:

–We lack resources.

–We lack funding.

–There’s a lack of organizational support.

Listing all the “lacks” almost never helps groups move toward their goal. All you can do when you have “lack of” is “get some.”

Instead of listingwhat you don’t have, describe what is – the attitudes, behaviors, structures, processes, etc that exist and are blocking you from achieving what you want.

Here’s a list of words I use to stimulate thinking about “what is” rather than what’s missing.

Outdated

Fragmented

Overlapping

Uncoordinated

Unrealistic

Reluctant

Disjointed

Confusing

Excessive

Unbalanced

Conflicting

Unclear

Restricted

Neglected

Obsolete

Pervasive

Misused

Extensive.

“Lack of funds” might become “Unrealistic funding for the current project”

“Lack of organizational support” might become “Conflicting priorities,” or “Overlapping sphere of control.”

Working through unrealistic funding for the current project, conflicting priorities and overlapping spheres of control aren’t a piece of cake to deal with. But it’s easier than trying to get some funding or whip up some organizational support.