What Haven’t You Changed?

Rather than be predictable and ask you what you are thankful for this week, I thought I’d ask you a different question.

But first, let me tell you a story.

I’m a good amateur cook and baker. I like to cook dessert. I don’t need dessert. I like dessert.

Last week, we had dinner with friends. I wanted to make a low-carb version of a dessert we’d had in Israel. It was a chocolate log with nuts. It was delicious! I knew I could de-carb it, if I could find a recipe.

Sure enough, it’s called a chocolate salami. The parve (non-dairy) version is sort-of low carb. I found a recipe that suggested I could use twice the nuts if I wanted it gluten-free.

I happily substituted erythritol for the sugar, and chocolate sweetened with stevia for the regular chocolate. I then followed the directions. Well, the way I follow directions when I bake. Even the first time I make a dessert. If you read the recipe, note how it says to refrigerate the chocolate. Note that it doesn’t say when to take it out of the refrigerator.

When Mark went to cut it after dinner, it was still hard as a rock. It tasted great—not as sweet as what we’d had in Israel, but quite good. It wasn’t as sweet because the erythritol is not as sweet as sugar, and the chocolate I used was darker than semi-sweet chocolate.

On the way home, Mark asked me, “What haven‘t you changed?”

He knows me. He knows I am fearless when it comes to recipes and changing things. I knew we already had a dessert for dinner. This was a backup dessert. The risk was low.

We both cracked up. I laughed so hard, I had trouble breathing.

It’s a good question. What haven’t you changed?

If you are transitioning to agile, you should read Ron Jeffries’ We Tried Baseball and it Didn’t Work. That’s an example/allegory of a team that changed everything and claimed agile didn’t work for them.

When you change something, you want to consider changing one thing at a time, getting some feedback about that one thing, and then seeing what the results are. In the dessert I made, I was pretty sure what the results would be. I was willing to take the risks.

If you are changing your projects at work, do you really want to change things randomly, when you don’t have experience? I have 10 years of experience baking low carb.

If you are taking medicine, would you change things without talking to your doctor? I hope not.

I change my workouts, because I have many years of experience working out and the risk is low. I change recipes because I have many years of experience cooking and baking and the risk is low.

I don’t change things when the risk is high and I have little to no experience.

We left the chocolate salami out of the refrigerator overnight and served it to friends the following evening. Mark was able to cut it easily. I still need to work with the recipe. It needs fewer nuts, and a touch more sweetness. I’ll continue experimenting. But, maybe after the holidays. I do not need more dessert for a while. No, no, no dessert for me. (Yes, I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I just made two low-carb desserts. After Thanksgiving.)

When you think about changing things, consider your context. Consider what support you need for your change. Be fearless for your change. Be strong for your change. You can certainly be adventurous for your change. And, decide when your change or changes are too much, when they make your product not what you wanted. I still had a chocolate salami. It was a low carb chocolate salami. Anyone could identify it as such. When you change things, is your change  still identifiable?

My dear adaptable problem solvers, the question this week is: What haven’t you changed?

Have a great Thanksgiving. I hope all your desserts are delicious and identifiable. And, do think about what you are grateful and thankful for. I am thankful for you, my dear readers.

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