The Irish poet & author John O’Donohue wrote a beautiful book titled To Bless The Space Between Us. One of my favorite bit in the book is titled A Friendship Blessing, which includes these words:

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.

That last line really hits me – the way friendships change us in positive ways. I’ve been co-teaching a series of courses lately (with the friend who gave me O’Donohue’s book!) and it’s got me thinking a lot about the concept of change and how that is one of the main goals of education & training. As we introduce new concepts and lead exercises, in the back of my mind I find myself thinking “may this change you” (and reflecting on the ways it’s changed me!).

If the classes and conversations don’t change us, then they’re just an amusement. I like amusements, but we are aiming for something more significant than that. We’re looking to make some change. And by “change” I don’t mean picking up a new technique or applying a new tool. I’m talking about something more foundational. ITK training aims to move us all towards a more open, iterative, experimental, collaborative, playful, curious way of working. It aims to move people away from an individualistic, perfectionist, control-oriented pursuit of certainty, predictability, and power.

That kind of change doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a classroom. It takes time and deliberate effort to establish and sustain this way of working out in the world. And it also DOES happen in a moment, when we decide to go in this direction. Or maybe it happens in a hundred moments, as we keep deciding and taking action.

I hope this ITK project sparks real change in all the people we touch. I hope it brings the blessing of good friends doing good work together, in ways that changes us and the world around us.