Community Research Partners is now Thoughtwell.



Big Idea: Identifying and Managing Inertia at Work

Big ideas often start by observing patterns and trends. Gaps and opportunities become clear when you begin to overlay data on those observations. This is the contribution Thoughtwell makes to our community every day. After all, if you don’t see gaps in the first place, how can you plan, adjust or fight for them?

Recently, I published an article in the Journal of Donor Relations and Stewardship on a pattern that I see haunting teams every day: inertia.  Simply defined, it is “the tendency to do nothing, or to remain unchanged.”  It defines why it can be so very difficult to change anything, and it applies to business, nonprofits, and community change.

The article (download it here) is deliberately focused on fundraising organizations; however, the strategies to recognize inertia at work and the players involved can be applied in a more general sense to any office or organization, regardless of industry. If you are struggling with programs that simply aren’t performing according to standard, it is quite likely the forces of inertia are at work in your organization. The key is to manage the forces of inertia and put them to work for positive change.

My own career, and now my business, Facilitator On Fire, has been focused on helping teams find clarity by intentionally identifying patterns and trends. Then, I help them create action plans to change those patterns or work more to their advantage. I welcome your feedback and questions about inertia and how to make teams work better - please contact me at Kay at

Discovering and revealing the patterns and trends of inertia at work will ultimately make our teams more enjoyable and productive.

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