Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

The Problem With Velcro

Published: February 2, 2022

The problem with Velcro is—it sticks.

Recently, I have been exploring why it is so easy to focus on the challenges or negative elements in our work and leadership and much harder to focus on the positive “good news” elements of what we do.

What I’ve discovered is that it is actually how our brain naturally works.

The analogy that clarified this for me was that negative thoughts are like Velcro and can stick – and stay stuck – while positive, “good news” thoughts, if not paused on for 20 seconds, slide right off – never sticking.

I admit I fall prey to being more like Velcro sometimes, and I focus on the challenges and areas where we are not yet achieving. Even so, I always have prescribed to the notion that “when you know better you do better.”

So, to that end . . .

Maybe you are like me, or maybe it’s someone on your team that you’ve noticed having Velcro moments. Regardless, I invite you to join with me in being intentional about those 20 second “good news” pauses for yourself and for your team.

Is there someone on your team who has not reached the achievement mark yet, but can be acknowledged for a step forward – even if it took taking a few steps in the wrong direction to gain forward motion?

What about a “good news” shout out to someone really living out your organization’s teamwork value? Someone who went over and beyond to help?

Getting unstuck from that Velcro can be challenging at times, and honestly, initially is going to take some real intentionality. Intentionality to stop. Stop and focus on those 20 second “good news” moments.

To be intentional, maybe consider putting systems in place to help you and your team recognize “good news” moments. Systems like these:

  1. Start meetings with individuals sharing some good news – professional or personal.
  2. Post a “good news” white board up in your common space and commit to adding something to the board each day. Also, encourage other team members to join with you in sharing the “good news”.
  3. Daily, create a sticky note titled “good news.” Keep it very visible to you throughout your day – this means it might come to meetings with you, or be posted on the edge of your computer monitor. Your goal is to write down at least three “good news” moments from your day. Consider keeping your sticky notes from the week and reviewing them all the next Monday to remind you of all of the potential a new week has to offer.

With a little intentionality, who knows? Maybe we will find that we are Velcro no more, and are naturally better at pausing on all of the “good news” that really does fill each day.

– Lisa Diaz, Founder


"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers