Just when you think you have your life, your career, your business or anything sorted, along comes the tiger of change. Even when we’re not conscious of the tiger, its presence is usually disturbing. As with most wild creatures it’s an unpredictable and exciting mix of beauty and danger, opportunity and risk.
Change is the flowing interaction of all of the elements, of all of the systems of our world and beyond. It is the constant regeneration, rebirthing and re-creation of every living thing. Change, like nature, consists of processes like flow, feedback, hierarchy, chaos, bonding, linking, openness-closure, networks and emergence.
Many enlightened organisations understand the true nature of change. They know that change is happening regardless of how they perceive it or what they do to influence it. Intellectually they understand that change is a state of evolution constantly reshaping and transforming us as individuals, as teams, as organisations and globally.
They understand the interconnectedness of systems and the impossibility of controlling everything. But this is not how they behave in relation to change.
Most of our behaviour is still driven by our project based way of thinking and operating. So we still embark on ‘change programmes’, ‘transformation initiatives’ and ‘culture change projects’ as if these changes have a beginning and an end, as if these changes can be controlled, predicted and measured objectively. We grab the tip of the tigers’ tail and try to steer it as it leaps and runs wildly through uncharted territory
This delusion leads to huge amounts of wasted resource and not just in the setting up, managing, tracking and promoting of these initiatives. Look at any business or leadership publication and you will find “research” and articles claiming the shocking conclusion that “Up to 70% of all change initiatives fail!” and endless theorising about why this might be the case. Is it the change models adopted by the organisations, or the systems for managing the change process? Or maybe it’s the leadership style blocking progress, or the people, especially those who hate or fear change. ‘They’ might consciously or subconsciously be sabotaging the whole project.
We seem to be obsessed with evaluating our performance as masters of change, taming the tiger, rather than inspiring ourselves and each other to enjoy the process of evolution and to discover the opportunities from the emerging trends of our systems. The next step of the new paradigm is to embrace the tiger and discover how to ride with it as an intelligent, unified whole.
Our change framework has helped many individuals and organisations to answer some important questions like:
- Where you are now?
- Where do you want to be?
- What is the best way to get there?
all the while staying alert to context and emerging realities.
If you have any questions about change or would like to know more about our framework, contact us with ‘Change’ in the subject line.