There are two purposes that any underlying structure pursues. One is to maintain and replicate itself by stabilizing the situation. This occurs when the structure is concave and near equilibrium. The other is to reinvent and transform itself by disrupting the situation. This spontaneity happens when the structure is convex and far from equilibrium.
Lasting change is always aligned with the gravity of the situation. When change efforts go against the gravity in the structure, the situation regresses to it's previous condition -- once our ambitious struggling stops. Change efforts are like our pushing a ball uphill, swinging a pendulum or stretching a rubber band. The temporary movement is only proportionate to our change efforts. The attempt at change amounts to a mere oscillation: "plus le change, plus le meme chose".When change efforts go with the gravity of the structure, the situation self-organizes into a new condition. It's like pushing a ball downhill, releasing a flock of pigeons or offering a free Web 2.0 tool online. The change is disproportionate to the small initial effort. A little push creates a landslide or avalanche of change. The aftermath is a whole new ball game.
Making change happen is doomed to failure. Letting change happen is destined to succeed. The gravity of the situation determines the outcome and does almost all the work.The underlying structure of a situation morphs from concave to convex with an increase in shared understanding. It takes very little understanding to maintain a stable situation. The shortage of understanding keeps any change coming back to "the way it's always been done around here". A surplus of understanding evokes the self-organizing potential of the situation.
Understanding in situation is increased by social networking and blogging. It's built up by participation in communities, conversations and collaborations. Understanding adds up when someone else speaks our mind or pulls for our learning. A surplus of understanding is created by giving everyone change models to comprehend their situation -- like I'm doing right now.