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10.30.2007

Problems with making change

When we have responsibility for particular people or outcomes, we are likely to have a problem with how things are changing:

  • Stagnation, not changing at all, stuck in a bad habit
  • Speed of the change, too fast or slow, out of sync with other dynamics
  • Adapting to the change, maladjustments, hysterics
  • Costly changing, consuming too many resources to make change happen
  • Control of change, chaotic deviations, scattered efforts, unforeseen changes
  • Repercussions of changing, fall out, side effects, backlash
  • Confusion, misinterpretation of the changes, negative spin

When faced with any of these "problems with making change", our reflexive thinking will react to  the face value evidence. We'll suddenly have convictions about how to fix the obvious problems. We'll know what to do and then take action accordingly. We'll think we are "making things occur as planned" or "getting change efforts back on track".

Given these many problems with what's unfolding, we cannot simply allow changes to occur emergently. Letting go appears it could only make the problems worse --according to our reflexive thinking. We have to do something to fix the problem.

Our reflective thinking calls a timeout to reconsider all this. We wonder if we've got a comprehensive picture of what's going on here. We consider how we're being taught a lesson or shown something that's hidden from view. We suspect we're overlooking a crucial dimension of the underlying dynamics, assuming it's irrelevant or ruling it out of our preconceptions.

Reflective thinking wonders where the "problems with making change" come from. It's highly suspect that our reflexive thinking feeds the problem. The way we fix the obvious problems may provoke the opposite to occur. We may even be maintaining the problem to look important and justify our position overseeing the change.

Reflective practicing will reveal a way to vanish the problems with making change. We'll see the obvious problems as solutions to the hidden problems we're causing. We'll make connections between how we're fixing things and how things keep happening for us to fix. We'll get a bigger picture that includes our reflexive thinking in the dynamics of the perpetual problems. We'll see ways to change our mind that suspends our certainty, upgrades our approach and gives the world a better gift.

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1 comment:

  1. Steve Roesler10/31/2007 9:19 PM

    Tom,

    I hadn't thought of the reflexive/reflective dichotomy before. That's a wonderful way to "think about thinking" and easy to share with a group.

    What a gift. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete