Stability and stagnation

There are two ways for things to NOT change: stability and stagnation.

Stability is a feature of a system in equilibrium. Balance is maintained in a way where things stay the same. We value stability for consistency, reliability and familiarity. We count on stability to be there when we need it, to deliver what we're expecting and to maintain the same level of quality.

Stagnation is the feature of a broken system. Balance is betrayed by a devotion to "no way, no idea, no change". There is no dynamic equilibrium or adjusting to environmental inputs. Arrested development overrides evolutionary pressures. Growing and changing are postponed until further notice. We value stagnation for it's manageability, passivity, and docility when we are in control and positions of power over others. We count on stagnation to submit to routine bullying, abuse and domination.

Stagnation is highly provocative. We get incensed by arrested development and spurred to make change happen. We become identified with change and make a thing of it. We oppose stagnation with battles, arguments and tighter controls. We are in no position to let change happen or trust a process, change model or system to yield a natural change.

Stagnation does not lead to stability. When we're getting out of stagnation, the next phase is chaos, instability and unpredictability. All hell has to break loose before stability emerges. We need to move from stagnation to a position "far from equilibrium". It's time to invoke the self-organizing dynamics to emerge at the border between continuity and discontinuity.

What emerges from chaos is usually a transformation, not an incremental change. The change changes everything instead of making a slight adjustment. There's a whole new game to play. There's an unforeseen landscape of opportunities to explore. There's a different story to tell about the ways the new experiences make sense. In hindsight, we did not make transformation happen. It happened because stagnation provoked instability.

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