Pete Townshend, circular logic, change management, Toby Elwin, blog

The key to change is circular reasoning

Toby Elwin Blog, Organization Behavior 0 Comments

Toby Elwin, blog, change management, circular logic, motivation, risk

Every time I do this … it hurts

Organization change is the key to innovation.

So, no change, no innovation.

Or is it no innovation, no change?

Well, change relies on risk and risk relies on confidence.  But this goes nowhere and does not lead us in a circle.  So, really, the key to change is circular reasoning.

Let’s try to break into this circular reasoning.

I will start this endeavor towards change with a list that starts on 2:

2. Can’t have community without transparency

3. Can’t have transparency without diversity

4. Can’t have diversity without trust

5. Can’t have trust without safety

6. Can’t have safety without speaking your mind

7. Can’t speak your mind without a forum for dangerous dialogue

8. Can’t have dangerous dialogue without innovation

9.  Can’t have innovation without employee hygiene

10. Can’t have employee hygiene without confidence

11. Can’t have confidence without commitment

12. Can’t have commitment without motivation

13. Can’t have motivation without engagement

14. Can’t have engagement without communication

15. Can’t have communication without community

1. Can’t have change without community

2. Can’t have community without transparency…

…rinse, repeat

If you took an engagement-type survey of your organization today, using a 7-point Likert scale for each of the above, with “1” representing rarely shown and “7” representing always shown:

  1. Would the results surprise you?
  2. Would the results give you confidence you are doing all you can to create community?
  3. Would the results give you insight to where organization is headed for trouble?

The great news?  The results of your climate survey would show you exactly where you need to focus immediate triage and short-term rehabilitation.  If you can break into the circular reasoning for change, you can create a sustainable, resilient, change culture instead of a culture tired of change efforts that continue to beach themselves and only result in creating increasingly wary, if not weary, people.

And you can’t have community without transparency…

This post drew inspiration from a recent Peter Block presentation on Community: The Structure of Belonging presentation held at The New School.

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