Change affects people and processes. Its stages are like a wave - rolling, swelling, cresting, crasing, ebbing, and repeating the process in myriad patterns ande cycles. Effectively flowing with the waves of change means recognizing the concerns and needs of both people and the structure of the organization. People who deal directly with personal and structural issues become skilled at using the wave of change to foster transformation.|
The energy of the change cycle can be transforming. Not only do we learn to accommodate and embrace change, but also we can thoroughly enjoy the ride and be transformed in the process.
Knowing where we are on the wave allows us to ride successfully. Six steps as elements of the wave can be diagramed as follows:
Waves of change are common to all of our activity. We need only reflect on a set of occurrences to discern the flow. When individuals experience the change cycle each phase is to be recognized, the concerns resolved to comfortable levels, preparations made for the next phase, and lessons learned at one point are to be carried into the future.
Vision is critical throughout. Vision is a necessary sustaining element and must be adjusted as the change or innovation progresses in order to be most effective. Individuals act on a proleptic future - in organizations it is "shared". Individually, each one of us stands on the beach reviewing the waves and receiving the call out to sea. We respond. Collectively then, we create a shared "response" to our future.
Creating and sustaining vision is critical and difficult. To identify something we hold in common is requisite. Please do not underestimate the time to develop a "shared" meaning. Spend the requisite time and energy to ensure recognition of unitedness. Then move to deal with personal issues. As an individual, as a part of a group or organization, or in any system, when addressing change, personal concerns or extended personal identity are paramount. And we listen.
As we listen to each person and their personal concerns, the visions are shared. When personal concerns are heard and/or resolved we can move on. We demonstrate that each individual has the authority to act on the abilities that they possess. As we do so we move into alignment. The water swells with clearer formulations of the emerging wave.|
Alignment is more than just saying, "well yes, we all agree where we are going and what we are going to do." Alignment includes the full shared vision - the inspirational charge.
As we move to managerial considerations we take with us the vision and our personal concerns. We now must blend our abilities with the knowledge that preceded.
What is known about the rising swells, the shaping of the waves, and the navigating through the waters? Managerial considerations are divided into two distinct areas: 1) the theoretical, traditional, or the historical, (What does our tradition tell us?), and 2) our interpretations of the data. We all know that we are not guided exclusively by tradition, history, or theory. But rather, we are guided by our interpretations, our perceptions of these elements. Each individual grapples with both. And when they come together, a readiness to view the particular results in context is revealed.
If you have a view or a vision of the end results, the commitment is easy to make. And generally it ought to be made public. The wave crests. We either catch it or we do not. There is no turning around at this point. Our envisioning the results (accepting the vision) and taking a step demonstrates commitment.
It is easy to see that if we have taken all of the previous concerns into account, (awareness, personal concerns, managerial consideration, consequences/commitment), flowing with the power of the wave is exciting and even transforming. The person who believes that others can produce results well beyond what is thought possible grants the opportunity and the responsibility to be collectively productive.
Finally, with all change processes we celebrate. The final phase includes celebration of the results, the processes, and the person (or people involved). We reflect on our progress, we evaluate, we refocus. In the assessment of our work, determining worth, what is good and what is bad, we find value. In reviewing the processes we find direction. In recognizing what the person has done we better understand self and other and become better beings. The water flows back out to sea to be again transformed into another wave with powers anew.