Change and adaptation

Change happens without our consent, sometimes without our even noticing.  It occurs at the edges when we aren’t looking, in the inconvenient times and places, when we are least prepared and most overwhelmed.   


We all seek to control change.  We want to believe we can plan for the future.  Recent events are giving us reason to believe we may never be truly successful using our old models.  Businesses will try to put programs in place to plan for change or to make investments in externally designed programs on behalf of their stakeholders.  In fact, I have been responsible for some of those programs.  And what I noticed over the years was that “programs” that approach human systems, and human beings, as fixed machines with parts that can be swapped out for newer or different parts don’t give us what we expect.  


We call what we see “resistance to change” and try to put more controls in place.  Those controls meet even stronger resistance.  But it really is a smart human adaptation to reject these static solutions.  The challenge is to provide a different model than the one we have inherited from the factories of the 19th century.  The new model must take real human strengths and capabilities into account, strengths of individuals, and the strengths of a network of people.  Learning from the model life on earth has used for millions of years, we can adapt, quickly and effectively, and we can become resilient in the path of change.  


And that’s good for the bottom line.


The model that we see working in life on earth is something like this:


Adaptive beings notice things happening, connect with each other, learn and adapt, respond and later notice anew.  Over time they become adept at knowing what is important to notice, noticing those important things early, connecting effectively to their network, finding new ways to learn and adapt, and responding in ways that get the best result. 

More on using that model coming up…

One Response

  1. Ill be interested in reading more about this model. My view is that change happens regardless – sometimes you have to adjust the timeframe to see what the change is taking place.

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