In an earlier post, I said that in order to be more effective introducing new techniques and technology, we needed to become practitioners of the art of change, as described in the seventh volume of my Quality Software ebooks: Becoming a Change Artist. In that book, I present a series of challenges taken from our change artistry workshops. In this and subsequent posts, I plan to present each of these challenges, roughly one every week. If you take each challenge, I guarantee you will substantially increase your change artistry.
Your first challenge will be to undertake a change project of your own, of a very specific nature. The purpose is to have you experience the Satir Change Model and some of its emotional consequences.
Your challenge is to go to work tomorrow in a different way.
The first experience of this assignment is what goes on in your head and heart when you first read it. Here are a few typical examples:
1. I immediately experienced panic (Chaos). What if I was late to work? I've already found the optimal way to work, because I've been driving it for four years. Suddenly, I understood exactly how it felt being in the Late Status Quo, and I knew that I would have more consideration for the people whose work I was trying to change.
2. My first thought was "impossible!" I simply could not think of a single alternative to the well-developed route I took to work. After all, there was only one bridge across the river. What was I supposed to do, swim? I decided I simply wasn't going to do it, which allowed me to relax. Then I realized that the assignment said 'in a different way,' not 'by a different route.' I hadn't even understood the foreign element, and I had rejected it.
Now consider some of the comments after doing the assignment:
3. I decided to go to work wearing a tie, which I've never done before. The reaction of other people was totally unexpected, both the number of people and their intensity. I learned how easy it is to be a foreign element, and that you can't change just one thing.
4. I went to work with a different attitude—more positive. The whole day was entirely different. It's a much better place to work than it was last week.
5. In driving by a different route, I got lost and discovered a part of the city I'd never seen before. I was late to work, but it was fun. I decided to go a different way each day, and I've been doing it now for six months. I like it.
6. I always go to work in a different way every day, so I wasn't going to do the assignment. Then I realized that a different way for me would be to go the same way. So I drove the same way every day for a week and learned a couple of things. First of all, the same way isn't the same way, if I pay attention. Second, I'm not the same every day. Some days I can't tolerate waiting for the light at 35th Street, but other days I welcome the time to reflect about things. I used this learning to reintroduce a proposal that had been rejected last month. This time they loved it.
Your next opportunity to participate in some change artist training is our Problem Solving Leadership Workshop (PSL). It takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
August 28-September 2, 2011
After that, your next opportunity will be the 11th Annual Amplifying Your Effectiveness Conference (AYE) in Cary, North Carolina, USA
Sunday, October 30 – Thursday November 3, 2011