Whether you are instituting changes in organizations, industries, movements, and in individual lives, you must be cognizant of patterns, parallels, and processes.
Patterns are what we see demonstrated (not verbally declared) and we cannot ignore. There are reasons why things are done the same way. You need to know if those reasons still valid and valuable or they passed their value and worth. Crafting the game plan for change is essentially building a case why the new is better than the old, answers to the needs, aspirations, and obsessions of that specific group. In psychology, patterns provide clues and keys to unraveling what groups and individuals face and unearth significant lessons to get your initiatives right. If you are looking at a systemic change, what patterns do you see in every parts of the system? What significant behaviors do they exhibit? Who had significant power and control over the other parts?
There are parallels in many places. You should take some of the lessons learned in other places and apply it in your given context. Let the ones that have universal merit begin to work in your situation. For example, the overarching role of the government to spur and grow business is a universal question to pose in any situation, problem, or geography. Should they pursue an enabler, backer, and supporter role rather than rig the system for the benefit of a few? How groups can become bold to take on higher-levels of vision and mission for themselves rather than merely serving the status quo, which God forbids is as old as 50 years ago? Can the institutor be both leading and following? I was talking with Alan Hall, the COO of the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta. I find that there are many commonalities in other fields with what they were doing, in leading changes when the players are perceived as big, fat, and lazy and rocking the boat is high-risk.
And processes are as important as the end goals. Initially, any change proposal will be met by an overwhelming resistance, challenge, and suspicion. But once, a critical mass is achieved, the ball will be rolling on its own dynamics and momentum. There is no stopping what had been ignited. There are three reasons why change initiatives fail to get that support it deserve: first, because it has no appeal to the broader segment of its target population, second, it could not justify the change with benefits outweighing all the stresses and costs of surrendering the old, and third, the guardians of the system were not folded into the grand plan. Keep your processes tight and strategic at all times. Don't waste time on peripheral issues that do not have a bearing in the long term.
Patterns, parallels, and processes- keep that in mind in navigating your next best change efforts. There are no shortcuts to it except those that have been put in academic paper but rarely works in real chaos.
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