If we are thinking about change, the world has had to cope with massive changes in the last few months. Many of these would have seemed impossible six months ago and there are many more on the way. Every business and individual has been touched by these changes in some way and have reacted to them differently. Is change good or bad? Here are the words of Caroline Brewer, a trusted colleague and coach, who runs a business Designed2Thrive. She has just written a book entitled More Than You Think. I have seen an amazing change in Caroline in recent years, as she has adopted and implemented her new way of thinking. She has become more compassionate, confident; and comfortable in herself. This suggests to me that these ideas really work.
Change is natural and neutral, it is only our thinking which makes it good or bad.
“Depending on your own experience, you may be aware of the term ‘change fatigue’. Research shows that up to 70% of organisational transformation efforts fail, leading to apathy and resistance. It’s easy to become cynical, leading to assumptions that any change is ‘bad’. No organisational change programme can cover up or paint over the cracks created by distrust and inconsistencies in management and leadership. It might put off the day of reckoning, but that’s all.
Cynicism and apathy can creep into any team or organisation where there is an imbalance of power and the leaders think they know best. If changes happen without the leaders listening deeply to the views of others or without seeking collaborative agreement, resentment to change can occur.
You can see this happening in schools and families as well as businesses. Adults and leaders assume they understand the challenges being faced by those in their care. They make assumptions and judgements, and look to use superior intellectual capacity to tell people what they need to do. Beliefs and actions are rooted in ‘arrogant’ personal thinking.
Impact of Personal Thinking
The more we believe our personal thinking is true; the more we risk being cut off from our wisdom, intuition and clarity. It’s so easy from this position to get backed into a corner with your ego fighting to defend its illusory sense of self. (You can perhaps think of a certain President right now). It seems that just about everyone else can see what you can’t, that you are caught up in a storm of your own thinking. That is not a good time to come up with plans, strategies and decisions.
It is really helpful to see that there is only one causal factor in determining a person’s behaviour and therefore their performance. That is their personal thinking. Whether I’m a leader or a follower, an adult or a young person, I can just as easily get caught up in believing my thinking is true. From this position I build a house made of cards, based on false assumptions, unrealistic expectations and unfair judgements of others.
It makes sense in times of significant change to listen deeply, carefully and courageously to each other and to find new and creative ways to connect and collaborate for the common purpose. This supports an agile business model, which requires us to know just the next step to take, without needing to know the final destination and all the steps in between. That is brave and conscious leadership.
For a team to be truly agile, every member must be able to recognise the difference in feeling and energy that comes from listening with clarity and compassion. This is opposed to the feelings coming from ego thinking. Organisations can easily and inadvertently create a sense of fear and mistrust about change when they fail to put people at the centre of everything that they do.
Not being afraid of our experience and knowing that we will be OK, no matter what happens, means we can rely on our wisdom, intuition and clarity when we need them most. We can call ‘time out’ when the positive feelings are lost.
Change is a natural, neutral and continuous organic process. It is only our thinking that makes a judgement on whether it appears either negative or positive.”
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”? William Shakespeare
Interview with Caroline Brewer
If you would like to hear more about Caroline and her book please watch my video below.