Change according to Genetikomm
Why do we continue to perceive change as a single moment of failure in an otherwise linear path? Why do we try to control and master it? Why do we see it as a problem we need to solve? If the wise Heraclitus was so clear about his vision as to patent a quote on it, how come 25 centuries after his death we have not yet internalised his idea of change?
Neuroscience explains us that we are programmed for survival and therefore perceive any kind of change as a threat to the context that we know and consider to be safe. The announcement of a change, whatever it may be, puts us on the alert and predisposes us to maintain the status quo, our balance, and peace.
In the face of uncertainty, we resort to the reptilian brain, the oldest we have and the most apt to get us out of dangerous situations. It is designed to make decisions in a matter of milliseconds and therefore it can not be entertained with nuances. To facilitate its job it tries to paint simplified, dual scenarios and asks binary questions such as: pro or con ?, stay or leave ?, fight or flee?
While this method has been (and still is) very useful to evolve as a species, it is not so useful for navigating today's world in constant change. The reptilian brain leaves us with a single vision and, therefore, less capacity to act.
What can we do to discover our options in the face of change?
- It is useful to become aware of the mechanisms of our reptilian brain and to try methods that activate other, more creative parts of our brain. Using visual thinking or design thinking tools can have surprising effects.
- Ask different questions. Other than "How do we solve this problem?", we can observe the change and ask ourselves "What opportunity does it hide?"
- When urgency does not let us visualise our options, we need to take distance. This can either be physical or conceptual. An external person, someone who does not feel the effects of change will affect them, can offer an objective view.
How do we see change in Genetikomm?
The members of Genetikomm have known each other for years. Throughout this time we have shared many projects. We were always clear about each other's expertise and our fields of action. When a year ago we began to talk about joining forces, we did it from a very clear common ground: A shared vision of the future of organisations and consultant-client relationships. In the conversations we held, we also discovered that we are united in the way we understand the processes of change.
We already knew that each and every one of us has lived and worked in different countries. We have all had to decide whether to stay or leave on several occasions. We have left behind lives and careers to welcome new ones. And we did not make those important decisions by looking at lists of pros and cons. What we had not verbalised before was that we all perceive change as parts of a process. Each of us applies this view point in their professional field.
It is from this shared vision that we developed the "Spherical Complexity" method: A way of looking at an organisation from all possible angles to implement effective change.
Our premises for change are:
- Change is permanent;
- Change is a process (not a moment in time);
- It is important to have a plan, it is vital to be flexibile;
- When a person or organisation is immersed in a process of change, it needs external help to contribute different points of view. The objective is to achieve a "spherical vision" that allows to act with serenity and knowledge.
- Any movement that occurs in a system has effects throughout the structure. The secret is to choose the most efficient levers of change.