Change and transformation

ter.com>
Subject: Re: [Odnet] ‘Planned Change’
To: Patrick Dufour , Terrence Seamon
, OD Network
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Patrick,

Must be synchronicity at work. . . Here’s a chunk of copy from my latest
newsletter:

?Planned Change?
When I first became aware of the field of Applied Behavioral Science in the
late 1960?s, a new term was emerging: ?planned change?. I vividly remember
running across a set of four or five booklets on ?Change? from Alcoa in 1968
and devouring them in a single reading. As I romped through the pages,
excited beyond words, I was having that magical feeling?I am sure you know
it, too?that what I was reading would change my life. And it did. Those
booklets were soon joined by a small library of more academic books with
titles like The Dynamics of Planned Change (1958), The Planning of Change
(1961), and Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
(1974).

The huge ?A-ha!? or flash of insight these people were revealing was that
things didn?t have to simply happen the way they always happened.
Things?individuals, teams and even entire human systems?could change. Not
only that, but those changes could be intended, planned and even made to
happen!

Looking back, I realize that moment was the next step in a search for what I
was meant to do with my life. Within a year, the universe presented me with
an opportunity to develop one of the first graduate programs in the field
that was designed from the ground up to equip people to do the work of
planned change: The LIOS Masters of Arts Degree in Applied Behavioral
Science, offered then through Whitworth College in Spokane, WA. The decision
to take that step resulted in my leaving the (Lutheran) parish ministry to
explore?and hopefully apply?this new field of ?planned change? to the
arenas of life that concerned me the most: relationships.

Once I got started, the focus of my work itself changed, and I began to work
with larger and larger systems, first entire family systems, then groups and
finally organizations. One of the things I learned early on, something that
has permeated my coaching and consulting from individuals all the way to
large multi-national corporations, is that there is change, and there is
CHANGE. I soon learned what to call those two phenomena. . .

First Order and Second Order Change
?First Order Change? is an alteration within a state or condition, like
changing speed in first gear, or doing a more efficient job of whatever the
task is before you. ?Second Order Change,? or Transformation, is changing
the state or level, as in shifting to another gear, or getting in another
vehicle, or even heading in a completely new direction!

The options available in a (First Order) Change mindset are limited by that
?frame? or understanding of what the problem is. When a new way of seeing
the problem occurs, a whole new range of options shows up?which generates a
whole new set of ?problems? or ?opportunities,? many of which did not exist
before the shift. As Einstein is famous for saying, ?We can’t solve problems
by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.? Or, as one
of my spiritual development coaches, Amrit Desai, says, ?The way we see a
problem often IS the problem.? This is what Second Order Change
(Transformation) is all about: framing or seeing the situation in a
radically new way, thereby opening new doors and pathways for action, which
are stepped through in powerful, system-changing ways.

New Water from the Old Well
The difference between ?changing? something and ?transforming? it is that
changing implies replacing, or in some way negating, what is there now.
Transformation, on the other hand, implies reaching deep within what is
there now to find the seeds for a new shape, a new reality. It is more like
the true meaning of education: from its Latin root e-ducare, to draw out, as
in drawing water out of a well. You can think of the kind of transformation
described here as drawing new water out of your old well?by going deeper
than you ever dipped before. The way to get your bucket deeper into your
well is by taking on powerful questions, instead of jumping at
attractive-looking answers. When you wrestle with these five life-changing
questions, everything will shift inside and around you, starting with your
understanding of who you are.

John

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