When we talk about change, we usually mean incremental change which is limited in scope and is often reversible. If the change does not work out, we can always return to the old way. It does not disrupt our past patterns but rather is an extension of our past. During these changes, we still believe we are in control. Deep change creates new ways of thinking and behaving. It is major, irreversible, and discontinuous. It means your surrendering control.
In an age of continuous change, organizations must be more responsive and people must match that responsiveness. As the world around us changes, we lose our sense of alignment and begin to have problems. We can resolve these problems by making small adjustments known as incremental changes. Sometimes though, we need to alter our fundamental assumptions, rules, and paradigms. We need to develop new theories about ourselves and our surrounding environment. Unfortunately, instead of embracing these new theories, we try to deny or resist them.
Pressure for change comes from the outside world forcing us to reinvent ourselves even though change starts with the individual. A new self, a new paradigm that is aligned to handle today’s realities is what is needed. We need to be willing to confront today’s wicked problems and to journey into unchartered territory. To do this, we need to leave our comfort zone by stepping outside our normal roles. In doing so, we change the world by changing ourselves.
So, what about you? Have you stepped outside your normal role? Your comfort zone? What was your experience? Having stepped outside your comfort zone or your normal role, did you find it difficult if not impossible to step back into it? Or did you, like me, not even try to fit into those old roles once you stepped out of them?
CITE: Quinn, R. Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within. (1996). San Francisco. Wiley Publishing