“If you want to learn about an organization, try to change it.” ~ Kurt Lewin
Any system or part of the system that you want to change – you can explore the system at 4 levels.
Level 1: Visible Level: Symptoms, Results, Effects
This is the level which is easily visible and many a times our change efforts get focussed on the visible parameters only.
They are important as part of the dashboard, but that is not the source issue and hence all the efforts here are likely to give limited impact or short term impact and the issue showing up again in some other format.
Definitely an opportunity to cause a breakthrough by addressing the underlying issues gets missed out.
Level 2: Partially Visible Level: Behaviours
Behaviours of the various players in the system are directly or indirectly causing the results which one is trying to change.
Understanding the behaviours and bringing the required change in the behaviours would help in producing much better impact.
People can be trained to act differently and that will lead to change in the results.
Level 3: InVisible Level: Thinking Patterns of Individuals and Organizations
Going deeper in the iceberg model, one discovers that the behaviours that one is trying to change are rooted in the thinking patterns and models of the people concerned.
Unearthing the thinking patterns and models, deep rooted assumptions, taken for granted realities, allows one to question the current paradigms and explore other ways to look at the issues.
Thus getting unstuck with the habitual and systemic thinking patterns, allows for new dimensions to open up, leading to a natural shift in the behaviours resulting in the proportional shift in the results and outcomes.
Level 4: InVisible Level: Internal State of the Leaders and People Concerned
At the deepest level, one discovers the fundamental blindspot.
The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor... Bill O’Brien
Beyond the behaviours and the thinking process, is the internal state of the people that is at the source of the outcomes. This internal state is function of the Quality of Intention and Quality of Attention.
Intention is not the most powerful force, it is the only force.” (W. Brian Arthur)
Is the intention an Ego intention or an Eco intention? Is it for the benefit of one or small group of people OR is it for the greater good.
When you have an ECO Intention, universe supports you.
When you put your Attention on this Eco Intention, then your thoughts, actions and behaviours start aligning to the intention. You start getting like minded people into the game. And the change management process starts moving with a life and power of its own spirit.
What are the systems or part of the systems that you are trying to change?
Is your focus on the Results and Outcomes level, or are you digging deeper at the behavioural dimension? You can also go towards the source by looking at the thinking patterns and models of people concerned. And you may hit the jackpot by connecting to the bigger intention and supporting everyone to have their attention on their bigger intention.
The above writeup is based on our understanding and experience while bringing the principles of Theory U by Dr. Otto Scharmer to the various challenges that we see with our client organizations.
For more information and guidance, you may reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org