Friday, March 19, 2010

Eight key learnings in transformational change

Over the course of my working with individuals, groups, organizations and communities on transformational change, some things happen often enough that they demand attention.

Here are eight lessons I have learned from my work about what makes change happen:

  1. The vision powers and unites everything.
  2. It takes people with a passionate commitment to the vision to ignite progress. But it does not take a lot of them in the beginning.
  3. If we want new results, we will have to do new things. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results—Einstein.
  4. People support what they create. Local ownership and a meaningful role in decision making are necessary for energy, creativity and commitment.
  5. When partnership members are diverse, able to adapt to individual conditions, and united by common vision and values, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. It will look and act more like a social movement than a chain of command.
  6. When committed people self-organize to solve common problems, new solutions may emerge. But we cannot control or predict what those solutions will be or when they will happen. Prepare to be surprised.
  7. Small actions can produce enormous results.
  8. Results can come surprisingly quickly once a tipping point is reached.
Here's the elevator message on transformational change:
  1. A few passionate people can ignite progress.
  2. People support what they create.
  3. Small actions can produce enormous results.
What lessons have you learned?

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