Employing Differences

Employing Differences, Episode 28: Is change coming?

November 24, 2020 Karen Gimnig & Paul Tevis
Employing Differences
Employing Differences, Episode 28: Is change coming?
Chapters
Employing Differences
Employing Differences, Episode 28: Is change coming?
Nov 24, 2020
Karen Gimnig & Paul Tevis

"I think that change goes more effectively when we give more people opportunities to provide input around exactly how the change will happen. And that's something that I think organizations struggle with sometimes where they go, 'Well, this change is just going to happen regardless.'  And it's like, "Well, the fundamental thing might be happening..." For example, I worked in a company that went public. We went through an IPO. That was gonna happen from day one.  The founders were clear about that was a thing they were going to do. But we got to be intentional about how was that process going to affect us. What were we going to do? How did we want to be in the presence of that change? And I think that's one of the things where we can really engage skillfully with change."

Listen on the website and read the transcript

Watch this episode on YouTube

Show Notes Transcript

"I think that change goes more effectively when we give more people opportunities to provide input around exactly how the change will happen. And that's something that I think organizations struggle with sometimes where they go, 'Well, this change is just going to happen regardless.'  And it's like, "Well, the fundamental thing might be happening..." For example, I worked in a company that went public. We went through an IPO. That was gonna happen from day one.  The founders were clear about that was a thing they were going to do. But we got to be intentional about how was that process going to affect us. What were we going to do? How did we want to be in the presence of that change? And I think that's one of the things where we can really engage skillfully with change."

Listen on the website and read the transcript

Watch this episode on YouTube

Karen:

Welcome to Employing Differences, a conversation about exploring the collaborative space between individuals.

Paul:

I'm Paul Tevis.

Karen:

And I'm Karen Gimnig.

Paul:

Each episode, we start with a question and we see where it takes us. This week's question is, "Is change coming?"

Karen:

Well, yes. Especially in 2020, boy is change coming. I think so I think the question is sort of how do we see it coming? And how do we shape it? Or how do we engage with it? How can we be intentional about what kinds of changes and how we approach them?

Paul:

I've worked in a lot of organizations where they like to think that if they have a small group of people that think about and plan out a change, then they can do change a one time event, they roll it out, everybody gets on board, and they go with it. At least that seems to be what they believe from the way that they act. I don't think it's necessarily their experience of change. And I liked what you said in there about how we perceive it, and how we shape it. And I think that, because change is always coming and change is always happening it's not a future event, it's a present event I think we can be more skillful about navigating change the more that we are asking people to be involved in it. I think that change goes more effectively when we give more people opportunities to provide input around exactly how the change will happen. And that's something that I think organizations struggle with sometimes where they go, 'Well, this change is just going to happen regardless.' And it' like, "Well, the fundament l thing might be happening... For example, I worked in a co pany that went public. We went through an IPO. That was gonna happen from day one. The foun ers were clear about that w s a thing they were going to do. But we got to be intentional bout how was that process goin to affect us. What were we goin to do? How did we want to be i the presence of that change? And I think that's one of the t ings where we can really engag skillfully with change.

Karen:

I think one of the big skills you need to do that well, is to be able to sort of give and receive feedback and ideas and thoughts, because I think a lot of groups either have a lot of energy for change. So we've got all the energy into the new thing. And the person who says, "Wait, wait, wait, there's this old thing we still want to keep doing" isn't safe, necessarily in that, or there's like, all this momentum for the old and the person who's bringing the new thing gets a lot of flack and doesn't feel totally safe doing that. And so one of the skill sets is to bring those two energies into each into each meeting into each space into communication together and in an integrated way. So that it's not that these are oppositional forces "Are we going to change? Are we going to stay the same? Are we going to follow the momentum? Are we going to bring in new things?" but to figure out how to have the conversation so that both of those things happen at the same time.

Paul:

I've been doing a lot of work recently with the generative power of paradox. And those tensions that you talk about are the things that show up there. It's really interesting to think about, you know, in the face of any particular change, how are we still the same? And at the same time, how are we different as a result of this and to to explore both of those, because in a lot of ways, that's what those those people that those energies are sort of bringing, and both are true. So how can you actually bring those together and amplify them in ways, right? It's how can you take advantage of this change, to change, you know, more bigger, bolder things, while at the same time, staying the same in even stronger and more fundamental ways?

Karen:

One of the exercises that I think can be really powerful is to say to a group that's in this space, noting, you know, just really naming that some of us are going to be people who just leap into change. "Yes, let's do the new thing that will be great, well, whatever that is." And others of us naturally are the momentum people. we resist change, like that's just in our sort of how we show up. And that those are both good things. But for this exercise, notice which one like relative to this thing we're talking about is your sort of instinct. "No, that's not.." you're resisting the change or is your instinct like dive in and go full speed ahead. And now for this conversation, do the opposite. Speak the opposite energy and what what would be the thinking. So we're going to have the next 10 minutes or whatever it is. And for that 10 minutes put on your alter ego, what would you say if you were all for the change that you're actually feeling resistant to? What would you say if you were resistant to the change that you're all excited about?

Paul:

There's an activity that I do with groups, it's very similar. But it's about recognizing that we have those perspectives in us about different aspects of our lives. There are aspects of our lives where each of us is as a leaper, right, where we're just like, "Yes, we want the new thing, we're ready to move forward, we want to explore." And there are also aspects where we're just like, "Nope, I found the thing that's comfortable, and I don't want to change it." And when we can recognize that we have both of those in ourselves, it becomes easier to understand and you can have more empathy for people who have that sort of opposite polarity that you do around any particular thing. Because you can see how that perspective is valuable. Because they are both valuable. And where we run into trouble is when we let that difference in perspective get in the way of their relationship. Now, the problem is that you want to do this thing. Well, not exactly. The problem is that we are allowing our differences in perspective on this to become a wedge between us. We have different perspectives, how can we both see that we have different perspectives and work with the tension between them without that having to be the difficulty between us?

Karen:

Absolutely. I think it's again, that sort of consciousness that we talked about through all of these episodes of as we approach the "Is change coming?" to even just pause and notice how we feel when we hear the question. And just attending to that and noticing the complexity and being aware that it's pretty reliable in a group that the way I'm feeling is not the same that there's at least one other person in the group who has exactly the opposite feeling about it. And that both of those are useful, and that the very best thing for the group is when we weave them together, and bring both of those energies into the conversation and the decisions and the guiding and the awareness of how we're going to move forward.

Paul:

So are you suggesting that when change is coming, that we should employ those differences?

Karen:

I think I am.

Paul:

Well, in that case, I think that's gonna do it for us for today. Until next time, I'm Paul Tevis.

Karen:

And I'm Karen Gimnig, and this has been Employing Differences.