EPIC FLOW

Engaging, Participating, Interacting, Creating – Fulfillment, Leadership, Organization, Wisdom

Change as Foundational to Creativity and Key to Leadership

Posted by Herman Najoli on March 23, 2009

Let us look at the flow of life, with the river as our metaphoric guide. First thing you must realize is that you can’t step into the same river twice. The water at any point of the river is always changing – that’s the key to freshness! If we will stay fresh in the flow of our lives we must understand that change is contant. Change is foundational to creativity because you can’t bring in the new without getting rid of the old. Change is the key to leadership because a leader sees what others haven’t seen and helps them to see it for themselves.

People need to understand that change is part of life. Success in living an epic life requires a certain degree of openness to change. Most people struggle with handling change because it causes the 3 D’s – discomfort, disruption and dislocation. A crucial part of the process of handling change will involve helping people handle the dis’s and get pluses out them. Let us explore how we can do that:

Discomfort – Change requires difficult adjustments by people. Adjustments can cause stress and bring tension to groups. In some cases change has been known to lead to depression in some people and a mutiny from others. Uncertainty about the results of the change can bring fatigue and frustration. The key to avoiding all this is to ensure that people know in advance what to expect and how to deal with it. The discomfort of change can be prevented by preparing people adequately for the coming changes.

Disruption – When significant changes are made, some people experience personal pain at the loss of familiar things to which they had become very attached. This can be a source of great trauma. Leaders can help people by allowing them to verbalize their sense of loss and grief, and then gently pointing them to the benefits of the change and the bright new future ahead of them.

Dislocation – Any change, whether it involves new strategies, new programs, new equipment, new work procedures, new facilities, new management practices or new leaders, disrupts an existing order and leads to discontinuity. In a time of change, leaders should frequently explain what is happening and keep their people informed. People will be more optimistic if they know the change is progressing successfully. Leaders should frequently communicate what steps have been initiated, what changes have been completed and what resulting improvements have occurred.

Handling these three dis’s appropriately will be the key to avoiding the dreaded dis of change – disaster! In order for us to live epic lives – lives free of disaster – we must embrace change. Change is essential for creativity to flourish, change is necessary for leadership to prosper. In the next post we will discuss how we “see” in the quest for creativity.

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