Thursday, 20 May 2010

Episode IV: A New Hope

Have you ever felt like you're crumbled up in a deadlocked situation ? Workwise or in private, this is what happens to us all every once in a while. We let the situation work us instead of taking charge and work the situation. Easy enough said ? Yes, I guess it is. That's why we need some tools to handle it.

One heuristic is the title of this blog post. 'A new hope' emerges in the star wars story - although Luke has to go through the toughest trials and most desperate choices. 'Episode IV' reminds me that this is not the first time it has happened, too. And third: it always makes me feel good to think about star wars - films that have followed me since childhood and which I still enjoy and admire. In many ways star wars redefined movies, storytelling, special effects etc.

The Satir Change Model is another good heuristic (if I may be allowed to call it that). The model tells us that the situation we're in, the status quo, will try to make us cling on to it for better or for worse. (Think about it: the old system is always better. The old project crew was better than these new guys. The old project manager was much nicer. Ever heard any of these claims before ?).
The status quo makes us feel safe and we or it will want us to stay there.

Enter - the foreign element. The one that forces us out - the change that makes the status quo intolerable - or simply kicks us out from it. We're out on a limb and we feel: chaos.

If you can keep your head straight you can use chaos positively to find new paths, this far forgotten or never seen before. We find new ways. New ideas. New possibilities. Of course, not all of them are equally good and must be abandoned which puts us back into chaos.

But eventually we find our way up and out of the insecure chaos. The things we do start to work and we have grown in experience, perhaps even in knowledge. This is known as the new status quo in the Satir Change Model.

A lot of other, smarter people have written about this model. I merely describe it from memory - and experience. But I must say, going through change with the awareness of this model must be preferred by most people. Me at the very least. Knowing why I feel chaotic, insecure and afraid - all perfectly normal when in chaos - is comforting in itself, but also knowing that this is a land of opportunity helps using it constructively.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple heuristic: 'Episode IV: A New Hope' helps me. So I thought it might help you too.