Continuing our series on change.
We live in an extraordinarily complex, post-digital world, where interdependencies and interconnections multiply at an ever-increasing speed. The cause-effect relationships that govern the world as we experience it create a super intricate ‘network of networks’ and we have a very limited understanding of the underlying properties of these networks and the laws that govern them. At the same time, we have unprecedented access to information and unprecedented depth of knowledge. While it is useful, information is not the same thing as knowledge, and only knowledge can actually change us.
Fortunately, it is possible to transform the way individuals and organizations make decisions and pursue their goals. That possibility is connected to a new and more powerful ability to use the three faculties of the intellect connected with intuition (birth of an idea), understanding (analysis/development) and knowledge (application/execution). When we tap into these largely unexploited faculties, we increase our ability to leverage a higher intelligence, and our ability to learn and act coherently with this learning.
The issues then become:
- how can I fortify my intellect?
- how can I develop a better ability to generate intuition, understanding and knowledge?
- is there a practical way of doing it?
Gaining a better, more disciplined handle on the way we think, speak and act requires a non-negligible effort. This effort can be fuelled and sustained only if the achievement of this new mastery addresses simultaneously the two main needs that both individuals and organizations have (as we saw in our previous post): control and vision.
Tools for change
Thanks to the work of Israeli physicist, Dr. Eli Goldratt, there is a powerful set of Thinking Process Tools that can help us manage the change process. These tools, when used systematically and thoroughly, create manageable change while fortifying our intellect in a positive, reinforcing cycle. The more we use the tools, the better equipped we are for change, and the more we stimulate intelligent emotions and the kind of higher intelligence we need to cope with our complex reality.
These tools are part of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and have been described in many publications, including Deming and Goldratt: The Decalogue, Lepore & Cohen, 1999, and more recently, Sechel, Domenico Lepore, 2011. The tools are connected with the three main phases of change:
- what to change
- what to change to
- how to make the change happen
For each of these phases, there are Thinking Process Tools that take us from a detailed analysis through to step-by-step actions to make the desired change happen in an emotionally intelligent and logically thorough way. We will match these phases and tools in our next post.