Here is 8eory (pronounce, a theory; the 8 also implies infinity) I’ve written one of the loads of books on change, and do NOT propose another theory. Basically every theory on change applies, as reality remains unchanged by theory. Theoretical Physics didn’t change the world. A theory only changes U (that’s why they called it Theory U?). What I present in my book is not in any theory. A theory sheds light on a situation. The practice – it is in the dark. In my book I extend the work of Will McWhinney (“Creating Paths of Change”) into a metapraxis: learning by “learning by doing”. Move towards the dark, the unknown; not towards the light. In the latter case, the shadows will grow, in the first case, the remaining light will be shed on the contours of your situation. It is called “the Gestalt”.

Any problem “is” a difference between current reality and an intended (or desired, or planned, or envisioned), together with your emotions. That’s why we call it emotion, because that is where the motion e-merges. (We tend – for some very plausible reasons – to ignore the feelings and emotions associated with the situation. This suppression is reasonable for the short term, but is currently the source of our long term, common situation. Now we’ve become addicted to the stress of the pressure.)

Each and every problem is also about how we create our relations (a.k.a. relationships) in our situation. That’s why we call it rea-li-ty. Here are my basic rules, based on experience:

* Go slow.

* How you (we) perceive a presenting situation is at least 80% of its solution.

* A wrong solution for the right problem is preferable over a good solution for the wrong problem (almost all implementation problems are very good solutions, but not for this problem). All innovations started as wrong solutions for the right problem.

* We need others, the perceptions, perspectives, views, framing of others on the presenting (current) situation, as we can not perceive outside our own frames

* What you call diagnosis is part of the problem and finding the right words is part of the problem. So when we are “in the dark”, when we “don’t know”, when we’re confused, we’re closer to the problem than when we’re in the light. Real information confuses.

* The learning is in the resistance: when every things goes well, you haven’t learned anything.

* Test your assumptions, not your conclusions. The conclusions are always good.

* When in doubt: always strive to concrete – concrete as in concrete – results.

* It is in the relationships, stupid.

* It is perfectly honest to state your own problems, when supporting others in solving their problems.

* We cannot solve problems; Not solving problems is also not a solution. Because in that case, doing nothing would solve problems.

* Did i say “go slow”?

Over Jan Lelie

Loves to facilitate groups in complex situations
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