From the author:
Causes for problems in change management
This can happen due to external influences, such as unpredictable market changes or political decisions. This can also be internal influences, for example employees who react differently than expected, or new board decisions. The cause can also be ourselves, the manager or the change team. Whatever influences are:
We will encounter this phenomenon again and again, we will find again and again that we are not able to plan everything down to the smallest detail in the future and that we have blind spots in us, that is, personality parts that we are not clear about. The factors that can throw the concept off track lurk everywhere. We call this phenomenon the factor X.
Factor X - the blind spot and our openness to surprises
That we will face the factor X is as safe as the Amen in the church. How he meets us and what he brings with us, on the other hand, is uncertain and can lead us in directions that surprise us completely. Nevertheless, we should not refrain from working with plans and concepts. Factor X does not question our theoretical foundations and practical experiences.
On the contrary: it requires us to respect the task, enriches us with the components of vigilance and flexibility and demands openness to learning. Today's change processes need this enormous openness for such “surprises” in order not to become out of touch with reality. The dynamic in which things change and adapt expects us to be able to integrate them - today more than ever.
The dilemma of order and chaos
At the same time, this is too much for many. We are reaching limits, the call for stability and continuity is loud. This puts us in the dilemma that Albert Einstein once described well: “Nothing can exist without order. Nothing can happen without chaos. ”
At the beginning of this book, we reported our perception as a limited resource because it is constrained by our attitudes, beliefs, and beliefs. This limitation - above all the problem of too strong targeting - influences our adaptability to reality.
The dance with the system
The understanding of Facilitating Change is to be able to dance with the factor X. The surprises and challenges that we face in the implementation of our assignments are an invitation to approach the blind spots and borders and thus to come closer to the solution. Where is the system sometimes blind, where naive, where too good faith, where is not exactly gogged?
This dance with the blind spots and the factor X requires inner stability, lust and openness with us and those involved in the process. For us, the image of dancing with the factor X is helpful because it has something playful, light and supports us in our openness and desire. We want to encourage that here.
Impulses from the off
However, external factors must also be taken into account: The classic external sources include decisions in politics, drastic developments on the stock exchange, changes in the law or simply the influences that are not caused by human hands, but by the environment and nature. These are all known and reliably recurring factor X topics.
Things get more restless on the floor when trading is driven by time and the market and it's just about being faster, better or at least as good. It gets creative and downright humorous when the impulses come from the “off”, that is to say as you pass. So suddenly the answer to a question can be found in the daughter's school essay, in a play or during a visit to a museum.
Internal factors X are the often cited but unknown “hidden agendas”. What does the partner and the board have in mind? What is his real concern? Which political calculation plays a role? What information does he hold back - for whatever reason?
The suspected “hidden agendas” are often sources for rumors and floor radio and tend to become independent. An information vacuum is filled with self-produced information and slowly a new consensus reality arises, i.e. knowledge that is accepted by a majority and that is seen as everyday reality. People start to act accordingly. The resulting dynamics are mostly astonishing.
The factor me
The phases of disorder in the change mean that some people use the favor of the hour to place themselves new or better. Sometimes, at the beginning of a process, it is open who will be, how the game looks and where it is going. People who stick to rules and agreements and focus more on content are easily the losers.
In his book “The Logic of Failure” (2003) Dietrich Dörner describes our lack of ability to really plan things through to the end in complex situations.
Planning as a guard rail
For this reason, the invitation here to not give up this illusion of planning genius and thus to protect the employees, the customers and themselves a bit from themselves. - Planning is a helpful guard rail, never the reality.
Another, treacherous factual source is our already much-cited blind spot. We are unclear about our perceptual filters, we overlook signals, or listen to information. In other words, we only see what we want to see, and not the guard rails that stand in the way.
Allow customers access
Our customers usually enjoy reliable change schedules and clear statements from us. An understandable need, but it's hard for us to do justice to it. That is why we draw our customers' attention to the phenomena of the factor X and the lack of real predictability of a change process.
We can give guidance, but the actual events will decide the actual course. We do not want to escape the responsibility of binding commitments, but we want to promote openness and vigilance for the actual happenings.
Stay connected with reality - 4 questions
Like the client, we also prepare those involved in the change for the factor X. For us, this is an “invitation” to stay connected to reality. This can be something light and playful and can be initiated by questions such as:
- Is there something where we just do not look?
- Are we traveling too optimistic?
- What is your employee really busy with: our topic or something completely different?
- What does the Flurfunk tell you?
How does the adaptability of organizations work?
Dealing with the factor X is an important component of the adaptability of organizations and thus an elementary component of the viability of an organization.
You may know the film “The Monkey Business Illusion” by Daniel J. Simons: Two teams play ball, one Team is white, the other dressed in black. The task is to count the ball change of the white team and let yourself be surprised ...
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Take the factor X perspective
I would like to make a thesis on this: As facilitators, we know that there are taboos, unconscious and unwanted in every process. These can certainly be factor X topics. Sometimes it is helpful for the process to bring these issues carefully into the room.
We see it as our role to take missing positions or votes as a proxy. For example, in the form: "If I spoke as an affected employee here, I would think and feel xy ..." or "As your customer I could think xy ...".
The deputy position
These deputy positions are an offer for the Group. If the offer resonates, we remain at the aspect. If there is no, we leave the track, because it is either not right or not at the moment.
If you work as a facilitator team, it is helpful in these phases to share the rolls cleanly. The one accepts missing voices or positions and makes offers, the other remains in the process control.
Facilitator self check
A prerequisite for the successful change process is always the meaningful “facilitator self-check”. Questions such as:
- What about our own dealings with the unexpected, the factor X?
- Where are we open ourselves, where are we fixated?
- Are we real enough - both ourselves and our environment?
- How dancid or how rigid are we on our way?
- Where is our own focus?
- Is the process just fun or do we want to finish?
These and similar questions help us to remain mobile and open in the process.
Factor X is an integral part of life and is therefore also part of change processes. Think of it as an invitation to openness - both externally and internally.
Factor X is the key to making change successful, acting like a permanent reality check and impulse generator, ensuring our adaptability. In other words, it keeps us alive and is our connection to the dance of life.
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