WHEN WE CHANGE HOW WE COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER, WE CHANGE HOW WE SEE EACH OTHER AND WHAT WE BELIEVE IS POSSIBLE. training class or two did not completely eradicate patterns of behavior that people have been rewarded for engaging in for decades - if not lifetimes. Let's take a moment to unravel complex change in simple terms to better appreciate what makes it so complex. HOW OUR BELIEFS GROW INTO CULTURES THAT BLOSSOM INTO SYSTEMS Our beliefs are like seeds planted in our minds that grow into behaviors. A simple example would be a belief that being a good and effective leader means keeping everyone and everything under control. When leaders believe that's what successful leadership is, they engage in behaviors such as telling people what to do and punishing them for making mistakes. These accepted behaviors come to define corporate cultures - even if the plaque with the company values says something entirely different. To ensure that these behaviors are consistently repeated throughout an organization, complex systems are built to reinforce them and disenfranchise people who don't comply with the expected norms. Fear is used to ensure that the system runs smoothly by making it very difficult for new behaviors to sprout up and take root in organizations. Witness the careerending move where someone spoke their truth and found themselves plucked out of the line for possible advancement. | 36 It's important to note that fear controls everyone in the organization. Senior leaders are not exempt. They have their own set of unwritten rules they must follow. Violating those norms can be just as devastating for them as anyone else - only the consequences are typically more public and harder to recover from. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CATALYZING COMPLEX CHANGE? It's important for everyone who dreams of truly changing any complex system to understand what we're up against. The process of unearthing old beliefs, planting new ones, growing new skills, and using them to completely reimagine and establish new systems will not be easy. We will come face-to-face with our own limitations over and over and over again. If we are to stay the course and truly establish sustainable new ways of being and doing, there are some conversations we need to have right now to give ourselves a better chance of success: WHAT MAKES COMPLEX CHANGE DIFFERENT? It's essential that the various stakeholders who will play a role in supporting complex change understand what differentiates complex change QUESTIONS TO CULTIVATE SHARED CURIOSITY * How will resolving this be a gift? * How do you see this situation? * What is bothering you/us the most about this? * What is your experience with this? * What would you say or do if it didn't matter? * How are we getting in our own way? * What is one step we can take to move this forward? * What are we not talking about that we need to? * How is fear impacting this situation? * What is the next question we need to explore? * What is truly at stake here?