Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Center of My Universe

This is a picture of the boundaries of the solar system.
How changes in the Sun define and impact everything around it.
The reach of its influence.
I thought this was a good analogy.

Yes I AM the center of my universe :)

Courtesy of

Over the past couple of years, I have learned that there are 4 levels to change.

- Internal change - Feeling that change needs to happen. Defining the change for myself on not only the intellectual level, but also on the EMOTIONAL level.

It's the integrated buy-in from both the head and the heart that motivates me to move on to the next level.

If the change is just in my head - it winds up becoming a list of "shoulds" and a weapon to beat myself up with. I don't need any more self-flagellation tools.

- Individual action - Acting on the internal change.
Do my actions move me closer to or further from my goals?

- Finding the tribe - Who shares my goals?
Who can serve as a support system?
How do my goals mesh with theirs?
How can I help them as they help me?

These folks don't have to be in physical proximity - though it helps to have a few nearby.
The small day-to-day decisions and actions are easier when support is close-at-hand.

- Critical mass - How many of us feel that the same change needs to be made?
At a certain point, with enough people marching in the same direction, culture change occurs.
Whether the leadership likes it or not :)

At the core of this is Internal Change.

I have to believe that this change is necessary and right.
Everything else seems to follow organically from that.
I find myself performing the next right thing.  Or making the next right decision.
I find myself surrounded by people with similar aspirations.  I find my tribe.
Ultimately - I observe a groundswell of change.

I'm seeing this dynamic at work right now.

Internal change - I sensed that I needed to look at a much broader picture than just an LMS replacement.

Individual action - I started evaluating what I had, what I needed, what trends I was seeing, and what obstacles needed to be considered as I looked at our Learning Ecosystem.

Finding the Tribe - I started reaching out to people who could help.  More importantly, I have also been trying to figure out how I can help them too.  Relationships are better when there is both give and take. I find the giving more satisfying.

Critical mass - Over the past few months, I've been seeing a greater emphasis on enterprise and collaboration vs. the silos and games of telephone.  This may just be one isolated corner of the world (mine), but I am not getting the resistance I have in the past.  The communications trail seems....flatter.

I'm observing this in other areas of the organization as well.  Not just by design (see the SWAT team), but also by general activity.
- Traditionally closed and isolated departments starting to tout their collaborative efforts with others.
- Cross-divisional teams creating operational programs with minimal headaches.
- Greater access to expertise.
- Groups moving from small, artisan shops to scalable enterprise programs.
- More people looking at the bigger picture vs. just at their own individual interests.

What's great about this is that it seems to be happening organically.

All I need to do is continue my individual internal and external activities.
Continue evaluating whether my thoughts and individual actions match what I want to see in my world.
And have faith that all will work as it should.

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