Change – Stability Dilemma

    Organizations have innate aspects that respond to external and internal forces. By understanding these forces, leaders can gently encourage the organization to move easily and inevitably forward. Within all organizations, there is a change-stability dilemma, where the opposing desires of wanting to stay the same and yet change are prevalent. Each organization has the possibility of remaining stable or growing and expanding. The main focus of most financially focused organizations is to deliver a product or service efficiently and work hard to produce this continually while there is still a satisfactory market for it.

    Managers are trained to use well-researched systems that support stability of the organization enabling success through sustained reliability. There is also a wide array of research aimed at supporting change. The ability to sustain stability is entrenched in the system whereas the ability to change is seen as difficult and so requires expertise.

    The more an organization attaches itself to one end of the change-stability dilemma, the more difficult it is for them to incorporate the other. Stability in organizations is nurtured by ensuring that people’s focus and energy is directed towards features that support stability and block those that foster change, much as blinkers are put on mules to block out distractions.

    Likewise, if the reverse is practiced, the organization will be susceptible to change, occurring without much effort. The goal is to have a balance of energy, which assists the organization to remain stable yet open to change when it is required. It is the role of the leader to inspire others to feel safe to choose the proper direction, one of change or stability. A transformational leader must be aware of where to place the focus of their energy by utilizing their own energy and engaging with the organization enabling all to be open to transformational change when required rather than feeling threatened by change. Force is not necessary to move in the direction of change if systems are designed to support this just as they have been to support stability.

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