- HOW TO INCREASE CIRCULARITY in Life and Work?
Circularity: a systemic micro competency to accelerate energy flow.

The word circularity does not refer to circles but to circulation such as in active flow.  Circularity or energy flow as it is defined in systems analysis is a measure of any system’s practical agility, creativity, reactivity, etc. Consequently, there are many excellent reasons to promote or activate positive circularity in one’s life in general, in all our personal and professional relationships, at home, with friends, in collective projects, in one-to-one interviews, in team meetings, in networks and organizations, etc.

  • In terms of management styles, circularity could correspond to the type of energy deployed by opportunist entrepreneurs and active serial developers. 

It defines the capacity to be open to all emerging occurrences in one’s environment and to be immediately ready to act, react, create, move forward, include, accelerate, sometimes change goals or strategies if necessary, etc.

  • In terms of organizational cultures, circularity could be the central defining criteria of a truly active digital network, of a start-up team, of a rapidly growing web company or of other highly dynamic viral systems. 

Consequently, circularity is foundational to the web and digital culture, fostering open or inclusive, spontaneous, immediate reactivity on a worldwide scale.

This article presents a simple technique for anyone to develop circularity or creative fluidity by practicing it as a micro competency.  The first objective is to develop one’s personal capacity to create circularity in all personal and professional activities.  To do so, consider it the most action and results-oriented among the other systemic micro competencies. 

The systemic quality of micro competencies is simple to observe and to measure.  When they are implemented within very short relational or interactive sequences on a local level, 

  1. They can have positive repercussions on a much larger time scale, on all life, career, longer term projects, etc.
  2. They can provoke and accompany cultural transformations that can help achieve measurable innovative results in partnerships, teams, networks, organizations, and much larger collective systems.

The systemic principle on which rests the effectiveness this and other micro competency is also easy to understand.  Sustained local change that achieves positive results will be copied or reproduced by others and will spread, almost virally, until it achieves a global result.  Consequently:

  • To achieve global results, it is first necessary start with local actions, to change behaviors in immediate personal environments, and that on a daily basis. 

It is useless to directly want to change anything on a global level.  That would be extremely time consuming, expensive and relatively ineffective.  Global change can only progressively emerge from successful local initiatives that model, are imitated and repeated again and again by others, gradually spreading to affect e use of micro competencies.

HOW TO CREATE CIRCULARITE IN MEETINGS AND AT WORK

Energy flows very little if at all in interactions that are too programmed, too predictable, too structured, directed and controlled.  Consequently the first step to create space for more circularity is to gradually insert more surprise, movement, agility, uncertainty, etc. everywhere, all the time.  To learn this process, one needs to initiate it in every possible discussion, partnership, project, meeting, team, network, etc. 

  • Note: To really transform any occasional micro competency into a habit, an acquired skill, one must first practice it for at least a month, as many times as possible, everywhere! 

A few examples on what can be done in discussions;

  • In any conversation, don’t speak more than any other person.  Better say less and be strategic than just take up space.
  • Never respond by directing your energy towards expected persons.  It is more inclusive to address other people than the ones that may be your first choice. 
  • When you speak, address all the team members in the room, all the guests around a table, all the friends at a picnic.  Don’t just focus on the one of two people you want to impress or who attract your attention.
  • When you are listening or observing, do not just look the ones who are speaking or being central. Keep your eyes on each of the other individuals present in the assistance or in the room.
  • If someone is speaking loudly or attempting to draw your undivided attention, look at all the other persons instead, in order to draw them in. 
  • When you express yourself, get to the point with simple words.  Energy should flow like lightning.  The most powerful comments are generally the shortest. 
  • Burn your politically correct language, routine exposés, and banal arguments by saying what you mean directly.  Do the same for others by asking third persons to simplify or clarify what has being said: ask for translations in clear language.
  • Make simple synthetic conclusions, or ask for them, when you hear excessively formalized speeches, standard opinions and complicated formulations.
  • If you tend to be very vocal, regularly experiment expressing your opinion only when asked, even if you completely disagree. 
  • If you tend to be withdrawn, more regularly raise your hand or make a sign that you want to input and be heard before you speak up.
  • Model by being precise, specific, clear, short and to the point.  When others are not, congratulate them for succeeding in loosing you, and ask them for a simple restatement.
  • When consulting others, ask for five different options before opening a discussion on any one, for five different opinions before focusing on any one, etc.
  • Don’t make long lavish speeches.  You will quickly be the only person listening to yourself!  Start by saying : "I will be short"
  • With paradoxical humor, refuse all self-disqualifications and victim introductions such as “This may be a bad idea, but…”, by saying “Then don’t present it !” while waiting for it to be exposed.
  • Chase abusive generalizing statements, and say I instead of we.  Precisely name people and systems to which you refer.
  • If you have not understood something, ask for clarification.  If you have a question, offer it. If you a vital request, express it.  You are probably not the only one in the room with these needs. You will probably express something for part of the larger system.
  • Ask everyone what could really, really stretch them if you all thought completely out of the box.  Conversely, ask how what you are doing can be twice as original and four times as useful, half as complicated and much less expensive, etc.
  • Shorten all long historical or contextual explanations, anecdotes and theoretical presentations that are offered to illustrate ideas.  Such lengthy developments kill energy flow and participative circularity.  They feed passivity.
  • Don’t dwell on jokes and other sidetracking stories. Humor can indeed serve as an excellent lubricant, but it also swerves away from the collective focus on the goal.  Always keep an eye on the conversation’s purpose.
  • If you are getting bored or lost, speak up!  You are probably not alone.
  • If nobody is active, volunteer to help pin papers up on the wall, move tables, clean up, find something or support someone. 
  • If the room looks like a mess, publicly ask for help to get it back in order during a break.  Use that opportunity to restructure the space, remodel established territories,
  • Don’t slouch.  A straight back expresses interest and energy is known to flow better in straight spinal columns. 
  • Don’t get into polar arguments.  When someone disagrees with you, ask for a third opinion, a fourth and a fifth.  Also intervene to open discussions when two other participants get stuck arguing with each other.
  • In another stuck discussion, declare that the two protagonists actually completely agree, but that they have not come to realize it. (And they do agree to disagree!)
  • Whenever you feel the discussion is over-structured, too constraining, ask how the discussion can be more open, flow more spontaneously. 
  • Start all meetings with short and easy subjects in order to gather momentum, before you face the heavier issues.
  • Do not spend time and energy justifying yourself.  It is often exasperating for others.  
  • Admit it when you are poorly prepared, when you’ve made a mistake, when you don’t understand.  You will be modeling that such shortcomings are normal.  Nobody is perfect!
  • Whenever third persons or absentees are criticized behind their backs, announce that you are glad you are there to limit comments concerning you.
  • Whenever you have several ideas you want to share on one subject, strategically expose one option, and keep the others for later, after everyone volunteered their input. Avoid presenting them all in a row, thereby monopolizing the floor.
  • Whenever anyone is filibustering, raise your hand or stand up and play stupid by saying you are completely lost and would really appreciate a short summary to understand the bigger picture.
  • When you perceive that your partners are over cautious and controlling, ask what could be immediately started in the field, just to get momentum.
  • Whenever someone is standing and monopolizing the front of the stage, gently invite him or her to sit and relax next to you. In the same way, invite in anyone who may be sitting out the group, far from the others.
  • When the dialogue gets bogged down, ask for input from someone who has not been participating or who is staying on the periphery.  Outsider opinions often offer unexpected perspectives. 
  • When conversations really get stuck, ask for a diplomatic break in order to allow side discussions and fresh air open the dialogue behind the scenes.
  • Breaks are useful.  Do not allow them to be too short.  Most of the real thinking and many emerging solutions appear in open spaces.   Controlling people want them to be totally reduced.
  • Whenever too much chaotic energy is too disruptive, ask for one minute of shared silence, and pull out your watch to monitor it precisely.  New perspectives also often emerge from silence.
  • Whenever possible, remove all physical obstacles between people such as desks, tables, objects, plants, excessive space, sophisticated equipment, etc.  The most performing teams often meet in the round, with nothing between the participants, not even paper.
  • For the same system, team, network or partnership, never organize two meetings in the same location and with the same furniture setup.  Avoid all forms of routines.  Surprise and improvise. 

COUNTER INDICATIONS

As you read the above items, be aware of your perceptions, feelings and emotional reactions.  Some may challenge or surprise you.  Others may be perceived as easily accessible.  But do not attempt any of these strategies if you are not reasonably sure they will achieve a shared positive result.

The purpose of practicing circularity-oriented micro strategies on a regular basis is first to provoke opportunities for shared movement, action, energy and applied creativity within environments that need to develop a higher degree of collaborative peer participation. 

  • It is absolutely not useful to propose any of these micro changes without strategic aim, just to endorse a differentiating creative role to get attention.

Some individuals and as many collective systems use a creativity pretext just to have fun, to divert energy, to hide an incapacity to decide, organize, relate with each other, etc.  In this perspective, a sustained effort to first develop other complementary micro competencies may be vital to ensure success. In that perspective, for specific individuals and teams, it could be especially useful to begin by first developing other micro competencies, maybe starting with the least appealing or the tone that appears most out of reach.

RESISTANCE STRATEGIES

Obviously, a few of the micro strategies and techniques listed above are unusual, some even considered impolite or politically incorrect.  They may occasionally provoke resistance if not reject.  Consequently, they are to be softly proposed with diplomacy, respect and an unassuming low position.  The object is not to attract attention, hurt others, push a process, create opposition or become central. 

As with other micro competencies, the art of creating circularity needs to be implemented with a light, participative and relaxed attitude.

Caution: In terms of energy, know that the first law of thermodynamics applies here.  It stipulates that any force exerted in a given direction automatically provokes an equivalent force in the opposite direction, called resistanceResistance creates heat.

The same thing goes for the quality of energy in a relationship.  Those that are not respectful receive non-respect in return.   Those who are fearful provoke fear in return.  Sadness also exists between people more than it inhabits only one person.  Consequently, the quality of energy deployed while implementing circularity strategies will have more effect than the micro competency techniques in themselves. 

  • As one practices it will be useful to really take each environment’s reactions into account, in order to learn how to adjust. 

The circularity-provoking role is rather close to that of a meeting’s facilitator.  It aims to accelerate system fluidity, support inclusion, creativity and reactivity if not pro-activity, in a creative way.  It can upset systems that privilege formalism, structure, linear thinking, excessive information, exclusion, territorial behaviors, control, predictability, tried and tested procedures, painfully acquired habits, etc. 

In these more conservative contexts, a circularity-provoking facilitator should not proceed in a forceful way.  That would provoke a resisting polarity.  The facilitator would risk becoming the focus of negative attention and possible rejection. Agility in the role consists in proceeding in a light, agreeable, flowing fashion, just at the limit of the participating partners acceptable discomfort zone.

At the end of any shared process when you have assumed such a facilitating function, ask partners how your role has been perceived and how you can improve.  Whenever critical or resisting comments are offered, acknowledge them and ask for more input from others until an open dialogue can set in. Eventually ask questions that can help expand the discussion: 

  • Do you perceive a difference between this meeting and other ones we have had together in the past?
  • Were we more free and spontaneous than usual? 
  • Did we get out of our routines?
  • Did we share more than usual?   Did more people input than usual? Did we respect each other more than usual?
  • Do you find this meeting was shorter, more effective, more creative than usual? 
  • Does anyone want to ensure the same type of role, focused on creating fluidity in our dialogues, in future meetings we may have together? (You could brief that person on technique later)

Whatever happens, repeat practicing this energy circulation micro competency for at least a full week in all your face-to-face, phone, project, network and team meetings, whether they are formal or impromptu professional or with friends.  You just want to accumulate your own experience in order to develop your skill.

PRACTICE CIRCULARITY IN OTHER CONTEXTS

  • Each time you commute to work, take different routes, alternate transportation means: bike, cab, bus, train, walk, car, metro, UBER, etc.
  • Always choose different destinations for vacations, theatre shows, cinemas, lunches, dinners, shopping, etc. Explore to break all your routines.
  • Have your face-to-face meetings each time in a different setting, in an office, at the park, in a restaurant, in a coffee shop, in a public library, in a hotel lobby, while strolling, on a public bench, etc.  Make your office redundant.
  • At home, regularly change your favorite sitting place, your side of the bed, your eating area, the furniture setup, the wall decorations, etc.  Make yourself and everything mobile.
  • If you rent, move on a regular basis to mark your different life cycles. If you own your home, regularly refurbish, remodel, modulate, redesign, etc.
  • Change your look repeatedly, everyday of the week to the point of personalizing a wide range of opposing styles.  Enjoy navigating from a farmer look to a sailor’s style, from hobo to classical Italian, from minimalist to vamp or dandy, from comfy to sports to posh English, to over dressed, etc.
  • Detach yourself or lighten yourself from everything material.  When needed, rent a car or bike, read online, go Air BNB, etc.  Not owning allows space for much more variety.
  • De-program vacations.  No more reservations, no prior engagements, no firmly defined routes and set destinations.  Practice letting go and welcome unexpected emerging events, improbable synchronous occurrences that come to inspire your every move.  
  • Order plates you never tasted, buy fruits and veggies you have never seen before, read foreign writers, study unknown fields, African history, Chinese authors, etc. 
  • Listen to world music, new instruments, learn a new language, do anything that can stretch your acquired tastes.  Learn how to appreciate new discoveries.
  • Etc.

CIRCULARITY IN TEAMS AND NETWORKS

In order to increase systemic circularity in regular executive or strategic meetings, for instance on a monthly basis, these can regularly be organized in different locations: in different properties, on different floors of a building, in different regions, countries, buildings, departments and rooms. 

The habit of getting out of their ivory tower and go out to be seen in the field increases executive visibility and accessibility, contact with operations, dialogue with local teams, interfacing between territories, co-responsibility and collaborative behaviors between members of the team..  Symbolically, the presence of the executive team is increased as perceived by middle management and the rest of the personnel.  This increases motivation, creates communication channels, models accessibility and mobility throughout the system.

  • Examples: In order to reinforce internal communication between organizational entities, such roaming executive meetings can also participate in exceptionally organized local events such as a tour or visit of the receiving property, an evaluation of the local system’s performance, validation of local successes, town hall meetings with the personnel, support the launching of new processes, services or products, open door operations, meeting with local clients or suppliers, bench marking operations, review innovations, etc.

The goal in this type of event is to reinforce organizational leadership’s identity and presence as a collaborative team, develop a higher sense of ownership and corporate identity, validate, and thereby support cultural means to achieve better results. 

Furthermore, we invite meeting participants to regularly rotate functional meeting roles that focus on micro competencies.  On the one hand that gives each an extraordinary opportunity to practice implementing each micro competency in turn and to model how to do it to the other participants.  On the other hand, these roles have a complementary effect on each other, thereby measurably improving the meeting’s effectiveness.  Among the others, an extra role of meeting host can be added to organize pertinent local events in each of the roaming strategic meetings.   

In each meeting, each participating team partner ensures a different role, with the exception of the team leader who remains totally focused on the one role he or she needs to ensure: that of decision maker. In this way the quality of interfaces between all the team members is modified and expanded from meeting to meeting.  Routines in the way each person participates are disrupted and collective habits are avoided before they can even form.  Rituals are blown away and each is kept on his or her toes.

  • Note: In time, this type of systemic circularity has proven to affect system processes and results considerably increasing creativity, shared responsibility, quality expectations, collaborative parity, problem-solving effectiveness, innovation, and results.

One of the most remarkable effects is to redistribute the energy habitually delegated upwards and focused on the team leader, towards much richer transversal collaborative processes that emerge between team members.  Whenever such a change occurs within an executive team, an indirect viral effect emerges within the rest of the organization these executives lead.

  • Example: another possibility to increase the development of systemic circularity within teams is to regularly modify the physical layouts and objects in the meeting room: Seating arrangement, tables and other furniture, technical equipment, etc.

It is no secret that in too many organizations, executive team processes follow almost religious ritual, kin to catholic liturgics.   The same people sit in the same places, in a room that is invariably arranged with the same setup.  They then play the same roles to address the same partners and embody the same coalitions and oppositions, to achieve the same type of conclusions. 

One can recognize rigidly structured almost mechanized procedures inherited from the industrial revolution.  In such a context, no matter the apparent differences suggested by each slightly adapted meeting agenda, everything seems to be absolutely predictable, almost a déjà vu.  Surprisingly in such contexts, everyone also earnestly wonders why on earth it can be so difficult to implement minor operational variations, almost insignificant cultural change.  

  • Note:  To introduce even the slightest form of systemic circularity in such environments is to introduce the possibility for movement, originality, and innovation.

In each meeting, the layout can be changed with or without tables, with chairs in a circle in a U shape, in amphitheatre setup all looking at a same focal point, or in variable sub-groups, around round tables or each focused on a flip-chart, or nothing.

As soon as a team pays attention to such structural or meeting architecture details, it rapidly becomes fascinated by the extraordinarily power, energy, creativity and circularity liberated by various room dispositions, organized to cater to such or such specific situation.

Amphitheatres focus and centralize.  That can be useful when dispensing the same highly structured informational content to all attendees.  It may align, and create passivity or limit collective participation and innovation.  Tables allow concentration on notes, note pads, computers and other equipment along with an accumulation of personal belongings.  Tables may also provoke territoriality, sedimentation, coalitions and oppositions.  Large groups centralize while small groups pluralize, differentiate and multiply.  Whether it is useful to question, think together, inform, discuss, partake in dialogues, openly converse, solve problems, elaborate a project, innovate, learn, etc. there are always more or less appropriate meeting room setups, and some that are counterproductive.  In fact each item on a meeting agenda could call for a change in a meeting room’s organization. 

  • Attention: It is also useful to see that the same persons do not always have the same neighbors, thereby naturally creating clans and coalitions, stronger alliances and corresponding exclusions. 

Of course, the team leader also needs to exemplify mobile circularity by modifying is or her position within the system layout, within each meeting and from meeting to meeting.  Likewise whenever present, an eventual team coach’s function is to also support all forms of systemic circularity if not to provoke such movement by judiciously offering comments and asking questions, by continuously modeling mobile behaviors and interactions with each of the team members.

What has been presented above concerning team space or political topography, equally applies to team time management.  Necessary structure is not the equivalent of rigidity.  If meeting dates and agendas need to be set up with sufficient lead time, that doesn’t mean that meetings always have to be organized on the same days of the week or month, be of the same length nor that they have to repeat identical agendas.  If time structure is repetitious to the point of becoming completely predictable, there is a very high probability that routine has nested into the organization’s genetics and culture.

  • Example: Depending on pertinent needs and circumstances, each team meeting can and should be structured differently.  They can start or finish with convivial activities, a lunch or dinner, a collective event, etc.  Their lengths should vary from meeting to meeting, as the positions and lengths of breaks could be appropriately creative.  This goes also, of course for each of the agenda items. 

Here too, the objective in not to insert variety for the sake of variety but to favor appropriate circularity, to accelerate the flow of interactive energy, facilitate improbable interactions, make room for occasional unexpected chaotic churn.  This is where emerging opportunities and innovation often chooses to surface.

  • Note: When implemented within team meetings, this simple type of systemic circularity creates wonders locally, and sets the stage for a viral process that can gradually, effortlessly modify much larger organizational cultures.

Within any team or network, an increase in energy circularity develops adaptability and opens the doors to change. Not only can team members measure their collective evolution as a system, but they can perceive that individual members are also becoming more present, reactive, creative, interactive with peers, other teams and departments other actors within and outside of the organization.  In a generalized indirect way, one of the principle benefits of increased circularity in any system is a measurable shift from:

  • Attention on personal issues towards a presence to collective participation and goals.
  • Routine behaviors and interests towards active creativity and innovation
  • Territorial or silo strategies towards higher participation in interactive behaviors increase collective results..

THE LEADER IN TEAM CIRCULARITY

Know that if the facilitation function in a meeting is generally associated with creating positive and participative circularity, this is particularly true when that facilitator is not involved in pushing any meeting content.   The role is limited to managing the process.

Should leaders be present in their team meetings, as is often the case, it is advised that they do not also assume any facilitation role.  They need to support such a facilitator role, held by any other participant.  The leader and others attendees can help accelerate the meeting energy flow and co-create circularity, so long as that is not in opposition to the facilitation, in a competitive stance

Whether in face-to-face relationships or in any form of collective setting, all types of polarities could seriously limit the development of positive circularity.  Such polarities can occur between any two members of a team or between the team members as a whole and their leader.  Very naturally, leaders often follow their own behavioral patterns: they can either stick to their usual personal behaviors and convictions, and/or they can be aspired into sterile team games and become unwilling actors in a non-creative polarized executive collective process.

  • They may occupy a central top-down position and direct through their vision, convictions, ethics, procedures, etc. and face admiration from receptive and relatively submissive employees (Institutional Polarity);
  • They may occupy a central, knowledgeable, controlling position based on convincing selling strategies, facing other expert challengers, wasting time in endless informational arguments (Technocratic polarity);
  • They may be stuck in relational coalitions and oppositions resting on behind-the-scenes arrangements, political games and recognition issues (Relational polarity).
  • They may also spend their time putting out fires, managing one crisis after another in an never-ending action-oriented chaotic process, (Negative circularity)

The viral or holographic effect of each of the above sterile team processes is that they reinforce similar patterns throughout the organization that this leader and team lead.  As a consequence, the whole organization models on their leading team’s interactive patterns, it reproduces them, and it achieves the same type of limited results. 

Obviously, it would be much more productive to accompany both the leader and team to develop their collective capacity to interact with a higher level of positive circularity and achieve much more consequential results. 

The leader’s role is precisely to initiate, model, support and reinforce team circularity by deploying the same micro competencies within the team, day in and day out. Whatever the subject, the content, the issue, and the people concerned, the objective is then to concretely deploy circularity-inducing behaviors as often as possible. This can be achieved by any leader and can be actively supported by any and all members of his or her team.

Obviously, provoking circularity as a leader and within one’s own could be a challenge, especially if the team is entrenched in resisting behaviors. That would call for resiliency in a decision to never let go. Indeed, any team who has developed habits in polarity strategies or chaotic circularity on the long term has found a number of advantages to enjoy the situation. Paradoxically, in many teams, polarities and negative circularity serve in fact to control leaders by keeping them busy.  That allows most of the rest of the team to enjoy the show, and a relative degree of comfort and predictability.  There are a number of pitfalls to avoid:

  • In keeping with the list presented above, the leader should avoid ever being on the podium, by the flipcharts, facing the team, and managing power points.
  • The leader can experiment seating within the team, just as would any other member.  From that point, any process-oriented and fluidity-related comment, action and reaction can serve to direct the team from within, just as would any other team member.

These circularity-provoking tactics are particularly useful in resisting, rebellious or contradictory work environments.

  • Caution: Whenever leader position themselves within their teams, members occupying lateral positions to their right and left are to be closely monitored.  These often attempt coalitions with the leader at the expense of other team members or can reveal important personal attention needs that could occupy more of the leader’s time than really warranted.  

The process objective of all face-to-face and team meetings and collective projects is to ensure everyone’s active participation.  Do not give the leader a central role nor to allow a variety of tenors or divas to attract attention, polarize, fight to the finish, and play relational politics. These in fact undermine results.  Developing positive circularity in energy flow between all the team members, leader included, is the fundamental key to success for all real results-oriented, successful entrepreneurial cultures. 

Concretely and in the same way as all other team members, a leader can validate low profile, limit excessive analysis, refocus, open on options and solutions, ask for other opinions, make space for the newcomers, etc.  All the circularity-inducing micro competencies presented above apply. 

In time, supported by a modeling leadership, all other team members will get the message and copy the behaviors and spread the process.  This needs to be done in all formal and impromptu meetings, with suppliers and clients, with other departments, one-on-one and collectively. These micro competencies will gradually allow everyone to develop their responsible and responsive autonomy, empower themselves by initiating in all situations, to achieve collective results.  The leader’s only difference will then be to keep a keep eye on longer-term strategy, and decide whenever that becomes judicious.

SHORT TERM EFFECTS

As individuals and teams experiment provoking an energy-related circularity process, they will rapidly notice a number of immediately emerging results. Meetings and interactions will be more frank, open, trustful, fun, creative, participative, action-focused, mobile, collaborative, dynamic, etc. Of course, they may loose in linearity, predictability and formal structure.  They will be less ritualized.

As you gradually install more and more circularity in your different work and life environments, you will be modeling and othrs will join.  They will better manage themselves to join the energy flow, include more participative interactions, open more communication channels, become more active, reactive, pro-active, accelerate, innovate.  Your individual and collective results will add to the motivation.  As this evolution proceeds in time, compare progress in your different contexts, how each of your partners chooses to fit in the shared action-oriented flow, how each contributes in an inclusive manner, making space for others.

Notice what are commonalities and differences whenever you choose to assume the circularity facilitator function, and whenever someone else takes on that role.  Notice what you can learn from others and how you can support their evolution to smooth out the process.  Once a month, evaluate your progress, invent other ways to innovate, test new strategies and tactics.

Then look for other areas where you can experiment again and again in different personal and professional projects, in order to expand all your collective endeavors out of over-planned, controlled and predictable outcomes.

SYSTEMIC AWARENESS

One can often observe that in formal systems such as families, teams, networks, structured groups, each person or element of those systems tries to blend in by copying and reinforcing established system processes. These processes are often learned by mimetic behaviors, modeling and viral distribution.  In very large organizations they are reproduced sub system to sub system, from team to team until they become its active culture

As a consequence, all systems become engrained with rituals, habits and routines that become considered as normal by all the members.  Any different behavior seems out of place, questionable, dangerous and even outlandish.   In fact learned processes become so normal in systems that they become transparent to the members of the system.  These loose the consciousness of what they do, and become unaware that other processes are possible, sometimes much more effective.  In most organizations, countries, cultures, this normalization process takes place on all levels.  Its positive dimension is called integration.  It helps develop recognizable collective identity.  The negative result is rejection of all that is different, and fear of innovation.  Gradually, stepping out of line becomes impossible unless everyone’s backs have been completely covered.

Changing this state of affairs through change management programs, by attempting to program change, by making speeches and designing collective visions of change is generally ineffective once a strong system culture has set in.  Such attempts often result in resistance, sabotage and passive behaviors.   To be moderately successful, they require enormous amounts of time and money.

Global change is impossible if one wants to achieve it by designing a global strategy and then rolling out global action. 

All successful change has started locally, in reduced environments, often initiated by one sole individual who took the responsibility or initiative to first test and then improve a personal local strategy.  Small local changes provoked by personal tests and improvements such as when volunteering micro competencies in reduced environments are the best way to achieve results.   These results are indeed almost inconsequential at first.  But they are then noticed by others, supported, and reproduced by others until the results become much more measurable, much more significant.  This is how repeatedly testing micro competencies in all personal and professional contexts can gradually contribute to building major change, from the bottom up, from the local to the global.

In order to achieve any sustainable change, anybody can start contributing, everywhere they have any possibility to actively participate in developing active circularity.  This opportunity to initiate global is at everyone’s reach locally, at home, at the office, with friends, in a meeting, every time one participates in any micro interaction with anybody.  When will you start?

Enter your email and suscribe to our newsletter
Your email is not valid, please enter a valid email.