Being Bruce -: Change Is Simple, Right?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Change Is Simple, Right?

Can we hear a big "NOOO!!!"?

Change is not simple.

For change to really stick, for new learning to actually make a difference, we have to take it through several stages.

Here's a quick graphic of my current understanding of change:

Our friend and teacher Brian Klemmer wrote a wonderful little book, titled If How To's Were Enough, We Would All Be Skinny, Rich and Happy. He's absolutely right?

We could spend some time breaking this down and working through each step. But let's not. I think it's simple enough and  would love to hear your comments.

In the meantime, let's all have patience with ourselves and with others when great change doesn't  happen just because someone hears about something that is good for them.

And just because someone (including ourselves) says, "Yeah, I'm going to do that.", it doesn't mean it will really stick. And that's not because people are misled, or misleading themselves, or not getting it, or weak, or whatever. I only means they haven't worked through all the stages yet.

So let me know what you think about what I just wrote and about the graphic. I'd really like to know.




  1. I really like the model because it includes 5 other steps in addition to ACTING. It's too much being repeated that we need acts instead of talking and planning. Acting / doing is not enough. E.g. plain learning itself is not a sufficient goal if it clearly does not include the vision how it changes one's every day being.

    The next version of the map could be to position all steps in a network of nodes - multiple pieces of every one of them. In a network the learner / transformer does not proceed in a linear way. There are always several models / 'idols' who help you to make the next step. This is why I believe in networked learning. It's easier to e.g. make a small step toward acting, then maybe three small steps toward believing more and trying a portion of being in the middle. It sounds confusing in the beginning for a learner who has got used to learning being a 'course' kind of setting with a starting and an end point. The network enables the change - that's why network formation is so critical competence.

    In my opinion change can never begin from any other point than NOTICING - that's where the network also has biggest influence and impact. The behavior does not change without BELIEVING it being reachable. Then comes ACTING. THINKING follows (I use the 'daily photos' as an example: thinking changes when you literally walk different routes). KNOWING / KNOWLEDGE follows. BEING is permanently transformed, until you get a next impulse / notification from your network and process is repeated. (Reference: Transformative learning model by Jack Mezirow)

    Would a circle-formed path of the 6 steps as next layer on top of the 'nodes' visualize this? My idea can freely be further changed :)

  2. Hi Irmeli, Nice post, thank you.

    I get the image of the six steps in a circle, and can do that (create the graphic), and I get the idea of multiple copies of such circles in a network. What I'm not visualizing is the "6 steps as the next layer on top of the nodes". Can you help me a bit of what that would look like (maybe a scanned and emailed drawing?).

    Thanks, Bruce

  3. Bruce, I was pretty much developing the idea while writing the comment. So to transform that into a drawing takes some testing by me to. But I'll try :)

  4. Hi, Irmeli. I suspect, that like me, your thoughts and ideas come quickly and you find them easier to express via words than graphics. It takes me a while to "get" visuals, but I'll let the simmer for a while and give it a shot as well. - Bruce