Dynamics of the Change Process

Fullan (1993) lists eight "basic lessons" that can be learned about the process of change and improvement:

Lesson One: You Can't Mandate What Matters (The more complex the change, the less you can force it.)

Lesson Two: Change is a Journey, not a Blueprint (Change is non-linear, loaded with uncertainty and excitement and sometimes perverse.)

Lesson Three: Problems are Our Friends (Problems are inevitable and you can't learn without them.)

Lesson Four: Vision and Strategic Planning Come Later (Premature visions and planning blind)

Lesson Five: Individualism and Collectivism Must Have Equal Power (There are no one-sided solutions to isolation and group think.)

Lesson Six: Neither Centralization Nor Decentralization Works (Both top-down and bottom-up strategies are necessary.)

Lesson Seven: Connection with the Wider Environment is Critical for Success (The best organizations learn externally as well as internally.)

Lesson Eight: Every Person is a Change Agent (Change is too important to leave to the experts, personal mind set and mastery is the ultimate protection.) (pp. 21-22)

How do these eight lessons fit together? As Fullan (1993) notes later:

"There is a pattern underlying the eight lessons of dynamic change and it concerns one's ability to work with polar opposites: simultaneously pushing for change while allowing self-learning to unfold; being prepared for a journey of uncertainty; seeing problems as sources of creative resolution; having a vision, but not being blinded by it; valuing the individual and the group; incorporating centralizing and decentralizing forces; being internally cohesive, but externally oriented; and valuing, personal change agentry as the route to system change." (p. 40)

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