Embrace Change in 2010

If you, like me, are a student of change, you are probably familiar with the Bridges model and the Kotter model. Both classics.

But how about the Satirmodel?

Virginia Satir was a family therapist and author whose understanding of the process of change has found a home in the world of coaching and software engineering.

Blogger Steven. M. Smith provides a well-illustrated summary of the Satir model, and blogger David Cheong relates it to his personal change journey.

In his piece called "Embrace change, your life depends on it," Cheong says: "...change is always scary. Yet, it is the Secret to Success."

The Secret to Success! Great point.

So as you look ahead to this new year and formulate your goals and intentions, here are some thoughts on embracing change to achieve success.

Challenge - Satir identified the role of a Foreign Element in triggering change. The foreign element can be an idea, a person, or an action that destabilizes your status quo and threatens your comfort. What foreign element can you embrace to start the unfreezing movement toward change?

Happening - You may have heard this old saying: "Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened." How do you become the person who makes things happen?

Agent of Change - You may have heard the phrase "agent of change" but have you thought of yourself that way? An agent of change understands "agency" and sees change as taking initiative to make things happen.

Radicalize - The word "radical" gets a bad rap when people use it to mean extreme or fanatical. Go to the dictionary, and we find that originally radical meant "having roots." So radicalize your embrace of change by asking yourself, What are the roots of my vision, my calling, my passion?

Go - While planning to change is important --and you should assess risk, gather data and analyze options-- don't get stuck there. Do. Move. Act. Take the risk. And see what happens.

Engage - And don't go it alone. Partner up. Collaborate. Synergize with others.

Satir, in her understanding of the process of change, recognized that, at some point in the chaos, there is an "aha moment" where a Transforming Idea emerges, an idea that re-orders things, that alters your vision, an idea that leads to a breakthrough.

To your transformation! and your success!

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Jan 13, 2010


The fear aspect is just one of the things that may happen in the chaotic state. There are others. Some hide, some visionary might even push forward.

I found your points very motivational. The thing is, that you can get used to change. Basically, you need to learn how to change by changing often. But keep in mind, people like to change, but not to be changed (from Fearless Change).

Thanks for sharing.
Terrence Seamon said…
Thank you for commenting on this post.
Your point about learning "how to change by changing often" is intriguing to me. I may blog about it.
Best wishes for the new year!
This notion of agency may ground many folks while coming to terms with changes in the workforce. The portfolio career is on the rise. This is a challenging transition to many. Having language for the necessary characteristics; ownership of one's actions and decisions, (I did, I chose, I decided) will support this new way of working.
I have a new word for my conversations.
Terrence Seamon said…
You're welcome, Janice. I came across the term "agency" a couple years ago, the bumped into it the other day while speaking with my son Dave who is studying journalism at Rutgers University. He said that "agents and agency" is a theory that came up in one of his courses. I'll be looking into it further...
Dave Cheong said…

Thanks for the reference to my post.

Just wanted to echo your sentiments - in order for us to improve continually, we have to embrace change all the time. The New Year is a good catalyst/excuse to make changes, but keep at it. Make the little changes throughout the year also, Only then will the changes have transformational results.

Best wishes,
Terrence Seamon said…
Hey Dave,
Glad you stopped by and left a comment. Your idea "make little changes throughout the year" is inspiring a follow up blog entry. stay tuned...

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