About Change Science Institute
Change Science Institute Mission By Tom Somodi
The mission of the Change Science Institute is the recognition and advancement of change as a science.
However, it is the why of this mission statement that is important.
This mission came about as I was trying to develop a better understanding as to why certain change fails even though everything points to the fact that it should succeed. As you would expect, in both our personal lives and in business, change is not always successful.
Now, I want you to think a second about your exposure to the concept of change. There is a good chance that you will probably not think about change in a context of something you experience as much as you thinking about change as something you must acquire or work at to obtain. You have been told that if you want change then you must “do this,” “act like that,” “proceed in this manner,” or “follow that path.” Change is discussed and consulted over ad nauseam. Change management, project management, opportunity management and change agents are all hot topics and give you the impression that all you have to do is manage something or execute a special process if you want to obtain change.
However, even authors and consultants proposing to have the number one methodology for successful change have their share of failures and under-realization of benefits. But while the list of reasons for failure can be lengthy, there is one explanation of why change fails or, more specifically, why a specific change methodology that appears to be more prevalent than any other fails. That explanation is lack of commitment.
Commitment is supposed to be the sure-fire way to successful change. It is a proven requirement. In your personal life, I am sure you have read this, heard it on the radio, seen it on TV, attended classes on it, and maybe even paid professionals to obtain it. Just add some time, a little money, and, most of all, commitment, and you just cannot fail.
By the way, if you do fail, it is almost certain that you really did not have the true commitment necessary to succeed. After all, the methodology used has been proven to work. Look closely at what many of the self-help, how-to, and self proclaimed experts write or say. You will almost always find the section on how, “if you want to truly be successful, you must stay committed to the plan, the course, the theory, or the conviction.”
If you are like me, then sometimes in your heart of hearts you know you or your organization is not truly committed to wanting to change, so this lack of commitment theory makes sense. However, there are other times that this just does not make any sense, and you become frustrated at the resulting failure. It was this lack of logic and frustration surrounding the lack of commitment concept that motivated me to search for a more fundamental understanding of why change succeeds and fails.
Through my quest to develop a deeper understanding of change I came to understand that if we are ever going to be able to truly harness change to our benefit as individuals, organizations, or as a society as a whole, we must stop looking at it in the form of disjointed disconnected concepts, methodologies, and strategies. It is time to look at change as a science with definitions, principles, and concepts that can be challenged through discussion, experimentation, and logic.
Further, I realized that much that is discussed about change is too often superficial and makes the assumption that everyone is automatically using the same language and a consistent set of definitions. In reality, change needs to be approached like any other science.
Just like in mathematics, physics and other sciences, you need clear definitions with mapped out principles and interrelationships that build on each other. You need to show how these definitions and principles are supported in reality and are incorporated in the day-to-day environment and society we live in.
By viewing change as a science, we can once and for all have an ability to formally evaluate and challenge the claims, concepts, theories and methodologies promoted in the marketplace. We will no longer need to accept claims that change concepts and methodologies are legitimate or even relevant at face value. Instead, we will be able to evaluate them using assessment tools based on substance and discipline.
However, it is important to note that just because change can be established as a science does not mean we have to become overburdened in the technical. While some might find pleasure exploring the technical, for most of us, the value of change science lies in some basic concepts and tools.
An understanding of these basics will be enough to greatly enhance our understanding as to why some change succeeds and other change fails. More importantly, through this understanding we can significantly improve our chances to obtain the change we desire or explain the change that we are examining.
The key is that it does not matter if you want to view an understanding of change from the perspective of the very basic or the very technical. The Change Science Institute stands ready to expand your understanding about change and provide you knowledge that you can leverage off of when dealing with the challenges associated with the daily change you or your organization is facing.