Orders of Change
Watzlavik in his book on Change coined the concept of “orders of change.”
He had three orders that are distinguished by the depth of the change intended.
I differentiate the orders of change with PAEI(not strange huh?).
Change order number 1-(P): change what you are doing without changing the how, the why, or the who.
Change order number 2-(A): change how you are doing whatever you are doing, but not the why nor the who.
Change order three-(E): change why you are doing what and how you are doing.
Change number four is the deepest change-(I): it is to change who you are; change in your values. It drives new whys, new whats and new hows.
How deep should a change be in an organization?
I find typical mistake is to change only what we do and then be surprised that the change is superficial and not sustainable.
Example. You need to lose weight. Change order number 1: change what you eat; Eat less calories.
How many of you have counted calories and eventually got tired of the futility of the exercise and stopped the diet?
Change number 2: Change the How.
Change How you eat: Eat slowly. Eat many meals a day, each with small portions. When you eat, eat consciously. Do not read the newspaper. Do not watch TV etc. Chew a lot etc. etc.
Have you tried those types of diets? How has it worked for you?
Aha. Here is an (E) change, change number 3. That is where psychologists try to help you to lose weight: “why are you overeating?” “what benefits do you get from overeating?” Etc… And how does that work?
My understanding is that over ninety percent of those trying to diet fail over time (And that includes me).
Because the depth of the change necessary to lose weight sustainably is much deeper than three. You have to change the (I): who you are. How you perceive yourself; you have to change your self-image.
You have to start loving being skinny rather than hating being fat.
In diagnosing a problem you have to ask yourself what degree of change is necessary in order to solve this problem sustainably. And sustainably does not mean: “forever”. Nothing is forever. It should be long enough to conclude that you have gained control over the problem.
And control does not mean never failing to stay on course. It means you have developed the capability to make promptly a corrective action so the deviation is not prolonged or permanent.
Good luck. I hope this helps.
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes