Sunday, July 18, 2010

Homeostasis – avoiding catastrophic changes

l feel as though, at this point in time, I am waffling back and forth between it's necessity, as it is introduced in this course, and its damaging effects. The example Dr. Gagion gave was about a teacher who is being forced to move classroom and doesn't want to because he has been in that room for many years, and thinks of it as his home. This example was a surprise to me, I was expecting a major change, but in hindsight I can see that the level, or severity of change, is really in the eye of the beholder. What is major to me is not necessarily major to another person. It's the degree to which this is most of his or her "life" or a small pert of what defines this person.
"Why is change required" from William Bridges traditions, to me need not be said. I am accustomed to continuous change, based on my work experience in the high tech corporate environment. I can see how some people require the "don't discard the past, honor the teacher in their current state, and then move on while helping them move on to the new system" perspective, but at the same time there is work to be done. The metaphor of the organism, I think, is an effective metaphor for org. change. In the Burke text, on page 94, he share Jick's (1990) cautions, and that is something that I was please to read.
We need to respect the individuals in the system, but we need to maintain a grip on that individuals ability to "ride out the storm" whether its changing classrooms, or changing schools (due to school closure). If i have a sprained ankle for example, I get immediate hospital attention, I nurse it for a short period of time (foot elevated, with ice), but at some point, very quickly after, to be able to survive (go eat something or use the washroom), I need to feel the pain of putting pressure on that ankle to function. Most people will work through the emotional states of change, and that is why even dysfunctional top tier organizations still exist; because the majority of component parts know how to function (even if not totally enjoying their environment), the biology of it all is that you have to have a number of broken bones and groups of bones, be malnourished, and hemorrhaging before the environment stops completely.

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