In my experience, the secret to changing people is that you cannot. However, you can influence the paradigm through which a person experiences the world. Yet, the decision to change will always remain with such person. In organamics, we pose that behaviour can only change if there is a change of mind. This will only happen if there is a change of heart. In so, if you change what you feel, what you think will change. And, if you change what you think, what you do will change.
Most cognitive behaviour studies will argue a "Think-Feel-Behave" (T-B-F) model. It is important to note that purpose drives algorithm, not the other way round. When developing a strategy, the T-F-B model makes sense. But, in this case we aim to establish or adjust a world view, which makes a F-T-B model more appropriate.
If a paradigm is a distinct set of emotive, cognitive, and behavioural patterns, then we can understand how it begins and what its consequence is. This is because these patterns must either be part of its design or of its consequence.
The cognitive elements are "perceptions and assumptions". They create the rules that a behavioural algorithm will follow. In so, they translate values and beliefs into behaviour.
Behaviour is the last element. It is a manifestation. In so, it is the consequence of a paradigm.
As mentioned, we use a "Feel-Think-Do" flow to establish or adjust a paradigm. Yet, in truth it is hard to distinct feeling from thinking when aiming to grasp which creates doing. It is a "chicken or egg?" situation. Both "feeling" and "thinking" are matters of mind. We have one mind, thus "think" and "feel" come from the same place. To simplify this complexity, we hold the view that they collectively create behaviour. We use linear models to explain and depict something that is dynamic.
In my view, at its deepest level, we construct paradigm from the heart. We then process that which we have within, through our thoughts. Then we behave.
An external world will give any human his/her first encounter with beliefs and values. It is the family and community of a person who helps him/her define what is true and what is not. They also help us to create the rules with which we evaluate the world and people around us. The same rules, on creating paradigm, would be valid for a new employee.
Values and beliefs define what we feel. Perceptions and assumptions will prioritise and sort what we think. In turn, we express what we think, in some way or the other. This will dictate what we do. We thus receive from the outside, process on the inside, and then project to the outside. Our journey of paradigm starts with a mental model and ends with demonstration.
The model holds that behaviour is a consequence of what we feel and think. In so, deep-rooted internal values and beliefs drive what we say and do, and who and what we relate to. At an early age, the people around us influence us. As we grow and mature, we will reject and question much of this. Those who have teenage children would know the drill. It is a normal part of "growing up" to reject conditioned values and beliefs and to explore new ones. As with the parent / child relationship, the manager / subordinate relationship will go through the same process.
The table below shows a description of each part within the OPM.
A child, whose parents always promise to pick her up after school feels that they do not value her, since without exception, they are always late. This external influence creates a belief that being neglected causes pain. As time goes, she accepts a value that she never wants to hurt other people. Her "truth" leads her to define "right" and "wrong" in this regard. This will define her perception of respect, which she tries to live by. In turn, one of the assumptions that she makes, based on her perception, is that being late is a sign of disrespect. This assumption drives her to always be on time. Of course, being on time is something most of us value. Thus, no one will challenge her behaviour.
Let us take a more challenging workplace example. A male employee, who grew up with his mother, servant to a wealthy household, has always seen himself as inferior to wealthy people. In so, he associates wealth with power and authority. An outside world introduced this believe to him. A value that evolved from this belief is that you never argue or speak back when addressed by a person in authority. This is his frame of "right" and "wrong". It leads him to base his behaviour on a principle that he defines as "respect". Currently this man works under a boss who favours innovative people who challenge her. Of course, out of "respect" our man will never challenge his boss or present new ideas. He just does as he is told. The boss, ignorant to the cause of her employees exaggerated obedience, regard him as dead wood and will try to get rid of him at any possible opportunity. The only way to change the behaviour of this man would be to alter his beliefs and assumptions relating to people in authority.
Such change is often beyond managerial means or skill. Both these examples relate to people who hold "respect" as a foundational principle. Yet, they behave differently, since they define their beliefs and values in dissimilar ways. Values and beliefs can affect your destiny!
When you accept beliefs and define values, perceptions and assumptions will evolve. In so, behaviour will manifest. Following is an example of this:
People often ask me what the difference is between belief and perception. A belief is a non-negotiable truth. It is in-bound. A perception is the way we understand the world. It is outbound. Like all the elements of "paradigm", they are connected.
To work with paradigm can mean many things. It could be individual or collective. Thus, when working with a person's perceptions or the culture of a business, one is working with a paradigm.
To understand one's own paradigm, is a matter of consciousness. In organamics, we hold the view that power has three areas of consciousness. They are:
The power of me…
The power of us.
The power of one.
To alter a paradigm, one must cast doubt one's own conviction. In so, one must practice the art of being uncertain. Below are three simple steps that one can use to change own paradigm.
(1) Put your assumptions on ice.
One does not have to abandon what one believes, values, perceives, and assumes. Just "park" it for a while. Keep it on ice. It will give time to explore and understand. They are still where you left them. You can collect them at any time. You can even adjust them. They are yours.
(2) Find similarities.
The easiest way to explore contradicting beliefs and ideas are to find similarities between them. From knowing similarities, we can understand differences.
(3) First understand – then judge.
Understanding should always precede judgement. It avoids embarrassment and assures relevance.
Here is a true story about a young black woman who grew up in an impoverished area of Mississippi. She was an illegitimate child, sexually abused by family members, and living in poor circumstances. One can just wonder how her worldview would influence her dreams and goals. Yet, in later years, this brave little girl would become one of the richest women in the world. She is also one of the most influential people in the American entertainment industry. Her name is Oprah Winfrey.
One could never understand the intense emotion and struggle in her journey towards immense success. In her quest for help, she became a radio talk host during the mid-night slot. This is when people with serious problems call in. She got experts to talk to them. Her paradigm was that she can help herself by helping others. In so, she changed the paradigm that her environment imposed on her. This began a chain of events that made her who she is today.
You cannot change another person. But you can influence that person in such a way that he or she makes the decision to change him or herself. When you touch a heart, you change a mind. Behaviour will have no choice but to follow suit.
The program is highly suitable for senior managers, directors, executives, and those who aim for senior positions within an organisation.
The OCP has four parts. They are: orgtology theory, organisational design, strategy, management and leadership. This is an advanced program. To enroll, you must hold a bachelor's degree with three years of work experience. On completion, you can enroll as an Orgtologist with the International Orgtology Institute (IOI).
© Derek Hendrikz: 2020-08-10