Transforming Organizational Change Management Is No Longer Just For Flat-Earthers

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New Beginnings

Transforming disruption into opportunity is one of the fastest growing challenges facing not only big companies or organizations, but ones from any size, and any industry, and any country.

Disruption and opportunity are different, just as change and transitions are in new beginnings.

Disruption and change are situational.

They are external events, such as dynamically distributed workforces, emerging technologies, unexpected competitors rising or taking over the market.

Companies or organizations focus on the outcome that change will produce in response to external events. This change often happens very quickly.

Transitions Start With an Ending

They begin when leaders and employees identify what is over and being left behind. Moreover, what they will keep.

Opportunity and transitions are about learning how to manage these losses.

They are more about the inner psychological processes leaders and employees are going through to adapt to change.

New beginnings, such as new waves of innovation, involve new understanding, new attitudes, and values. They emerge through a release of energy in a new direction and renewed identity.

Disruption and opportunity, change and transitions, are about metanoia.

It is the recognition that we need to change, Rupert Sheldrake says, the way we are living and working. It is like waking up from a dream. This recognition brings with it, he adds, a spirit of repentance, seeing in a new way, a change of heart. This conversion, he points out, is intensified by the sense that the end of an age is at hand.

In This Optics, Organizational Life Is a Mirror

mirrors do not lie

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What we are seeing in transforming disruption into opportunity, and likewise, change and transitions, we first have to discover inside ourselves.

Leaders and their line managers do recognize that change puts people in crisis.

Personal Versus Situational Determinants of Behavior

Management thinking continues to have a strong bias in favor of extrinsic incentives in performance management, and likewise, pay less attention to intrinsic motivation.

Leaders and rank-and-file managers are partial to focusing on consequences, for instance, organizational behavioral management, and likewise, the successes and failures of organizational actions.

Doing so keeps these individuals from developing a clear perception on seeing the mosaic of underlying human-centric, intrinsic motivational influences that lead to the successes or failures of organizational actions.

The Search for Personal Consistency

Furthermore, this focus constrains insights, such as developing deeper perception on how to authentically inspire employees who contribute to the successes of organizational actions.

Leaders and line managers fear the messy but real-world, real-life complexities, and sense of connection that is necessary for working through transforming disruption into opportunity, transformative change, and organizational renewal.

These factors result in blind spots that impede or even halt leaders and rank-and-file managers abilities to influence or predict the results of their strategic, tactical or even operational actions or plans.

These Blind Spots Break Trust

They brand C-suites, burden leadership, influential shareholders, and stakeholders with an enduring economic decline during their watch or bestowing it on those to follow.

Successes and failure in business are interrelated to human behavior.

What people do, how they do it, and especially why they do it.

Managing Transitions Is the Solution to Exploiting Opportunities for Innovation

Moreover, so is creating the resilience companies or organizations crave for transforming disruption into opportunity, transformative change, and organizational renewal.

Disruption occurs and changes happen.

For companies or organizations to stay dynamic, it is critical that leaders and line management recognize and treasure the generosity and emotions of their employees.

Transitions are the catalyst for both authentic growth, and unleashing creativity and potential in organizational life cycles, organizational cultures, and leadership styles.

The Right Questions

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“The right question can become a disruptive agent, cutting through years of complacency, redirecting a company or team’s focus.”

How Questions Affect Answers

Even so, questions about the causes and effects of abnormality or malfunction in companies or organizations are trying to answer.

So are questions seeking information used in the detection of clues about diagnoses of symptoms of abnormal behavior in their climate and cultures.

Furthermore, so are questions on how to identify early signs of decline or failure in organizational life cycles, organizational cultures, and leadership styles.

  • There are hard questions that have surprisingly simple answers.
  • There are simple questions with complicated answers.
  • Moreover, stressful ones often preferably raise straight forward rather than unanticipated complex answers.

The Effects of Questions

For example, are blind spots, obstructing our view in the organizational life of our companies?

Meanwhile, where we lack impartiality or likewise understanding.

Are behavioral, psychological or social factors, either above or below the surface in organizational life, causing complexities, problems, or troubles?

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

mirrors can lie

mirrors can lie/

Mirrors like observation are powerful tools for exploring organizational life cycles, organizational cultures, and leadership styles.

“Physical self-reflection,” Natalie Angier emphasizes, “encourages philosophical self-reflection, a crash course in the Socratic notion that you cannot know or appreciate others until you know yourself.”

Simple questions about what mirrors make visible to an observer, Marco Bertamini claims, are unexpectedly hard to answer correctly.

Even harder, he points out, are to think about or judge what is happening on the glass surface.

What Psychological Factors Lie Beneath These Unexpected Difficulties?

Mirrors reveal truths, Natalie Angier says, you may not want to see. Give them a little smoke and a house to call their own, she adds, and mirrors will tell you nothing but lies.

Work in organizational change management (OCM), for this reason, comes with provisos and cautionary advice emphasizing the importance of establishing authentic readiness for change.

Organizational Behavioral Management

It is no longer enough to respond customarily to transforming disruption into opportunity, transformative change and organizational renewal with managing (scaling up) cognitive psychology, instrumental conditioning, or learning theory.

Neither is it enough to merely keep doing so with behaviorism and behavioral systems in organizational behavior management.

Transforming disruption into opportunity, transformative change and organizational renewal no longer takes place exclusively within functional and structural contexts in companies or organizations.

For instance, where planned behavior change “is the change” that is merely effective, efficient, lasting, and not itself disruptive to the environment within which this behavior occurs.

Readiness for Change

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Successful change management professionals, now, conversely must anticipate the impact of marketplace adjustments, new regulatory requirements, a change in business strategy or the implementation of new technology within companies or organizations.

Not to mention, be called upon to discover why employees may be packing their go-bag for greener pastures or mentally vacationing in better climates.

Rather than focusing on using their latent abilities or qualities or intrinsic motivations to support new emerging organizational capabilities and cultures.

Multi-Faceted and Multi-Level 

Readiness for change is both a multi-faceted and likewise multi-level optic on the way in which stakeholders perceive or think about a change event or course of action(s).

For example, stakeholders collective resolve to implement a change (commitment) and shared beliefs in their joint capability to do so (change efficacy) are intimately interconnected.

How much honesty are they looking for?

How much are they capable of or willing to hear?

Alternatively, willing to do with it?

Reflection Is Critical to Transforming Disruption into Opportunity

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There is a wealth of evidence in OCM promoting skill development and application of procedural knowledge using behaviorism and behavioral systems, and likewise, cognitive psychology, instrumental conditioning, and learning theories.

For instance, I am using what James Bennet-Levy presents on the distinction of what is procedural knowledge.

Principally, training change management practitioners who work in OCM is mostly focused on knowledge of “how to” and “when to.”

For example, rules, plans, and procedures that lead to the direct application of these skill sets in change projects tagged or tasked with transforming disruption into opportunity, transformative change or organizational renewal.

The Importance of Reflection

However, there seems to be remarkably little focus on the importance of reflection and how it helps practitioners’ transition from an average one to an expert one in transforming disruption into opportunity in organizational life cycles, organizational cultures, and leadership styles.

“A therapist and a counselor can have 20 years of experience or one year of experience 20 times.”

Thomas Skovholt (Thomas, Skovholt, as cited in Bennett-Levy, 2006).

Reflection, David Boud (as cited in Bennett-Levy, 2006) highlights, is a generic term for those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences to lead to new understandings and appreciations.

Self-reflection, Bennet-Levy points out, is a metacognitive skill that encompasses the observation, interpretation, and evaluation of one’s thoughts, emotions, and action, including their outcomes.

The Power of Reflection

Once basic skills are learned, he emphasizes, reflective capabilities empower practitioners to distinguish in what context, under what conditions, and with what people, strategies may be useful.

For example, experienced change management professionals can learn when-then rules, plans, procedures, and skills, governing the application of particular techniques in particular contexts, when they reflect on their own experience, likewise, leaders, line managers, and employees.

Experienced change management practitioners such as these, already know about the mechanics of scaling up or managing cognitive psychology, instrumental conditioning, learning theory in companies or organizations.

Also, likewise, behaviorism and behavioral systems in organizational behavior management in organizational life cycles, organizational cultures, and leadership styles.

Using Reflection in Interventions or Projects

However, when these experienced practitioners face difficulties engaging in interventions or projects, they reflect on these difficulties, through questions they pose to help them form concepts or ideas about these difficulties, and then develop potential strategies.

This style of practitioner does not end up learning new skills starting from the beginning as novices do.

Moreover, using reflection, they apply existing knowledge from other contexts to these new situations.

The role of a reflective system is a comparative one.

As Bennet-Levy points out, these systems empower practitioners to analyze past, current, or future experience. They compare systems with past stored information, and likewise, use these reflective systems, to identify a plan of action, as necessary. Also, above all, maintain or change information in storage in light of the analysis.

Perceptual Skills Are Critical to Transforming Disruption into Opportunity

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These skills are fundamental to transforming disruption in opportunity, transformative change, and organizational renewal.

Perceptual Skill Sets

Experienced and skilled change management practitioners use perceptual discriminations, and their ability to hear, see and understand the subtleties of the experience of leaders, line managers, and employees working to adapt to their transitions with change happening in transforming disruption into opportunity.

Moreover, with resources, when-then rules, plans, procedures, skills, and tools that determine when to implement what interventions with leaders, line managers, and employees, under what conditions.

Jeremy Safran and Christopher Muran (as cited in Bennett-Levy, 2006) note there has been remarkably little focus in the therapist literature on perceptual skills.

This focus appears to be the case in OCM literature and the importance of perception in and needs for training change management practitioners in this skill development.

Overlapping Attributes

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Safran and Muran, further, suggest that perceptual skills include elements of at least three partially overlapping attributes that are likely to be highly relevant for helping in transforming disruption into opportunity, transformative change, and organizational renewal.


The first is empathy, Leslie Greenberg and Robert Elliot (as cited in Bennett-Levy, 2006) point out, which can convey an emotional perspective or attitude.

This focus allows change management practitioners to “operate within the internal frame of reference” of leaders and employees.

For instance, “listening from the inside as if ‘I am the other’; being attuned to the nuances of feeling and meaning, including the essence of another’s experience.”


The second attribute is mindfulness, which Jeffrey Martin, Jeremy Safran and Christopher Muran convey as the quality of “bare attention.”

Safran and Martin highlight mindfulness is directing our attention to become aware of our thoughts, feelings, fantasies or actions as they take place in the present moment.

The goal of mindfulness, they add, is to become aware of and then de-automate our habitual ways of structuring our experience through automatic psychological activities and actions.


The final attribute focuses on reflection-in-action, as Schoen highlights (as cited in Bennett-Levy, 2006), which conveys the capacity of experts, such as change management practitioners, to process complex information as it is happening, and likewise, draw appropriate plans of action.

Bowling for Dollars

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Change or Be Changed

Innovations are disrupting companies and their business models.

Not to mention leadership roles and employee jobs in organizational life.

And, likewise, talent development and talent management.

These optics are the new normal, and no longer the exception in organizational life cycles, cultures and leadership milieus.


Change or be changed is forcing companies to counterbalance.

For instance, counteract or lessen the disadvantages in one component such as organizational capabilities, talent development or talent management with strengths in another.

This conventional wisdom is yielding to the emerging popular mantra, “Disrupt or Be Disrupted.”

Changing the Game Inside

Key to surviving in a world of disruption, as others claim, is changing the game internally in companies.

Likewise, Mark Spitz says, “Practice is 90% physical and 10% mental, and competition is 10% physical and 90% mental.” There’s a vicious cycle occurring without the help of mental strength.

Disrupt or Be Disrupted

This new normal requires transforming disruption into opportunity.

The need for transformative change and organizational renewal is growing as fast as is the thinking on disruptive technology, the use of disruptive technologies in education, and digital cities.

The Gift of Disruption

Here is what transforming disruption into opportunity is bringing to the organizational life of companies.

  • Creating or enabling new value propositions.
  • Changing underlying economics — for instance, not only in big companies but also ones from any size, any industry, and any country.
  • Disrupting or in essence deposing business models.
  • Creating sustainable innovation streams (innovation portfolios).
  • Accelerating the speed of disruption for overcoming resistance.

Streams of Innovations

Innovation, Michael L. Tushman, and Charles O’Reilly contend, is the name of the game today.

Moreover, managing innovations, they say, is becoming a challenging task.

Leadership and organizational team responsibilities include, meanwhile, managing streams of innovations.

spinning plates

Spinning plates/

For example, directing both incremental and radical innovation — handling existing products and services, meanwhile, creating new ones.

More Than Spinning Behavioral Change

This mental balancing act, Tushman, and O’Reilly point out, is becoming one of the toughest of all managerial challenges. It requires, likewise, executives to explore new opportunities, even as they work diligently to exploit existing capabilities.

Most successful change management professionals are adept at using OCM to help leaders and teams exploit existing capabilities and refine their current offerings.

However, they are faltering with helping, just as leaders and teams are doing, when it comes to pioneering, as Tushman and O’Reilly point out, radically new products and services.

Other than, maybe, by scaling behavioral change.

For instance, scaling change in attitudes — making good behaviors or practices grow fast and, in contrast, shrinking bad behaviors or practices quickly.

Breaking Plates

However, this atmospheric and optics fall way short in achieving breakthrough innovations in holistic and authentic long-term, sustainable humans first change.

A business does not need to escape its past, Tushman, and O’Reilly emphasizes, to renew itself for the future.

Trading Labor for Money

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Bonuses and stock options, as others claim, often improve leadership behavior and performance.

However, this allowance also can lead to long-term damageoverly risky behavior and short-term strategies, and foster envy and discontent.

By and large, senior leadership usually has the most significant (buy-in) or stake in:

  • Business Process Management (BPM), and Human Performance Improvement (HPI).
  • Talent Strategies — Talent Development and Talent Management.
  • Managing (Scaling Up) Behavioral Change.

Intrinsic Motivation

It is time, Adam Grant and Jitendra Singh emphasizes, to cut back on money as a leading motivational force in business.

Moreover, employers, they highlight, need to pay greater attention to intrinsic motivation.

For example, designing jobs providing opportunities to make choices, develop skills, do work that matters, and build meaningful interpersonal connections.

Zero-Sum, Win-or-Lose 

Sustainability performance is one of the fastest growing issues facing not only big companies, but ones from any size, and industry, and any country.

Businesses are facing increasing expectations to deliver greater shareholder value, social impact, and likewise, be or become worthy environmental stewards.

Zero-sum, win-or-lose approaches, mindsets or even mindshare on tackling these pressures, are clearly on shaky ground.

Translation: They’re ignoring long-term sustainability (paying lip service) in favor of short-term gain.

New Markets for the UFC

Kari Hubert/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

This balancing act of long-term sustainability with satisfying desires for short-term gain is promoting inescapably zero-sum, win-or-lose Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) business sporting events inside the Octagon in companies or organizations.

On Fight Cards with executive compensation is creating wealth for influential shareholders in companies or organizations.

With their acquired tastes, these competitors are showcasing their mastery in mixed business martial arts techniques in events with frequently minimal rules and weight classes.

Multi-Billion Dollar Enterprise

Under their stewardship, those promoting these events worldwide have grown this UFC into a globally popular multi-billion dollar enterprise.

Competitors in these business sporting events are adopting effective techniques from more than one discipline to gain a competitive edge in winning championship gold.

  • Such as Forecasts, are not reduced, they are being adjusted.
  • Workers are not laid off; they are right-sized.

Above all, there are yank-and-rank systems — where you rank employees and their performance in all kinds of contexts against each other, and yank those at the lowest end of the ranking.

man carrying sack of melons

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Employers handle the money, especially Buying Talent instead of Developing It. 

However, it is employees who pay the wages. 

These strategies inexorably guide companies or organizations, especially organizational life cycles, organizational cultures, and leadership behavior to a dominant center of gravity (COG).

Where learned helplessness relentlessly forces companies or organizations to trade long-term sustainability for pursuing at all cost profitability and winning market share as the holy grail.

The Fine Print In “More Of The Same”

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Companies are bringing many kinds of resources, techniques, and tools with them when they are on the same Fight Card with other companies in undercard (prelims with much name-power) and main events in the Octagon vying for market share.

Avoiding Tapping Out

For the simple reason, that they’re trying to avoid tapping out when winning market share (championship gold) is on the line.

Meanwhile, change management professionals are being drawn into the Octagon doing the same when tagged or tasked with transforming disruption into opportunity.

However, using classic texts (resources, techniques, tools) guiding OCM is coming up short in keeping these change management professionals, as entrants, from having to tap out.

Moreover, so is curating ad nauseam, traditional and still influential OCM models, structured and intentional approaches, processes and sets of tools, expecting different results, each time in companies or organizations.

The Business of Certification

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The excess of certification packages (granting status or level of achievement), moreover, does not seem to be changing, either, the odds (key) to surviving in our world of disruption, and likewise, the game internally in companies or organizations.

Challenges in the Octagon

Furthermore, principals marketing these “most complete” change management “certification packages,” have their challenges waiting for them inside the Octagon.

They’re finding it is increasingly rough to avoid mokita (the truths we all know about, but as a polite fiction, agree not to talk about).

The elephant here in the Octagon is the transparency with the cash cows, and revenue grabs these certification packages with products and services are hauling in this business space.

Moreover, likewise, endowing as steady income or profits to beneficiaries who are marketing these products and services aligned with OCM qualifications and standards.

What’s in the Fine Print of Transformative Change and Organizational Renewal?

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It is chiefly about the authentic work of humans first thriving in our world of disruption that is changing the game internally in not only big companies, but ones from any size, and industry, and any country.


What it is not just about any longer, for example, is curating ad nauseam a call to action, and moreover, ways forward (change management roadmaps) merely scaling behavioral change or behavioral systems.

Making good behaviors or practices grow fast and, in contrast, shrinking bad behaviors or practices quickly.

Neither is it about OCM initiatives, programs, and products preferably enablers or force multipliers tagged with habitually scaling outputting behavior (employee-by-employee) as the benchmark for the competitive edge in Change or Be Changed; Disrupt or Be Disrupted.

Human-Centric BPM

Nor is it, likewise, curating wholesale, Human-Centric business process management (BPM) products, especially roadmaps and services ad nauseam habitually focusing on the activities, tasks, and human skills in processes to create other automated functions to support these human actions.

Continuing to merely overwork this optics is doing nothing to subdue or silence the growing dissatisfaction leaders are having with funding the business as usual of OCM and the Mokita therein with the cost-benefit analysis of both incremental and radical innovation.

Reading Between the Lines

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This optics is used often to refer to an assessment of work (literal) or also used to mean the act of examining the subtext of organizational life cycles, organizational culture, and leadership and employee roles and behavior.

Distinct and often underlying themes (missed opportunities) in transformative change and organizational renewal can no longer be marginalized in Change or Be Changed; Disrupt or Be Disrupted.

OCM is much more than just preparing, equipping and supporting impacted employees, retooled now in business jargon (business or corporate-speak) as stakeholders in change (management) in companies or organizations.

Instrumental Conditioning and Behavioral Systems

For decades, both business scholars and change management professionals have offered advice on using instrumental conditioning (learning) or behavioral systems in a world where objective knowledge has become king.

Leaders are expected, as Katherine Train highlights, to represent knowledge and to make clear or evident to the eye or mind, solutions. Followers, she adds, implement or makes use of prescribed solutions.

It’s Time for Humans First Organizations


All along the leader-follower continuum, Train points out. Humans struggle with a range of unmet needs. Levels of burnout or depression, she adds, are high in the organizational life of employees in companies or organizations.

Employees change jobs frequently.

Meanwhile, workers experience a sense of emptiness working, Train claims, with managers who operate on auto-pilot, and likewise, marginalize the authentic person who should be there in charge of the business or organization.

If systems, Train asks, were designed that reshape the hierarchical chain of command methodology on its side, would employees be inspired to achieve greater creativity?

Would they be able, she adds, to bring their authentic selves to work?

Business, As Usual, Won’t Cut It



The role of OCM is becoming less about punching through discrete change projects.

Above all, it is about helping leaders and their employees’ design, govern and operate companies or organizations in a style that empowers continuous adaptation to ever-evolving Change or Be Changed; Disrupt or Be Disrupted.

Rank-and-Yank Performance Systems

This focus does not happen when business, as usual, is merely human activity occurring within processes translated as tasks in packages integrated and standardized ad nauseam in rank-and-yank performance systems.

For instance, where the creation of work units is merely the amount of effort, measured in time units (like hours or days), that a resource needs to complete a task.

Meanwhile, the total work for a task is the sum of these time units, no matter how many resources are assigned to the job.

Why OCM, As Usual, Won’t Cut It

  • Successful OCM is not curating or marketing ad nauseam perception or thinking where employees may or may not participate in solution design.
  • Likewise, it is not perception or thinking where change projects are things that employees are excited about while others they will not.
  • Moreover, it is not biased (tipped) toward categorical or likewise, dichotomous perception or thinking where leaders lead while other efforts are employee-led (better known as managing from the middle).
  • Neither is it done merely with iterations, and Agile or in orthodox business speak with a traditional waterfall release.
  • It indeed is no more widespread perception or thinking where some are part of the digital revolution, as others claim, while others are not. Seriously?
  • Above all, it is most definitely not some will make sense on face value while others will not.

Moreover, not only big companies but ones from any size, any industry, and any country in this obdurate atmospherics and optics, are actually (or highly likely will become) in serious trouble of having to tap out in their business space.

Starting at the Top


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Here is why business as usual in organizational life cycles, organizational culture, leadership, and likewise OCM are coming up short with supporting holistic and authentic, long-term, sustainable human-centric change.

  • They set-up top-heavy teams of experts (elite strategy consulting) — reporting directly to senior leadership.
  • Tasking teams with sharing vision and strategy, Carston Tam says, in no more than five minutes.
  • Simple enough for all employees to understand.

Rolling It Down


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  • Tagging middle management, mobilizing not only change initiatives but also, punching change management projects through the entire company, to sustain change.
  • Making sure employees (scaling behavioral change, above all, changes in attitudes) grasp fully all ramifications tagged with their role in implementing the vision and behaviorally are entirely on board.
  • Winning employee hearts is by pounding submission through a change-centric mindset (usually a behavioral one: tasered approach) by relentlessly communicating vision and strategy, using every available channel.

Value-Added Analysis

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  • Creating accountability through data analytics is awarding mastering scaling behavioral change.
  • It is rewarding those individuals focusing on who not only merely embrace the change but also, display and validate desired behaviors (behavioral scaling through organizational behavioral management).
  • Anticipating and addressing resistance to change is a Here Be Dragon from the start.
  • Recognizing employees love to stay in their comfort zone — as a result, get them out, incentivizing them to embrace the new ways of doing things, behaviorally.
  • Suppressing naysayers and removing obstinate resisters.

Employee Resistance

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Defense mechanisms are a way of looking at how people distance themselves from a full awareness of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

They are relatively unconscious — in other words, most of us don’t realize we’re using them at the moment.

McKinsey estimates that 70% of change management programs fail to achieve their goals in large part due to employee resistance.

Causal Attributions

Consequently, when a minority of employees resist change programs, so the logic goes in organizational life, something is wrong with the people.

When broad resistance continuously topples change programs?

Moreover, it is not the people that maybe need fixing, Tam and others claim, it is the change models.

Above all, these flaws with traditional and still influential change management models, are themselves symptoms of a more significant problem.

Further, most organizations are not set-up for authentic or agile change.

Identifying Barriers To Authentic Organizational Change


Human Brain Project/

Before you can have a share of market, you must have a share of mind.” —Linda Wolf, former chairman and CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide


A share of mind, or Mindshare, as I promote in Insights Without Borders (IWB), is about creating ideas: thoughts, beliefs, dreams, impressions.

Further, they’re living organisms — likewise, there’s power in combining them.

They often reveal optimal designs, innovations, and transformation.

In other words, authentic shared experiences, collaborative innovation, collective intelligence, and even the creation of collective consciousness.

Above all, innovation thrives in dense and highly collaborative environments and ecosystems.

As a result, exciting opportunities emerge for opening new ecosystems of intellectual and emotional capital, and thought equity, along with a place for the commerce of both the heart and the mind.

Unknown Terrorities

Mindshare, Nikos Acuña says, is about pioneering unknown territories — for instance, new ideologies that will shape the future.

As a result, Mindshare, as I promote in IWB, makes it possible for companies to move forward with dispatch — in other words, promptness, and efficiency; sending someone or something to a destination or for a purpose.

What Happens Without Mindshare?

Failure of nerve, generative inheritance of learned helplessness, and excessive specialization in the creed: Trust Your Neighbors, but Brand Your Stock.

We get infighting, backstabbing, and all manner of dysfunction.

Authentic organizational change management strives for achieving Mindshare through creative and transformative shared experience.

Mental Models

people with buckets on heads

These models, are mental representations of real, hypothetical or imaginary descriptions and templates — as a result, we see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear, and speak what we want to hear.

Above all, mental models provide internal stability to us in a world of continuous disruptive change.

Blind Spots

Alternatively, they can blind us — that is, to facts and ideas that challenge or defy our deeply held beliefs.

Mental models, for instance, by nature, are fuzzy and incomplete.

We all have different models.

They can converge or diverge in detail with everyone else’s, on the same concepts or subjects, regardless of how common or simple.

Mental models, further, are our beliefs, ideas, images, along with verbal descriptions, which we consciously and unconsciously form from our experiences.

Fluid or Crystallized

Meanwhile, as mental models are forming (fluid) or have formed (crystallized), they can or do guide our thoughts and actions within narrow (or even broad) channels.

These representations of “perceived reality,” likewise, explain:

  • Cause and effect on us.
  • Lead us to expect specific results.
  • Give meaning to events.
  • Predispose us to behave in certain ways.

Social Mindscapes

key leader engagement

© Mark Rogers/Insights Without Borders (IWB)

Social mindscapes (sociomental; sociology of thinking and behaving), similarly to mental models and Mindshare, condition us to expect specific results, give meaning to events, and predispose us to behave in certain ways.

How and Why

They impact authentic change because of how (and why) our thinking and behaving are alike yet different from the ways others are in companies and their organizational life.

We are products of particular social environments and ecosystems.

Things and conditions, even complex networks or interconnecting systems within these ecologies, affect or likewise constrain, how we develop cognitively, and as a result, interact in our (the world).

As a result, we experience the world/our (inner one), above all, personally through our sense.

Moreover, impersonally, through mental membership, in various social communities.

Who’s Doing the Thinking?

little man inside a head

In organizational life, for example, it is not people alone or apart from others who do the thinking.

Instead, it is individuals in certain groups, who develop a particular style of thought, who do the thinking.


Above all, it is social construction of inter-subjectivity in organizational life.

For instance, how the practical application of psychological relation, occurs between people in climates and cultures, environments and ecosystems in the organizational life in companies.

Alternatively, how shared meanings, constructed by people, occurs in their interactions with one another.

Socio-Mental Resources and Tools

We are using these socio-mental resources and tools, every day, to interpret the meaning of elements in the social and cultural life throughout environments and ecosystems in the organizational life of companies.

Social mindscapes are what we do, or do not, share in common.

They are the thought communities, for example, thought leadership or communities of practice groups, we belong to, or do not.

Normalizing the Abnormal

house on stilts on side of mountain

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We simplify in organizational life our world of work. Likewise, we do our presence and activities in the world of our personal lives.

Moreover, so that physical and mental activities or tasks in either our work and personal worlds are in agreement or compatible with the organization or pattern of our existing or prior ways we perceive or regard beliefs, impressions, perceptions, and thoughts.

We disregard any evidence that challenges or disproves these beliefs, impressions, perceptions, and thoughts.

Above all, in our search for continuity in our worlds of discontinuity, these biases, opinions and likewise preconceived behaviors become an art form personalized by us, to normalize the abnormal (it’s still abnormal!)

Cultural or Ideological Bubbles

We grow, as a result, separated from information that disagrees with our viewpoints, effectively isolating us in our cultural or ideological bubbles.

So, the choices we are making, in normalizing the abnormal as an art form, often become hidden.

They give us the authority we need or seek to create our new worlds, through mental and behavioral force, allowing us not to be discovered by chance or unexpectedly.

Control of Perception

Normalizing the abnormal, nevertheless, gives us the ability to convince ourselves, and others, to believe almost anything through our mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing prowess, appeasement or persistence.

This atmospherics and optics are very dangerous to the health of organizations and their organizational life.

As a result, they can encourage groupthink in cultural life throughout environments and ecosystems in companies.

A process, accordingly, by which one or more dominant members convince the rest of the group to withhold their views in favor of the dominant member.

The emperor has no clothes—but neither the climate or culture, you or your stakeholders dare to say so?

Get Out of the Cave

are you in the cave

© Insights Without Borders (IWB)

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. —Carl Jung

Trapped Companies or Organizations

Cave thinking, likewise, is the thinking of trapped companies.

In climates and cultures, environments and ecosystems, above all, where leaders, rank-and-file managers, and employees work within the secluded walls of caves.

Shadows of half-seen images of organizational life, for instance, critical business issues (CBIs), key performance indicators (KBIs), organizational capabilities and functioning, are taken as real.

Selective Perception

Initially stated problems, as a result, are often, not the real problems.

Likewise, these shadows are illusions in cultures and climates, environments and ecosystems, harmfully or unfavorably affecting, moreover, preventing development or success of work performance, and ultimately company profitability.

  • Such as instances of wrong or misinterpreted perceptions.
  • Shadows promote deceptive appearances or impressions.
  • Illusions encourage false ideas or beliefs.
  • Bad behaviors or practices.

Blind Spots, False Beliefs and Making Bad Decisions

These shadows, at best, automatically, or without conscious thought, are accepted as authentic symptoms.

As a result, they are adversely affecting, for instance, business process management, performance and process improvement, talent development, and talent management.

For example, delays, deliberately making it difficult or even blocking thinking carefully about other actions, events or facts on conditions, presenting with similar features, signs, and symptoms.

Above all, they are treating as a severe or unworthy consideration, systematic diagnostic methods used to identify the presence of other conditions in the shadows of these half-seen images where multiple alternatives are possible.

Moreover, consequently, restraining root cause failure analysis (RCFA), along with polarizing climate and culture, cover your ass (CYA) in climates and cultures, environments and ecosystems in companies.

Trust Your Neighbor, but Brand Your Stock Mentality

cattle branding

cattle branding/

Breaking Trust

Cave thinking is a sure way for executives and rank-and-file managers to break trust with those that depend on them.

It leads to certain economic decline on their watch (managing for economic downturn).

Respectively, bestowing it, on those to follow.

Tunnel Vision

Likewise, too many beliefs and decisions, above all else, are being molded within the secluded caves of dream worlds.

In short, they are seeing what we want to see, hearing what we want to hear, and speaking what we want to hear — creating toxic climates and cultures in organizations and their organizational life.

Moreover, chained to cave thinking is a world of appearances, for others to follow.

Here Be Dragons

here be dragons

© Kevin Carden/Adobe Stock

Above all, cave thinking is deceptive appearances or impressions.

It is encouraging dragons that lie in wait, hiding, ready to challenge leadership and employees.

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet

Here be dragons (unexplored regions on business maps) in companies and their organizational life, is annoying,  overwhelming, and stressful — but above all, facing these unknowns is frightening.

It encourages the fidelity of self, to become leaders’ selfishness, doing as dragons, torching (destroyingcommunities instead of inspiring their self to become essential as an agent of the integrity of a community.

In this atmospherics and optics, the conventional wisdom of models of leadership does not give or is not giving rise to the popular mantra, “Disrupt or Be Disrupted.”

Categorical or Dichotomous Thinking

For example, instead, models of leadership remain linear, where reality has to do with categorical or dichotomous thinking about the nature of things, working strictly to motivate and incentive (short-term) others rather than systemic, where reality is relational and working to differentiate self (passion and brilliance we bring to our work).

Failure of Nerve

Moreover, crisis and sabotage, are essential dangers, to be avoided at all cost.

This optics polarizes the opposition instead of encouraging how to transform disruption into opportunity in organizational life, where we can preserve self and stay connected in climates and cultures, environments and ecosystems.

Likewise, this atmospherics and optics embolden failure of nerve — as a result, hypothesized dragons (here be dragons), instead of roadmaps that can open, imagined vistas for leaders, who are bold enough to set out in new directions.

Mokita Must Be Challenged

It is the only way to put an end to the truths we all know about but agree not to talk about in companies or organizations.

Mokita does a great deal of damage to climates and cultures, environments and ecosystems, streams of innovations, individuals in organizations and their organizational life when we do not address actual authentic problems or work on needed solutions.

Instead, we end up working on things that will make no difference, wasting time and resources.

Trading Labor for Money — Both Must Exist for Companies to Survive

worlds apart

Photo by Gerome Viavant on Unsplash

Companies have an overwhelming bias for short-term punching targets.

Moreover, where they trade long-term investments in labor and communities in exchange for higher profits and a few fleeting attaboys from Wall Street, and our global Stratos dwellers.

For example, they live in illusive worlds, draining their organizations and their customers of their resources, and are so quarantined from reality that they know, not what they do, nor how else to live.

Furthermore, leaders and their rank-and-file managers are groomed to ignore (for a host of reasons) each time their company announces a cut back of thousands of jobs.

Accordingly, top executives get richer at the expense of the incomes of thousands of workers whose jobs are being eliminated.

Wealth and Power

Leaders and their line management participate in an ongoing process of shifting wealth and economic power from those who are engaging in the production of real value to those who only accumulate wealth.

Likewise, they believe it is their right, to see their wealth grow without limit, regardless of their needs or productive contributions.

This view comes from a belief in scarcity, which in turn comes from a narrow view of what’s possible.

There is another way to do business.

The optics, in companies, where we deliver in business, authentic value, gifted to all stakeholders, where nobody wins at the expense of anybody else.

This view comes from the belief in abundance — in short, access to wealth is the opening of our minds to one invisible resource.

It is our people, our workforce.

mindshare more than market share