The future calls us to a new paradigm…a reality shift from the limited socially constructed thinking of the past into a nimble engagement with the ever-shifting present. Change at Warp Speed.
Change at Warp Speed happens as it begins, in a whirlwind of freedom and creativity that dances within the field emanating from its core. Shifts in the environment are adapted to faster than lightning, absorbed and transformed into new action. Groups organize within the ever-shifting field in which they operate around the principles of skillful dialogue. Each member influences as they explore reality through the lens of collective wisdom. Each member creates and is created by the ever shifting whole. The warp field is sustained even as the quasi-equilibrium of the environment ebbs and flows.
Freedom within structure is the Change at Warp Speed mantra generating productivity and morale. Decision-making is consciously organized and spread throughout the collective. The entire community experiments, yet the experiment is not random chaos, but rather focused energy aligned towards goals. Yes and No remain timely clear binary responses, with as much freedom as possible granted to the ever adapting collective.
Change at Warp Speed is ancient yet ever emerging. It begins with first contact and quickly absorbs and is absorbed by each field of forces it enters. There is minimal diagnosis or gathering of data, maximum integration of thinking and doing, with deeper dives as needed. Change at Warp Speed has happened by the time it has begun, and is continuous in a never-ending spiral of dialogue, acting, and learning from the action. Change at Warp Speed releases the dampened energy in the organization, spreading initiative and responsibility in a powerful wave, like a meteor striking a pond.
From whence came this new and transformational model? From a universal social science that applies equally on a micro and macro scale ranging from individual behavior to nation states and planetary dynamics…so much so that a real-life version of Star Fleet Academy will surely make it the basis of knowledge in the not-so-distant future.
Change at Warp Speed begins as the change agent walks in the door or beams down to a planet. Interviews are not so much to gather data, but rather to establish rapport and begin to influence thinking. That reality in terms of beliefs and behaviors is socially constructed is clear, and change begins by shifting from patterns such as blame and defensiveness (which fuel each other) towards owning misunderstandings and taking responsibility for one’s own reactions and emotions.
If sensors initially indicate an object as a potential threat, most (not all) in their fear-based reaction will sound the alert, raise shields, and even arm weapon systems. If further scans reveal the object poses no threat, fear will be followed by relief and a return to normal. Did the object cause the fear? Future generations will know the answer is a resounding “no.” It is perception that precedes fear, and misperception often creates needless drama, especially if the mind is befogged by the presence of authority relations. Change at Warp Speed is possible when perception shifts from the false hypothesis that hierarchy is the issue to clarity that reactions to authority are the issue. Freed from generational emotional binds, this reconstruction of reality allows empowerment of authority throughout the system and generates a vital portion of the field needed for change at warp speed.
The Change at Warp Speed change agent is more focused on unfreezing the quasi-equilibrium of mistrust and on influencing the social construction of reality. They know that warp speed will be built on a change in the level of functioning of groups through dialogue and group decision (influence on one another and commitment to actions). Unfrozen by effective change agents working in alignment with formal and informal leaders, the group can begin their own analysis of the field of forces within which their own performance and morale are held in stasis. The laws of physical science will guide the change. Pushing harder on the field, as many organizations do, only increases tension, and strengthens the restraining forces. Change at Warp Speed happens through group dynamics, with the restraining force of overfunctioning by management and experts (a petri-dish for underfunctioning by everyone else) instantly replaced by local analysis and solution generation. Groups take action and do research on the effectiveness of their actions. As groups identify and address their own restraining forces, change happens in the moment, and a transformational ability to adapt to new challenges and opportunities spreads through the system like electricity. In a flash resilience is no longer a catchword but rather a behavior-based reality. A new homeostasis freezes the fields and replaces the old.
Aligned around group dynamics that balance freedom and structure in an ever-shifting quasi-equilibrium, leaders lead and followers follow, and everyone knows how to do both as situations demand. Dialogue becomes rich and real, with no need to restrain people from exploring what they really think. The social science holding such change in place postulates that attempting to impose what people should think or say, or shaming people about what to think only leads to false conformity. Patience at warp speed is a virtue because false hypotheses such as racism, sexism, and any other “us and them” (such as management and labor, maintenance and production, headquarters and locations, etc.) mentalities will only shift in the face of real dialogue. You can lead towards such awareness, but each must freely arrive. Once peers begin to shift from blame to respect and from fear to openness a wave of freely chosen re-education takes place.
Change at Warp Speed isn’t rocket science. Wielding a triangle of training-action-research, it can be transferred to anyone who cares. It is designed in its very essence to be shared. With a little effort you can learn it too, if you dare.
You don’t need a modified DeLorean for Change at Warp Speed to take you back to the future. Once adapted widely, humanity can move away from sociological black holes such as totalitarianism and laisse-faire leadership, and no longer tolerate power inequality such as racism and sexism. A golden age of democratic values and leadership taking many forms but always rooted in equality can dawn.
Science fiction aside, everything you just read about Change at Warp Speed emanated from the beautiful mind of Kurt Lewin (1890 – 1947), even the application of field theory. Especially the application of field theory. If you didn’t know, now you know. In the golden age to come I foresee monuments being built and children named after him. Generations will use a holographic version of the Johari Window to assess why so many were blind for so long to the potential his social science placed in our hands. The Starship Lewin will be the first warp drive vessel of a vast fleet, always seeking new knowledge, but never forgetting from whence we came.