Often, when we think about global-scale problems, feelings of defeat can creep in on us. The scale and scope of the problems we face as a human race can feel very intimidating and it is easy to want to break each issue down into parts so that they more digestible and less overwhelming to tackle. The problem is that this reductionist approach does more harm than good because each problem is so intertwined with the next. We soon start to encounter unintended consequences from our actions because we are operating within a limited viewpoint and understanding of what is happening and therefore we miss out on what is necessary. James described a tactic he uses to think bigger, called blindspotting. Blindspotting is the driving force behind all of his work and it is essentially an approach he uses to find what has been overlooked because of reductionist thinking. James said, "ultimately, blindspotting can address the neglected gap between the scale of our our responses and the scale of the interconnected challenges".
In our recent podcast episode, we asked a few of our guests to respond to this quote by environmental activist, Annie Leonard. And, we learned from our conversation with our guests that how we think about progress and innovation needs to shift. We need to think about how often we consider the environment as a part of our everyday life. Sustainability should be more than just a goal, or a separate field or industry. It should not be a goal we work towards, but rather an integral part of our everyday lives. It is not the environment, it is our environment, our home, and our livelihood.
In my two last blogs, I wrote about change management and added my expert opinion about starting with oneself and when to apply complexity thinking. Missing from those two blogs, and is often missing in other literature, is a discussion about how challenging change can be. Over the decades I have learned that change is inevitable, continuous, and can seem ambiguous. To help bring clarity and ease, this blog explores change and transition.
As described by the author William Bridges, change is something that you can mark on a calendar—for example, the day you met your life partner, started a new job, or a loved one died. What many people don’t realize is that change can trigger an emotional transition, which is experienced in our head, heart, and gut. It’s the transition that often makes us feel emotional, brings on feelings of vulnerability, and can be hard to comprehend. Successful change actually lies on our ability to get through the transition.