Monday, September 5, 2011

Becoming an agent of change

Hello again! I am so excited to be back and to spend a couple of moments talking about the last principle underpinning the process of Integrative Life Planning (ILP)! One of the core elements, which the ILP model addresses, is the pervasive issue of CHANGE – today’s posting will present some of the ILP-related thoughts on this aspect of our lives.
In previous posts, I have indicated that ILP is a model, which has been conceptualised with the intention of providing a kind of fluid framework within which individuals – and families and communities and organisations – can be assisted to make all-encompassing career and life management decisions. ILP is therefore said to be based on the belief in people’s ability and power to (make) change(s); further to this, the model also places significant emphasis on our ability to understand the changes we end up making in this process.
At this time I think it needs to be said – once again – that making a career choice, and planning how this aspect will fit in with the other parts of our lives, is never a once-off event. Yes, getting relevant personal insight is the first step, but never the end of the journey; as soon as we can get people to realise that we are all life and career sojourners – travellers – we will be able to start effecting longer-lasting change.
The ILP model has been put together in such a way as to help people manage the changes they (need to) make in their lives, and how these individual changes can in fact make a difference to everyone we are in contact with. To use the words of Sunny Hansen, we all have the power to act as change agents, regardless of how we view ourselves and our roles in our families and society at large. ILP is entrenched in the principle that a decision that is made at the individual level will impact both local and global communities.
As soon as I now type these words, I can hear the detractors saying that one person cannot change the world – taking this position may clearly be indicative of a lacking in understanding of the constantly changing world we are living in. According to Mark Penn, it takes only 1% of a given group to effect change in the larger population! In his book titled “micro-trends”, this astounding phenomenon is presented by means of numerous examples – these examples all serve to indicate how the so-called “small forces” are “the power behind tomorrow’s big changes”. Many influential and powerful world and business leaders have realised that various smaller social phenomena need to be considered in their strategizing and planning; when considering the issue of change, and how this can start on a small scale and escalate into something unheard of before, it starts making sense to not disregard the power of the individual change agent.
In terms of the ILP model, it is imperative for all to have a sound understanding of how personal choices can affect our families, local and global communities. As we keep considering the model in its entirety, we will be spending more time on the challenge we all have to work for the greater good!
If we were to look for some examples of how individual behaviour has influenced local and global communities, we need not look too far. Taking a moment, we are bound to identify at least a couple of individuals who have made a real difference to the lives of others through their (personal) choices. These so-called role models, whether they are teachers, sports coaches, pastors, or parents, have the ability to cause change to those within their circle of influence. If one starts going to a bit grander level, and you want to identify champions of change at a global level, there are numerous examples. Most may think international figures have a greater chance of causing change in their “worlds” – ALL of us have the inherent qualities that require us to influence people and cause change – for the good.
In the next post I will introduce the first critical task identified in terms of the Integrative Life Planning model: Finding work that needs doing. I am looking forward to having you back on our blog and feel that the time has now come for us to start unpacking the ILP model in terms of the six critical tasks, which have been formulated by Hansen.

1 comment:

  1. Hennie, I like were you are going with this. While many people do think that one person cannot change the world, we have to realize that modern systems theory regards the world as an inherently complex system.

    Views, such as chaos theory acknowledges that small forces acting on complex systems may cause wide systemic effects - this is commonly illustrated by the butterfly effect example. So we cannot exactly tell what the effect of small individual changes will be on the larger societal systems.


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