Creating a Landscape for Change

Imagine that you are a drop of rain… falling fast through the atmosphere, rolling and swirling in the winds and heading downwards towards a high, steep mountain top. Once you’ve landed you join the puddles and pools that form in the mud. Where would you go next?

Unfortunately you will have no influence on that decision — gravity and the topography of the mountain would determine that. However, it can be certainly assumed that you will follow the path of least resistance. You will end up in the lowest point available for you — in a valley basin or even in a nearest lake or ocean.

Considering this process from your stand point as a raindrop, you feel as if you have been navigated and passively pulled, by the shape of the landscape into a stable, tranquil existence. Are you happy there?

When a system is in a stable, balanced state of self order (more about how self order emerges here), it is creating an ‘attractor’ in the system. A pattern, a topography if you like, which will impact all the dynamic within the system and determine its possible outcomes.

Can we look at our own systems as having a determining topography? A landscape that pulls new opportunities into a known pattern? One that we can and should pro-actively navigate through?

If we can see our own context as a system with its own local interactions, self order and landscape topography. We can understand what tools are needed to help us navigate its landscape of complex change. (see here about using the wrong tools when dealing with complex situations)

Each drop of rain falling on the mountain top is a new change opportunity. If we just let it fall into the existing system’s topography, it won’t release it’s full potential for change. Each new opportunity will end up in the same pond, much like Sisyphus, our ball will follow the same pattern again and again.

This is a call to create our own landscapes, for (a) change.

If this kind of insights helps you use complexity better for your own needs, please join us at the CompleX to Change community to get more of the kind.

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You are also very welcome to visit my website at www.complextochange.net

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Originally published at complextochangeblog.wordpress.com on January 16, 2016.