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Second Order Change

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I take a break from the Covenant series today to reflect on change. I know, I know, change has been so done, we're sick to death of it. The endless strategies for inducing it, for enforcing it, for managing it. But today, I want to reflect on a different kind of change. Second Order Change.

Some background: Google Second Order Change and you'll get something like 132 million hits, most of the resulting links guide you to indecipherable pages. (One notable exception here.) Bergquist knows his stuff, but few seem to be able to explain, describe, or coherently define second order change.

Let me add to that body of obfuscation! Slip over here for more ...


Covenent- Relationships Trump Everything

We live in a world filled with illusions. The illusion of isolation. The illusion of self, independent of others, and also independent of the context within which we find our selves. Me, I'm quite a different person in church than I am in a bar. I am discernibly different when I'm chatting with you than when I'm chatting with pretty much anyone else.

This happens not because I'm a wind sock or because you have an overwhelming personality, but because I am human. We each have a subtle ability to synch with those around us. Most of this is preconscious, but nonetheless useful. We can depend upon this feature to guide, inform, adapt, and sustain us. Slip over here for more ...



Spindly thin, devoid of splatter;
Certain something’s
not the matter!
Still, lethargic, dragging heels,
Don’t dare ask how this one feels!

Me, I’ve tried—maybe not THAT hard—
to build my tenuous house of cards
with rains and winds, my chief assistants,
confused if this defines what isn’t.

Me, I’m dangling from bare threads,
turning on nonexistent treads,
hatless here on weathered ground,
mere threadbare glove without a hand. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant- No One Is Apathetic ...

No One Is Apathetic, Except When Pursuing Someone Else's Goals

Apathy. Easily diagnosed. Not always so easily treated.

One very popular way to prevent resolving apathy involves for-your-own-good lectures exhorting another to "get with THE program." THE program? And which program IS that program, anyway? Usually, it's someone else's. Nothing wrong or unseemly about inviting anyone to get with someone else's program, but as an antidote to apathy, it usually sucks. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant- There Are No Marginal Players

There are no marginal players.

The nature of work demands that some carry more than their counterparts. Some necessarily hold more than others. Some necessarily assume more responsibility. But there are no marginal players. The marginalized enjoy every good reason for their dissatisfaction. They cannot be dependable. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant- The Gods Are Always In Charge

One covenant well-known in ancient times might seem to embody acquiescence. The notion that The Gods Are Always In Charge seems to explain away any human culpability, any human capability. I think not.

Claiming that the best laid plans, oft gang aglee says nothing about plans or planners, but speaks to something else. That no battle plan survives contact with the enemy speaks to what no plan can speak to. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant-One Does Not "Drive" Results

Where did you learn to work?

Our current economic crisis demonstrates that the covenant between people and work has been broken. Investors abandoned their ethical responsibilities to become mere speculators. The pursuit of short-term profits subsumed long-term sustainability. Tactical advantage undermined strategic focus. Metrics clouded meaning. Growth overshadowed purpose. Personal position justified undermining collective well-being. Slip over here for more ...


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