Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Sky(deck) Is Not Falling

The news today showed a pretty scary picture of the floor off the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower--the glass looked thoroughly cracked, shattered really. What a risk to the people on it, a hundred stories above Chicago, right?!

Well, not really. The boxes are exceedingly over-engineered, and the cracking was actually a protective layer, not anything structural.

And yet it was frightening and people are freaking out a little bit.

So goes change in organizations. The changes can be entirely normal and to be expected--programs get shuffled a bit, or a staff member moves on. Plans are in place for things to move smoothly. People still get anxious. It's natural.

A while back I read this article about increasing resilience in children through family stories--those stories we tell around the dinner table about past hard times and funny things and major celebrations. A strong family narrative helps a child to know that they are part of something bigger than themselves, that awful things can be survived, and that there is always hope.

We can use these findings as we consider our own children and ourselves, and all our systems. 

When we are faced with change, we can have a wider view of who we are as a people, a treasure chest of past successes to draw from, and that certain knowledge that we can do big things together.


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