Change — real change — comes from the inside out.— Stephen Covey
Do you agree with Stephen Covey’s assertion that real change comes from the inside out?
Ten years ago, I’m pretty sure I would have overlooked this quote from Stephen Covey and not given it a second thought. It wouldn’t have made sense to me.
After all, for almost 30 years, I had been heavily trained and engaged in all sorts of enterprise change initiatives and modalities. Not once that I can recall had anyone ever mentioned personal change from the inside out.
What does change from the inside out even mean?
Accidentally Discovering Inside Out Change
I didn’t make a conscious decision to change myself from the inside out, but that’s exactly what I have experienced.
I decided to try to fix something that was broken and discover new and better ways forward.
Along the way, I realized everything was changing and, most of all, me. I had accidentally set myself on the path of what’s commonly known as the Hero’s Journey that was first articulated by Joseph Campbell.
Fortunately, I’m meeting and connecting with more and more people who are on a similar journey, and discovering the need for inside out change is ever more pressing.
One of those people I’ve met and learned from along the way is Robert Fuchs, Culture Architect at happinessgroup.eu, who is on his own remarkable Hero’s Journey.
One of the most potent ideas Robert shared in the interview was this:
A culture can be perfect, but because of flaws in my consciousness, perception, and mindfulness of this reality, I can’t see the possibilities I have within this culture.
Have you ever thought about this interaction between the culture and the individual?
I know I sure hadn’t until Robert pointed it out to me.
Robert explains that corporate culture becomes a pretty tricky situation when we consider that the culture is only partly visible through the explicit values and value priorities.
And at the same time, corporate culture is partly invisible through our own constructions of this reality.
This idea really opens up a lot of gray space, doesn’t it?
Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from the interview:
- Change and innovation happen naturally when learning, growth, and transformation are fostered.
- Flaws in personal perceptions of reality limit possibilities.
- It’s the job of every employee to discover what has meaning for them.
- Lack of attention can be a direct result of useless information.
- We need liberty to explore, equality to perceive, and fraternity for collaboration.
- Leaders should ask their employees, “Are you happy?”
- Employee ideas must be acted upon to avoid “learned helplessness.”
- We must know who we are to determine the possibilities and probabilities of our life.
- Integration of our fragmented self gives us the illusion of knowing when in fact we only believe to know.
There’s a lot more in the full interview, so I hope you will pick up a copy of The Future of the Workplace and discover more deep insights from Robert Fuchs!