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Change Truth #4: Change is multipotent … And that’s good to expect (Part 4 of Five Truths I Tell My

I’m all about practical change management – with an emphasis on practical. So when individuals, families, and business decision-makers come to me for help navigating a personal, professional, or organizational change, I get them started with information they can apply right away: I introduce them to five fundamental truths about change. Experience proves that when people understand and acknowledge these five change truths, they’re better equipped to cross the threshold into change, move through the change process, and emerge into a positive and stable new normal that feels right and works to their best advantage.

Here’s Number 4 of my Five Truths About Change.

4. Change is multipotent … And that’s good to expect

In Change Truth #3: Change is sequential … And that’s good to know, I wrote that the nine thresholds of change presented in my upcoming book, The Change Course, are logically sequential and predictable, and that practical change management pulls back the curtain on the change process so you know what to expect. As a result, you can plan and execute for a positive change result, and move forward through the thresholds of change and into a stable new normal, with less stress and greater confidence. In addition to embracing the logically sequential course of change, practical change management also embraces the multipotency of change.

Multipotency is a great word. (You should add it to your vocabulary. It sounds really smart.) It means the ability to produce or influence several effects or results. Saying that change is multipotent is the same as saying that one tide lifts all boats. In other words, a change in one aspect of a person’s life, or in the way an organization functions, will likely have an effect or a result in multiple other aspects as well.

Here’s how change is multipotent, and why that’s good to expect.

Individual people, and functioning organizations, are integrated entities. Just about everything that happens in one part somehow impacts what happens in one, some, many, most, or all other parts. This is especially true when a person or organization is undergoing change. For example, for an individual person, a change in say, employment, has the power to generate other changes in finances, relationships, lifestyle, etc. Similarly, for organizations, a change in, say, accounting procedures, has the power to generate other changes in organizational structure, IT, customer relations, etc. Expecting change to be multipotent enables you to anticipate the ripple effect of a primary change, and take action to avert personal and organizational chaos in the other areas that may be affected by that primary change.

Practical change management anticipates the multipotency of change so that change can occur as smoothly and expeditiously as possible in its primary aspect, as well as in all other aspects where it has the power to produce or influence effects or results.

That’s one of the intelligent benefits of practical change management.

Read my next blog for Change Truth #5: Change is manageable … And that’s good to hear.


What are your thoughts and experiences around the multipotency of change? The Barbara Dershowitz Community of Change wants to know. Share your message below.

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