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Guiding Processes and Resistance to Change

A motive is required to make a distinction with people, teams and organisations. This motive is often created or underpinned by giving a value to one of the two distinctions. If one views the guiding distinctions, then stable decision-making processes are created, because often, just such a value motive plays a role. For example:

– Guiding Process Self-Expression: Someone considers it correct that he basically never reveals certain emotions.
– Guiding Process Team Parameters: A team considers it important that someone who contradicts the boss cannot occupy a position in the team
– Guiding Process Quality Focus: An organisational unit considers it more professional to postpone the delivery date rather than compromising the perfection of the product

However, when a value ensures the option for one side of the distinction, then it becomes improbable that one easily swaps to the other side of the distinction. This is because one would then also have to change the value and, with it, the motive out of which one has previously chosen! Value extinguishes contingency (“This is how it must be!”). When it becomes apparent that it could, after all, ‘be different’, then insecurity is created. As all systems are dependent upon absorbing insecurity, they are, therefore, also resistant to change, as long as they are not prepared to question the value judgments which lie behind their decisions. Often, this is not possible without an external observer such as a therapist, coach, trainer or consultant.