The performing of new behaviours, to be considered “sustainable”, means, very often, a change: something from current behaviour has to be changed permanently. Some questions arise: is it necessary to make disruptive change in a very short time ? What kind of thinking is the best? Might we find someone who help us to change? Is there any obstacles to overcome?
We can argue about it from an individual point of view or from an “enterprise”, or from an institutional responsibility. The difficulty and the “answer” have a clear origin: your intention. The degree of difficulty can vary: it seems easier if you decide for yourself and/or for a small group of persons (e.g. a family); it is much more complex and difficult if you feel to be responsible of a large organization or institution.
This topic can be dealt with so many approches: rational, empathic, systemic, scientific, humanistic, ….
I would simply tell you what is my favorite choice. It include two issues: the way of “thinking”, the process to find the “solution”.
Let’s start from “thinking”. The first to do is to make a choice, of course depending on the problem: shall we continue to think in a “linear way: from cause to effect”, choosing some of the driving forces? Or, better, choosing a “systemic thinking” trying to include more factors, able to design a “whole picture” of the problem? My choice is “systemic”: I want to explore the space around and identify parts, stakeholders, scopes, interactions, paradigms if any, because it gives me more ideas, feelings and perspectives. It enlarges my views.
Then there is the “process”. I need to answer to simple questions: what is the starting point, what should I focus first? My answer is: the problem. The setting of the problem should be my first action. The problem shall be defined as a “story telling”, at the beginning, finding the key parts, the key actors, the main feelings. The “systematic” thinking shall be used, exploring the whole scenario, possibly. One says “a problem well stated is a problem half solved”.
The second step is “analyses of solutions already tested”: I want to use the experience, learn from experience.
The third step is the vision of the “desired situation” in the future. The future and my intention are the key factors to start from. It is advisable to enlarge the perception and vision of the future involving the community I belong: it could be involved in the future desirable situation, otherwise my “ego” will prevail. Once again I should think in a systemic way.
The fourth point is “go to action”! and control the development. Here you might find the flexibility to evaluate the goal and the capability to “adjust” it, modifiying the goal itself.
If you have followed me up to now, it’s time to get a conclusion, shortly. Let’s use a systemic approach, possibly engaging the community to which we belong, to get more perspectives; it means a relevant change: “from ego to eco”, to avoid narrow and risky views. Then adopt a structured approach starting from a wide and effective “problem setting”, including past experience of failed solutions. And last but not least, be inspired and visionnaire to shape a “desidered situation”, one again engaging your community, you are not alone. The “go to action”, with its controls and adjustings, will be your last effort to change, possibly.
The whole matter is rather complex and needs some perspectives, experiences and thinking. Will you help ?