The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

A 4P acronym for a change

When working on change we are confronted with the stories people tell themselves.

These stories are the explanations people give themselves about why they do what they do the way they do it.

It can be “I can’t introduce this new tool as my users will not like it” or “If I don’t come home on time X will kill me”. While both stories will not be exactly the truth, they both indicate a fear of an unwanted reaction. It’s a fear of punishment, something the person assumes the result of his action to be. It’s usually something the person hesitates to share and uses excuses to hide.

One way we have to uncover this fear is to let the person think about the highest risk they expect to happen. Uncovering this fear or punishment allows being more effective in setting up the way forward.

The three other P’s which help to create a change are Potency, Protection, and Permission.

Potency will mean to see the resources the person has to deal with the situation.

Protection will mean to assess what the person can do if a problem comes up, for example, if there is something unexpected happening.

Permission than can become easy to give oneself as the person knows what she fears (punishment), has seen her resources (potency) and defined some protections for herself.

That’s when “just do it” becomes possible.


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