Centre of Excellence.

BSA Solutions

An extract from the 60 tools available in...
Section 1: General tools
This section deals with tools that have general application to individuals, groups, communities and organisations.

Tool # 1.1 Questions for considering the
challenges of change

• A pre-requisite for later change efforts
• Encourages explicit identification of elements that need to be altered
• Encourages systematic analysis of how challenges can be overcome
• Encourages collaboration

Here are some questions to help you understand and implement the change process:

• Do you see the challenges of change in your situation?

• Are you aware of the set of forces that might be working to counter your efforts? (Many challenges to sustaining significant change are invisible at first — you need to be aware of this.)

• Do you understand the nature of the challenges? How do you tend to see the challenges? How do others see you when you encounter challenges? (These questions establish an orientation of inquiry toward important developments that you might otherwise see only as barriers blocking the path.)

• Who can best help you understand and deal with these challenges? How can you help each other? (Many of us set out to conquer our problems single-handedly. But, most of the time, the challenges do not affect just us as individuals. We can operate much more effectively by sharing our efforts with colleagues who are part of the same organisation or community and whose abilities and interests complement our own.)

• What would constitute effective action in dealing with these challenges? What capabilities might you want to develop? (All too often, people’s actions represent reactions to circumstances, rather than considered strategies. This question helps you to look strategically at your actions over the next several years.)

• How will you know if you are making progress? (No strategy is ever completely appropriate, so all courses of action need to be regularly re-assessed. However, most people, when carrying out an action plan, stop paying attention to what is going on around them. Focusing on moving forward, they lose sight of the effects they are having, especially on those on the periphery of attention. Because the challenges of profound change are complex, it is essential to remain flexible.)

Source: Peter Senge et al 1999

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