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Rule #10 – Embrace the Contradiction of Order and Change

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • As humans, we crave order. Order is predictable and comfortable, but it can also become static.
  • On the other side, we crave change. But change and be chaotic and exhausting. 
  • Disruptive organizations and their leaders can thrive with change and never get tired from it. So how do they do it? 
  • The answer is counterintuitive – the impose order and discipline around the whole process of making change happen. 
  • Disruptive leaders embrace the contradiction of order and change by defining how the change will be done. As a result, they don’t have to worry about HOW to make a change happen so that they can focus 100% of their time and energy on making the change happen. 
  • Embracing the contradiction between ordering change is the new skill needed in leadership.
  • For example, Amazon has a process to create change using a one-page press release from the future and a six-page FAQ document. Change won’t happen unless you have the order – the structure, process, and procedures – to create a container for it. 
  • Another way to order chaos is to intentionally create liminal space, a place between where you’re moving from one state to another. It provides transition time, rituals and ceremonies to mark the end and beginning of things. 
  • Rituals become a powerful signal for change – welcoming new people, saying goodbye to departing employees, even graduations and wedding ceremonies signal and support change. 
  • The more disruptive the change, the more you must impose order on the chaos. Order and chaos may appear to be canceling each other out but in fact, they strengthen each other.
  • Your ultimate job as a leader is to create this space where order and change can live together,

Additional Resources 

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