The Do’s and Don’ts of Ongoing Turbulence

  • Start being honest with yourself and your employees: more, not less turmoil lies ahead.
  • Start interpreting extended periods of calm as a distress signal — it means your sensors aren’t working properly.
  • Start thinking of things that appear stable as really being composed of rhythms or fluctuating waves of movement that form predictable patterns.
  • Start paying more attention to how you learn than what you know.
  • Start concerning yourself with whether people you are responsible for can successfully assimilate additional changes when new initiatives are being considered.
  • Start reminding yourself and your employees that everyone’s job now is to succeed in unfamiliar environments.
  • Start increasing your tolerance for ambiguity during periods of uncertainty.
  • Start viewing some of today’s disruptions as the bases for tomorrow’s new possibilities.
  • Start operating as if anything that looks like “the answer” to major problems or opportunity is more expensive and less durable than is apparent.
  • Start thinking about many contradictions as paradoxes.
  • Start recognizing when to slow down (and do things right the first time) in order to move faster through change
  • Start translating “either/or” choices into “both/and” thinking.
  • Start experimenting with everything you can, (cf.:  Built To Last) but remember to maintain the core values of you are so you will have an internal reference point for making key decisions.
  • Start taking some of the mystery out of change by learning to understand its patterns and dynamics.
  • Start learning from your previous attempts at implementing change, and incorporate these lessons into new behaviors when facing major transitions.
  • Start taking responsibility for architecting the future.


  • Stop waiting for things to slow down
  • Stop promising yourself and your employees that your organization is just one change project away from tranquility.
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself because life has become so challenging.
  • Stop feeling like a victim when you don’t get what you want.
  • Stop assuming stress is always bad; a certain amount is necessary for learning.
  • Stop thinking that you and your employees are entitled to always feel comfortable during change, or that your organization has failed if this doesn’t happen.
  • Stop being distrusting or resentful when your boss doesn’t have all the answers about the future. (cf.: Barry Oshry, The Possibilities of Organizations)
  • Stop depending more on rhetoric and hype than on action to achieve your change goals.
  • Stop being enamored with your own achievements — complacency and arrogance inhibit your ability to develop new expectations.
  • Stop being drawn to the excitement of initiating change but bored or distracted with what it takes to sustain it.
  • Stop relying on your own knowledge, assumptions, and perceptions as the only valid bases for determining what to do next (cf.: Mutual Learning Model)
  • stop thinking that any one person or any single group can resolve the really important issues in isolation.
  • Stop running from the unexpected — instead, move closer to identify what new dangers are to be avoided and what new opportunities can be expected.
  • Stop thinking only in terms of your own survival during change — it will invariably destroy the people and things around you and ultimately lead to your own self destruction.
  • Stop being afraid of abandoning things that have worked for you in the past.
  • Stop being surprised at life’s surprises.

Source: Leading at the Edge of Chaos, Daryl Connor,page 214-216


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
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