Change, I Ching, and Six Sigma

A critical component of any successful Six Sigma project is to overcome resistance to change. The reason: without acceptance, any process improvement is doomed to fail. Therefore, proper anticipation and understanding of approaches to various resistance tactics is essential to success. To understand individual and organizational change requires an extended study that isn’t readily available in one book or web-site or course. In my opinion it is vital to have a healthy dose of systems thinking and an understanding of how living systems work. The best foundational book is Peter Senge’s "The Fifth Discipline." I particularly like the self-organizing systems theories expressed by Margaret Wheatley in her book, "Leadership and the New Science". Marvin Weisbord’s books about organizational change are easy to read and very informative; "Productive Workplaces" and "Discovering Common Ground". William Bridges wrote a book called "Transitions", that explains in detail how successful organizational change takes place when employees have a purpose, a mental picture, a plan for, and a part to play in that change. To really understand "Change", a great resource is the ancient Chinese classical book: I Ching or The Book of Change. In this rapidly changing world, the only thing unchanged is change. Change is the natural law of the universe. There is no progress, there is only change. So, we must accommodate change and seize the opportunity in this chaotic world. The I Ching is one of the five Confucian classics; it describes a philosophy that centers on the ideas of the balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change. Thomas Cleary’s book "The Tao of Organization" gives specific, systematic guidelines for consulting the I Ching for greatest understanding and best results. Included in the after word is a profile of the modern Japanese organizational genius Matsushita Konosuke, founder of Panasonic and other multi-national corporations, whose success has been built on the principle of the I Ching.

Tao of Organization : The I Ching for Group Dynamics (Shambhala Dragon Editions) The Fifth Discipline Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World Revised Discovering Common Ground: How Future Search Conferences Bring People Together to Achieve Breakthrough Innovation, Empowerment, Shared Vision, and Collaborative Action Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change