22.12.2021

Change is all around

Christmas this year has perhaps an even greater social significance than it has had for Christians for many centuries anyway. The hopefully easing of the bustle at the turn of the year should allow space for cooling down and reflection.

Both are urgently needed. The voices of those who feel restricted in their rights are becoming louder and louder, while with the Omicron variant and possibly future even more potent virus mutations, a – non-contact – closing of ranks within society would be downright essential for survival. Survival-important for the individual, who should definitely get vaccinated and refreshed with regard to the easily possible self-protection, and for the community, which can survive the collective danger through the sum of self-protection: Through a reduced burden on the health system and thereby also to sustain for all that is necessary beyond Covid.

Unfortunately, it does not look like this can be achieved quickly.

The interdependencies between concrete danger, individual freedom of action and responsibility also for the neighbour seem to be too complex for many. This again sets the stage for the pied pipers who come up with the easy answers. These are the ones who capitalise on people’s uncertainty, be it economically or just in the form of pomposity and gaining attention, in any case with the means of disinformation and incitement. In the process, personal rights of freedom are abstracted from the concrete situation of danger and possibly necessary personal restrictions are exaggerated.

In addition to the complexity and immediacy of events, the basic and regular reaction patterns of the people of our time play a major role when it comes to change. No one is born with a pronounced readiness to change, at least not in Germany´s still Prussia-founded culture. Some others, e.g. Israel or the Netherlands, find it easier to deal with change.

Change is necessary, if only to maintain the status quo.

Alexander Mauer

But it doesn’t help. Change is necessary and even required to maintain the status quo, simply because the environment is subject to constant change, because the world is turning.

In this respect, we will not have reached the end of the challenges once this pandemic has run its course. The essential issues that need to be solved in order to ensure the survival of mankind simply grow massively in size over time and need to be addressed urgently and with the highest priority. Whether, for example, the fight against climate change will allow us to continue our usual “way of life” is highly doubtful. In any case, the lines of conflict have already been drawn by the Corona crisis: Increasingly pronounced individualism and egoism versus responsibility for the community, which here appears somewhat more abstractly as the whole of humanity. Added to this is the additional guarantor position for the generations not yet born, whose protection has now also been recognised by the German Federal Constitutional Court as a state objective (decision of the First Senate of 24 March 2021, 1 BvR 2656/18 et al.).

But: every change, every transformation also has a certain magic and always an opportunity to make things better. As those who professionally deal with transformation, we are particularly challenged today and in the future to contribute to both the success of the concrete and less clear challenges.

In doing so, everyone must be taken along with appropriate communication, without choosing the pace of the most hesitant – there is no more time for that!

That is why there is also no more time to wait. Those who believe that the one (big) solution to the fight against climate change will come from London, Berlin, Brussels, Beijing or Washington at some point fail to realise that the big changes rarely come from the mainstream. The rucksack of interests and the weight of its representatives is too heavy for a policy focused exclusively on achieving goals to lead the way. Change comes from the niche, and we have to find and play it ourselves. Pointing the finger at our neighbours for everything they are doing wrong has never achieved anything. And with regard to man-made climate change, from the point of view of an industrialised nation, this is also unfair to all those who are striving today for what we achieved decades ago and ruined the climate in the process.

Let’s not get frustrated by the size of the tasks, let’s tackle them. Now. And let us contribute, each according to his or her abilities, privately and professionally, with thoughts, words and works, so that the world not only becomes better but also survives.

We wish our friends, clients and colleagues a time of restful reflection. 2022 will challenge us again; we look forward to it.

Merry Christmas

Visual: A. Mauer
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Alexander Mauer, proINject – Interim Network
Embrace change! We stand for successful transformations through forward-thinking process design and organisational development. We foster open, honest and well-balanced communication with all stakeholders.
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