In a world filled with change, it is often not the practical changes we find difficult but rather the emotional and psychological letting go of the way the world used to be and the shifting to a new reality. These psychological processes are called transitions and they come in three stages.
The first stage is to let go or Separate from the way the world used to be.
The second is to step into the uncertainty of the Threshold phase: to have the confidence to become the chrysalis that then becomes the butterfly.
And the third and final stage is called Consolidation.
Consolidation is where we bring the various parts of our vision together into a coherent whole — like the pieces of a wooden puzzle.
For example, we all now understand how Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber work. But once upon a time, all three were radical, untested new business models. “Buying books online? They’ll steal your money!” “Staying in a stranger’s house? How can that be safe!”
To make these businesses succeed, all three founders first had to inspire people to Separate from the ways they previously bought books, hotel rooms, and taxis. Then they needed to convince them to stick with the company through the uncertainty of the Threshold growth phase. And finally they needed to Consolidate and align the different parts of their emerging enterprises to create the coherent, evolving brands we know today.
Airbnb and Amazon have managed this well. But Uber struggled so much with the Consolidation stage that its founder, Travis Kalanick, was forced to resign from his own company.
Once you have Consolidated the various parts of your vision it will have changed from being an idea in your head to being real in the world.
Then — just like Amazon and Airbnb — you will need to decide where to take it next.
And then the cycle of Inner Leadership begins again as you centre and ground, make sense of the situation, find the new opportunities, choose the best, turn it or them into an inspiring vision, and manage the transitions as you work to make that new vision a reality. This has led Amazon into web services, entertainment, and space. Where will it lead you?
Are you working to consolidate the parts of your vision into a coherent whole?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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