TA Banner

February 2015




Why Do Change Initiatives Fail?

“Increasing consciousness = increasing complexity.”

… Ken Wilber (b. 1949) American writer and philosopher

I was up in Sydney before Christmas and caught up with an old friend who also happens to be involved in the world of personal and cultural change. As often happens when people of common interests get together, our conversation Ontological Foundationssoon changed to topics of common interest and we found ourselves sharing our ideas on why culture change is hard to initiate and even harder to sustain. Although there are clearly many factors in shifting culture, we ended up focusing on one; the heavy emphasis on behavioural change.

Now you might be thinking that it makes sense to focus on new behaviour in order to create a more desirable culture so it makes sense to put the most effort into the way people act. Yet such an emphasis overlooks a couple of key aspects of creating sustainable change at all levels.

The first aspect relates to a lack of appreciation of the importance of individual's worldviews. Our worldview speaks to our story about how the world is or should be. It relates to our values, core concerns, prejudices, preferences and so on. I have spoken many times before about the myth that all action is intentional and pointed to the idea that many of our actions are transparent or habitual and based on taking care of our core concerns. For example, if we have a worldview that is based there being a "one right way", then to behave in a manner that seeks consensus may well feel inconsistent with that approach. In this case, the upshot may well be heightened stress and a tendency to habitual patterns of "right way" behaviour when less mindful. This lack of coherence between worldview and required actions can ultimately lead to unsustainable change. The key is to help people shift into more complex worldviews and this is not a process based on simply learning new behaviours.

Visit The HubThe second aspect relates to environment. People generally do not consider that the culture of an organisation is manifest in its environment. However, it is. The systems, policies, processes, oranisational structure and even the physical environment are a reflection of the culture. Given this lack of appreciation, it is little wonder not much is done to seek to shift the environment into a state more aligned with the desired culture. Here is a simple example. Most organisations seek to build cultures where trust is important, yet continue to put in place policies and systems that are based on the premise that employees are not trustworthy.

Ultimately, this is easy to summarise. If you want to build sustainable organisational cultures or even develop sustainable personal change, then think beyond behaviour. Look to develop an alignment between people's values and worldview, the environment within which they work and the expected behaviours. To do so will take more effort but will also enhance the chances of sustainable outcomes.

We invite you to explore more in the articles section of our web site.


Play Create Elevate

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

“The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have.”

... Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015), American actor, film director, poet, singer and photographer

In case you haven’t heard the news, I have finished writing my book and it’s currently in the hands of the editors.

I was first diagnosed with depression in my late twenties. Two decades later, during a third major depressive episode, a different diagnosis was laid bare. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder Type II. My book, Black Dogs, Roller Coasters & Pink Elephants: Living with Bipolar & Other Mind Health Matters is designed to build understanding of the lived experience of mental illness.

Through my work, I have developed and continue to a range of strategies that enable me to continue to live a life I love. I have no doubt that my ongoing work makes a positive difference in the lives of those I work with and meet and is a wonderful testament to what it possible. With self-awareness, my experience in the field of ontological coaching and human development, and the wonderful relationships I have developed over the last three decades I am well placed to to help others out of their black hole of despair that can accompany mental illness and help them realise there is hope.

Black Dogs, Roller Coasters & Pink Elephants reveals my rollercoaster rides and black dog moments. I strongly believe that the more people who are willing and able to talk openly and comfortably about their lived experience with a mental illness, the better. The book introduces some practicalities of mind health matters and the ‘pink elephant’ research-based resilience strategies that I have successfully used and offer so others can use them also to maintain better mind health.

To make sure you stay up-to-date on all the news about Black Dogs, Rollercoasters & Pink Elephants then follow this link to register.

Want a sneak peek? You can also read the book’s introduction here ! It explains why I have decided to write this book at this time in my life.

If you’d like Jacqui to speak at your conference or to your organisation please contact her at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or +61 (0)412 741 531


Play Create Elevate offers your organisation the opportunity to hear first-hand, from a lived experience perspective about the signs and symptoms of mood disorders, how to give and get help and how to build and sustain resilience. PwC have released a report that says for every dollar spent in creating mentally healthy workplaces that an ROI of at least $2.30 is possible… What are you waiting for?  It’s time to speak openly and comfortably about mind health matters!

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

More on PCE next month!

Hey, did you know?

"But I Feel Good" Radio Show

Radio Show

Did you know that since November 2013, Jacqui has been hosting a weekly radio show called ‘But I Feel Good’ …talking about pink elephants and black dogs.

The show is dedicated to speaking openly and comfortably about the ‘black dog’ of mood disorders from a lived experience perspective and the ‘pink elephant’ strategies and practices that build emotional resilience and inner fortitude.

It covers a range of topics related to mind health and plays a great mix of music in between interviews with subject matter experts and related content.

The show goes live to air, streaming on www.MAINfm.net so it can be heard AROUND THE WORLD every Monday from 1-3pm AET. Its official broadcast base is 94.9 MAIN FM which extends across the Mt Alexander Shire in Victoria on the wireless.

You can listen to on demand episodes at www.jacquichaplin.com.

The Monthly Diversion

One from my friend, David Chard

A Missing Hat

Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday & the priest nearly fell down when he saw him. He'd never been to church in his life.

After Mass, the priest caught up with him & said, "Murphy, I am so glad ya decided to come to Mass. What made ya come?"

Murphy said, "I got to be honest with you Father. A while back, I misplaced me hat & I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like mine & I knew he came to church every Sunday.

I also knew that he had to take off his hat during Mass & figured he would leave it in the back of church. So, I was going to leave after Communion & steal McGlynn's hat."


Murphy replied, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat after all."

With a tear in his eye, the priest gave Murphy a big smile & said, "After I talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' ya decided you would rather do without your hat than burn in hell, eh?"

Murphy slowly shook his head. "No, Father, after ya talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery', I remembered where I left me hat."


"Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

… The Dalia Lama when asked what surprises him the most about humanity.

Join Us Online

LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. As others have done, we also initiate your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.

Not Subscribed Yet?

If you do not yet receive our complimentary e-zine each month, getting it is easy. Simply click here and follow the prompts! We look forward to sharing with you regularly.

If you wish to unsubscribe, simply click the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the e-mail that was sent to you.

Talking About Pty Ltd
PO Box 742, Brentford Square, Victoria 3131
Ph: +61 412 741 537

Copyright © 2015 Talking About Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit talkingabout.com.au | Contact us