The Science of Integration Part II

What makes physics or medicine more of a science than integration of change?

Hoping that facilitating change will ever be as predictable as the results of scientific manipulations in sciences such as physics is probably a long shot, and likely not necessarily an exciting thought. But getting integration efforts to meet scientific standards of sciences like medicine would be a great achievement, one we should, and finally can, aspire to.

Medicine does not have the predictability level of physics but, diagnosis aside, there is a lot we can do to help build healthier people because of what we do know. When it comes to change, however, there is very little literature that can be used to match pain with remedy, especially when it comes to getting people to apply, execute, integrate, and implement needed adjustments.

Just think of the last time you had to get a manager or a team to change a certain behavior. Most change agents (professional or in leadership positions) often don’t realize the forces working against them. Not only are you fighting against people’s lack of commitment to cooperate, you are battling people’s very ability to change. Here change agents typically struggle, drawing on intuition in the absence of any  deliberate system that can lead to predictable results.  Without this type of predictability, how can we expect integration to be a science?

It will take a while for change to be a science, but we’d like to believe we are well on our way. Here are two of our criteria:

1. Predictability: For change to be a science, we should have very high predictability from effort to result. The elusive factor here is often the way people respond, hence predictability will depend on our ability to facilitate change in people.

2. Lasting effects: Change that is here for one minute and then there the next is not tangible enough to be considered a “result.” For change to be a science, adjustments should be consistent and lasting.

Which criteria would you use to evaluate if change is a science?

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