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“There is a cloud that, in a way, haunts me, or at least I keep finding it everywhere that I look, and that is Efrat’s Cloud.” – Dr. Kelvyn Youngman.

In 1995 Efrat Goldratt was a Ph.D. student in Israel.  She is the daughter of Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt who conceived the Theory of Constraints Thinking Process (TOC TP).

Using a process called a “conflict cloud” Efrat demonstrated a core problem that lies behind most people’s limiting thoughts and behaviour.  This conflict explains why, despite our best efforts to change, our own internal resistance always gets in the way.

Whether you are helping an individual, team or a whole organisation you will see this conflict cloud turn up.

Let me explain:

We all want some level of change because change is the only way we can achieve satisfaction.  Whether you or your team are pessimistic or optimistic, no matter what your personality profile/s are, it is the same.  If you want more satisfaction you will either want to reduce the things that don’t work or you will want to increase the things that do.  In either case you want change.

But, we all want to avoid change because we believe change will reduce our security.  You, your team or your organisation worked hard to get where you are. We need to consolidate, rest and be stable.  We need security. We are taught, and often believe, that to keep our selves secure we must not change.

I appreciate that this sounds absolute and simplistic, but take a look at your last decision, it will either serve a need for satisfaction, a need for security or it will attempt to serve both.

Our happiness comes from meeting our need for satisfaction and our need for security.  If you, your team or your organisation meet both your satisfaction and security needs it will feel great.

And here lies the problem:

In order to derive some form of happiness we need satisfaction.  In order to derive satisfaction we want to change. But, in order to derive some form of happiness we need security.  In order to derive security we don’t want to change.

What happens when you feel pressure to change and you feel pressure not to change?

Most of us will compromise and try to meet both needs.  What actually happens is we resist change.  The depth of our resistance will depend on which need is driving us. More satisfaction or more security?  As long as there is pressure to have both you can almost guarantee you will resist change in some form.

Whether you are an individual trying to improve, a team trying to solve a problem or an organisation trying to change the world the biggest challenge you face will be to exist without compromise … to exist without your own resistance to change.

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