Vitality: Collisions Between Stability & Instability

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I’m grappling with how much change is too much.

It feels like I’m surrounded by people that love stability and predictability – things low on my list of priorities.


The collision between change agents and stabilizers is inevitable, dynamic, potentially dangerous, and theoretically useful.

Stabilizers apart from change agents are dangerous. They seek consistent processes and procedures that create sluggishness, inefficiencies, and comfortable irrelevance. Eventually the ultimate goal of their organizations eventually becomes self-preservation.

Change agents apart from stabilizers are dangerous. They destabilize processes and procedures in search of innovation and growth. They transform organizations into fast moving machines that create burn out, inefficiencies, and uncomfortable irrelevance. Eventually the ultimate goal of their organizations eventually becomes self-preservation.


Stabilizers and change agents have colliding values. Collisions between them may result in conflict that if misunderstood causes paralyzing stress, distracting conflict, and harmful disrespect.

Both, constant change and persistent sameness increase stress, lower confidence, and decrease productivity.


Creative tension between stabilizers and change agents develops healthy, dynamic organizations that add value to their constituents, customers, and communities.

The benefit of colliding perspectives is diversity and maturity.

How much:

Organizations always tend to stagnate without intentional destabilization.

Innovation and change are best embraced and expressed by stable organizations. You need a stable present to change the future. Change produces vitality. Constant change, however, discourages people and creates ineffective environments.

Forward moving organizations always lean into change not sameness. How much is enough? Appropriate amounts of instability move organizations forward.

Do small doses of change yield big results? Can you balance stability and change or do 50/50 organizations stagnate?

True stability:

Shared values stabilize organizations. You could value innovation. Finding stability, however, in processes and procedures is death.

What do you think about the tension between change agents and stabilizers? How much is enough/too much?