People do not take kindly to being told what to do.
Successful change begins with a dialogue. That conversation continues characterized the process. It is shaped by close listening, continuous learning, and responsiveness. People share their experiences and attend to one another.
Automatic pilot is not an approved technology for managing change.
When reviewing research on burnout interventions, I was struck by an inherent contradiction. One the one hand, a clinical trials model rests upon standardization. The process must be implemented in exactly the same way across a variety of groups. Secondly, a double blind study—the highest standard of clinical trial—requires that participants do not know whether they are in the intervention or the placebo control group.
On the other hand, successful group initiatives are local. The participants actively participate in designing, implementing, and evaluating the process. They are not mindless players in someone else’s game.
The inherent contradiction may be one reason there has been so little research on addressing workplace issues, such as stress, burnout, or incivility. The standards necessary to gain funding and opportunities to conduct the research are at odds with the qualities necessary for a successful process.
Creative researchers are finding ways to work around this conflict, but one hopes for a smoother road to supporting research that sincerely strives to make a difference in developing more resilient workgroups.
How would you resolve this puzzle?