Getting to the Tipping Point of Competence by Design
While there is much hard work, collaboration and progress going on with Competence by Design (CBD), we are not yet feeling the elation that comes from reaching our CBD tipping point. Yet I believe we are in the heart of change – the gap between our ambitions and our starting point.
A tipping point occurs when a critical mass of actions, people, or both, builds up to create an unstoppable momentum and CBD becomes the new normal.
That gap can be a tricky and uncomfortable place. What we do with that discomfort determines whether we succeed or fail, encourage wellness or burnout. We can’t meet a change challenge like CBD in a way that is totally comfortable; some discomfort is necessary often in the form of setbacks, vulnerability and curiosity.
In order for CBD to become a way of life – as important as high level, top down elements like resources, strategy, structure and systems –there is a need to replace numerous decisions about what CBD is and how it will be implemented with clear expectations, roles, behaviours and habits. This can take some practice, learning and adapting.
CBD will happen as a result of the aggregation of lots of small changes by many people consistently over time that will collectively generate “unstoppable momentum,” The simplest way to do this is to determine what activities we all must engage in every day, week, month and year and then practise them.
Our real work now to get toward the tipping point of CBD is to determine what our new activities and habits will be. A great way to do that is to make progress visible. See-Feel-Change is the mantra of many change gurus, pointing to the truth that nothing changes until somebody feels something. The more we share our real life stories and experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) the more clarity we will have about what works and what it looks like. These progress stories will influence people’s feelings and provide more inspiration to keep going.
 Kotter and Cohen, In The Heart of Change & Switch by the Heath Brothers