Managing Complex Change

As we know from science, the universe expands at an increasingly fast rate. Stars are constantly being “born” out of clouds of hydrogen and then dying when they exhaust their supply.   Thus our introductory analogy will be with stars and start ups; be always a shining ‘star’ with your start up – and learn how to manage complex change.


How do we get a mind that can adapt to the challenges of start up?  How do we encourage our staff to change rapidly? One of the greatest secrets of success in business is to build an awareness of impermanence.  Impermanence applies in every possible part of our life and the new opportunity to chart a new course with the new situation.

The below figure illustrates key characteristics during change.  The diagram is brilliant. If the key result is not materialized, it states one aspect is missing.  Simple.  We need vision, skills, resources, incentives and an action plan to change in business.  Yes – very common – change was introduced without all aspects in a start up, or it was not understood.  Just install or reinstall the component not activated. Simple.


Photo from Knoster T.


It is hard to change people as it takes their time and commitment.   Ensure they understand the incentive and the benefit for them.  If your incentive is weak to them, brainstorm new incentives. Recognition of a great job is powerful, as well as gratitude for them being on the team.  Encouraging them daily as they attempt to do something different is also a great motivator to them.     People want to be part of the positive change to make the company better.

Cause and Effect

Beyond impermanence, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield have highlighted the importance of understanding cause and effect in Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation.  They say the law of Karma refers to the law of cause of effect: that every volitional act brings a certain result.

“If we act motivated by greed, hatred, or delusion, we are planting the seed of suffering: when our acts are motivated by generosity, love or wisdom, then we are creating the karmic conditions for abundance and happiness”.  Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield

If we plant a avocado seed, the tree will bear avocados eventually not apples.   Thus plant each day – success for your team and generosity to receive success and generosity in return.


A native Midwestern; however, calls now both Hyderabad, India and Boston USA home. Recent graduate of the Founder Institute based out of Silicon Valley, and is the Founder of Polar Bear International. The company was founded in Boston, January 2014, in midst of an arctic cold winter of double digits below zero t¬o save the world – one shopping bag at a time (tagline of the company).   Globalization fascinates me, and enjoys learning the best of other cultures. Has over thirty years of experience in Senior Leadership Roles with companies such as Xerox, Kodak, Nebraska Furniture Mart: a Berkshire Hathaway Company and Silicon Business Solutions: Active when in India with product development for Polar Bear International, HR Head for an IT firm, and as Board of Director for various non-profit boards.  Spending time with family, the start-up community, tech, reading, horses, nature or art are some of my other favorite ways to spend time.  Writes on the Environment, Startups, Globalization, Cross Cultural Communication, Doing Business in Asia, Expats, Volunteering, Gardening and Flowers.

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