Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Wednesday 20 March 2013

The secret of change

The secret of change is not to focus all your energy on fighting the old, but to focus on building the new. This quote from Socrates keeps creeping up in my mind while working with the new European Natura 2000 strategic planning tool. This Prioritized Action Framework  (PAF) focuses on threats to species and habitats. The tool tries to analyze all the reasons why we are losing biodiversity and tries to provide priority reasons and measures for investing in biodiversity. 

I wonder whether it would lead to real change. To focus on reasons is almost like to focus on excuses why we did not achieve conservation results in the first place. It is almost as giving in to the habit of procrastination, not doing what we set out to do and getting away with. This common psychological 'failure' habit of people, institutions and society is the key obstacle for conserving biodiversity. 

So maybe the tool should focus or at least also make an effort to focus on what we can learn from conservation results and how we can realize more results. Results are driven by success habits, e.g. commitment, consistent action, accountability, doing the right things and joint celebration. The tool we need should help create a psychological environment that drives us to positive action. In the end change only takes place through action. Maybe conservationists in the European Commission, in governments and elsewhere should pay more attention to the psychology for a better world

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