Growing up on a flower farm, our lives were very cyclical. While each year was slightly different with new challenges to overcome, there were always patterns. Propagation, plant, grow, ship. Repeat. I can remember thinking it was boring and other jobs were more interesting.
And yet, most of our life has patterns and cycles. Education is the easy example, but so to is a humanitarian aid response. And to does change. Some patterns are easy to see, while some are a bit more hidden and take multiple ‘trips around the block’ to see them.
Seeing the pattern allows us to plan and anticipate. But it also allows us to build our expertise. Understanding the current cycles and patterns is critical for change as the change disrupts them. These cycles often are a source of stability and security (knowingly or unknowingly) for the people affected. They root the people. It can be very unsettling when this is disruptive – this is one reason the pandemic has been hard for many.
Changemakers work with existing patterns where possible. And where not, they help develop new ones. But they are always on the look out for ruts.