A New Relationship
This time of year, many make the so-called New Year’s Resolutions and make a personal if not short-term commitment to modify behaviors deemed as needing change. Typical personal commitments include, losing weight, getting more exercise, becoming a better spouse/partner, etc.
Unfortunately, most of these behavioral changes go by the wayside in short order. Many reasons and excuses are offered and then the cycle starts all over again on January 1st of the next year.
For example, weight loss vendors are heavily advertising at this time of year. Most of the ads look fairly similar to the those from last year and even the year before. Our ability to fail at resolutions seems endemic.
The Relationships, Behaviors and Conditions (RBC) framework discussed herein and in other publications by the author is the proverbial three-legged stool. In this model behaviors in a set of conditions determine the relationships among parties.
When our focus on a New Year’s Resolution is only behavioral change, failure is likely. In the example of weight loss, conditions may not change, i.e., we eat out for lunch at work every day. A new relationship with food may not emerge in such an environment.
Likewise, as part of our diet plan our doctor tells us to exercise but we still hate it, failure is likely. So, what is the point? Most resolutions are doomed!
Not so fast. Achieving new behavioral critical mass will sustain our resolutions and lead to sustained change. A new relationship with the ole bogyman will cast this issue into the pit of the past.
By definition, new behavioral critical mass is self-sustaining. Hating the diet plan and associated exercise does not meet that criterion.
In other words, a set of behaviors must be changed. For example, “all things in moderation” as our mothers taught us coupled with social engagement with likeminded individuals (social media and in person as well) may achieve the critical mass for sustained change.
Note that implicit in the last statement is a change in the conditions one is surrounded by. This does not mean that one must quit his/her job because everyone goes to lunch together every day. However, bringing one’s lunch several days a week does change the lunch time conditions.
None of the transformational process described herein are easy and two steps forward and one step back is often the norm. The key incentive is the new relationship one seeks.
Once that “stake” is set, appropriate new behaviors coupled with changes in existing conditions can ensure. Personal transformation is difficult; however, the RBC model offers new insight into how all of us can move forward.
There is evidence that diets do not work. Once the target weight is reached, the old behaviors often emerge.
In this case, the new relationship may better be defined as Better Health which may be a better incentive to change than simply dieting. Those who make the sustained, permanent transformation may not realize they are implementing a personal RBC but in fact they are.
Happy New Year and best of luck to all of us with our resolutions!
Critical Mass: Value from the RBC Framework
Nuclear physicists define the term, “critical mass” as the amount of fissile material whereby a nuclear reaction is self-sustaining. From that original definition, the construct is further developed along societal and political terms as a function of the environment and number of adopters and their interdependencies that create enough of a consensus for individual actions that sustains an undertaking.
In 1996, the author published the first of several case studies on a societal interaction model based on the Relationships, Behavior and Conditions (RBC) construct among economic actors. Previously the model was only in the domain of academia.
This blog addresses contemporary issues from the RBC perspective and whether in the present state they are sustainable or not. Many readers may be familiar with the “Innovation Adoption Curve.” RBC seeks to enlighten the causality of behaviors that cause movement towards the critical mass that generates movement along this diffusion curve.
- A New Relationship January 10, 2018
- Excellent Behaviors: Assessing Relationships in the Operational Excellence Ecosystem December 22, 2017
- Precedent Matters: Physical and Cyber Security Materiality November 28, 2017
Other Blogs Dr. Shemwell Authors
Dr. Shemwell is an author for the following 3rd party blogs.
Governing Energy Blog
BTOES Insights is the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news. Dr. Shemwell is a contributor.
About the Author
Dr. Scott M. Shemwell has over 30 years technical and executive management experience primarily in the energy sector. He is the author of six books and has written extensively about the field of operations. Shemwell is the Managing Director of The Rapid Response Institute, a firm that focuses on providing its customers with solutions enabling Operational Excellence and regulatory compliance management. He has studied cultural interactions for more than 30 years—his dissertation; Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study) is an early peer reviewed manuscript addressing the systemic structure of societal relationships.