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Supporting organisations to bridge the gap between strategy and action at moments of change, making sense and shaping conversations with Big Pictures.


The clash of egos

julian burton


This picture was inspired by a recent conversation with a client. They were describing the behaviour of two people in a meeting. They were facing off against each other on opposing views on what needed to change, and which was best for the organisation. This my interpretation of the metaphors they used.

When change is scary it’s natural to want to stay safe, stick to your point of view and not listen to others. Change can brings up feelings of anxiety, which I often try to deny, avoid or defend against with my ego armour. My ego wants to be certain and right and on its own familiar ground. When we are under threat, its job is to keep us safe from harm. But to adapt to change we need to risk letting go of what we are sure about, and move towards something new. If we’re going to lead change, and genuinely serve people, there’s no place for unconscious ego if it’s getting in the way. We need to be willing to drop the defences and to go first into the unknown...

How do you see this happing in your organisation? How do you work with it?