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Plus Ca Change…

Last Friday, i met with a fascinating guy named Luc de Brabandere. His book, The Forgotten Half of Change, was a FC Readers’ Choice selection in April. A witty Belgian who ran the Belgian stock exchange until he had a midlife crisis and decided his life should be devoted to the study of creativity, he is now a partner at BCG’s Paris office, where he travels the world. teaching executives how to, well, change.

Probably the most interesting takeaway was de Brabandere’s notion that to change, you have to change twice (insert ze very French accent here). Borrowed from a group of psychologists in the 1950s known as the Palo Alto school, the concept is that in order to change reality, you must first change perception. For example, if you are chronically late, you can change reality by, say, allowing more time between meetings or getting a Palm Pilot. But that change is doomed to fail, says de Brabandere, because you are changing your actions without fundamentally desiring to see yourself as a new person–a person who is on time. Only when you change the perception you have of both punctuality and of yourself can this change stick. Reactions?

JR