Abstract/Description

Language shapes thought, and thought shapes action. People talk about installing change, driving change, making change happen. When change doesn’t happen as fast as they’d like, the people who want change talk about resistance, and try to kindle a sense of urgency.

What if the language we use makes it harder to bring about the differences we want to see?

I was educated to be logical, objective, “stick to the facts” and rely on reason. But that’s not the only way our brains work. Metaphors pervade our lives and thinking–so much so that we often don’t notice them. Metaphors “shape what we think,” what we see, and therefore affect our choices and options.

Consider the title “Agile Evangelist.” Evangelists are people who are imbued with The Truth–and want to convince everyone else of it. Sometimes evangelists succeed–through persuasion or harsher means. Would you welcome an evangel, come to tell you how wrong you’ve been?

In this talk I’ll explore the words we use when we talk about change–and how they may get in our way. I’ll look at the nature of change in a complex environment. And we’ll try on some different words that might open different possibilities.

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