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Kanban Change Leadership: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement by Klaus Leopold, Siegfried Kaltenecker

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11 EMOTIONS IN CHANGE PROCESSES

Regardless of the model for change management, change is inseparably linked with intense feelings. Even the etymological root of the word “emotion” supports this link: “emotion” derives from the Latin word movere, “to move.” But what is it that moves in change processes? What feelings are stirred? And how can they be used to achieve the desired change?

Emotions are often associated with images of chaos, raw energy, and uncontrolled dynamics. Consequently, they appear to be diametrically opposed to the rational concept of organization.

However, in his theory of the affect–logic, Swiss psychoanalyst Luc Ciompi convincingly established that feelings and thinking are by no means separate worlds [1]; they are rather in constant contact with each other as also demonstrated in contemporary neuroscience. According to Ciompi, thinking that is devoid of feelings doesn’t even exist. Affect–logic is defined as a comprehensive body–soul condition that can have different levels of intensity. Such emotional–cognitive states can appear consciously or unconsciously and can last anything from a few seconds to many hours or even days, for example, in manic or depressive moods. Feelings are also psychosomatic phenomena as in the following sayings: “my heart skipped a beat,” “a chill ran down my spine,” and “venting spleen.” Affect–logic drives “energetic conditions, or, more precisely: patterns of energy distribution” [1, p. 23] that constantly influence ...

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