Liminal Space: Transformation, Not Preservation

In helping organisations to transform I’ve discovered the answer to the question “How do you get from here to there?” is almost always “I wouldn’t start from here.” The same is often true for us as individuals. The so called “as is” state often a kind of paral-asis. The gravitational pull of life as it is preventing us from reaching the escape velocity required to explore life as it could be. Life ends up being wrapped around the twin axles of this is how it is and ever shall it be.

The restrictions of the past year have been hugely challenging but they have also been a gift. They have offered us a different starting point. Catapulting us out of our orbit around the status quo the past year has presented us as individuals and organisations with a new point of departure unencumbered by the baggage, good and bad, of life as it was. This new point of departure offering us a new perspective and the prospect of a new destination. The past year, as hard as it has been, has the potential to be a launchpad not a prison sentence.

Liminal space interrupts the soundtrack of our individual and corporate lives and invites us to explore a new choreography. The challenge for followers is leaders who prefer the old numbers. The challenge for leaders is followers who prefer the old moves. For an organisation to achieve a new normal both leaders and followers need to be willing to embrace new rhythms and new routines.

Lockdowns as a launchpad is a great conversation.

Mark Lawrence is a leadership and culture consultant