Surrendering with White Flag

So some of you may have noticed an absence with the blogging and change nuggets. There’s been a few big changes happening personally (bought a house, moved and had hip surgery in 8 weeks!). I’ve just been a little distracted, exhausted and completely lacking in creative energy to write stuff or give good content.


It’s funny isn’t it? We know that with big change comes distraction, anxiety, and employees channel their efforts into seeking information and alternative scenarios.


We know from the neuroscience focus on change the brain loves certainty and will redistribute energy from doing what we do to finding certainty.


We know there is a productivity dip and good change management takes you through that curve quicker


And then all of a sudden you are there. Not quite in the valley of despair, but certainly not able to do a skerrick more than you need to. Utterly change fatigued.


To be honest, I’m kinda cool with it. Actually pretty grateful. Such a good reminder of what happens on the “other side”. It’s grounding.


One of the change management community shared with me

“There is a season for everything and I have learnt to surrender when I have had broken limbs or babies. Not easy but grateful in hindsight”


Such wise words. So it had me thinking about “surrender” and it’s role as a pre-requisite stage to change. Because the opposite is resistance right? I’m not sure we have explored that much – we talk about acceptance, but maybe surrender is a little bit different?


But to surrender you must have faith in the future state. A while back I wrote on change fatigue and I said one of the reasons why people become change fatigued is that we omit the bigger picture and it all seems pointless. Faith is the meaning. We have faith in the end state and it makes sense. Faith provides the certainty our brains go looking for.


Secondly, I’d said change fatigue occurs when we forget to mark the transitions. To stop, breathe and appreciate. Kind of sounds like surrender to me…so I guess I’ll see you soon.


Yours in faith.



Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.


  1. Pita says:

    Wow – what a post and what timing!!
    Greetings from the trenches where I think it might be time to run up the white flag and just let go. After battling on with no feeling that things would change, I only stumbled into the awareness that I needed to muster up some faith last week – and it was surprising the change it bought. Reading about surrender makes me feel like I found the next step I didn’t know I was missing.

    Wishing you great heath and happy times in your new home.

    • mm Jen says:

      Thanks Pita — thrilled it resonated and could be of help. Wishing you peace of mind with the change to come.

  2. Stephen says:

    Reading this was like a moment of clarity.
    Big Change -> Distraction -> Despair -> Fatigue -> Surrender/Acceptance -> Whatever comes next (and there are many steps) sets you up for Big Change and the cycle repeats.
    Great post Jen.

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