Break The Rules 2011-08-11T23:13:38-04:00

If we stick to the real or imagined rules, the only kind of change that is possible is what Watzlawick, Weakland and Fisch called First Order Change in their book Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution.

An example of First Order Change is traffic lights changing. They change within a predictable sequence: green, yellow, red, and back to green. (Or in the UK: green, yellow, red, yellow, then green again).

An example of Second Order Change, to quote Dr. James Wilk, the inventor of Minimalist Intervention, would be the traffic lights ‘changing to purple, or dancing the fandango’. The traffic lights are now breaking the rules determined by the Highways Department: ‘Traffic lights will conform to the “green, yellow, red” pattern, and will refrain from dancing at all times.’