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Tension 5 – uncertainty vs wellbeing (getting the stretch just right)

This blog is part of a series of reflections by the Re-imagining Healthcare SIG. Here Matthew Bell shares his thoughts about the fifth of six 'tensions' that surfaced during his efforts to create organisational change.

This tension is true of any change process. Change produces uncertainty. Uncertainty is often seen as a major challenge. Challenge produces stress. Stress makes people unhappy – or perhaps more accurately, it can make people unhappy. Everyone will react differently to stress around having to do new things, or change behaviours. Some might see it as a challenge, embracing it as a chance to master something new, right across to the other end of the spectrum where stress creates major upset and sadness. I witnessed all of this – having come from the different organisational environments I had experienced, I didn’t see the reactions as anything out of the normal boundaries. But I was very aware of trying to get the right level of stretch for individuals and the collective – but referring back to the previous tensions, I perhaps misjudged the degree of stretch that was being introduced.

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