Working with Crucibles of Change

One of the central topics that David Sibbet and I explore in The Grove workshop Designing and Leading Change is how to identify and work with crucible-type situations in organizational change processes. The Liminal Pathways Framework which we introduce in this three-day workshop indicates the crucible phase as the center of the transformative process—at the threshold or place of transition where one is no longer the old and not yet the new.

In metallurgy, crucibles are used to melt metals and combine elements under strong heat. Alchemists used crucibles in an attempt to turn base metals into gold, and they explored how their own magical interactions might cause a transformation to occur. So the crucible has become a metaphor for human containers (or processes) that can handle a great amount of tension – generative and challenging – for a shift or for something new to occur. The container needs to be strong, and at times also malleable and flexible, depending on […]