Thought the Quikthot was the only post for today? No; that was just a Quikthot. Now, let's return to our focus on the need to communicate contrasts.
Lack of clarity about the purposes of proposed change(s) impedes change leaders in their efforts to define contrasts between the proposed situation and the current situation. You can't communicate what you can't define. Change expert, William Bridges says "One of the terrible obstacles to many beginnings is that there is no discernible purpose behind the proposed changes."
Ironically, taking time to define relevant contrasts - identifying how the proposed situation differs from the current situation - actually helps refine or refute the purpose of proposed changes. Clear purpose and clear contrasts are inextricably linked. You can't have one without the other.
When change advocates take the time to define contrasts they may discover proposed changes are without merit. Unfortunately, some people can be so committed to 'their change' that they don't won't be confused by the facts; so they press on in spite of warning signs. In such scenarios, attempt to advocate ill-advised change often sounds like nothing other than 'spin'. Of course, there's another word for this behavior.
Bridges addresses such situations and offers sage advice to these dogged types:
"...the 'official reason' [or stated purpose for the proposed change] is a smoke screen to cover what cannot [or won't] be publicly said. The technical term for this 'lying', and its long-term effects on people are very bad."
William Bridges. Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. (Da Capo Press, 1991, 2003)
Contrasts help communicate purpose because purpose is clarified and confirmed by identifying contrasts. And... setting aside time to place proposed changes under "contrast lenses" also can discourage change advocates from wandering into undesirable territory.