Leaders are expected to improve results by driving productive change…to improve processes, to move faster, to increase agility, to make things better. 

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

But before change can occur, a decision to change is necessary. No one can be compelled to change…they must be influenced or inspired to invest time and energy in transformation. But imagine if leaders could pro-actively expedite this decision to help their teams discover elevated capabilities and transform the way their work is done. 

Once a person decides to pursue a change, they cross a threshold, leaving behind ‘what was’ while seeking to discover ‘what can be.’ This time and space where something is left so as to pursue what’s next, is called “liminal space”… and experiencing it is essential for a change transformation to occur. The word “liminal” is derived from the Latin root, limen, meaning “threshold.” So liminal space is the “crossing over” space where all transformation takes place. 

Throughout our lives, we encounter many liminal space moments that disrupt our routine and provide opportunities for us to reconsider our choices, our priorities and our way forward. These moments command our attention, making us feel as though time is standing still. They happen frequently at big change events like weddings or funerals, or may result from experiencing a majestic venue or an unexpected job change. 

The telos institute is pioneering the research on how leaders may leverage the power of choice-driven liminal space to improve the performance of their teams, enabling them to operate more effectively in today’s dynamic market. As a leading, global organization development firm, telos helps leaders hone their leadership skills, optimize their business strategy, and embrace change as a strategic advantage. They have created a powerful methodology for individuals, teams, and organizations that unleashes the power of liminal space to address these criical issues. 

See Liminal Space | The Telos Institute According to telos, a true liminal space experience, whether naturally occurring or choice-driven, includes:

  • the serious exploration of complicated intellectual and emotional questions;
  • time spent in a setting where curiosity and discovery are the source of meaning; and
  • opportunities to productively challenge oneself.

 Liminal space can be created in almost any situation. Leaders equipped with this awareness, knowledge, and the right tools, can optimize change at all levels of their organization. 

What methods do you use to encourage productive change?

How might choice-driven “liminal space” moments 
accelerate your team’s change efforts?