SURVE, a word created by Jim Blackburn, was derived from the concept of “The Sigmoid Curve,” written about by Charles Handy in The Age of Paradox. This concept describes a belief that forms the foundational philosophy supporting our development processes.

curve-transparent-45x12THE SIGMOID CURVE

THE SIGMOID CURVE is said to be the curve of life. Whether it be an individual, organization, or entire society, there is a beginning, an initial decline resulting from experimenting and learning, a period of growth and prosperity, and a decline leading, ultimately, toward an end. The key to sustaining a healthy life or organization is to begin transformation to a new curve before the prior curve is too far in decline.

sigmoid curve


INITIATING THE TRANSFORMATION while the original curve is still ascending is ideal in that it ensures that necessary resources and energy will be available. It will, however, be challenging and meet resistance in that growth and prosperity are still being experienced. On the other hand, beginning the transformation where the original curve is declining and near the end is highly problematic due to depleted resources, energy, and confidence in the change initiators.

curve-transparent-45x12THE NEW CURVE

THE NEW CURVE must begin while the first curve still has the strength to support it. Here, growth will continue while combining what’s working with the initial dependence period of new ideas, experiences, and behaviors being initiated to accommodate change.

curve-transparent-45x12HOW CAN YOU BE SURE?

HOW CAN YOU BE SURE of when to start the new curve? You can’t ever be sure. Always assume you are just before the peak. This will continue the flow of curiosity and eagerness for new ideas and experiences, while effecting change on a solid foundation.