Doctor Who and Abrupt Change

Doctor #11 and Amy with new TARDIS

Doctor #11 and Amy with new TARDIS (Photo credit: ChocolateFrogs)

I recently watched the most recent Doctor Who episode wherein he regenerates from the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) into the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi).  The final change was much more abrupt than other regenerations that I’ve seen in the newer series.  Capaldi’s expression is wonderful….he looks stupefied.  He says several things in rapid succession (my favorite is “Kidneys!  I’ve got new kidneys! I don’t like the color.”) but the one that really grabbed my attention was when he asks Clara, “Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”  You can watch the change here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01nzqm6

So despite the fact that he (the Doctor) has been flying the Tardis (his ship, for those of you who aren’t Whovians) for thousands of years, somehow the disruptive, radical change blew this knowledge right out of his head…at least for the time being.  It may likely return, as disorientation is a sometimes side effect of regeneration, but the more I thought about this it seemed to mirror an aspect of something I recently wrote on: disruption and how to ride it out as smoothly as possible.
I wrote in the post previous to this about organizational disruption, recovery and the space needed to be successful.  In that post I note a number challenges and suggest some mitigations to help ease the change. The point I see in this transformation or regeneration is that even when you see it coming (we’ve know about the regeneration for awhile, and even the Doctor, who has experienced them before knows what’s coming), the jolt can still disorient you and keep you from functioning at the highest possible levels of performance. You may not be able to get your bearings right away….
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