Organizational Change

[ see Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning ]

People change Organizations 

Organizations can't change without people changing first.  It is the collective action of individual change that emerges as organizational change.  One approach to understanding how individuals change is the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), which is also known as Stages of Change (SOC).  Change cannot be commanded, yet it is possible to influence individual change

Change agents also play a key role in influencing organizational change.  Note that the emphasis is on influencing change versus "managing change" which is debatable.  This pdf focuses on the Internal Networker, drawing from some of Peter Senge's papers from around 1996.  The three roles (executive leader, local line leader, and internal networker) all come from Senge.  The split between the formal & informal organization and strategic & tactical orientation have been added to emphasize the domain of each role.  The function of change agent role model has also been added since this is a critical role the internal networker plays in organizational change.  The linkage between the executive leader and the local line leader was also shifted to an empowering relationship that is really bi-directional in how it gains its strength.  Traditionally, empowerment is something thought of being given to someone else.  However, this overlooks the possibility of self-leadership through testing boundaries of empowerment.  All too often, limits on empowerment are assumed and never tested.  Therefore, it is essential to add a pull component to empowerment.   

In initiating organizational change, the first step is raising awareness that some change is needed.  An Organizational Assessment can be used as a point for initiating the dialogue that is necessary for organizational change to gain grassroots acceptance (the 1st step towards commitment). 

Resistance to change 

Points of leverage

Organization Culture

Culture drives how things are really done in the organization.  The Culture for High Performance paper details some of the cultural attributes that can influence how well an organization performs toward meeting its potential.  (slightly shorter version of this paper)


Resources on Organizational Change

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Transformative Networking connecting change leaders to enable self-organized grassroots change.

Next Steps While still conceptual, transformative networking offers the possibility of leading change through the networking of those already interested or involved in similar initiatives, effectively tearing down existing silos of practice that exist across disciplines and fields of work.  The next step is to develop a proof of concept built on the theoretical underpinnings above, possibly using Google Wave as the collaboration platform.  Included will be identifying the minimal structure and governance required to enable self-organization within the network while not constraining what might emerge.  Join this initiative and help create the future of organizing - networking communities of interest.    

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Last modified: February 16, 2010